Title your articles with “Headlines,” not “Labels.”
Why? Labels are less effective article titles than headlines at capturing readers’ limited attention and encouraging them to actually read your article.
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy,” said advertising legend David Ogilvy. “When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar.”
Labels simply categorize information. Headlines add meaning and motivation — they persuade, intrigue, seduce, and compel the reader to get the information and learn how it applies to them.
Here’s a label: 2014 Content Marketing Benchmarks
Converted to a headline: How do your content marketing efforts compare to others?
As part of AUMW’s ongoing effort to provide and disseminate useful, valuable information about Content Marketing, we publish reviews of articles that have stimulated our thinking.
This post reviews an article by Gavin McMahon on MarketingProfs.com: Wise Marketers Know Headlines Lick Labels.
And here’s a simple formula for creating an effective article title/headline:
- Write a few sentences summarizing what you’re trying to tell your audience.
- Now distill and condense them into one sentence that conveys your most important message.
- “Massage” your sentence until it’s “catchy” and memorable.
- When it feels like it “sells” the article, you have your headline.
With the tremendous pressure to write more and more “content”, titles often become after thoughts. But keep in mind that “Headlines” convince and inspire people to actually read your content – which is the purpose of all that content in the first place, right?