Shorter blogs are easier to write – which is great, right? But longer blogs are better at creating quality content – which is great, right? So where does that leave your B2B blog length plans?
As we’ve discussed before, it may be more useful to start judging B2B blog length in terms of minutes rather than words, but whichever metric you use, fit the length to your purpose. Here are seven key factors to consider!
Topic may be more important to the length of your article than you think. For example, many of the most successful how-to blog posts we see in the B2B world tend to be longer, not afraid to go well beyond 500 words if necessary. That makes sense – a how-to article thrives on detail and careful explanation. Likewise, a general news or explanation article can be far shorter: Give your readers the basic information, avoid adding any fluff, and they will respect you for that. Try to adjust length based on the topic and format that you are using. If all your blog posts are always the same length, you may not be reading your audience as well as you could be.
“Professional,” and “informative,” are the correct answers here, right? Not exactly – we’re talking more about how your brand sounds. What sets your voice apart from your competitors? This should also, in part, influence the length of your posts. It’s nice to sound cheerful and enthusiastic, but when every line is super cheerful then you need to keep your posts short so they don’t come across as obnoxious. If you like being the “teacher” in the room, then spend some extra time on points that your readers care about, and know when to pull back if you’re getting too dry.
Frequency is a key factor too, especially among your loyal readers. If you publish content very frequently, say every couple of days, then it should be shorter. No one has time to read so much content so fast, and if you are whipping out essays that quickly then the quality probably isn’t very great, either. If you publish rarely, maybe only a couple times a month (or less), then it’s better to focus on longer though pieces, whitepapers, and in-depth guides so that your readers always know to expect a quality experience.
Do you want to become an industry leader and influencer? Then at least some of your content needs to be longform, going over 1,000 words to fully analyze a topic. Are you trying to get more eyeballs and conversions? Then faster, more glib content may be more effective for your efforts.
This is more important within the B2B world than outside of it. At work, your readers probably won’t have much time to peruse your content. They tend to have competing sources of distraction as well as a busy work life, so content can help them by being short and sweet. If you tend to publish more in the off-hours, keeping content short isn’t as important, but you need a very interesting topic to attract people who are officially off the clock.
Specifically, we’re talking about adapting the content into other forms. If you plan on making a video out of a blog post, it needs to be a fairly concise blog post, or at least one that can be easily summarized. If you want to turn a research post into an infographic, it needs to have enough data and weight to create an effective pictorial of the information. Don’t just think about your blog post today, but think about what you’ll do with it in the weeks to come.
There’s a common bit of advice on blogs that goes something like, “Always mix your content up! Do things differently!” It’s an easy suggestion to take out of context, because the truth is more complicated. Take a look at your past content: If a particular blog length seems to get a lot of attention, that’s a smart size to stick with for future content. If your blog appears to be in a lull and views are dropping, that’s a sign to mix up format and length in new ways.