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How to Get The Audience Attention You Need: Write Good Headlines

Writing creative headlines is how to get the audience attention you need to drive engagement, increase awareness and brand reputation.

By: Michael Brito

Category: Content

There are several articles and blog posts that talk about how to get audience attention. Some of the times it’s all about the creative or call to action. In other cases, it’s about message repetition and consistency in order to breakthrough audience attention span.

I think about this a little bit differently.

Consumers are inundated with media. Their attention is at a premium. They only want to consume the content that they find relevant at a very specific moment in time. There are several ways to get the audience’s attention. I say one of the best ways is how you write headlines.

Headlines aren’t always the title of an article, blog post, or press release. When I think about a headline, I think about any and all words that will capture audience attention. And those words can be anything and anywhere.

How to Get The Audience Attention You Need

Yes, article headlines are probably the most obvious. But most people don’t know that when an article is shared on social media, the headline then becomes the post copy. I personally have a tendency of writing longer headlines than I should. The reason why I do this is because I want to be as descriptive as possible leveraging smart keywords and phrases. I call these “audience attention grabbers”.

Writing good headlines is a key tenant for a B2B content strategy because it’s the payoff for whatever digital asset that is being posted with it. That digital asset could be a video, animation, or a still image with words on it. The thing to remember is that the digital asset is the “lead up” of the story. Meaning, when someone is scrolling through their feed, the first thing that they notice is the asset. You, as a brand marketer, are taking the user down a journey and leading them into a story. If the creative is compelling enough, the user will then read the post copy. I called this the “pay off.”

It is very challenging to tell a story using one image or digital asset and a few lines of text. Good marketers who understand how to get the audience attention, learn how to do this and do it well.

When I refer to headlines, I am also talking about title slides in a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation. I follow the same logic as above. I write headlines so that if the presentation is sent to someone that didn’t hear me present it, they can read the slides–which is a combination of titles, text and copy–and understand the journey that I want to take them through. This is how to capture audience attention during presentation meetings.

So the next time someone asks you “how to get the audience attention that you deserve”, my response would be to think in headlines. Everything you do, and everything you say as a marketer should be done in a way that is descriptive, concise, and tells a compelling story. You also need to ask yourself, “What are the analytical skills that I need to learn in order to do my job more effectively?”

Audience attention is at a premium. What are you doing gain audience attention when you are creating content and telling your brand story online? Are you investing in data driven storytelling?

Here are 5 key takeaways that will shape how you get audience attention:

  • Write clear, concise and descriptive headlines. Write them for people first. Google second.
  • Do your research and incorporate the keywords and phrases that you want to rank for in Google.
  • Remember, the headline in many cases is the payoff. This means that the creative should be the lead up to the story. The combination of creative and copy should tell a story.
  • Use social analytics to understand the keywords and phrases that audiences are talking about. Use these keywords and phrases in your headlines.
  • And remember, influencer marketing is great, but don’t make the mistake of partnering with the wrong ones, which would result in negative celebrity influence.

For videos about content, storytelling and the role of social media, please subscribe to my YouTube channel. I have over 100+ videos where I deep dive into all of these topics and provide actionable insights.

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