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August 13, 2019

Melissa Baratta


Senior Vice President

PR is all about reaching the right audience at the right time with the right message -- and that means knowing how to create messaging that motivates in spite of length restrictions.   

Every platform and publication has its own rules for what’s allowed. Creating compelling content that resonates across formats is no easy task, especially for technology companies that sell complicated or highly technical products to demanding buyers. 

With that in mind, as SaaS marketing consultants, it’s our job to recommend communication strategies that can take key messaging and leverage it in multiple ways. Often our success relies on optimizing content according to the needs of the channel so that even if some words have to be cut, the core idea remains.

The key is focusing on the wider message, developing themes that are scalable, and applying that knowledge in light of trends like mobile media consumption. 

Mobile Use Is Changing Content Marketing Demands

In general, mobile is the most dominant trend across media today. It’s changing not just the way consumers read the news but also the way journalists report it. All but a handful of publications today have adopted mobile-first publishing strategies, recognizing that most consumers are finding and reading their content online. Many news outlets even require reporters to break their news first on social media, delivering updates in length-restricted, bite-size pieces as stories unfold. For example, a reporter might live-tweet an event and later reference their posts as a sort of rough draft for a larger story to publish later. 

Likewise, mobile has significantly shaped web design as smartphones have become ubiquitous. Websites today need to be packaged in short, snackable pages to accommodate smaller screen sizes. Recognizing that most Google searches happen on mobile devices, the search giant has even taken the step to index websites based on mobile -- not desktop -- results first.

Luckily, websites designed for mobile tend to be image-rich and easier for desktop viewers to understand, too. And the rules for SEO optimization of mobile pages are also largely the same as with desktop, including: 

  • Using shorter paragraphs that contain 2-3 sentences on average.

  • Drafting meta descriptions that are under 160 characters. 

  • Always using alt image tags (max 125 characters).

Content-Length for SaaS Marketers: When Less is More 

When it comes to content length, focus on quality over quantity. Not only will you see better engagement on social media and throughout your website, but also better SEO rankings.

For example, Twitter may have upped its character restriction from 140 to 280, but brevity remains a best practice. Often the posts with the highest engagement rates and amount of clicks are the ones that get right to the point and evoke a reaction. The same is broadly true for paid social media. In fact, Facebook now recommends that mobile ads be compressed to just three lines of text to ensure full post visibility -- solidifying an already-effective best practice into a formal guideline. 

For SEO, there is not a magic number of keywords or backlinks that marketers need to include on each page that will instantly rank their content. No matter what you may have read in the past, avoid including fluff or filler text simply to hit a word count. Be succinct. Help your audience understand the topic and developing each webpage, blog and content piece to serve a specific purpose. That’s the best way to help both search engines AND target audiences to understand your messaging.

To do this effectively:

  • Write with a view toward answering potential questions that your target persona might think of when reviewing the page. 

  • Pair copy with helpful images and external links that provide context for readers, especially if the subject matter is particularly dense.

  • Break up long stretches of copy with effective formatting choices. Readers will appreciate the paragraph breaks, and search engines will gain clarity about key subject areas through select tags. 

Need help figuring out your B2B tech company’s content marketing strategy? Download Alloy’s content checklist to develop a calendar that strategically reaches all of your target personas.