David Letterman may have been the one to pioneer the top ten list, but it quickly became a popular and accessible tool for all marketers and content creators. The trick with a top ten list is to be “well- targeted, well-timed and well-marketed.”

So what is it that your customers want to know during the holidays? And why should you give them that information in the format of a list? Below are my top ten favorite reasons for using a list this season:

  1. Lists are easy to read
    • Let’s be honest, a lot of people don’t want to read full sentences, much less an entire article or post. People are busy. With a list, readers are able to choose how much time to spend with a certain topic while still getting the key points.
  1. Lists are easy to remember
    • Give your shoppers some branded material for their holiday party chit chat!
  1. Lists are shareable
    • Whether it is a list of top ten ways to prep your home for holiday guests or ten holiday party outfits, lists are not overtly sales-focused or intrusive. This makes readers more likely to forward to friends and family or share online.
  1. Lists make people feel included
    • By keeping your lists timely, you can help shoppers stay in the know and up-to-date on what is going on with your brand, increasing their engagement and loyalty.
  1. Lists can feature information, photos, videos, or products
    • Vary the type of content shared to keep your lists fresh and enticing.
  1. Lists build internal links
    • Each item on a list is an opportunity to link to products (or other content pages), and drive traffic across your website.
  1. Lists are helpful
    • How many gifts do you need to purchase this year where you are completely at a loss of what to buy? Too many. Or at least one. Lists (much like gift guides) can help direct shoppers towards the perfect purchase.
  1. Lists force a point of view
    • Not every item or idea will make the cut. This forces the writer to choose what he or she thinks is the most important, giving the reader access to the advice of an expert.
  1. Lists provide clear organization
    • Organization helps people process and retain information easier.
  1. Lists drive action
    • This one is pretty obvious when it comes to your personal to-do list, but how can a brand list impact consumers? This  will depend on the topic. A blog post like “10 Ways to make sure your Holiday Party is a Success” can provide next steps that lead to a purchase.

Be sure that your list contains information that your audience wants to see and then make sure they see it. You might tease the list in an email or paid search ad, driving customers to your site to see the full top ten.

For more information on how content impacts SEO, check out our post on Creating a Relevant On-Site Content Library by SEO Strategist, Jerek Justus.


Resources: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/top-10-mistakes-web-design/, http://www.poynter.org/news/mediawire/153289/the-top-10-reasons-that-top-10-lists-are-so-popular-with-journalists-readers/, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101056819, http://www.prosar.com/inbound_marketing_blog/bid/141296/10-Reasons-To-Use-Top-Ten-Lists-in-Your-Blog-Posts, http://www.business2community.com/content-marketing/ten-creative-ways-use-lists-content-marketing-0955732#5AyYQ0JSGJHh0deZ.97