Why Listicles Resonate

Who doesn’t love a good list? Whether it’s the top ten episodes of Seinfeld or the top things to do in Fernie, we have an insatiable appetite to create lists and rankings.

Perhaps it’s an easier route to write things down one to nine. Many people, including myself, get curious satisfaction from mentally compiling and completing a list. It strikes a chord and ticks a box.

Maybe it’s because finding your true voice on social media can be scary – compiling a list is a great way to share content that is accessible, to the point, and engaging. We aren’t all cut out for creating a live video but most of us can string together a few solid reasons why our company, product, or ideas stand out.

After all, in today’s day of information overload, the list is important because it’s easily digestible. Lists get clicks because readers perceive a list will take them significantly less time to get through than an article, and it is easily referenced if you need to come back to it!

So, let’s get down to business and create a list of reasons why we love lists.

  1. The human brain may structure information in list format: Think about it, when we write down things to get for groceries, it’s in a list. Christmas presents for friends and family? In a list. Best coffee spots in your neighbourhood? Yep, also in a list.
  2. Lists take advantage of limited attention spans: They’re short, to the point, easy to read, punctual, and stick out in our mind.
  3. People like to group random things together in lists: A list of best things to do in your city for a long weekend can have so many ideas that you’ll find yourself wanting to everything! Think of complementary businesses and partners – create a list together and leverage one another’s’ followings.
  4. Lists seem to suggest popularity: Best burger joints in the city, best hikes to do, best things to do on a long weekend, best places to visit. We never seem to ask according to who – take advantage of that – you are an expert in what you do.
  5. It’s fun and creates conversations: Create a divisive list on Twitter or Facebook and watch your mentions and notifications skyrocket. Use calls to action!
  6. It’s how humans read: We like to see things organized in such a way – left -> right -> top -> bottom. That’s what lists are.
  7. Lists can keep people organized and focused: When someone sets out to write or read a list, they are focused, organized, and determined.
  8. Lists give us a feeling of familiarity: We’ve grown in up in an age where we see lists, and then it sticks with us and is comforting.
  9. Lists provide knowledge and information for us to learn: They give us the opportunity to learn more information and discover things we may not have previously known.

Listicles are also excellent online content. A list can live as a blog on your website that your social media channels point to; try highlighting a different item from the list each day and start your own countdown on social, or even reference one of the listed items and point to the same blog all month long. Use the listicle in your next e-newsletter and share it on your LinkedIn profile as a Pulse post. Create an animated video on PowToons highlighting each item in your list.

A list is one of the easiest pieces of content to recycle and leverage in all you do online. For example, check out the results of the Best of Fernie 2018 on ferniefix.com!

Tell us the top three reasons you love a good list online at @CIPRComs. Use the hashtags #PRPower and #FernieSuccess to share with the community.