A Checklist Marketing Strategy for Publishers and Business Owners

Entrepreneurs who are launching a new business face all the typical problems of business owners – cash flow, managing employees, time management, sales strategy, IT… the list goes on. Too many things to do, and not enough time to do them. 

Content management and lead generation is a challenge for many new business owners – and for many experienced marketers. Time is short, and there is a lot of online competition for eyeballs.

As a content manager for businesses, I work with my clients to find their online niche and create a content strategy for their website, blog and social media sites that expresses their brand’s voice and then create content that drives targeted visitors to their website. The exact same goal of every other online marketer. 

“I need viral content.” Viral content is the holy grail of marketing: every business owner wants their content to go viral. It’s not that easy (ask any professional marketer!)  – and viral content doesn’t guarantee more leads and or convert to more sales. 

So how can a business or marketer stand out in the crowded digital landscape?

(Short on time? Skip down to the to learn about checklist publishing and marketing!) 

All the online marketing experts give the same advice to entrepreneurs looking for an edge to build their business:

  • Be authentic
  • Solve their problem
  • Have a unique voice 
  • Create quality content 
  • Build relationships 
  • Engage with your audience 

If you drill down and research what types of online content people really want to see and read, you’ll find plenty of expert articles describing what types of content will such as:

  1. 17 Types of Content That Will Drive More Traffic
  2. 10 Pieces of Content Your Audience Really Wants to See 
  3. 7 Content Types That Gain the Most Engagement & Links 
  4. 15 Content Formats Proven to Boost Audience Engagement 
  5. The 9 Types of Social Media Content You Need to Use 

Business owners can hire a marketing professional to create and promote their content. But the truth is, professional content marketers spend their days (and nights!) trying to find a new way to get viewers to click on a link and visit their website. 

So what type of content do people really want to see?

Based on expert research and my own content marketing experience, the short answer is: it depends. Readers want to see different types of content for different reasons, and that changes based on need. 

9 Most Clickable Types of Content in 2019

1. Lists: 

People love lists: Top 10 lists, how-to lists, to-do checklists, listicles. They’re easy to understand and use. Marketers like lists because they are easy to create. 

2. How-Tos:

Sometimes people need a long, in-depth article that explains how and why to do something with lots of background information. But other times, that same reader may want a short how-to list that cuts to the chase and leaves out all the fluff.

3. Images:

Everyone agrees that viewers like – and remember! – visual content much more than words. Infographics, videos, memes, photos, animations etc are a #musthave in your blogs, website and social media posts. 

4. FAQs:

Prospects and clients like to easily find the answers to their questions online – and to be reassured they aren’t the only ones who had that question. Frequently Asked Questions are easy to understand and an effective way to communicate with your audience. 

5. Reviews:

Product and service reviews are important to a business owner Reviews and testimonials are also a great source of content; they can be written up as blog posts, shared on social media or communicated as a visual.

6. Podcasts:

People like convenience and they like to be entertained. Podcasts fill both of those needs. Podcasts can be downloaded and listened to on the go, and are ideal for multi-taskers: many people listen to podcasts while driving, running, on planes or exercising. 

7. Proof:

Graphs, charts and infographics easily convey complicated, confusing statistics and data and provide proof that a reader can easily understand. That’s why social proof – Likes, Comments, Shares – are a popular way to convey authority.

8. Informative Blogs:

When you have a new product or there is important information about your industry or brand, an informative article explaining the new information is valuable, relevant and useful to your audience.

9. Quotes:

Motivating or inspiring quotes posted on social media or included in blogs help establish a relationship and commonality with your audience. Who you choose to quote helps communicate your brand voice and image and who you want your audience to associate you with. 

Snackable Content

The popularity and effectiveness of checklists, quotes, images and reviews in your content marketing strategy aren’t surprising. People have limited time and short attention spans. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, creating snackable content that is easy to understand and share is popular with readers – and with marketers!

✔  Checklists: The Ultimate Snackable Content Strategy 

The reason I like checklists as a content marketing strategy is simple: because people and search engines like checklists. 

There’s so much online noise out there – blogs, social media, videos. If you don’t already have an audience and you’re bootstrapping or DIYing your business on a limited or $0 budget, checklists work. 

5 Reasons People Like Checklists 

  1. People’s brains like checklists. They’re easy to understand and remember.
  2. Checklists help simplify complex tasks.
  3. Checklists provide structure in a chaotic world.
  4. Checking things off a checklist provides a feeling of accomplishment.
  5. Checklists train your brain to be productive. 

It’s not only people and marketers who like checklists – search engines love them too! While Google has never come out and said that they rank checklists higher than other types of content (we all wish SEO was that easy!), Google helps users find information on the web, and rewards the types of content that users find useful and relevant – and that they search for again and again and again. 

5 Reasons Search Engines Like Checklists

  1. Checklists are SEO friendly.
  2. It’s easy to understand the purpose and goals of a checklist. 
  3. Checklists are ideal for Google’s featured snippet. 
  4. Checklists are interactive. 
  5. People like checklists and click on and share checklist links. 

No more proof needed!

For the past 2 years, I’ve been introducing checklists into my client content strategy. The #1 tool I’m using to create checklists that drive new traffic to clients’ sites is a checklist maker called Checkli. I’ve been using Checkli for my clients – all business owners in crowded markets – to find new audiences, some for well over a year now. 

Checkli is different: its not just a checklist maker, its a checklist publishing tool and a checklist database where new publishers get discovered and shared.  

(*Full Disclosure: Checkli is a list-making tool my son built to solve a problem for himself – he’s ADHD and he wanted a simple checklist tool to organize himself and his business – then made it available to the public. Rest assured, Checkli is fully #MomTestedAndApproved.)

Publishing free checklists with information that your audience wants to know is an easy way to get discovered online, read by your ideal audience and drive new traffic to your website.

Why I Use Checkli to Publish Checklists for Businesses (and not another checklist maker)

It’s hard out there for a marketer. My client business owners want to see results – they don’t want to hear excuses. I can spend hours creating the perfect blog post, accompanied by the perfect images, perfectly optimized and perfectly promoted on social media. And that blog post may only get 50 views. Since using checklists, my clients see results from using checklists to drive targeted traffic to their website.

It’s fast and easy. Once I decide on a topic and the information I want to share, creating and publishing a checklist takes only 15-20 minutes.

Optimized content. Each checklist has a title, image and as many list items as you need. You can add an ALT tag to your image, publish in a specific category and add keywords.

Branded. You can personalize Checkli by adding a user profile and image and links back to your website, blog post or other sites. You can use custom colors and fonts to match your brand. 

CTAs. You can insert CTAs that link back to a source, your business or any other site. 

Interactive. Checkli is interactive – people can check items off their checklist and feel a sense of accomplishment!

It’s discoverable. You can make a checklist public and it is discoverable via search engines. Or, people who are looking for a checklist on a specific topic can go directly to Checkli and search the hundreds of thousands of checklists people have already published on topics from business to education to sports to cooking – and everything in between.

Checkli gets millions of visitors and page views each year, and they are all looking to make or copy a free checklist, business process or workflow.

Track views and downloads. You can see how many people have viewed your checklist and how many have saved and downloaded your list. 

Embeddable and shareable. Published checklists are shareable to social media, and have an embed code so you can embed them in your blog posts or on your social media. 

Performance stats. Each week Checkli mails me the performance stats for each of my client accounts – and I can just forward them to my client. 

This is a portion of an actual Checkli email – my client has many checklists with thousands of views
and downloads – far more views than we get on blogs or social media posts!

My Checklist Marketing Strategy

I still create blogs for my client’s websites – they’re good for SEO, and readers like them. Plus, blogs are a fast way to share information about the business. When possible, I repurpose a blog post into a checklist or create a complimentary checklist to promote and drive traffic to the blog post.

  1. Create. Build a checklist based on a blog topic, a business service or a topic important to the business’s audience.
  2. Add Branding. Add your branding, an image and a link to your website or blog post. 
  3. Promote. Using the checklist link in the right sidebar, embed the checklist in a blog OR post on social media OR share in an email.
  4. Track. Track the checklist views, PDF downloads, copies made and how much traffic you drive to your website.

Have you had success using lists to drive traffic and business? If so, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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Catherine Russell

freelance writer, content marketer and social media strategist at Hire Catherine
Content Strategy • Content Marketing and Social Selling • Social Media Management and Strategy • Copy Writer and Content Editor • Blogging • Ghost Writer. I work with entrepreneurs, small business owners, nonprofits and solopreneurs to increase their online visibility and provide content solutions and strategies.
Catherine Russell
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