6 Mins Read
If you have one shot at grabbing the attention of your audience so that they will bother to read on…
And eventually take the action that you want them to take, you’re going to need a great headline.
Marketers spend a lot of effort crafting headlines that get the attention of their audience.
In fact, headlines make up for 60% of the reason why people click on links or open emails based on the short phrase that they see.
Using these 5 ways to write your headline, you can be sure to turn an innocent-looking string of words into commands that make people do whatever you want them to.
1) Specific Numbers Are A Proven Way To Get Attention
It helps quantify, your audience know what to expect with numbers that help form a clearer picture in mind.
See how this post attracts the attention of 210 people that feel engaged the content, simply by using the power of specificity?
A common debate among marketers – Is there a difference between using odd and even numbers?
It’s hard to say.
The best performing article on Buzzsumo in 2015 by researching the word “Singapore” is from one titled “42 reasons why studying abroad in Singapore ruins your life”.
But there are instances of other top performers that are even numbered lists.
There are no clear signs whether odd or even is better.
But one thing is certain, using numbers in your headlines helps you get attention.
2) Can Your Words Convince Them Why They Should Click?
Taken from the top 10 most shared posts on entrepreneur.com, you will notice that headlines containing numbers dominate the list.
It seems that starting with an apology, followed by the revelation of something you won’t expect is the top reason for people to share an article from entrepreneur.com in 2015.
It helps that the New Yorkers will now tag their friends in New York to share the good news, and their friends in Chicago to engage in some rib poking.
The rest from the top 10 viral posts give a reason strong enough to click.
The How’s and Why’s help present an attractive promise that keeps your audience long enough to want to see what they can find out for themselves.
Strong headlines like “work less” while getting “more done” makes you want to get to the article so you too can save time. It makes you ask yourself “what do successful people know that I don’t?”
3) Demand Your Audience’s Attention (Politely)
You’re competing with everyone else that’s on board content marketing.
If your headline doesn’t stuff a foot in the door to your audience’s attention span, then you will have wasted your effort in coming up with the piece of content.
Keep in mind that you are competing with various modes of delivery – image, video and audio.
The text you use will be sharing the limited space on your audience’s screen, where a graphic, video thumbnail or audio playing in another open tab may distract your audience from noticing you.
Since the headline is the key between your audience taking a look at your content, you’re going to want to spend significant effort at it.
Let’s try to make sense of how an article mentioning a city gets over 208 500 shares on social media.
You can name best cities for tourism, doing business, low crime rates… that should generate interest from people living in a city.
This headline which made it to number 1 has put a unique focus to capture attention.
So this particular city is best known for having good pizza. Number 1 in fact.
To show how popular the topic of food is, Instagram shows how enthusiastic we are about what goes into the tummy too, with 77 million posts mentioning about what people are eating.
Seeing the second best performing headline, you know just by reading the headline that you’ll get to read 9 things that push people away from the company.
How’s that for being specific?
And to add to that, it’s managers that push good employees away.
The description from the headline makes people working in a company want to find out if they know anyone in their circles that may be the main characters from the story.
Another way to subtly demand attention is when the headline contains possible benefits for your audience.
Do you want to come across as smart? Most people would – it gives management a reason to take note of you in promotions and a raise.
You will likely want to share content like this so it adds social value to yourself, by associating with the positive trait of being tactful at work. So you may just share that on your friends’ newsfeed.
As this sharing continues to enjoy the viral effect, that’s how the article ends up ranking 6th in the list.
By including the benefit of helping the reader come across as smart, the headline then puts forth 9 phrases to avoid.
4) Does The Headline Flow?
By using a proven method of what works, you can come up with headlines that consistently get the attention of your audience.
Having the necessary elements in your headline helps create a flow that addresses the problem your audience faces.
See how a recession proof trading system offers a solution in being able to help your audience overcome the fear of trading in uncertain market conditions.
Within 18 months, someone recovers from a $250,000 deficit. That’s setting the challenge during which this person has to find the solution.
The promise helps your audience feel assured that even when the market is not doing well, they are still able to profit.
Here are 5 examples you can use while figuring out what is your own headline that flows:
1) 7 Ways Your Mother Lied To You About ____
2) It Did What? 5 Secrets About ____
3) 11 Myths Uncovered About _____
4) 9 Things Your Boss Expects You To Know About _____
5) 4 Ways How (Solution) Can Help You Survive (Problem)
5) See Your Headline’s Performance
To keep score on your headline’s ability to connect with your audience, see if there are enquiries coming in within 3 months.
As you publish different articles over time, you will see which type of content your audience responds better to.
Upon establishing communication with your audience that have converted into customers, you can fine tune what content worked for them to strategize your next step.
Social shares are quick way of knowing whether your headline takes off.
Getting your content to go viral is a home-run, as it demonstrates how the above 4 points work together to bring your content to the audience as if it had a life of its own.
The headline is the determining factor in whether your content is read and shared if your audience connects with it.
By using what works, you will be
– including numbers
– providing a strong enough reason for the click
– subtly demanding attention from your audience
– getting a good flow with the words inside your headline to lead your audience into reading on
You will have arrived at a headline that’s done to the best of your ability at the current moment.
Then by observing feedback from the audience, you will be able to craft headlines that connect much better.
Try using this process to get the results you want.