Everyone wants content that grabs attention…and keeps it. Without that, your articles, blog posts, webpages, emails, social media posts, and more will never get the attention they deserve. There has been lots written about content that’s informative, relevant, scintillating…however, there isn’t much advice out there telling you how to make people stop in their tracks, settle down and start reading what you have to say.
That’s where getting noticed comes in. What happens in the first few seconds of your ideal customers’ interactions with your content will determine if they scroll, click…and fall in love with your brand.
Tips to Grab Attention for your Content
Really, this isn’t so much about writing content as it is about marketing that content. Because when we talk about content, we’re usually talking about the paragraphs that follow the heading and the opening lines. Remember this: readers will never encounter your “content” unless you give them reasons to stick.
Here are some tips for creating those reasons:
- Tease with your headline. Human curiosity is a largely untapped marketing gem, and it seems that only the best marketers are using it to make their content irresistible. Like a sexy lady who shows just enough leg to get the gentlemen interested, your headline should hint at what’s inside, without giving it all away. And then, of course, once they submit to temptation and click to read more, give it to them…and I mean really deliver.
- Create a provocative headline. What emotions are you ideally trying to provoke? What words or current events will bring that emotion exploding to the surface for your ideal readers? Use this in your headline. Make people so angry, amused, sad or stimulated that they’re utterly helpless to the click.
- Include numbers in your headline. Considering that one of the first things many readers do is scroll to the bottom of the content before reading it (to see what they’re getting themselves into), numbers in titles make sense. Potential readers see an endpoint, a metred dose of information, and are more likely to commit. Surprisingly, it seems that the number of points doesn’t make a big difference in read rates; however, we have found that the bigger the number, the more likely it is that the content will be shared.
- Utilise the occasional negative. I’ve talked before about how the brain cancels negatives, so if you read How to Make No Mistakes, your brain is going to remember Mistakes…which is not the intention. However, there is a time and place for negatives, and using them sparingly in headlines can raise your readers’ fears and cause them to click for relief. A good example is The Worst Mistakes in the Industry. Not only is the takeaway Mistakes, it’s accurate. This doesn’t sound like something your readers will want to skip over.
- Write a headline that shocks. What’s the last thing that your readers expect to encounter on your page? Then give them that in a headline. Your content must adhere to your brand guidelines; however, there’s no rule stating that your headline can’t make them say “Hmmm.” Whether it’s something contrary to what they define as truth or something that makes them gasp, the idea here is to make them click to answer the question “What’s up with this?”
- Directly target your intended reader with the headline. You’ve been told to write directly to your readers, using words like “you,” so they feel that the content was written specifically for them. This can apply to the headline, too. After all, why not start early by getting right in their faces, and using the headline to pinpoint who you’re talking to? The Five Things your Business Needs and The Ten Things you need for More Sales are examples.
- Pose a question in your headline. People are coming to you to have questions answered, and it becomes even more evident that you’re prepared to deliver on this with content when your headline is in the form of a question. This shouldn’t be just any question. It should challenge a status quo. It should complement a question your ideal customer has in his own head. It should be so intriguing that your readers will need to get the answer to the question with that click.
A great headline is something special. It entices, it predicts, it promises. Creating the types of headlines that get attention for your content is an art form of marketing mastery. Practice (and intense scrutiny of what works for your audience and what doesn’t) will prove essential to your long-term success in getting attention for your content.
If you’re ready for more marketing advice—and you’re specifically concerned with taking all the right steps, in the right order—then get your FREE Marketing Planning Wheel. You can print it out, tick off the boxes in order, and be on your way to marketing mastery for your brand.