Sorry but you have just been the victim of “clickbait”, big companies don’t hate us (that we are aware of). Forgive us, we have done so to make a point about the value of headlines in your content marketing and social media posts.
Headlines are everything, so much so that for many editors they are too important to leave to the author of the content. This is because even if you write the best blog in the world, in a time short and content rich social media driven world it is difficult to get noticed.
Without a killer headline you will never be able to get your target audience to click.
The Power Of The Editor
It was not until we started publishing work for national newspapers that we realised that it is rare that the author of a post has a say in the title. This is because editors are tasked with ensuring content is appealing to the audience and fits the overall needs and feel of the site.
This means editors will be creative with titles to make sure they are relevant to the audience and spark curiosity.
We have all seen this taken to the extreme in the form of “clickbait” the online articles often syndicated at the bottom of blogs and websites that promise us an exciting story but set the bar so high you are almost always disappointed.
We have highlighted this in the title of this blog, we hope you are not too made at being “clickbaited” we promise we will never do it again.
So How Do You Find The Right Headline?
If you want to find a balance between click bait and effective headlines the key is to keep in mind your target audience.
There are a number of different theories behind the best headlines to use, falling on different parts of the spectrum between descriptive and click bait. Hopefully yours will fall somewhere in the middle describing what you are going to do but also giving the reader a compelling reason to view.
Below are five sample headlines you can use as a base point, these can be used on blogs, social media and email, but the platform and the audience should always be considered before clicking post or send.
- The Helpful List – “Ten Reasons You Should Start A Blog”
- The Fear Filled List “Five Reasons You Should Never Spam Your Email List”
- The How To – “How to Create Awesome Blog content”
- The Why – “Why you should not be giving up on Google+ just yet”
- The Shock Headline (Use Sparingly) “ Is your website going to disappear from half the internet?”