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We are all headline writers now; here’s where they matter most

By , on June 16, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Who knew that in 2015 all marketing professionals would maintain a steady alternate career as headline writers?  

That is, if you do social media or content marketing as part of your job, you spend a lot of time thinking about headlines — for your blog posts, your social updates, your image titles. And you’re very aware that headline matter in attracting the interest of your audience and that if you want to earn attention, you need to focus on creating appealing headlines. 

So we all know that headlines matter. The question is, how much? 

Some new research from Reuters sheds some light on the power of headlines: 

It turns out that while headlines are certainly influential in capturing social clicks, they’re even more influential when it comes to earning clicks on search engine results pages:

Overall, we find that the key driver in search is the relevance of the headline. The brand tends to be less important, as does the author of a piece or a social recommendation within the search results. By contrast, in social media the headline is less important than a recommendation by trusted brand or someone you know. This may be because in search we tend to be looking for very specific information – whereas default behaviour in a social network is to browse a complex multi-subject news feed. Users will be more receptive to signals around quality and trust to help them make that choice. 

That is, headlines matter all over, but in social media, the source matters the most. On a search results page? Headline is king, and source doesn’t factor as prominently.

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Categories: Industry News