No matter how interesting and informative your content is, most people just will not click on it and read if it doesn’t have a compelling headline. To make sure that you’re getting the most out of your content, we’ve but together some insider tips from our experience as a content creation agency on how to write great headlines.
Content Creation Agency Tip 1 – Use language that is simple yet powerful
If you want to write headlines like one of the best content marketing agencies, it’s important that you use powerful words that motivate the reader to act. Your potential readers may be turned away by bland or vague language or words that most people don’t know. It’s a good idea to stick to simple language and choose words that interest and motivate your reader.
For instance, you may use your headline as a call-to-action (CTA), inviting readers to try or do something. You can also make use of powerful words like “worst” or “never” to capture your reader’s attention and gain their interest. Avoid using complicated words when simpler, more succinct words will work just fine. For instance, don’t use “utilize” when you can just say “use.”
Here are a few examples of killer headlines that use simple yet powerful language to entice the reader to click:
“Clever” is a powerful word that is usually seen as a positive trait, especially for people who are engaging in creative endeavors like blogging. However, this headline suggests that being clever is not all it’s cracked up to be. This will immediately grab the attention of someone who wants to understand why their assumptions may be wrong. The word “killing” also adds some drama that may entice the reader to click to ensure that they are not causing harm to their own blogging efforts.
“Ruined” is a powerful word that immediately grabs the reader’s attention. In this case, the author Jay Baer is suggesting that social media giant, Facebook has ruined Christmas. This is a great example of a killer headline that piques the interest of a variety of readers. Whether they love Facebook or hate it, readers will want to read more to find out how the author might support this wild, yet funny claim.
Content Creation Agency Tip 2 – Make a bold statement
Making a bold statement is another strategy that a blogger or content creation agency might use to create compelling headlines. Some of the most clickable headlines introduce some sort of shock factor that gets readers wanting to learn more. Making a bold or opinionated statement in your headline is one effective way to boost click-through rates and get more people talking about your content.
Some brands may not feel comfortable relying solely on shock factor to generate interest in their content, and that’s okay. Sometimes just creating a headline that challenges the readers’ beliefs and understanding of how things work can do just the trick. Here are just a couple of examples of headlines that make a bold claim and challenge the reader without being offensive:
This is a great example of a headline that instantly grabs the attention of the audience by making a bold statement. Who wouldn’t want to quit their job, move to paradise, and get paid to change the world? Most people would find this accomplishment impossible or at least unlikely. And that is precisely what entices them to click on the article and read about how Jon Morrow did just that.
This post uses another powerful word – “Failure” – to grab the attention of the reader while also playing on a popular motivational phrase that suggests just the opposite. While some may respond to the mantra, “Failure is NOT an option,” this headline makes it appear that failing may not be such a bad thing. This goes against what most people want to believe and therefore draws the reader in to learn more about why failure could be a viable option.
Content Creation Agency Tip 3 – Ask a thought-provoking question
Another way to engage readers is by asking a question in the headline that is strange, funny, or just thought-provoking. Questions are not only a great way to grab the reader’s attention, but they also get readers wanting to read more in order to determine the answer. When used correctly, this tactic can significantly improve click-through rates (CTRs).
Not only do questions appeal to the readers’ emotions, but they also encourage engagement and provide a conversational tone for the content that is important for connecting with readers. The question creates a curiosity that gets readers wanting to learn more. The only way that they can do that is by clicking on your content and reading what you have to say.
Though you want to be strategic with the questions that you use in your headlines, you want to be careful not to be misleading. Asking questions in a misleading way can turn potential readers away from your content and even your brand.
Here are a few examples of headlines that are effective in using questions to draw the reader in and get them wanting to learn more:
When creating this post for our own blog, we decided to ask a question that was on the minds of many of our readers. Many individuals who read our marketing blog work for B2B brands that target professionals in a variety of industries. Whether they noticed that Facebook had become more popular for professionals or not, there is a good chance that they would like to learn more about which social networks are most popular among executives and other business decision makers.
This is a great example of another blog post that uses a question to get the reader’s attention and get them engaged in the conversation. Many people don’t stop to think about why they are using Microsoft Word. It may just be something that they have always done. By asking this question, the blog asks readers to take a look at their own behavior and think about why they have made the choices they’ve made.
Content Creation Agency Tip 4 – Create numbered lists
This is yet another tactic that a content creation agency might use to get more readers to click on their posts. Though this may seem a bit obvious or could be something that you’re already doing, it is worth mentioning because it works. In fact, research shows that headlines with numbers are 36% more popular than other types of headlines. If you want more readers to click, you may want to try formatting your content as a numbered list.
People are attracted to numbers and numbered lists because they are easier to digest and process. People today lead busy lives and they don’t always have time to sit down and read a lengthy article. Lists help break up the content to make it easier to consume while also providing some predictability, which readers love.
Here are two excellent examples of content that use numbers while also combining some of the other tips from this post:
Cracked is a great example of an online publication that knows how to create compelling titles. Most of the articles on Cracked are numbered lists that are well-supported with specific examples and research. In the case of this headline, it not only uses a numbered list, but also uses words like “trick” and “crap” to draw the reader in. No one likes to be tricked, so many readers may be enticed to click and read more about how stores may be tricking them into making purchases.
This post from our own blog is another great example of a headline that uses a numbered list while also combining some of the other great tips in this post. From the headline, readers know that they are getting an ordered list. The headline also uses words like “hacks,” to draw the reader in. Most people love a good hack as it allows them to get the most out of their time and resources. This post promises hacks that come straight from a Facebook marketing agency, which shows authority and knowledge, two things that communicate value to readers.
Content Creation Agency Tip 5 – Create a sense of urgency
Though many readers may be interested in your content when they see it, they may not be so keen on clicking on the headline right then and there. That’s why it is important to create a sense of urgency that encourages readers to click on your content and read it as soon as possible.
Creating a sense of urgency plays on the fear of missing out (FOMO) that many individuals have. Most people do not want to miss out information that can help them or change their lives in that moment. That’s why creating a sense of urgency works well in helping you develop headlines that encourage readers to act immediately. The following examples use urgency to inspire action:
This post from our own blog creates a sense of urgency by using the word “now.” The headline implies that readers cannot wait any longer to fix these important AdWords mistakes. By suggesting that readers need to act immediately on the information found in the post, this headline creates a sense of urgency that entices readers to click to find out more.
This headline from author Michele Linn uses the word “today” to create a sense of urgency for potential readers. Though individuals may be interested in content marketing tips, they may save these types of articles for another day. By suggesting that these are tips that can be used to start making real changes to content today, the headline entices readers to click to learn more so that they are not missing out on important content marketing tactics.
Creating effective headlines takes time and effort, but ultimately, it’s a vital step in creating killer content that others want to read and share. Using the tips above, you can be on your way to writing headlines like some of the best content marketing agencies in no time.