7 (short) tips to eliminate tl;dr in your marketing content


We live in the age of tl;dr. If you’ve been living in a cave, that’s “too long; didn’t read.”

Here’s a meme you may have seen that jokes about this:

from Know Your Meme

Jokes aside, most of us are aware of the importance of brevity. However, we often hear an honest question from clients such as, “I know I need to simplify my content, but I don’t know how.”

To answer that common question, here’s a (short) guide with simple advice on being concise.

Match the length of your messaging to where your prospects are on the buyer’s journey.

New prospects: If they’re laying eyes on your material for the first time then they need ultra-concise messaging. The rest of this guide is for you.

Consideration/Decision stages: Here’s where long-form content has its place! If your leads have been kicking tires for a while then they’re ready for in-depth coverage via an e-book, guide, longer video, etc. However, even long-form content can be broken up into smaller bites to make it more digestible. Look at any of Neil Patel’s longer content for a perfect example.

Reorganize your content using the inverted pyramid.

Split your content into single sentence paragraphs so you can see it clearly. Then find your most important sentence and make it first.

Keep it simple.

The plague of tl;dr is all about people getting lost in the weeds of complex, unnecessary details. Speak to the buyer’s problem, and convey the unique value you offer in 1-3 short sentences.

Delete the fluff!

Examine the remaining single-sentence paragraphs that I had you create.

Delete all of this: background information, repetition, related topics, and fluff-head phrases like “really great.”

Start a multi-channel conversation.

New prospects, particularly in the B2B space, need time to warm up. Don’t be afraid to send prospects to your other social channels for engagement and different flavors of conversation and deepening consideration.

Organize strategically with a content pillar.

Strategic CTAs drive prospects through multi-channel conversations. As prospects vet you through their favorite social media and other channels, place strategic CTAs to bring them back to the central content pillars you want them to see.


The age of tl;dr also expects to be entertained. Many brands think it’s too risky to bring humor into their messaging. A far worse transgression is long, stale content. Bring a little fun into your first conversation, make someone smile, and you’ll be more likely to get a second conversation.

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All of us at Root Manifest would like to extend our heartfelt compassion for everyone affected by COVID-19. We include those who have dealt firsthand with the virus and the legions of courageous healthcare workers including our own family members.
Many of our friends and clients’ businesses have been deeply affected as well. For those of you who are struggling to find alternative ways of communicating and connecting with your current and prospective clients, we’ve compiled the following helpful resources.
  • Here’s Forrester on Responding To Coronavirus: A Playbook For Marketing And Communications. “Providing transparent and ongoing communication is the hallmark of good crisis communications. The communications team needs to analyze the types of communication that will be needed to support a variety of scenarios.” and especially, ” Companies that fail to rise to the occasion or are late to respond may create uncertainty or damage the confidence they have built.” 
  • Here’s Klaviyo on How to Communicate With Empathy During the Coronavirus Crisis. This article includes lots of good suggestions for altering your existing communications for greater relevance. If you’re offering a discount, then “Highlight the ways you plan to give back, donate a portion of your proceeds to relief efforts, or help your community. For example, while Nuun talks about the benefits of their products, the main message of this email is that they’ll be sending free care packages to medical professionals to help keep them healthy”
We’ve seen a large number of exemplary companies rising to meet this unprecedented challenge. If applicable to your business, we encourage you to apply these resources, and please reach out to Root Manifest for additional insights and strategies for your organization.