The rise of listicles, which don’t take long to read or require much deep thought, is a natural evolution of the scrolling, skimming, social media-dominated culture that characterizes so many interactions online. The easy, quick format of a listicle can drive users to make purchases or engage with brands. Especially for marketers looking to capture savvy audiences, the right placements on listicles could be effective at scaling engagements and conversions.

It’s important to create or choose listicles wisely, though. For strategic audience targeting, brand awareness and audience trust, a good listicle should have the nine qualities defined below.

1. Listicle Format Should Be Determined By The Advertising Objective

Listicles are curated lists based on experience, research, quantifiable metrics or editorial opinions. The type of list should match both the advertising objective and the audience need.

For example, if a car maker wants to promote its fuel efficient vehicles to environmentally conscious consumers, a listicle of cars with the best gas mileage based on EPA measurements is ideal. Meanwhile, a tax preparation company may want to draw in audiences with experience-based tips on how to get larger tax refunds.

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2. The Type Of Content In Listicles Should Fit The Target Audience

A listicle featuring “Tech Gifts To Buy For People Who Don’t Do Tech,” for example, might require more rudimentary explanations and a variety of categories that consider different audience-knowledge levels. Whereas, “Best Running Watches,” because of the assumed fitness audience, can be more thorough and more specific.

Regardless of the style of content, the language within listicles should be easy to understand and not occupy too much of the reader’s time, even when going deep. (Interestingly, audiences prefer odd-numbered lists, considering them more likely to contain legitimate content.)

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3. Listicles Should Be Authoritative

Many lists of “10 best” are subjective, but the subjectivity does not need to be transparent in a listicle. Effective listicles become the authority on their proclamations.

4. Listicles Should Be Visually Arresting

Particularly when listicles are about available products, they should encourage audiences to click through to make purchases. Advertisers should prioritize visual assets in their listicles because pictures and graphics are incredibly effective at drawing attention.

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5. Listicles Should Consider Their Competition

Many listicles provide comparable information. Offering creativity and originality, while still touching on the key points that drive traffic, is important for a listicle to encourage engagement.

6. Listicles Should Have Keywords Optimized For Targeted Searches

Listicles are often easy to write and read and, therefore, ideal for both core keywords and long-tail keywords. Targeting the right keywords can mean the difference between generating lots of traffic and generating lots of conversions, so keywords should be researched carefully before listicles are drafted.

The DMS traffic quality management team and operationalized compliance practices help ensure your listicle campaigns comply with all your brand guidelines while expanding your reach and your conversion volume. Contact DMS to learn more.

7. Effective Listicles Should Be Inherently Shareable.

The “10 Best Little Black Dresses” could be a winning listicle before New Year’s Eve, because women know many other women are looking for their perfect New Year’s Eve outfits. Audiences targeted effectively, at the right time with the right kinds of lists, could trigger the shareability that listicles lend themselves to.

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8. Listicles Must Fulfill Their Promises To Their Readers

If a listicle promises 10 great dresses, it needs to deliver 10 great dresses. If it doesn’t deliver, the listicle will not get shared, and the audience drawn to the listicle could dry up pretty quickly.

DMS leverages the latest tracking and quality assurance technology, proven conversion-enhancing techniques and expert, one-on-one support to help advertisers and publishers achieve their advertising and monetization goals. Contact DMS to learn more.

9. Listicles Need To Be Followed By Effective Landing Pages

Consumers are less likely to return to a clunky or unattractive website after a bad experience. If an audience is flocking to a listicle, the landing pages it drives to should be mobile optimized, load quickly and create as little friction for the consumer as possible, optimizing conversions and engagement in the moment.

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