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Are you stepping into content marketing and heard about headlines but aren’t quite sure what they are?

I’m sure you’ve come across various information on the topic, but haven’t found practical and in-depth advice, as most online resources only offer superficial tips without the support of real experts.

Don’t worry, you’re in the right place.

In this blog post, I’ll guide you through the world of headlines in content marketing.

You’ll discover not only what they are and why they’re crucial for your content’s success, but you’ll also get direct tips from the world’s top journalists on creating effective and persuasive titles.

Let’s get started!

Definition of a Headline

The headline is the title of a blog post, newspaper article, video, social media post, or advertisement.

From the early days of advertising to today’s social media posts, headlines have been one of the most crucial aspects of any advertising campaign.

One of the first things you learn in copywriting is this: if you could ONLY use the headline in an ad with a phone number, would people call you?

If the answer is yes, then the headline has been crafted correctly.

The purpose of the headline is to grab attention and convince the reader to read the rest of the text.

Essentially, it should answer these questions:

  • So what?
  • Who cares?
  • Why should I be interested?
  • What do I gain from this blog post/video/advertisement?
  • Why are you bothering me?

The role played by the headline in marketing is essentially the same as that of a newspaper article title or the title of a webpage content: to attract the recipient’s attention, summarizing the proposed theme.

Without a compelling headline that encourages reading, the rest of the words might as well not exist.

David Ogilvy, known as the “Father of Advertising,” considered the headline to be by far the most important element of a text.

His famous quote is as follows:

“On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

Above the Fold Attention

The headline holds extreme value in the world of promotion because it’s what strongly grabs the audience’s gaze.

Just think about what happens above the fold: most of the time is spent in the top part of a page, right where the headline is located.

Here’s an interesting chart for you:

Headline eyetracking fixations above the fold vs below
Headline eyetracking fixations above the fold vs below.
Source: Nielsen Norman Group.

This chart is from a study by Nielsen Norman Group, global leaders in user experience research.

In this study, user viewing time was distributed as follows:

  • Above the fold: 80.3%
  • Below the fold: 19.7%

So, as you can see, the headline accounts for about 80% of your content’s success.

To learn how to write an effective headline, read the blog post How to Write a Headline“.

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