What’s the ideal content length? (Infographic)

Just like when you talk to someone face to face, you don’t want to find yourself rambling on about something when the other person is already thinking about what they are going to have for dinner that evening. The same applies when speaking to someone online, via social media or with more classic content, you want to find the sweet spot where your audience will read all or most of what you share with them and you want them to feel engaged and inspired.

So, what’s the ideal length for all your content? We have produced an infographic for you, outlining the ideal lengths of the various types of content you use, or should be using. From social media to more classic forms of content, every channel has its optimal length that will give you the highest audience engagement.

content length cheat sheet

Ideal content length explained

Title tag and Meta Description

If you use WordPress to publish your blog articles then when you type in your title tag and meta description it provides a preview of what it will look like on Google. However, as a general rule, title tags should be limited to 55 characters as Google cuts off any more than that. This is exactly the same with meta descriptions, limited to 155 characters.

Headers

Google+: The main reason for keeping your heading on Google plus under 60 characters is that anything over this will get bumped onto another line and aesthetically a header looks better when all on one line.

Headline: Notice how the headline for this infograpic is exactly 6 words? Did you read the full headline? You probably did because Kissmetric found that when reading a headline, people read the first and last 3 words, making 6 word headlines the perfect balance and ensuring the audience reads the full headline. If they don’t then you are just using redundant words.

Email: 50 is the maximum number of characters MailChimp recommend when writing the subject header for an email being sent out to your mailing list. However, another study by Mailer Mailer found that the quintessential length is between 23 and 39 characters. In reality, people will be more likely to read your email based on what the subject line says rather than the length of it.

Social Media

Facebook: 40 character posts receives higher engagement. According to Jeff Bullas, Facebook posts that have 40 characters or less receive 86% higher engagement than others. We can’t argue with statistics. However, track social found that the optimal length is between 100 and 140 characters.

Extra Tip! Facebook posts with images tend to get more engagement than those without, almost four times as much.

Twitter: Although you are given 140 characters on Twitter, it is recommended you only use 100 of those characters, leaving space for people who want to RT your tweet to personalise it.

Google+: Quintly research found 156 is the optimum number of characters for a post on Google+. Also, longer posts seem to work better on Google+, perhaps because Google in general likes longer content

Classic Content

Blog: Longer blog posts are better for SEO as Google likes longer content as it is more likely to provide a helpful answer to the user. Longer posts also get more links and are more likely to be shared as people feel they are able to gain multiple benefits from reading it. Be careful not to make your blog too long, as people have a limited attention span, as you can see with the next type of content.

Podcast: Studies have found that students zone out after 15-20 minutes of a lecture. Students are in their prime of learning and so if they can only concentrate for 15 minutes then how long do you think the average joe will pay attention? 22 minutes is the ideal length of a podcast, anymore and people begin to question whether they can be bothered listening to the whole thing.

Presentation: According to TED talks, 18 minutes is ideal when presenting information at a conference. Similar to podcasts, people have a limited attention span, something to do with science and oxygen to the brain, but all you need to know is that if you talk for too long, people will check out.

So there you have it, the quintessential guide to the quintessential length of any quality content. Of course, as with any type of content marketing, what works for one, may not work for another, “it depends” on a number of factors, so find what works for you, start with our findings and then adjust it according to your audience.

Your Turn

  1. What is the optimal length of your businesses’ Facebook and Twitter posts?
  2. Is there a type of content that we haven’t included that you are wondering how long it should be?

Let us know what you find in the comment section below!

 

Attributions

Socially Stacked      Buffer Blog       Orbit Media

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About Melissa Coombs

Melissa Coombs is a Business and Marketing Graduate from Edinburgh University. Showcasing the best examples of content marketing and educating business owners on the benefits of content marketing for their business