There was a time when word count was important for marketing. Depending on who you listened to and what you were going for, particularly from a search engine optimization perspective, the length of your content had a direct correlation to how well your pages would rank. Things have changed.
Recent studies by others as well as our own testing has shown that shorter content that is socially shareable and link-worthy from other sites performs much better in search and social media than content that is longer but lower quality. If it’s good content, it doesn’t matter (as much) if it’s 150 words or 1,500 words.
There are exceptions, of course, and longer content that is also highly shareable seems to outperform shorter content, but not to the scale that it once did. Today, a nice image followed by a couple hundred words and a video that is compelling can do wonders to a website. This is different than it was less than a year ago when 500 words was considered by many to be the “content minimum” threshold. For long-tail keywords, 250 words was a standard. Today, we’re seeing single sentences describing awesome infographics or leading up to amazing videos outperforming loads of content describing it rather than showing what the page was about.
Does this mean that content isn’t important? Of course not. Content is and likely always will be the cornerstone of both search and social marketing. However, a focus on quality, engaging content is the real key to success. Write on, but don’t write more than what is needed to convey the point. This is not to say that shorter is better. If a subject demands a large number of words, than that’s what is required. The point is that if you write for your audience to give them the most out of every moment spent on a page, you’re going to benefit them which will benefit your own marketing efforts as well.