Headlines are much like the mannequin in a retail store’s window—it’s the first impression we have of “what’s inside” and helps us determine if we want to shop or not.
And guess what? Headlines are not just used for newspapers and magazines; they are used in the PR world on a daily basis.
Think about it…
Media pitches, e-newsletters, website content, and major social media channels like Facebook and Twitter all use headlines to engage the intended target audience. In a world where we know content is king, it’s hard to cut through the clutter and make information be seen and relevant to the intended audience.
If done correctly, these types of channels of communication use real-time headlines to inform us about announcements or news from our favorite brands.
It’s from engaging, effective headlines that we seek and learn more information about… let’s say skincare tips from Lauren Conrad or how Dunkin’ Donuts will have its own #RoyalMunchkin coming to the U.S. soon in celebration of the royal baby. (Brilliant, right?)
That said, here are some tips to keep in mind when writing headlines:
- Pull key words from the provided content into the headline—By doing so, this tells readers why the provided content is important to them. You want individuals to know you are giving them useful, valuable information.
- Use headlines like bait—Headlines are often the deciding factor that determines if you will continue to read the provided content or not, so it is especially important to reel audiences in with a creative, straight-to-the-point headline to build interest. Tease them with quick tips, sneak peeks, special announcements, etc.
- Keep it simple—Eliminate extra baggage words that you can do without in a headline while still getting your point across. We know individuals’ attention spans are shorter than ever, so the shorter and more concise you can be with headlines, the better.
When in doubt, ask yourself this: Is this headline going to turn my audience into shoppers or window shoppers?