Got writer's block? Hey, we’ve all been there. Banging your head against the wall won’t help (trust us, we’ve tried… ). Copywriting should be fun, especially when you’re creating for a brand that you’re excited about and for an audience who’s truly engaged.
Why Are Effective Headlines So Important?
- Gives the audience a good idea about the content in the article
- Is the first (possibly last) thing people see about the article
- Is one of the few elements visible on social sharing websites
- Is the best opportunity to market the article
When people are going through their news feed, they’re in “discovery mode.” When people are in discovery mode, you’re able to drive impact. A good headline will be able to grab the reader's attention and lure them into reading the article. You want to maximize associations between your brand and your message.
We put together our top tips and tricks for creating the most effective headlines and thumbnails. Find out how to easily write great headlines and elevate your brand's voice!
Uncover the most interesting "nugget" within the content and choose a single interesting focus:
- Is there a celebrity?
- Something unique?
- Newsworthy information?
Telegraph the emotion of the content to the headline.
- Readers will be drawn to copy that they can relate to from previous emotional experiences. What will make them happy, joyful, sad, or inspired?
Write headlines under at least 3 of the 7 category types
- Heartwarming: Explain why this content will make them feel good
e.g. The Beautiful Tale About How This 12-Year Old Survived Unfortunate Mishaps Will Amaze You
- Question: Turn the point of the creative into a question
e.g. How Did Steve Jobs Impact The Tech Industry?
- Jaw-Dropping: Blow them away with huge language and ideas
e.g. The Enormous Impact SpaceX Has On The Aerospace Industry
- Inspiring: Tell an inspiring story with the headline
e.g. These Apps Will Change The Way You Use Modern Technology
- Innovative: Talk about how new products/features represent the future of a category
e.g. Your First Electric Car Could Help The Environment With These Amazing Benefits
- Informative: Tell the audience what they are going to learn
e.g. Learn These Surprising Benefits From Using Coconut Oil
- Listicles: Numbers provide readers the ability to quickly gauge the time commitment needed to digest the content
e.g. 5 Things You Didn't Know About Chia Seeds
Headlines are the new tagline - longer headlines usually outperform shorter versions
- Users are highly engaged with the longer headlines as they tell more of a story, which builds a curiosity gap
- Shorter headlines can appear as titles vs. headlines. Building context through longer headlines increases the reader’s attention.
Test multiple headlines per content piece
- Auto-optimization technology tests and compares thumbnail and copy variables against each other and runs the highest performing combination. This technology powers significant lifts in Engagement Rate.
- Test different headline variables, for example:
- Branded vs. Non Branded
- Use numbers included with the content - sometimes you can manufacture your own listicle/time stamp
- Question vs. Statement
- Other Headline Categories: Informative, Inspiring, etc.
- Headline lengths: Long, medium, short
Now that you’ve mastered the craft of native ad creation, here are a few headline types that you should avoid.
These are blatantly tacky and deceptive headlines. No one wants to feel like a fool!
- I was blown away by how easy it was to lose 10lbs in just 3 days! Click here to find out more!
- Easily win $10,000 in only 1 minute! Click here to become a winner now!
- FREE SAMPLES! YOU'RE ONE CLICK AWAY!
Titles are OK on YouTube, but not for the rest of the web!
- Where are you going? (Acoustic)
- LeBron James in RE-ESTABLISHED 2014 - Powerbeats2 Wireless | Beats by Dre
- The National Basketball Association
Avoid Excessive Brand Usage
Be subtle and you'll be sure to grab your reader's attention.
- XYZ brand has amazing XYZ products that are only sold by XYZ on the XYZ network.
Thumbnail Image Tips
Tip 1: Use faces to activate emotional response
- Facial expressions are emotionally contagious and close-up images can boost emotional engagement.
Tip 2: Use familiar images to trigger memory
- Including familiar brand assets, like the celebrity in your current TV commercial, can trigger memories and strengthen the ties you want to create between your brand and its benefits.
Tip 3: Use colors
- Vibrant colors pop within the feed, whereas monochrome images may drown amongst the other competing content pieces
Headlines are an important aspect of an article. It is the first thing readers see and it will either compel them to click through or continue scrolling through their feed. There are several ways to market your content and several examples of great headlines are listed above.
Now that you've developed the craft of writing captivating headlines, please check the next article on how to optimize your campaign to the best performing content.