The Correlation Between Millennials and Listicles

Christina Diecidue

Marketing Project Coordinator

Marketers are always trying to tap into the mind of a Millennial, and there are some interesting discoveries when doing so. While some of them might be exaggerated, there’s one thing that we can all agree on: The best way to grab the attention of the Millennial audience is to deliver content in short, easily digestible blocks of text. This is why listicle articles do so well with this age group.

What are Listicles?

Listicles are basically any type of article that appears in a list form. Even though the format is thematic, the rest of the copy is relevant and well-written, which allows the listicle to be published as an article.

For Millennials who like to skim over content and grab the main points, listicles are an ideal setup. However, this isn’t a secret. That’s why many companies have been pushing out listicles and sharing them on social media in an effort to hone in on their young but lucrative audience.

Why Do Millennials Love Lists?

Let’s dive into some of the reasons why Millennials and listicles mix.

Listicles organize information.

It’s understandable why Millennials prefer reading listicles as opposed to lengthy articles with longer blocks of text. With so much information being posted online, the brain becomes overloaded with content. It automatically sees the content and tries to make sense of it.

One of the ways to make sense of the information is by sorting it. Listicles are already sorted and so the brain says, “Aha! Information that I can understand!” And the rest, as we know, is history. Well, sort of.

Millennial readers don’t waste time on them.

While listicles do a good job of attracting attention, Millennials expect them to be well-written. To determine how interesting and relevant an article is, Millennials scan the content to see if it’s worth reading more about.

Within a few seconds, Millennials know if they want to stick around. Are these the same five tips that they’ve read in every article of this sort? Are the recommendations totally predictable and cliche? Or is this information new and interesting?

If a reader decides to keep reading, they are more engaged from the start because they already know what they’re getting themselves into. This is better than reading through a few paragraphs and realizing that you’re not happy with the content. On the other hand, if the reader decides that it’s not worth their time, they can move on. There's really no time lost.

Listicles are easy to relate to.

Millennials find that listicles are relatable. There is no filler in the content, so this audience gets exactly what they expected to read about. No fluff. No padded out paragraphs. Just the basics.

Since these types of articles are so popular with Millennials, they also get shared more than other forms of content. This means that if you produce listicles, you have a better chance of them going viral than other forms of content. The more a Millennial feels connected to what you wrote, the more they will want to share with their peers.

Tips for Getting Your Listicles Noticed

With so much noise on the internet, how can you create highly engaging listicles that Millennials will love? Below are a few tips to get you started.

Put the Most Interesting Info First

It might sound like common sense, but do be thoughtful of how you arrange the information. The most interesting should go at the top to grab the reader’s attention. Of course, you want to keep the reader engaged, so don’t just throw in nonsense toward the middle and bottom. These points matter, too.

Ten or Less is Ideal

People differ on their recommendations for the ideal sized list. Some say that eight or less is best, while others say ten is the magic number. I’ve seen articles with 20 points that have done well. In general, however, stick to ten points or less. Millennials don’t want to be overwhelmed with information. They just want the main points delivered in a simple format.

Make Your Items Flow

Listicles are helpful because they break up information into bite-sized pieces, but they should still tell a cohesive story. List items in a way that makes sense, and create continuity from one point to the next. Not only does this make the article read well, but also it keeps readers engaged as they move onto the next point.

Keep Your Format Consistent

The format of your listicles should be the same. For instance, you might want to italicize each main point or put it in bold. When you write out your editorial calendar, remember the format that you plan to follow. This is especially important if you have multiple people contributing content to your blog.

Make Some Points Longer

If you have more to say about one point, that’s OK. Break up those paragraphs into short ones. This way, your listicle will appear consistent, but you’ll be able to expand on the points that need more information.

In the end, listicles are simple, easy to take in and easy to relate to. They are a great format for your Millennial audience, although they shouldn’t be the foundation for your content marketing strategy. Rather, listicles are something that you should have in your toolbox and use at the appropriate times, especially when appealing to the Millennial generation.

About the Author: Christina Diecidue

Christina Diecidue is the Marketing Project Coordinator at SEMGeeks.  She holds a B.S. in Business Administration, with concentrations in marketing, advertising, and web design from Rider University.  Known to be a meticulous worker, Christina values each client's individual goals and works to meet their digital strategy needs accordingly.  With valuable knowledge in higher education, alumni engagement, and leadership, she provides an array of skills to the SEMGeeks team.  In her free time, Christina can be found binge watching repeats of Friends and spending time with her family.

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