With readers’ attention spans getting shorter, an increasingly popular way of delivering written content is to break it down into a listicle (listicle = list + article). Listicles, with their numbered or bulleted format, present information in a hierarchical way and are easy for readers to quickly digest.
People like listicles because they offer a distillation of the most important points from a larger body of work. To this end, the reader must have confidence that the larger body of work is well-researched, accurate and reliable.
To be both easy-to-read and authoritative, a listicle should have several general characteristics. Those are—ahem—listed here:
- A title that presents the value proposition up front. Combine a catchy hook (think: “How to…,” “Facts about…,” “Tips for…,” etc.) with mention of what the meat of the article will address.
- Use the article’s structure to make important points stand out. Line breaks, pull-out quotes, phrases in bold-face…these formats can lead readers to focus on your most important points, even if they are skimming the listicle.
- Speak in a conversational tone. Listicles are for piquing readers’ interest—not for educating them in-depth. Therefore, keep technical jargon to a minimum and avoid a formal tone.
- Link to more detailed information. Readers who want to pursue a point further will appreciate having that content only a click away. And linking to a significant amount of additional information communicates the fact that you are a subject-matter expert.
- Use images. Images further your goal of conveying information quickly and easily. They are an effective way to illustrate basic points about technical topics. Plus, if you make your images into clickable links, that’s a two-fer!
Listicles can help round out your marketing plan. Use them to show your audience just how much value there is in your company’s goods and/or services. Contact AOE today for help producing an effective listicle!