You’re asking all the right questions…
- How long should an email subject line be?
- How long should your blog post be?
- How long should your [Insert digital content here] be?
Buffer surveyed, tested, and measured to find the ideal length of everything online (including your email subject lines), and then they put it into a nifty infographic for you.
So I asked heavy hitters in different fields to weigh in on Buffer’s results… and then some. These experts are expanding on the ideal length of social content with their own tips and strategies for maximizing the space you have.
Let’s meet the panel.
- Richard Linder – President of Digital Marketer. Developed and perfected an email marketing system used to send billions of permission based emails from thousands of companies worldwide.
- Lindsay Marder – Managing Editor of Digital Marketer. Works with influencers to create blog content, manages content distribution across the Digital Marketer social platforms, assists in building content for DM Lab.
- Adam Linkenauger – CEO and Founder of GetMoreViews.com and Freak Athletics. Developed a system that generated over 500k subscribers and 50 million views on each of their YouTube channels.
- Kim Garst – CEO of Boom! Social Media Marketing and author of Will the Real You Please Stand Up. Celebrated on Forbes Top 10 Social Media Women Power Influencer and leads a community of 500k.
- Ted Prodromou – Author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business. Generates leads as an online advertising consulting using all social media platforms.
You asked; Buffer answered – check out the results below. (If you want to bookmark, download, and print your own copy of this infographic, download it from Buffer here.)
What do our digital marketing experts think about the data in this infographic?
Kim Garst, Boom Social
Character count is dependent on what goal you have for that post or that tweet.
If you are looking to drive action or convey a single thought, short and sweet is a great way to do just that. On Facebook, in particular, headline types of posts are snackable and people are more likely to like and share those types of posts.
If, on the other hand, you are looking to drive deeper conversations around a topic that isn’t easy to discuss in 40 characters, then you would want to fully elaborate on your topic of choice. I have seen this work very well to drive real, in depth discussions that lead to building meaningful conversation and relationships versus simply likes and shares.
Richard Lindner, Digital Marketer
I don’t disagree – The shorter the email subject line, the better… BUT, a shorter subject line will never overcome poor messaging!
Whether you’re going with a blind or curiosity based email subject line, a direct or benefit based subject line, or a scarcity based subject line – the bottom line is knowing your prospect and their hot buttons and constructing a message to cater to that trumps subject line length.
Perfecting your message will routinely result in open rates in high teens and low twenties. Don’t forget about the second subject line, or preview description. In most cases you have more characters and the ability to personalize or add more copy for your subscribers, telling them why they should open your mail. This is the most under-utilized and ignored portion of almost every email marketer’s assets.
Have a look at the preview description (… but I’ll show you how to fix it…) in this email…
Oh and don’t forget that as much as 48% of email is now consumed on a mobile device… and mobile has WAY fewer characters. Focus on your message and you’ll get the open.
(Want to download all of our free resources? Click here to get the Digital Marketing tool box.)
Lindsay Marder, Digital Marketer
Blog headlines are the most exciting part of writing great blog posts. Why? You’re taking the end goal of your content and capturing it in one line to draw in the reader. You can have fun with it. Digital Marketer doesn’t adhere to the 6-word-rule. We aim to address the pain point and then provide the solution.
Take a look at these lengthy headlines…
When influencers ask me what our ideal word count is for a blog post, I tell them as long as they need to prove their message. If you’re heavy on claims, heavy on the evidence, and need to be heavy on the explanation – why limit yourself? We aren’t publishing novels on the blog, but a handful of our posts are 2,000+ words and they’re some of our best engaged pieces.
Ted Prodromou, Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business
I would focus on the message and the character count on a LinkedIn status update.
When I post on LinkedIn I share a useful tip which provides value to the reader as well as demonstrating my expertise. I keep my tips short, less than 140 characters, so the LinkedIn post can also be Tweeted.
I add links to about 50% of my LinkedIn updates that lead to a related article on my website. I don’t provide links on all of my posts so I appear to be just sharing great information and not just promoting my business.
Here’s an example of a LinkedIn update that meets my character limit (so it can be tweeted) and shares a link to content…
Adam Linkenauger, Get More Views
A 3 minute video is standard for entertainment videos, but as marketers, most videos we produce are meant to educate.
Informational videos have to walk their audience through a process so it’s a completely different time field to consider. You want your video as short as possible, but delivering the best content possible. And don’t forget to use Annotations!
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