Four reasons why you should include listicles in your content strategy

Everyone who browses the Internet will have stumbled upon a listicle before – and chances are you clicked on it.

Listicles are created to grab a reader’s attention and hold it, but why are they so brilliant?


While scrolling through our Facebook feeds, we might come across a share-worthy article. However, the likeliness of our friends and families wanting to read a heavy, in-depth thought piece is very slim, simply because of the length of it. This is where listicles come in – they are short, snappy, and the headline tells you exactly what you need to know. It has been shown that the most popular form of headline is ones with numbered lists, meaning they are going to get the most traction on social media platforms and therefore generate the highest number of clicks.


Listicles appeal to human’s desire for improvement and organisation, tricking us into believing that if we read them we will reap some kind of benefit, embedding a fear of missing out of vital information that could benefit our lives. The form of the listicle – separate, numbered points spread out down the page – is also ideal for the human brain. Specificity is something that our brains love – think of shopping lists, to-do lists, holiday packing lists to name a few – and so a listicle is something that we enjoy reading, as they give precise information. Where paragraphs can feel cluttered and overwhelming, listicles have their own whitespace, therefore looking cleaner.


A human’s average attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 to just 8 seconds in 2015. To put this in perspective, a goldfish is thought to have the attention span of 9 seconds. Psychologists believe that humans have such a limited focus when it comes to memory compared to hundreds of years ago simply because we don’t have to remember anything – Google does it for us. It is also thought that the short videos and memes spread out across social media has made us impatient readers, meaning listicles are an ideal way to convey your message with a more 21st-century-style approach.


Listicles are short and sweet – they get to the point without excessive words. Humans feel better when the amount of work we have to do to process something is reduced, and so a listicle is perfect if you want to get across information with not so many words. However, they are not only a model piece of writing for readers, but they are also great for writers, as they can be written in a fraction of the time of an in-depth article. The entire point of a listicle is to keep it short, so unless you find yourself to be a writer that rambles, then a listicle is possibly the perfect writing form.