Hitting a Home Run With a Killer Headline
You’ve got a great product or service. Maybe it’s a webinar, an e-book or a software program. Whatever it is, you’ve spent a lot of time and money developing it and perfecting it. You’ve probably even invested in online marketing, trying to figure out the best way to get the word out there. You’ve probably already created a brand for yourself, whether you’re an individual author or the author of a company blog. And you’re starting to see results…
But is all that effort paying off? Are you seeing the results you’re hoping for? Not yet. That’s because when it comes to marketing products and services online, you’re struggling with a few fundamental issues.
The first issue (and the most fundamental one): your headline. What is the first thing a potential customer is trying to figure out when they come across your article or webinar?
If you’re lucky, they’ll scan your article or watch your webinar and get a brief snapshot of what you’ve posted. But often, to find out more, they’ll have to click on a headline or a subheading. If you want to hook them and keep them reading your content, give them a compelling reason to keep scrolling. That reason might be one of the following:
- An intriguing question that you answer in the article.
- An engaging personality that carries over into the content.
- A specific problem that you solve in the content.
- Insightful comments that add value.
- A fascinating fact that makes your content stand out.
- A call to action that encourages the viewer to do or buy something.
- Shiny object that someone might want to get their hands on.
- Humorous anecdote that makes your reader smile (or laugh).
Whatever it may be, you always want to ensure that your headline is fresh and compelling. If you’ve been using the same old boring press release headline that you always use, try experimenting with some of the headlines above. Do some A/B testing to figure out what draws more leads to conversion.
You want to ensure that your headline makes your article or event pop up in a reader’s head. You’ve probably already started to see results with some of these headlines. Try out some of the other popular headlines below and see which one performs the best.
The second issue (and the most critical one): your description.
Now that you’ve got people’s attention, you need to keep it. To do that, you need to reel them in with a seductive description of your product or service. You don’t want to give them a bunch of technical information about your product or service because…well, they are technical details. But you do want to give them enough information to make them say “Ahhhh.”
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about diet pills?
For many of us, the answer is that we immediately think about fat-burning pills that allow us to lose weight regardless of what we may eat. To make matters worse, diet pills are usually sold with a promise of quick results that fade or are broken by frequent changes in diet or exercise habits.
Now, replace diet pills with your product or service and you’ve got yourself a short story that better reflects the truth.
When someone clicks on a link to your site, blog or social media profile, what do they expect to see?
If you’re lucky, they’ll land on a page where they find exactly what they’re looking for. For example, maybe they’re interested in starting a small business just like yours but don’t have the time to waste looking for information or guidance on how to do it. In that case, they’ll find exactly what they need, with helpful, in-depth information about how to build a business that provides them with the income they need to support their family and lifestyle.
So, what do you want them to see? If you want them to learn something new, consider creating a blog post or making a short video to tell them about your special offer or upcoming event. These are all easy ways to generate traffic to your site without using advertising dollars.
Describe the problem you’re solving and how you’re solving it. For example, if you’re helping doctors diagnose patient’s conditions more accurately, list out some of the common medical problems that you’re helping them solve. You want to make sure that this is something that they’re searching for. If you want to help businesses save money, give some examples of how you’ve helped other businesses cut costs.
What do you hope that they will do after reading or watching your content? Perhaps they will want to purchase your product or service. Or maybe they’ll just want to know more about you and what you offer. In any case, you want to make sure that their decision to learn more about you is a positive one. So, create a call to action at the end of your blog post or video.
The third issue (and the most detailed one): your body copy.
People often use headlines and descriptions to hook readers, but it’s the body copy that holds up a whole page, blog post or video.
To get the most out of your article, blog post or video, you need to provide your readers with as much detail as possible. If you’ve ever tried to write a quick email to respond to a customer’s question, you’ll know that it’s not easy to write the perfect email when you haven’t written any in the past. The more you practice, the easier it gets. So, put some thought into your body copy and take the time to proofread, edit and re-write it until you reach perfection.
To make sure that you’re not plagiarizing, check the body copy of your work against major publications. Not only will this ensure that you’re not duplicating any content, but it will also give you the opportunity to practice writing in a polished manner.
The fourth issue (and the most strategic one): your choice of platform.
When you have a blog, you’re choosing to write on a website that can be accessed by the world at large. Your choice of platform (website) is therefore a form of indirect marketing. When you have a podcast, you’re choosing to publish your content (usually audio) to be accessed by the people in your audience and those that they may suggest should listen. Your choice of podcasting platform (usually a downloadable app) is therefore a form of indirect marketing.
Your goal is to grow traffic to your site. To do that, you need to consider the platforms on which you’ll be attracting potential customers. Once you have that traffic, you can then decide what platforms you’ll be using to promote your business.