Coming up with an innovative, attention grabbing, unique and creative headline can become decidedly challenging. This is especially true if you are tasked with coming up with such headlines on a regular basis. After all, being creative can become tiresome. Thankfully, there are some tried and true tips to help combat a natural inclination towards redundancy and take your headline formatting game to a whole new level:
Tips For Writing a Conspicuous Headline
Recollect Your Brand’s Purpose For Creating Content
Every piece of content is written or composed for a specific purpose. That can be to:
- Promote the visibility of your brand such as ranking high on search engine pages.
- Incorporate targeted SEO keywords.
- Encourage a reader to open an email or on an e-newsletter that introduces them to your brand or encourages them to make an additional move towards becoming a customer.
- Entice a site visitor to continue to read the content on your website and perhaps even share it with others.
If you identify more than one purpose in the list above, that’s normal. However, it’s best to focus on just one, so go with the purpose that is the most important at the moment. Once you have this purpose established, you can then begin to create a headline that fulfills said purpose.
Determine Who You Want to See This Content
Is this piece of content targeted to anyone and everyone or a specific element of your customer base? Although personas can be useful for writing the actual content, avoid leaning on personas when crafting headlines as this can be too broad. This advice according to Ann Gynn of Content Marketing Institute.
A good example of this point is as follows:
You want to target management in manufacturing, that’s the audience you are hoping with open the newsletter, visit your website, etc. Your headline for your newsletter or shared article should speak directly to this niche group. A headline like “Four Unexpected Way to Become a More Effective Manager” works well here as it relates to newsletter clicks. However, if your purpose (remember tip #1) is to get your content to get it rank higher on search engines, you would shift the focus of your headline or title to a broader audience. A headline like “How Managers Can Cut Down on Turnover Rates in Plants” serves a more SEO focused purpose.
Contemplate The Why Behind The Reader’s Actions
Be sure to include at least something within your headline that speaks to the “why” behind your reader’s actions. In other words, what is the hook? What will make your audience click on the headline? Is it an actionable, how-to, hacks type article, which will encourage clicks due to curiosity and an attempt to make life easier? Is it instead entertaining or informative? Use the headline as your way of giving your audience a small preview of what’s to come and give them the “why” they need to make a move. Contemplate the “why” you are going for and make sure you communicate this within the headline to help your headline stand out among the many other search results. Ann Gynn states “If your headline stands out in a crowd, searchers are likely to click on yours.”
Don’t Give Erroneous Information To Promote Clicks
We have all been duped by an unbelievable headline only to realize after clicking that we have fallen for the oldest trick in the modern marketing book, the bait and switch of our day, the misleading headline. Don’t do this. Your audience and readers deserve to know the truth about the content they are visiting. While a misleading, exaggerated headline might earn you a few extra clicks, it will hurt your reputation overall, so don’t do it!
Stay True to Your Voice
Don’t forget who you are when composing a headline. If your brand is a bit snarky, humorous or emotional in nature, show this in the headline. If it’s all business, informative, make sure you communicate this as well. Stay true to your brand’s personality or voice, even when creating headlines.
Follow These Formatting Tips to Deliver The Final Blow
In general, the following are aspects of most well-constructed, effective headlines:
- It is concise.
- It contains active verbs.
- It combines some unfamiliar with routine words.
- Communicate the benefit of reading your content within the headline. Make it clear.
Ann Gynn offers another tip on creating headlines, “Revise headlines until they’re clear, concise & powerful for your intended content consumers.”
The information above will help you create some amazing headlines for your next newsletter, email or article. Of course, here at Writer Access, you have access to some amazing freelance writers who are well versed in completing this task for you. Contact us to learn more about how to team up with one of our outstanding professionals today.
Brandie P. has enjoyed freelance writing as a profession for almost a decade. She believes well written content can give any website or business an edge over their competitors. Therefore, she strives to maintain a level of professionalism in her work that will consistently elevate her clients and hopefully increase their revenue, reach and even reputation. She is happy to work with you today on your next project and especially values making long-term client/writer relationships.