In content marketing, we spend so much time and effort deciding on the perfect headline. We want you to click it, but we don’t want to be click-baity. We want to promote our product, but we don’t want to be salesy. They’re sometimes the most important: on average, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will read your entire piece.
The problem is, the more headlines you write, the more difficult it is to be original. And the longer you work in content marketing, the easier it is to see what a headline is actually saying.
So be honest: are you guilty of any of these?
1. The Stroking The Ego Headline
Sure, we love interviewing thought leaders for their knowledge — they are thought leaders for a reason. But it doesn’t hurt to have an extra social community of 100K quality Twitter followers…
2. The Click-Bait Email Subject Line
You might not get exactly what you think you’re getting, but it’s provocative. It gets the people going!
And… increases our click-through rates.
3. The Ultimate Guide Headline
The “Ultimate Guide” is the new “For Dummies” for marketers. We use this because a) our resource is so comprehensive and amazing that it actually is the ultimate guide to [insert marketing topic here] or… b) this might have been the best we could think up.
4. The “I’ll Scratch Your Back, If You’ll Scratch Mine” Headline
We’re not lying — you should attend these conferences in the fall. Especially because their PR people told us to.
5. The Listicle Headline
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a listicle — we even did a study where numbers in headlines performed better.
But come on (we’re all friends here): we’re just putting together a bunch of things we found off the Internet. And it’s just a tiny bit better than your competitor’s “34 Stats About Content Marketing.”
6. The Stroke-The-Ego + Get-Content-From-Smarter-People-To-Give-Us-More-Authority Headline
All content marketers have done this at one point: contact every single influencer (at least, the ones they can get emails for), wait patiently for replies (crossing fingers), and get lucky to have enough content and quotes to fill an entire blog post.
7. The Talking-About-Your-Product-Without-Talking-About-Your-Product Headline
Can you tell until you scroll down and see a “Request a Demo” button at the bottom?