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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