Some say that a headline is the icing on the cake, when in reality; it’s the whole darn cake! All too often, a headline is the most overlooked part of writing an article, post, or blog. It’s just a few words, so how complicated could it be, right? The reality is, your headline could make or break your article or post. You could have life-changing information in your article but, with a lousy headline, few people will take the time to actually read the information. Although there are several strategies to consider when crafting the perfect headline, they all have one thing in common… they demand your attention.
The first tip that has proven effective time and time again is the use of numbers, more specifically, random numbers like 63 and 27. People love numbers! When given the choice between using a percentage or a number, 9 times out of 10 you will want to use the number. Why? Numbers are more relatable and easier to understand. For example, “Local plant laid off 20% of employees last month” compared to “Local plant laid off 2,000 employees last month.” People can understand 2,000 much better than 20% in this situation.
The use of numbers is just one tactic you can use to capture your audience’s attention. Sometimes, instead of numbers, “trigger words” are also used. Typically, a title would have a number or a trigger word but not both. Trigger words are meant to probe the audience by asking what, why, how or when? Hint: try leading with a question especially on social media to encourage engagement.
Another helpful tip is to use intriguing adjectives that aren’t usually part of our everyday vocabulary. An example of this could be using the word effortless instead of easy. Lulu lemon showed a great example of this in their recent post that reads; “Nowadays, most people fall asleep to the clamour of a television, read from a tablet or scan social media on a smartphone before shutting out the lights. Check out these bedtime routines for optimal health and get your sleep on.” The use of the descriptive words, “clamour” and “optimal” is meant to catch and keep your attention. They are refreshing, new and edgy- use them!
Are you tired of losing potential sales? Would you like your audience to learn more about your product? Our next tip will tell you how to captivate your audience in one easy step to increase your sales!
Address a common problem and tell your audience how you can solve it. Did you notice our clever example above? This is really just marketing/advertising 101 but it also works when creating a headline. Present a relatable problem that will have people saying, “Oh yeah, that happens to me all the time.” Once you’ve got their interest, be sure to tell them how you can help and please, be honest.
Lastly, when it comes to writing a headline, how long should it be? The old school thought is to keep it short, simple and full of information but that was before social media, blogs and other digital outlets. Nowadays, the answer to this question really just depends on your platform. We see that social media does well with long-winded headlines that evoke emotion while e-mail subject lines perform best around 50 words or less.
Writing a good headline for your product or service is achieved like anything else in life through hard work and lots of practice. Whatever method you use to create your headlines, make sure you remain true to your company’s mission statement and core beliefs. The quickest way to kill your brand is to lose the trust of your audience.