Jordan Ogren

March 21, 2022

How long should content be?

"It needs to be short."
"No one reads that much anymore."
"No one watches videos over a minute."

If you ever hear someone using this heuristic, run the other way. It's not true.

People will watch a 30-minute video of Mr. Beast holding onto a box to win a million dollars.
People will also listen to an hour-long podcast with Brené Brown without flinching.

It's not about how long or short something is.

That's simple-minded thinking. It makes decisions easy for content; make it short. But that's shortcutting the effectiveness of your content and marketing.

The better question is: For what we're trying to do (i.e., What is it for?), how long does it need to be to sufficiently accomplish that job?

It's a more difficult question. You need first to answer, "What is it for?" Then, once you've answered that question, you can answer how long it needs to be to fulfill that job.

Long copy sells.
Long demo videos work.
Long podcasts still get downloads.

Don't follow anyone who tells you content or marketing needs to be short. They are lying.

Think independently and decide the best length for each specific piece of content.

A guardrail I use after asking the above question is: What level of consideration is the product or service this content or marketing is trying to sell?

If it's a low consideration purchase (i.e., gum in the checkout aisle), you don't need much to sell.

If it's a high consideration purchase (i.e., switching data centers), you need more to sell.

But remember, always understand what it's for and then decide on the length needed to accomplish that job.

How do you decide how long or short something should be?

🧠 + ❤️ // JO