It’s interesting to me that for as long as we have been producing content, there is still a question of how long a blog should be, or how many words should be written. I find it interesting simply because the answer seems to be a matter of opinion, or what your target audience supposedly wants. But is that true?
In this visually oriented world we live in, where video seemingly rules, how can there possible be a place for long-form content? After all, people have increasingly shortened attention spans and frankly no time to read. At least, that’s what we keep hearing.
The truth is that your target audience will make time for anything that solves a problem, fills a need or, frankly, is of interest. That equates to content of all shapes and sizes. So how do you decide what to do and how to do it?
1. Your Target Audience Decides
If you know that your target wants lots of short, easy to use tips – problem solved. However, if your target is a bunch of research-oriented people, then be prepared to provide robust content.
2. Visually Appealing Always Works
Regardless of the length of content, make it visually appealing. Add white space for ease of reading; add images that are interesting – and relevant, and embed short videos when it makes sense.
3. Remember the Emotions of Buying
People will do a ton of research before buying anything from you, including reading your articles, blogs, watching videos, and reading reviews (very important). Make sure your content fulfills a need, solves a problem and makes your target understand you’re the right choice when they decide to buy.
4. Mash Up for Interest
You don’t have to choose one type of media – use them all. Create a video and put that on your blog. Write a white paper and make sure you have a blog that leads to it. Put together an infographic or other interesting visual. Keep it interesting.
5. Remember It’s Relative
Not as in your cousin, but as in the opinion of your target. This is the most important tip to understand. Would you write the same style content for a very busy, sleep deprived mom that you would for a university physics professor? Probably not. The length of content for your target audience is basically what they think is appropriate. And the only way you will know is to test, and test some more.
The way people research online ensures a place for all types, styles and length of content. The more complex the purchase, the more research they will perform. For example, if someone wants to purchase a book for $7.00, which may not require much research. However, someone researching a major purchase for their organization will be more fastidious in their research and probably will take the time to read a longer form of content.
So stop worrying about the “right” length for your blog or article, and start creating the perfect mix for your target audience to make you their choice when they purchase!
What type or length of content have you found your target audience prefers?