The Power of Listicles in B2B Content Marketing: How to Create Shareable, Effective Content
Updated: Mar 7
In the digital age, content is king. As B2B marketers, our goal is to create content that engages, educates, and ultimately converts our target audience. But with so much content out there, it can be challenging to break through the noise and capture our audience's attention. That's where listicles come in.
Listicles, or articles in list format, have become a staple of online content. From Buzzfeed to LinkedIn, listicles can be found across the web. But why are listicles so popular? In this article, we'll explore the science behind why listicles work and provide actionable tips on how to create effective listicles for B2B content marketing success.
Why Listicles are Essential for B2B Content Marketing
Listicles Improve User Experience
One of the primary reasons listicles are so effective is that they improve the user experience. Listicles are easy to scan, allowing users to quickly find the information they're looking for. This is especially important in B2B content marketing, where readers are often looking for specific insights or solutions.
Imagine you're a financial advisor and you want to learn about the latest trends in the asset management industry. A listicle titled "7 Key Trends Shaping the Asset Management Industry in 2023" would be more appealing and effective than a traditional article.
Listicles Boost Engagement and Social Sharing
Listicles are highly shareable, and social sharing is critical in B2B content marketing. Listicles can generate buzz and create conversations, helping to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.
A personal finance listicle titled "10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Financial Health" could go viral on social media, generating millions of views and shares.
Listicles Meet the Demands of Modern Digital Content
In today's digital age, attention spans are shorter than ever. Listicles cater to skimmers and scanners, allowing readers to consume content quickly and efficiently.
For example, in the commercial real estate industry, a listicle titled "5 Key Factors to Consider Before Investing in Commercial Real Estate" would be more appealing than a lengthy article.
Addressing the Criticisms of Listicles
Despite their popularity, listicles have received their fair share of criticism. Critics argue that listicles lack depth and substance, are overused and unoriginal, and can be misleading and inaccurate. However, these criticisms can be overcome by creating high-quality listicles that provide value to the reader.
A listicle for an insurance company titled "5 Myths About Health Insurance Debunked" could provide valuable insights and at the same time dispel common misconceptions.
The Emotional Appeal of Listicles
To understand the power of listicles, it's essential to understand the science of emotions. Studies have shown that emotions play a crucial role in decision-making and can influence our behavior.
Listicles can elicit emotional responses by using attention-grabbing headlines, appealing to curiosity and fascination, and engaging the imagination and creativity. Emotions such as excitement, awe, and surprise can help to create a lasting impression on the reader and increase the likelihood of social sharing.
Applying Listicles to Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy
Now that we've explored the science behind why listicles work, let's look at how you can apply listicles to your B2B content marketing strategy. Here are five types of listicles you can use to create shareable and effective content:
How-to listicles are instructional guides that provide practical tips and advice to readers. They can help readers solve a specific problem or learn a new skill. How-to listicles work well in B2B content marketing because they provide actionable insights that readers can apply to their business.
See this example of a how-to listicle from Indeed, a job listings and recruitment site, titled "How To Do A Market Analysis in 7 Steps (With Tips)" could provide valuable insights to entrepreneurs and startups.
Educational listicles are informative pieces that share valuable knowledge on a particular subject. They can be used to explore complex concepts and ideas, and they work well in B2B content marketing because they help establish a company as a thought leader in its industry.
See this example from Nine Blocks Capital Management and ACX on the Ethereum merge. Educational content is particularly important for FinTech Marketing.
Advice listicles are expert opinions and recommendations on a particular subject. They provide valuable insights from industry experts and can help readers make informed decisions. Advice listicles work well in B2B content marketing because they enhance a company's authority and credibility.
For example, this article from Pimco, an advice listicle titled "5 Myths About Alternative Investments" could provide valuable insights to wealthy individuals looking to invest their money.
News listicles are timely updates on a particular subject. They provide readers with the latest information on industry news and events. News listicles work well in B2B content marketing because they help establish a company as a thought leader and keep readers informed about the latest trends and developments.
See this example of a new listicle from Morgan Stanley on "3 Reasons Investors Should Look to Emerging Markets"
Expert Roundup Listicles
Expert roundup listicles are a collection of insights and perspectives from industry leaders. They provide readers with diverse and varied opinions on a particular subject. Expert roundup listicles work well in B2B content marketing because they help establish a company as a thought leader and provide valuable insights to readers.
See this example for Wood Mackenzie: Ten predictions for 2023.
Crafting a Winning B2B Content Marketing Strategy with Listicles
To create effective listicles that drive engagement and social sharing, you need to craft a winning B2B content marketing strategy. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Understand Your Target Audience
To create content that resonates with your audience, you need to understand who they are and what they want. Conduct research to identify your ideal customer and their interests and needs.
Set Clear Goals and Objectives
Define your KPIs and establish your brand voice and tone. Decide what you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy and how you will measure success.
Create High-Quality and Relevant Content
Follow SEO best practices and leverage visuals and multimedia to make your content more engaging. Ensure consistency and branding across all of your content.
Promote and Distribute Your Content
Leverage social media channels and partner with influencers and thought leaders to promote your content. Utilize email marketing and newsletters to keep your audience engaged.
Measure and Analyze Your Content Marketing Efforts
Track your KPIs and metrics and identify areas for improvement. Make data-driven decisions to improve the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.
In conclusion, listicles are a powerful tool for B2B content marketing. They can improve the user experience, boost engagement and social sharing, and meet the demands of modern digital content. However, it’s important to recognize that listicles aren’t always appropriate for every situation.
Listicles can be more effective than long-form articles online because they’re easier to scan and read quickly. They allow readers to easily find the information they’re looking for, without having to read through long paragraphs of text. This is especially important in B2B content marketing, where readers are often looking for specific insights or solutions.
That being said, listicles may not always be the best choice. In some cases, long-form articles, reports or white papers may be more appropriate for a particular topic or audience. Long-form articles can provide more in-depth analysis and insights, making them more appropriate for complex topics or for readers who want more detailed information.
At Interpretive Economics, we recognize the importance of incorporating listicles into a well-rounded content strategy. Listicles can help capture readers’ attention, drive engagement, and increase social sharing. However, we also recognize the importance of providing high-quality, relevant content that meets the needs and interests of our audience.
When deciding whether to use a listicle or a long-form article, we consider the topic, the target audience, and the goals of our content marketing strategy. If our goal is to provide practical tips and advice, share insights and quickly capture readers attention then listicles are often the way to go. However, if we want to provide thought leadership and truly engage the audience then other content maybe more appropriate.
Ultimately, the key to success in B2B content marketing is to provide high-quality, relevant content that resonates with your audience. Listicles are just one tool in your content marketing toolbox, and when used appropriately, they can be a powerful tool for driving engagement and social sharing.