From ‘Top 5’ to ‘Top 20’, these ‘Top *inserts number here*’ lists are becoming more and more popular within online news outlets. News is so accessible and stories need to be short, snappy and concise. This format is so popular because it's easily consumable content, appealing to both journalists and readers.
Lists can cover a variety of different subjects, for example ‘16 Things We Noticed While Watching Episode 4 of The Apprentice’ recently made its way onto the home page of the Metro.co.uk who boast over 8 million Monthly Unique Visitors because of their unique writing style. To contrast this – Money guru Martin Lewis of MoneySavingNetwork.co.uk recently wrote ‘20 Things You Must Know to Boost Your Credit Score’ for the Telegraph. From serious to light-hearted to humorous – this style of article is suitable for a growing number of topics.
To demonstrate why this format is so successful, we’ve compiled a ‘Top 5 Reasons That Top 5 Lists Work So Well’...
1. Short & snappy According to the Guardian, over half (55%) of UK adults access their news content online. If you’re scrolling through a news article on your smart phone, chances are you don’t want heaps of text to plough through because our attention spans are becoming increasingly shorter. Journalists and PRs have to adapt to this.
2. Good for Social Media Because we’re such a tech savvy bunch news sites will tweet most of their stories, as social networks are predominantly becoming a major news sources. People are more likely to click on a ‘Top 10...’ because they know that it isn’t going to be a big commitment to sit and read the whole article, especially as this can be summarised in 140 characters.
3. Pictures, pictures, pictures This sort of article is typically quite visual. Images are often used to accompany each point. Websites like Metro and BuzzFeed also love to put in gifs, vines and videos – particularly for comedic affect within their articles. This makes them more fun and interactive.
4. They’re versatile No publication would veto this format – from Mail Online, Guardian, Telegraph and The i, to lifestyle websites like Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and GQ. This format enables us to secure valuable online coverage with content we are proud of. They are especially well received by journalists on a strict deadline, as they are easy to adapt and edit.
5. More content needed If we think back to a time of no internet (the horror!) and newspapers were our only source of worldly events, ‘4 Sure Signs You’re Stuck in a Life Rut’ probably wouldn’t have graced the pages of the Guardian. With high demand for news content, a ‘Top 10...’ can be a crafty follow on from a previous news story. For example, it was recently in the press that processed meat is linked to cancer, a couple of days later The Independent uploaded ‘5 Reasons a Vegetarian Diet is Good For You’ – this creates more clicks and online traffic for websites and more coverage for clients. Win win!