Millennials flock to Buzzfeed, the internet media darling that’s best known for its sensational headlines and GIF-heavy “listicles.” It’s the place you can find stories like “17 Things You’ll Only Understand If You’re Slightly Obsessed With Cats” and “This Is What It Feels Like When You’re In A Blah Mood” -- a site where you can find all the information you never knew you needed, complete with GIFs of Beyonce or puppies.
The thing is, Buzzfeed is onto something. Listicles can be a quick, fun way to engage your readers in your content without delivering a text-heavy post that will put them to sleep. Attention spans are shrinking -- Hubspot found that 55 percent of readers are spending only 15 seconds on a webpage. So, pick out your favorite GIFs and follow these best practices for working the listicle format into your blog strategy:
Keep it light. Listicles naturally convey a more humorous, lighthearted tone that won’t work well for heavy topics. It’s probably not the best format for announcing company news or product launches, but suits broader industry trend blog posts that will insert your company into the conversation. The subject matter should be able to capture a story in a way that naturally makes it something readers want to share with friends -- check out a few tips from Buzzfeed on how to create viral content.
Keep it relevant. Two great times to utilize a listicle? When you have interesting data, and when you want to relate closely to your audience. For example: Lumo Bodytech’s posture-correcting device Lumo Lift collected some unique data on posture in the workplace, and created a listicle that packaged up their data with other industry research and was perfect for the fun, energetic tone of their blog. If you work in a more niche industry, maybe you could try making a listicle with funny GIFs of HR employee Toby from The Office that describe “10 ways you know you work in HR” -- it’ll make your blog readers feel connected to your brand.
Keep it short and sweet. Try not to overload the listicle with heavy paragraphs -- the whole point is to allow the reader to breeze through information in digestible portions (millennials like to keep it brief, after all). Construct your points in a concise way, and let the GIFs or images do the talking. For example: Consider creating a listicle with input from your customer service team to highlight “5 ways to wow your customers” -- the end-result will not only offer advice from your employees in the field but also highlight the great work your team is doing.
Adding a listicle into your regular blog rotation can help engage younger readers and add some variety to your blog content. It may be a simple recipe, but that’s part of the appeal for these easily digestible stories that Buzzfeed has made so (in)famous.
Kelsey joined InkHouse in 2014 and is from Seattle, Washington. As an Account Executive, Kelsey works hands-on with a variety of InkHouse West's consumer and B2B clients, spending most of her time pitching media and drafting content. Prior to InkHouse, she interned at Clear Channel Communications in Seattle and Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Spokane. Kelsey is a proud graduate of Gonzaga University, a smug Seattle sports fan and pop culture enthusiast.