Content is king. We know. The more valuable content a company offers its industry, customers and prospects, the better positioned they are to be considered a thought leader. When we sit down with our content creators to brainstorm types of content that make sense for our clients, inevitably a “listicle” will find its way into the conversation. Listicles are undoubtedly a great quick-read resource, especially for the c-suite folks.
Listicles are full of easily digestible content, but they need to be carefully thought out in order to make an impact in a crowded marketplace. It’s not uncommon these days to use a “top list” as a go-to piece, but too frequently, marketers are foregoing planning and preparation for quick-turnaround content pieces. And that’s bad for everyone.
Thinking about building one? Here are the top five things to consider to maximize its impact and to improve your thought leadership score.
- Educate. List building can be kind of fun, but too often we come across scannable content that offers no additional information or insight that truly matters. Tell me something I don’t know. Dig deeper. Offer something that no one else has thought of, and to be sure, research it. Offer a new take on it. Do your homework to make sure you are providing something new.
- Use your key thought leaders. Your company’s experts are valuable resources when building content pieces. Tap them for information and ask questions that get them excited and likely the information in your listicle will excite your audience.
- Scope out the competition. Make sure your competitor didn’t already create the same list. If you are going to be the thought leader, this has to be unique. You don’t want to earn a reputation as a follower.
- Surprise your audience. Say something that everyone else is afraid of saying or that someone else is too unsure about to make a definitive stand. Shine that light and take pride in having that stance. Surprise your audience and you’ll be surprised by the impact. Those who fail to innovate are likely to fail; and innovation doesn’t come from being complacent or agreeable or saying something we all know; it comes from doing something that hasn’t been done before.
- Don’t overdo it. There are plenty of lists to go around these days and the key to keeping your audience’s attention is providing relevant, thought-provoking information. If you’ve lost their attention, they’ll go somewhere else. There is a fine line between giving your audience exactly when they want and dragging on. Keep it short and sweet, and they’ll keep coming back for more.
Listicles really can be a great content piece, but think twice before building. It may seem easy, but proper planning is imperative. There are lots of ways to position yourself and your company as thought leaders, so choose wisely.
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By Kelly Russell, Account Supervisor