Crafting Engaging Headlines: Tips for Keeping Your Audience Reading
As marketers, we understand the importance of crafting engaging headlines that captivate our audience. However, as David Ogilvy once noted, “Eight out of 10 people will read a headline, but only 2 out of 10 will keep reading.” This statement still rings true today, even in the digital age. Fortunately, modern psychology has provided us with valuable insights into how we can create effective headlines that keep our readers engaged.
In this beginner’s guide, we will provide you with tips to create captivating headlines that capture your audience’s attention and keep them reading. By employing these tactics, you can beat clickbaiters at their own game and deliver valuable content to your audience.
Tip #1: The Power of Personalization
Personalization is key to crafting highly-clickable titles. By using “you” or “your” in your headlines and directly referring to your target market, you make it clear that your content is tailored to their interests. This increases the chances that your audience will keep reading, especially once they realize that the content matches their interests. Remember, personalization matters and you should be writing for your audience, not for yourself.
Tip #2: Make it Rare and Urgent
Our inherent biological and cultural “scarcity mindset” is hard-wired into us, leading to an urge to click on anything that tells us “we have only X time remaining until Y is no longer available.” Such titles create a sense of urgency and imply a promise of specialness that appeals to our self-interest.
Tip #3: Surprise!
Surprise is a powerful emotion that captures our attention. By breaking patterns or presenting your content in an unexpected way, you can surprise your audience and engage them further. However, it’s crucial not to misrepresent your content, or you’ll cross the line between creating engaging titles and being pure clickbait.
Tip #4: Once More, with Emotion
Emotions are what make us truly human. They engage us and make us feel excited, happy, angry, or sad. Different emotions can lead to different outcomes, and it’s essential to choose the right emotion that aligns with your brand image. Remember, it’s crucial not to anger, disappoint, or sadden your audience, as this could harm your brand’s reputation.
Tip #5: Add Gaps to Your Information
According to Russell Golman and George Lowenstein’s Information Gap theory, when there’s a gap between what we know and what we desire to know, we experience a strong emotional response. By selectively withholding information, you can create a sense of mystery that entices your audience to click and read on.
Tip #6: Offer Value, Lists, and a Sense of Control
In today’s chaotic world, people value information that helps them make sense of things. Lists and how-to articles are two effective ways to provide value to your audience. Make sure to mention the number of points in your list article, and start your how-to article with “How to…” to give a clear sense of structure and control.
In conclusion, crafting engaging headlines is a crucial skill for any marketer. By using the tactics mentioned above, you can create headlines that capture your audience’s attention and keep them reading. Remember, it’s essential to focus on your audience’s needs and desires, while still delivering valuable content that aligns with your brand’s image.