It’s hard to get around the heated argument going on among marketers and writers on the web – is it better to write the expertise-rich long post, or should you keep it short and to the point?
In summary, there are two main hypotheses:
#1: People have a goldfish attention span, they like small “content bites”, therefore shorter is better.
#2: Google loves longer posts that provide better quality and dive deep into the particular topic, so they rank higher and attract more traffic.
The fact is, there are no true or false answers here, and both statements are accurate.
Which probably brings even more confusion to the starting point of your tech company’s blog.
So, should you go short or long?
Do your leads and readers want you to go in-depth and write a 3,000-word piece about the technology that you’re trying to explain?
Or is all they want to hear a 300-word, short but useful information sound-byte on how it will make their lives easier?
Sounds like material for complicated market research, but luckily, things are much simpler than that.
Awareness of the Audience Dictates “the Rules.”
The key to “the perfect blog length” – as well as to all content forms – is the stage of awareness that your lead has reached about your tech product or service!
Has your reader already been introduced to the technology that you sell? Or does he not know that it exists?
Based on the answer to that question, you adjust your content length accordingly.
The general copywriting rule goes:
- Little awareness – long copy
- High awareness – short copy
However, if you just try to get attention in a broad-range crowd, you might start shorter. You don’t want to overburden your potential lead with large writing pieces because they will most likely lose interest.
But, when you get their heads turned your way, continue with meatier content; spread your wings and talk about your expertise and your software or hardware all you want!
After you’ve warmed up your lead and he’s turned hot, nail the sale with shorter content again. There is no need to go into too many details all over again, so make your word count smaller for this type of reader.
So, for each blog, all you have to decide is to who are you talking to and the rest is easy.
Here are five approximate frameworks, based on five buyer awareness stages:
- Unaware Crowd: 300 – 600 words
Not only do these folks not know anything about your company, or your solution or your greatness and amazingness overall, but they don’t even know what is bothering them! So, they need something catchy to get their attention, like news. That is why the length of a news story is the perfect fit here.
Additional tip: you want to make it all about them, written in their language – identifying what are they struggling with, but never realized.
This should be an engaging invitation that gets them inside your world, so keep it short and super-sweet. Better yet, desirable, so they reach out for more.
- Pain/Problem-Aware Cold Leads: 500 – 1,500 words
Here you are talking to those that know about that particular pain point; only they still don’t know a solution for it exists.
Your job is to persuade them that there is one and that it includes “XYZ” technology. But, the big chunk of the blog should still be all about your potential customer. The best way to do this is problem agitation. By emphasizing their pain points, you express your compassion, and they start to think that you “get” them.
- Solution-Aware Warm Leads: 1.000 – 3.000 words
This is the long post target-group – these people already know what is keeping them awake in the night, and they know that a solution to their problem exists. Now you have to explain to them how your solution can help?
This is where you cut loose and go into the details, talk about the specifics, describe this and that, and guide them from the point where the problem occurs to the possible solution.
What you are doing here is setting up your authority in the field and acting like a “go-to-company” that provides insightful and valuable knowledge about their problems.
Long and in-depth researched blog posts are a perfect fit for this type of audience.
- Product-Aware Hot Leads: 1,500 – 2,000 words
This crowd is also perfect for longer posts – they already know about the pain and the solution and how it can leverage their potential.
At this stage, they start to see your company as their solution provider (finally, I know).
What you have to give here is how your specific tech solution solves all the stuff you talked about earlier on.
Lots of words again, but up to 2,000 words should be enough to convey the message. Remember, too much content at this stage might annoy the potential customer, and you wouldn’t want that!
- Highly-Aware Super-Hot Leads: 300 – 600 words
For these folks, all you have to give is some super-charged outcomes that show how they will improve their lives with your tech. Some social proof, success stories; something that will make that final push towards the buy button.
An assembly of several testimonials, for example, should not take too much space, because, after too many of them, it becomes tedious.
Good blog copy focused on this type of lead should significantly shorten and summarize all the main highlights, overcome objections and provide the final proof as to why they should choose your company over thousands of others.
Just for the record: this blog is 1.030 words long.
According to my framework, you are my cold lead – you know about the problem, and you maybe scratch your head over your blog length. Only you didn’t realize that pairing it to the type of your audience could guide you to your solution.
So, maybe I got you thinking.
Maybe by now I made you my warm lead, and in that case, I owe you another blog.
An even more value-packed, longer one.