Today, many online businesses run a blog.
Even businesses which don’t run a blog produce content in some form or another.
You may share an infographic on Twitter, for example, or upload a video to YouTube. This is all content and it’s all part of your online brand.
One of the biggest challenges of producing content online is making it entertaining. However, even if you make the world’s most entertaining blog post, people may not read that post due to its length.
A recent study concluded how long an average blog post should be. Today, I’m going to share those results with you and explain why they matter for your business.
When you ask an online marketing expert how long your blog posts should be, the answer will almost always be “it depends”.
Great, but what does it depend on?
First, let’s start with this graph:
That data was collected by our friends at Medium. It states that the average blog post takes visitors 7 minutes to read.
Once it takes visitors longer than 7 minutes to read, readership drops off significantly.
The average person can read about 200 words per minute. For that reason, your average blog post should be around 1,400 words.
But wait. Just because the average blog post is around 1,400 words doesn’t mean that’s the blog post you should be writing. In the next data chart, Medium explains that 3 minute long posts get the most page views.
That’s why the length of your blog post depends. It depends on how you’re trying to help your visitors.
Are you trying to make them laugh? Are you encouraging them to visit back every day for relevant information? Are you trying to build site traffic without necessarily worrying about long-term customers?
If you answered ‘Yes’, to those questions, then a 3-minute blog post may be the right choice.
Or, does your blog take a more refined approach and concentrate on creating high-quality, highly-informative content once or twice per week. If that’s the case, then the “7-minute blog post” and “1400 words” range is an excellent option.
If, on the other hand, you want the best of both worlds, then you can publish both types of posts to your site.
Facebook posts are a little easier to figure out. First, image posts are always more engaging than text posts. That fact has been repeated in nearly every Facebook study.
At the same time, long posts – regardless of whether or not there’s an attached image – perform more poorly on Facebook than shorter posts.
But the best types of Facebook posts are questions. Questions – particularly short questions – will almost always attract more people than statements.
Ultimately, the ideal length of a Facebook post is between 100 and 119 characters – according to data gathered from 120 billion Facebook impressions.
Armed with all that information, you still won’t be able to engage a large percentage of Facebook users. Expect engagement to be around 0.015% at the low end to 0.022% at the higher end.
Tweets, like Facebook posts, are more engaging when they’re short.
Of course, it’s impossible to create a tweet longer than 140 characters, so users are already limited.
But the ideal tweet is actually much shorter than 140 characters: tweets with 100 or fewer characters can have engagement rates as high as 17%. The best range is between 71 and 100 characters. Tweets of that length have more average retweets than any other range.
That short range is due to a few reasons. First, Twitter users see several tweets on their screen at the same time. A small tweet may get ignored or quickly glanced over. A long tweet may get ignored because users are lazy. A medium-sized tweet is the happy middle ground.
Social media posts are a different beast. When someone is reading your blog, they’re often looking for specific information about your company or your industry.
When someone is on Facebook or Twitter, you’re competing with their friends, interesting celebrities, stupid memes, and everything else you see on social media. It’s an environment that demands fast engagement and a quick response.
Videos and Other Streaming Media
Does your company produce videos for YouTube? What about podcasts and other streaming media?
If so, then you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that people have a very short attention span when it comes to watching videos online. Unlike with tweets, Facebook posts, or blog posts, people can’t easily scroll to the end of your video to understand what you’re talking about.
That’s why your video should capture users within the first 9 seconds. Obviously, the sooner you can capture visitors, the more likely they are to watch the whole video.
Here’s some good news: videos less than 30 seconds in length are watched by approximately 85% of people. As your video’s length increases, viewership drops off at a relatively steady rate.
All of that information boils down to the following statistics:
-The ideal length of a YouTube video or online video is 3 minutes
-The ideal length of a podcast is 22 minutes, which is the average length of time that a listener will stay connected
Whether your company writes blog posts or is active with social media marketing, these stats can help you maximize customer engagement. When you speak, you want people to listen – and that’s exactly what they’ll do if you follow the tips listed above.