Are you suffering from lackluster listicles?
Listicles, or list articles, get great click-throughs. People are more likely to click on subject lines that contain numbers.
That said, not all listicles are created equal.
Here are four tips for writing more robust listicles:
1. Treat your listicles with care.
Too many articles are in list form for no reason other than being in list form. Lists can boost click-through rates and search rank, but you can’t sacrifice content quality for those numbers.
If you write a how-to article or a collection of tips, lists make sense. But if your motivation for making a list is, “Well, people like to click on lists,” regroup.
Unless you’re Buzzfeed, balance listicles with long-form content.
2. Make your listicles stand out.
Once you’ve identified why you’re writing a listicle, don’t borrow someone else’s. Do a quick Google—or LinkedIn—search to make sure someone hasn’t already written your listicle. If there’s a decent amount of content on your topic, think of a unique position or hook to differentiate your article.
3. Tie your listicles to a larger body.
While listicles should stand on their own, they’re more potent when they’re supported. Listicles balance long-form content, but they also augment it. Tie all your content to a business purpose and marketing storyline to ensure consistent communications.
4. Test your listicles’ strength.
Click-through rates, open rates and traffic are great metrics to measure your subject lines’ effectiveness, but what about content?
Marketers are after engagement; measuring engagement helps you understand what stays with your readers. Metrics such as time spent on a page, bounce rate and social media shares indicate content’s success.
Do you have other tips for listicles? Share them in the comments.
Leslie Nuccio is a social media and content marketer who believes in the power of people, the magic of dialogue marketing and the idea that a monkey can make almost any advertising more compelling. A version of this article originally appeared on the Meltwater blog.