Jacki Vause, CEO at Dimoso discusses listicles as a handy tool for B2B PR.
You won’t have to scroll down far on your Facebook newsfeed before you come across a listicle - they are everywhere. As the name suggests, listicles are a hybrid of traditional article and numbered list. They lie somewhere in the middle between a detailed list and an article that is broken down into sections. Lifestyle magazines and online sites like Buzzfeed have adopted them as their bread and butter, and it’s not unusual to see them creep onto the homepages of BBC News and the Business Insider.
Lists lend themselves well to consumer PR - they are a great way to curate products or destinations in a format easily read by the consumer. That’s why you probably come across more lists targeted for consumers than for businesses. Yes, using a listicle for B2B may be a little more complicated but if done correctly can be an effective way to communicate your message.
1. Suited to social media
Our habits for consuming news and discovering information are evolving. With more B2B conversations taking place over social media platforms, the need for stand-out content is vital. Newsfeeds are quick to refresh, so a snappy read can't hurt either.
Humans are comfortable with the predictability of numbers. We wouldn't be happy joining a queue if we didn’t know how many people were in front of us or taking something to a till if we didn’t know how much it was going to cost. So by adding a known quantity of points or steps in your listicle headline you make your piece more ‘clickable’.
2. Great for small screens
Mobile phones and tablets are rapidly taking over as people’s main source of news. Text heavy features are more difficult to read on a small screen and the constant scroll can put people off reading to the end. In contrast, an article in a list format can be much easier to read and a quicker way to get your main points across. This means that articles containing lists can be read quickly on the train, in between meetings and don’t get bookmarked for later and eventually forgotten about.
These types of lists target specific demographics from the headline itself so you can reach people in a particular industry or profession. And as every PR knows: it doesn’t matter if lots of people read your article. If they’re not who you want to reach, what is the point?
4. Top tips to show you’re an industry expert
Lists of tips or steps of how to do things can be extremely useful in a B2B context as agreat way to showcase your client’s expertise and position them as a leader in the field.The format of bullet points also means that you can give small nuggets of information or advice that can signpost people to your company website or services without divulging industry secrets.
5. Lists can complement press releases and features
PR is all about effective storytelling, and sometimes you have to think creatively to engage keep your readers attention. Lists can be another way of presenting the information and ideas in a press release but just in a different format.
Different publications are looking for different things, and one press release certainly doesn’t fit all. It’s important to think about whether a traditional article is suitable for a particular media outlet on a certain topic.
Lists can be a great way of reworking material and tailoring it to different publications. If you’ve had great success with a feature it is possible that other publications won’t want to use it because it has already been done. Fashioning an article into a list can make the material fresh and can give you something new to offer to a journalist, while making sure you don’t annoy the journalist who has already used it.
The B2B PR Blog is a resource for both PR professionals and people working in B2B industries on how to devise and implement successful B2B PR campaigns. The blog is managed by b2b pr specialist Heather Baker, founder TopLine Comms, an inbound marketing, B2B content marketing agency and proud HubSpot partner agency and takes contribution from anyone sensible in the industry with something intelligent to say. Follow Heather on Twitter @TopLineFounder or contact her via email on [email protected].
Keen on targeting the PR community? Learn about sponsorship opportunities here.