Creating informative blog posts, articles, reports and emails for your customers is one of the classic techniques of content marketing. The concept is simple. You’re providing your audience with information that benefits your customer in a direct way while simultaneously demonstrating your expertise. There’s no sales pressure. It’s purely an informative exchange. When the time comes for your customer to make a purchasing decision, the relationship you’ve established with them through this ongoing provision of valuable information should make it easy for them to choose you first.
The most common question our clients have when we discuss content marketing is “How long does this content need to be?” We have only a frustrating answer to offer: exactly as long as it needs to be. What does that mean?
A piece of content must be long enough to meaningfully convey a complete idea. Customers can only read the words you provide. They can’t read your mind and ‘see what you meant’. If your copy is too short that it leaves out essential elements of the point you’re trying to make, it’s too short.
A piece of content must be long enough to provide an enjoyable or valuable experience for your reader. This metric will vary wildly by your audience. Brides-to-be, for example, are notorious for spending hours poring over wedding-related content, while a chef might want immediate, rapid access to only the information relevant to his immediate needs and nothing more – time is at a premium in a busy kitchen.
How your customer consume content will also have a direct impact on how long that content needs to be. Reading a 2,000 word article on a laptop or larger tablet is no big deal. The same amount of content on a smaller smartphone screen can be too much to deal with.
Before you take any piece of content live, check to make sure you’ve conveyed a complete, valuable idea to your customer. Ensure that the experience of reading that content will be enjoyable to them – images are a huge part of successful engagement! – no matter what type of device your customer may be using. Then you’ll know that your content is exactly the right size.