Listicles have received some bad press over the past couple of years and have been dismissed as lacking in substance and overly subjective. The video listicle is just as bad in the eyes of many, serving only as a mobile version of an otherwise boring and baseless article.
However, video listicles and listicles in general are as popular as ever. The masses love this easily digestible format and marketers will have to pry it from their hands before they give it up.
While listicle-based videos and articles may be getting old for writers and marketers to create, they are still an effective marketing tool, especially for social media. Using them as part of your business’ digital marketing strategy is a strong move.
There are several very strong reasons why audiences are attached to the listicle format, made only better by translating it into a video platform.
Because it wouldn’t be an article about listicles without a list, here are eight reasons why video listicles are loved among readers:
- Viewers know what to expect. Listicles provide a clear expectation for the consumer in both content and format. When a viewer sees a listicle video they know that it will progress in a numerical fashion and provide short succinct pieces of information. This means they do not need to waste energy trying to mentally digest something unexpected.
- They fight information overload. Every person that goes online encounters massive amounts of information within minutes. Video listicles are a fun way to help consumers quickly sort through the onslaught of information encountered online daily and promote your marketing messages amongst the noise.
- Our brains like them. As explained in this article by Forbes, our brains like organization. Video listicles provide viewers a way to intake knowledge in the most organized format possible: the list.
- They have a clear time limit. Video listicles are nicer to read than the everyday article as they provide a clear beginning and end. A viewer can even look to see how many minutes and seconds the video will take to complete. If the video is short, then they know their time investment will be minimal, encouraging them to click.
- They are easily identifiable. Video listicle titles give viewers a clear idea as to what the topic is, allowing them to choose whether they will take the time to watch it.
- They help viewers remember. List-based content helps our memory and information retention. This article by CopyPress explains how listicles help us remember information compared to alternative formats.
- They combine popular formats. A third of online activity is spent consuming video. Video listicles combine video, which is becoming a more popular marketing platform every year, and the already-loved listicle format.
- They are readily shared on social media. Video listicles are easy to share across platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, making it more likely that viewers will quickly hit share to pass the information on to their peers.
Convinced? Here are the steps to create your own listicle campaign:
- Choose your topic. For the best marketing results, pick an appealing topic that will provide useful content for your audience.
- Choose a marketing keyword. Pick the topic of your listicle to align with your marketing messages, and use that as your keyword in your title. Even though you aren’t writing long-form content, you still want to apply SEO rules to your title. A strong keyword will also make it clear to your audience what they are watching.
- Do your research. Research your topic for accuracy and also study your competition. Make sure your list is truly unique and that you have enough relevant content to include. Don’t forget to attribute your sources.
- Write everything down. Here’s when you make your list. Remember not to make it too long. Aim for one minute or less in video length. Keep the sentences short and succinct. Remember that this list, unlike written listicles, will be moving. Sentences that are too long will make the reader miss content or quit the video out of frustration.
- Use subtitles. Ensure that your audience is able to follow along with your points by embedding subtitles. Make sure they are easy to read, concise and a sizeable font.
- Speak up. You have the option to narrate your marketing video; hearing someone speaking to them can add a personal touch for your audience. If you choose to do this, be sure that the audio is clear and that you are annunciating your dialogue. Mumbling your way through your message will only frustrate your viewers. Write out your dialogue before hand, and try not to read the list points word for word, instead expanding a little on each point.
- Consider using music. Sometimes visuals aren’t enough. Music can help the viewer feel like the video is moving forward. If you are using narration, make sure the music isn’t so loud that it overpowers the voice speaking.
- Create your marketing video listicle. To actually create the video listicle, there are a few simple and cost-effective platforms you can use. Hootsuite suggests using Adobe Creative Cloud, specifically After Effects for motion graphics, and Audition for voice overs and music. However, these two programs require some training and can be complicated for beginners. Three Girls Media uses Canva to design slides for our videos and Adobe Spark to create the slideshow in the video. Both programs are easy to use and free.
Erika Montgomery is the CEO and founder of Three Girls Media. A version of this article originally appeared on the Three Girls Media blog.