When one of your busiest marketing channels limits you to 140 characters, you know that the internet sets its own rules. Delivering content online means you have to find the ideal length of blog posts, social media – FaceBook posts, twitter posts, blog posts, podcasts, e-mail and whatever other means you may use to communicate with your readers.
It is hard to owners of internet businesses and business opportunities to spend much time on their blogs, social media and other marketing methods. Whether they have established companies or start-ups, they work hard to manage projects, connect with customers and keep suppliers happy. That leaves little time for the finer points of writing and marketing for entrepreneurs.
Why It Matters
They tend to consider social media posts especially not too important, just as long as the words are spelled right and something gets posted regularly. But look below and you will see that is clearly isn’t the case. The researchers who spend their careers studying tweets, posts, blogs, videos and pins have discovered very specific preferences on the part of your readers.
Visitors online are bombarded with noise in the form of graphics, videos, audio and words. You need to cater to their preferences in order to get seen and get read, to stand out from the crowd. So be sure to go with the flow when it comes to the length of your content. You stand a much higher chance of engaging with your customers and prospects.
Here is a guide you can refer to. It covers the most effective lengths for all the types of copy you use to get your message across about your business opportunity. Most of the data is taken from Adweek.
The Ideal Number of Characters
Twitter: make your tweets 71 to 100 characters long. Did you know that if you make it shorter than 100 characters, you have a 17% greater chance of getting people to read it?
Facebook: make your posts about 40 characters long. This might be a shock to users, since that is shorter than ideal Twitter lengths. But experts who study social media marketing have discovered that when your post is 40 characters or shorter, it gets a whopping 86% higher rate of engagement.
Google+: keep your headline for Google+ posts to 60 or fewer characters. If you just can’t manage that, keep your readers’ attention by using a teaser headline that entices them to keep reading.
Blog paragraphs: use big fonts in your first paragraph and no more than 40 to 55 characters in the first few lines. The big type and short lines makes your copy more scannable, an essential if you want people to peruse what you write.
Domain names: this is tough because so many good short names have already been taken. But if possible, keep your domain name to eight or fewer characters. This makes them memorable and simpler to spell. Never use hyphens, even if you think that makes the name easier to parse. Experienced marketers also say that you shouldn’t use numbers either. Always try to get a .com, not one of the other extensions. Readers feel it gives your domain more credibility.
Hashtags: Six characters is all you get for an ideal hashtag. Obviously there are many on social media that are much longer, but studies show that short ones get used more often. Never start your hashtag with a number. Use idioms and slang very carefully. They can easily be misunderstood, potentially losing readers.
Email subject lines: the all-important subject line should be no more than 28 to 39 characters. It’s hard to tell a story using so few, but short ones get an open rate of 12.2%. Even better, their rate of being clicked on is at 4%.
Title tags: these need to be at 55 characters or fewer. If longer than 60 characters, it gets automatically shortened using those irritating three periods (the ellipse).
The Ideal Number of Words
Blog headlines: keep your headline to six or fewer words. It can be extremely hard to sound interesting in six words or less, which is why headline writing is considered an art form. Did you know that readers tend to absorb the first three words of your headline and the last three words? When you limit yourself to six words, you know they will read the whole thing!
LinkedIn posts: write B2B posts that are 16 to 25 words maximum. If you are doing B2C marketing, you can splurge with 21 to 25 words. These are the numbers that statisticians have found get the highest number of shares, which is what it’s all about.
Blog posts: now that you’re sure everything needs to be super short, here’s a surprise. It turns out your blog posts should be 1,600 words, considerably longer than the standard 500-word blog post. Of all the blog posts online, 74% of those that visitors stay to read can be finished in three minutes. It will get read by 94% if it takes less than six minutes to read.
The Ideal Number of Minutes
YouTube: your videos should be just three minutes long or less. People do not have long attention spans.
Podcasts: even if you have a fascinating person to interview, keep your time at 22 minutes or less. Researchers studied students. They discovered that their attention span and their ability to retain information was highest in the 15- to 20-minute range. And just awful after 20 minutes.
TED talk: if you get invited to give a prestigious TED talk, keep it at 18 minutes or less. The people behind the talks require presenters to stick to this number. It keeps listeners interested and also encourages conciseness from the people giving the talk.
Slideshare: when sharing your slides, keep the entire presentation to six minutes or less. That comes out to around 61 slides, according to the people to track these things. And of course, keep your design elements crisp, clear and inviting.
The Ideal Image Size
Pinterest: make your images on this highly visual site taller than they are wide. If you are looking for the number of pixels, graphic maker Canva has established a template of 736 pixels wide by 1103 pixels tall.