4 Ways to Pump Up Your Listicles

Are you suffering from lackluster listicles? Making lists is one of those content marketing vehicles that tends to work from a click-through standpoint: for whatever reason, people are more likely to click on subject lines that contain numbers. That said, not all listicles are created equal.

 4 Tips for More Robust Listicles

1) Treat Your Listicles with Care

There are times to let the listicles fly free, and times to squash them. I’ve seen too many articles that seem to be in list form for the singular purpose of being in list form. While conventions like lists and H2s can service demand gen KPIs (click-through, SEO), we can’t sacrifice the quality of the content for the sole purpose of those numbers. If we’re writing a how-to or a collection of tips, lists make sense. But if our primary motivation for a list is “Well, people like to click on lists,” perhaps we need to regroup. Unless we’re Buzzfeed, listicles should be balanced with longer-form content that explores a topic in depth.

2) Make Your Listicles Stand Out

Once we’ve identified the reason we’re writing a listicle, it’s a good idea to make sure we’re not borrowing someone else’s listicle. Doing a quick search (e.g., Google or LinkedIn) to make sure that someone hasn’t already written this listicle is a good idea. If we find that there’s already a decent amount of content around the topic, thinking of a unique position or hook for our listicle is how we can differentiate ourselves.

3) Tie Your Listicles to a Larger Body

While listicles should be able to stand on their own, they’re more potent when they’re supported. In addition to balancing the long-form editorial, listicles are a way to augment it. Mapping all of our content back to a defined business purpose and marketing storyline is how we can make sure that our communications stay consistent.

4) Test the Strength of Your Listicles

Click-throughs, traffic, and open rates are great metrics to measure the effectiveness of a subject line. But what about the content itself? Engagement is what we marketers are after, and measuring that engagement is how we can understand what’s resonating with our target readers. Metrics like time on page, bounce rate, and social shares are all indicators of the content’s success. (For more on that, check out this post on vanity metrics vs. actionable metrics.)

Have any other tips on better listicles? Hit us up in the comment field.

Hold Your Horses! Social Media Buzz around the Grand National

Social buzz around the Grand National

Hold your horses; surely it’s not that time of the year already? It seems like only yesterday Pineau de Re stole the show at the world famous Aitree track and the biggest steeplechase race in the world. The Grand National is the most valuable jump race in Europe with a whopping prize fund of £1 million, but who are the odds in favour of this year? Currently, Shutthefrontdoor is named favourite by the bookies to bolt across the finish line first. But, what does social media have to say about that? Meltwater, the go-to authority on real time social intelligence finds out!

Over the past two weeks, the Grand National has clocked up over 58,019 mentions across various social media platforms. The majority of the chatter is taking place on Twitter (78%) followed by Facebook (18%). Key themes surrounding the social media buzz include champion jockey Anthony McCoy, who will complete his last of 20 stints at the Aintree track and will be riding Shutthefrontdoor, which may be the reason why the horse is a hot topic on social media and the favourite to win.

We see the Walsh family of jockeys; including Ruby Walsh and Katie Walsh appear in second place in terms of the most popular jockeys mentioned. Much of social media are speculating a first ever win by a female jockey in this year’s race after Katie Walsh won this year’s Irish Grand National upon Thunder and Roses, who also makes an appearance in the top trending themes surrounding the Grand National.

From a brands perspective, Crabbie’s who is the official sponsor of the Grand National have been successful in achieving their goal of increasing brand awareness. The Meltwater platform found 3,687 mentions on social media associating the drinks brand with the race. The top 3 bookies mentioned on social media surrounding the Grand National are Boylesports, Paddy Power and Unibet. Football is also a trending topic due to users expressing joy over a sports fuelled weekend as they plan a day of tuning into the races, golf, F1 and cricket.

The Grand National has a long history in British culture having completed its first official run in 1839. Whilst 79% of social media are expressing their excitement for this Saturday’s race and sweepstakes they’ve entered, there’s also some controversy surrounding the event. 21% of social media users mentioning the Grand National did so in a negative light, with many raising concerns over the ethical nature of the race.

On Finding the Right Candidate for Your Customer Case Study

Looking for the perfect customer?

Here’s an experiment: Ask someone to describe his or her perfect date. Then take a quick side-glance at who they’re actually with. Fingers crossed you’ll find a few overlaps, but chances are good you’ll see some discrepancies. When planning a customer case study, you might find yourself wondering how to snag the perfect candidate. Imagining this ideal customer is not difficult: large company, well-known brand, long track record of using your products. But face it, your dream customer may not exist. Or you just might not be able to get a blue chip client to agree to a customer interview.

Expand your horizons

Don’t despair. Take a step back and open your mind to new possibilities. Then give some thought to criteria you may not have considered before:

  • Are you the customer of one of your customers?

    This one couldn’t be simpler: Offer to do a customer case study for them in exchange for them doing one for you.

  • Do you have a client who regularly interacts with their customer service rep?

    Here at Metlwater, we have one happy customer who checks in with their rep at least once a week. Make the most of this existing relationship and ask the rep to set up an interview.

  • Has a customer recently mentioned you in a news article or on social media?

    They’re already talking about you, and they probably have more to say. To keep up with your news and social media shout outs, you’ll want a social listening tool, like the one in Meltwater’s media intelligence platform.

  • Do you have a customer that uses every single one of your products?

    They must really like you. Ask them for a customer case study.

  • Do you have a customer that falls into a particular vertical?

    Get them to represent, and promote the story as being as much about them as it is about their market.

  • What about that niche customer who’s doing something that no one’s ever heard of?

    Keep your eye out for innovation. Along with a great customer case study, this story could be pitched by your PR team for media coverage or even syndication.

So when you’re browsing through your customer list, take some time to ask yourself these questions. You might find out that your perfect customer isn’t who you thought it was after all.

#MarketingMinds Chat Insights – Social Media Engagement


Here at Meltwater, we’re always open to suggestions, so after one frequent chat participant suggested we base a #MarketingMinds around social media engagement we were more than happy to oblige!

Q1. Why is social media engagement important?

Social media success comes from being just that – social. Unlike robots, we humans enjoy a good natter (“chat” to our non-brit readers). So don’t be shy, go out there and make the first move! @AgentPalmer suggests that social is all about the art of conversation, noting that engaging with our audience facilitates this. @QuestPR agrees, stating social media engagement is important for brands as it ensures our content, brand or business isn’t stand alone. Furthermore, @themiceblog comments that social media engagement can help us build a community.

@helenflannery_ speaks about how social media engagement can generate interest in what we’re delivering and how it can also spark new angles and ideas. @Snafflepuss states we have just 30 seconds to engage our audience and what better way to capture their attention than by delivering content that is unique and interesting to read? Unique content stops our audience from their mundane scrolling mission and encourages them to click, read, share and browse further.

As @akathmadevi rightfully points out, social media engagement can also tell us if our plan is working. @c0Sabrina adds that engagement provides actual audience insights rather than simply audience assumptions. Posts that receive high engagement tell us if what we’re doing is a success. As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” learn from success and replicate this throughout the content strategy to further increase social media engagement. @travelopulent believes social media engagement is vital as it helps us create relationships and build trust with our audience. While social is a virtual platform, real people are using it… so real life rules apply. We’re much more likely to trust somebody we have communicated with in the past, rather than a stranger who pops up out of nowhere, makes a random comment and is never to be seen again.

If the above isn’t enough to persuade us to put our social media engagement hats on, @Annie_Kolatsis adds how engagement also ensures added brand dimension and personality, thus helping us stand out from the crowd.

Q2. How do you ensure your content is engaging?

@Snafflepuss and @AgentPalmer suggest we research our audience to ensure we provide content that is valuable. Social media monitoring tools, such as Meltwater, can help us do just that. As mentioned above, by listening online we can see patterns in our audience’s interests and then tailor and personalise content around this. @mcsaatchimena and @taramomo_ encourage us to ask ourselves; “would I engage with this post or content?” If the answer is no, the chances are so will our audience!

@c0Sabrina believes blending education and entertainment is key to a successfully social media engagement. Moreover, acting as a consultancy on social, such as sharing “how to” or “top tips” posts can also help greatly. @helenflannery_ suggests that a way to ensure dialogue marketing is by asking questions. Moreover, since we are a visual loving nation, the use of images and videos are a quick way to boost social media engagement. @akathmadevi comments on the need for defining goals for each piece of content as this can help us identify indicators to measure, but more on that later.

Q3. How do you create social media engagement on 1. Twitter vs. 2. Facebook?

@akathmadevi states that chats are the best way to create social media engagement, grow a community and position a brand as a thought leader in their field. Meanwhile, @Snafflepuss and @themiceblog believe Twitter is the place where brands should start the conversation due to the real time nature of the platform, while Facebook is great for storytelling and is the best place to attract interaction. @mcsaatchimena agrees, suggesting Twitter is for mingling with our community, whereas Facebook is more visual. @akathmadevi advises we use social media monitoring tools, like the Meltwater platform, as this will enable us to find meaningful conversations around our brand, our industry and our competitors.

Q4. How can we expand our social community?

@c0Sabrina’s top tips for expanding social community include participating in dialogue, which confirms that simply confirming retweeting or sharing isn’t enough. Ask questions such as “do you agree?”,“is there anything you would add?”, “what are your favourite examples of..?”  @AdeelMSami advises that community growth is made easier by providing valuable content at the right moment. The use of a content calendar is a great way to start. Moreover, when posting content from a third party be sure to mention the source, as this can open up the post to a much larger audience.

@taramomo_ suggests we expand our social community by listening on social media and identifying industry influencers to follow and engage with. @Snafflepuss agrees, stating that partnerships can present huge opportunities with regards to social media engagement simply by piggybacking onto our partners community. @TheSignDepot’s top tip for expanding our social community is to identify where the conversation is mostly occurring so that we’re not wasting time on platforms seldom used by our audience. Meltwater to the rescue again! Our social media monitoring tool allows us to see conversation by channel so we priorities and stream line communication.
@AdeelMSami sums up how we can grow our community in 6 simple words- Talk, ask, give, spread, mention, repeat!

Q5. What platform/s do you use to measure social media engagement?

Participants use a number of platforms to measure social media engagement, as this ensures quality of analysis by benchmarking results against one another. The Meltwater social media monitoring platform offers users the chance to measure engagement against a number of metrics including:

  • Engagement volume
  • Engagement by channel
  • Clicks by channel
  • Community growth
  • Most engaged members
  • Brand impressions
  • Top posts by clicks
  • Top retweeters.  In other words, Meltwater has your back when it comes to measuring engagement.

If there are any topics you’d like to see in future #MarketingMinds chats drop a comment in the box below. If you’d like to write a guest post, send an email to perri.robinson@meltwater.com