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Good Leaders Are Good Learners

Although organizations spend more than $24 billion annually on leadership development, many leaders who have attended leadership programs struggle to implement what they’ve learned. It’s not because the programs are bad but because leadership is best learned from experience. Still, simply being an experienced leader doesn’t elevate a person’s skills. Like most of us, leaders often go through their experiences somewhat mindlessly, accomplishing tasks but learning little about themselves and their impact. Our research on leadership development shows that leaders who are in learning modedevelop stronger leadership skills than their peers. Building on Susan Ashford and Scott DeRue’s mindful engagement experiential learning cycle, we found that leaders who exhibit a growth mindset diligently work through each of the following three phases of the experiential learning cycle. First, leaders set challenging learning goals in the form of “I need to learn how to…” For some leaders, the goal might b…

Tech/Biz: What's The Ideal Length For Your Business' Digital Content?

I recently got a LinkedIn message from a product developer based in Singapore. He mentioned he just launched a training aggregator mobile app and was now working on a content strategy for his company’s blog. He asked me, ”What’s the ideal length for my business’ digital content?” It’s a question I’ve been asked many times by startups in Asia.
Here’s the advice I gave him.
Before you dive into how long your content should be, ask yourself three simple questions:
  1. Who is my audience?
  2. What are their pain points?
  3. How does my business help?
Once you’ve answered those questions, start by defining your audiences in terms of personas. (Not sure where to start? HubSpot offers a free buyer personas template.)
Now put yourself in your personas’ shoes. What kind of content would solve their pain points or interest them? Let’s say your target audience are busy CEOs. They’re likely interested in topline insights and best practices rather than long-form whitepapers. (At least, that’s been the case in my experience.) Alternatively, if you’re targeting digital marketing managers, they often crave in-depth articles with practical tips on a particular topic. See the difference? 

Once again, let’s assume you’re promoting digital marketing courses. If you enter “digital marketing” into the tool, it will show you the length of related articles that get the most shares online.

Average shares by content length for the term “digital marketing” (BuzzSumo)
According to the chart above, “digital marketing” articles over 2,000 words tend to get more shares online. It’s interesting to note that articles less than 1,000 words received around the same amount of shares as articles over 2,000 words, at least on LinkedIn.
So, it’s worth noting not only the total shares across social media platforms but also the total shares on the social media network that your personas use.
By using this data along with your personas’ insights, you’re more likely to develop the right content for your audience. 
What about SEO?
Your content’s position on Google can often make or break your content, in terms of views and conversions.
So which does Google prefer: shorter or longer content?
According to search engine results page (SERP) data from SEMRush, they found that longer content tends to rank higher on Google. In fact, the average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.
Now content length is not the only factor that Google considers when ranking content on the first page but it does have an impact according to the studies above.
Remember this…
While longer content tends to perform better on search engines and get more shares, the most important variable when considering your content length should be your audience. Keep them satisfied and your rankings and shares will follow.
Experiment time!
Let’s put the longer content theory to the test. Try publishing an online article at least 1,900 words and let me know in the comments section which position your article ranks on Google. Let the games begin!
Got a digital marketing or online PR question for me? If so, message me on LinkedIn or Twitter @RealJoeEscobedo
For more on the latest in digital marketing and online PR in Asia, follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter (@RealJoeEscobedo).