9 Reasons Listicles are making your Content Marketing so clickable
Learn why listicles are the latest content marketing craze taking over B2B and driving readers to your site in their droves.
Published: 23 Dec 2015
9 minutes read
In the past few years, there has been a phenomena taking over content marketing. We are of course talking about the infamous list blog, or more commonly known as a ‘listicle’. Love them, or hate them, there really is no escape.
Despite your best efforts to avoid them, you would be lying if you said you had never clicked on the odd BuzzFeed list. Let’s face it, a small part of you is intrigued to discover the ’10 signs you are a control freak’, or the ’20 reasons you are still single’.
While the list blog has well and truly penetrated mainstream media and the online web, the B2B industry has also been experimenting with this new approach to B2B content marketing.
It’s impossible to deny the popularity of list blogs, so what makes them so clickable? Naturally, we are going to explain… with a listicle of our own.
1. Readers are drawn to numbers
It has been proven time and time again that humans are more receptive to numbers. We are complex beings, who like predictability and hate uncertainty, argues Buffer. With numbers, ambiguity is removed, helping readers to manage their expectations of the information they are about to receive. Conductor’s study supports this claim, revealing that number headlines are the most preferred headline type.
2. They are easily digestible
Blogs, especially in the B2B space, can be overwhelming to read. Long, convoluted paragraphs with little white space can be off-putting to readers, limiting the likelihood of them reading the post in its entirety. Listicles suggest easy reading, requiring little effort from prospects.
3. They are instantly shareable
In the age of social media, prospects are more than willing to share your content with their peers. List type blogs can be easily dissected, with headlines already optimised for the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
4. They don’t require much commitment
Your prospects are busier than ever, with deadlines to meet and goals to reach, meaning they simply don’t have the time to read through a long blog post. Furthermore, there is an overwhelming mass of content out there on the web, meaning prospects can be overwhelmed with the choice of content on offer. A listicle requires significantly less time to read, as prospects can skim to find the relevant points for them, without having to read through an entire blog post.
5. They supply readers with the hard facts
The majority of your prospects are reading your content for one reason. That is to find a solution to a problem they are experiencing. B2B listicles are typically rich with statistics and hard evidence, effectively removing unnecessary filler and irrelevant content. This is especially useful for prospects who need to support their case for using a new service provider to decision makers.
6. They inspire curiosity
We are curious creatures, and nothing sends our intrigue into overdrive better than a list blog post. Listicles make it clear that the reader will gain new knowledge from reading the post, making it easier to educate readers and nurture them with relevant content.
7. They are often personal
Let’s be honest – we can all be slightly self-obsessed at times. Listicles exploit this human characteristic by using synthetic personalisation. Pronouns such as ‘you’ and ‘your’ subconsciously suggests to readers that the blog post has been personally written for them and so will be extremely relevant to their needs and pains.
8. They cater to our short-attention spans
Whether social media, the rise of reality TV or slipping education standards are to blame, the matter of the fact is…
Still with me? Yes, our attention spans are on the decline. A recent study reported by the Guardian, suggests that our attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds in 2000, to eight seconds in 2015. That’s right – the average human now has a shorter attention span than a goldfish. Hooking prospects in with a compelling headline is now more important than ever. In order to ensure a click-through, a headline has to pass the ‘blinker test’ which immediately grabs a reader’s attention. A listicle has clarity, making the content of the blog post instantly clear to readers, without requiring any processing.
9. They are favoured by the ‘digital’ generation
Unlike generations gone by, today’s readers are digital natives, which means communicating in 140 characters is pretty much second nature to them. This generation is much more receptive to bullet-pointed, bite-sized information. And in the next few decades, the demand for snappy, digestible information is only going to increase.
However, for B2B companies, listicles alone aren’t enough to generate leads if the content itself fails to excite readers. To help stamp out the epidemic of boring B2B content, we’ve created a guide, bursting with helpful tips for injecting some much needed excitement into your content marketing strategy.