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On this subject, here is an article about the 3 Secrets of Top Copywriters That Can Transform Your Content Marketing: The average human attention span fell to 8 seconds in 2015. Our struggle with mindful reading is a consequence of the digitized world we live in. Though smartphones and the internet have made our lives easier, they’ve also made us a little bit more impatient and restless. The information explosion has empowered us with choice, while simultaneously overwhelming us with so much of it that we’ve started to prefer images, videos and infographics over textual content.
All this is a hard pill to swallow for content writers everywhere. It is a warning that unless we step up the quality of our blog and social media content, we will fail to engage our audience and amass a loyal readership. During times like these, a back to basics approach can be heartening : quite possibly, in our effort to stick religiously to our content calendar and manage everything else that goes with being a content writer, we may be committing heinous errors that go against the principles of good writing and fly in the face of copywriting best practices. And who better than Ogilvy, Burnett and Powers to disclose the three secrets that can make our content significantly less uninspiring and facilitate a rewarding read for our audience.
The Headline is the Vital Hook
When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar – David Ogilvy
Know what you’re selling and who you’re selling to
Ogilvy famously created hundreds of headline drafts before finalizing that one spectacular title that did what he promised his clients (see a famous example). No doubt he was a talented wordsmith, but he took time to understand everything about the product he was selling. Time-poor content writers cannot afford to create 10 drafts, let alone a hundred. But if we have a thorough idea of what we’re selling, its value to the target audience, and the pain-points or aspirations of this audience, we will be setting the foundation for a compelling headline.
Be specific and creative
A punchy headline is a great motivation to click. Except when it’s a clickbait article, which is ill-advised. For SEO’s sake, you may want your headline to be relevant to your story’s content. Still, you can get specific and creative with the phrasing to capture attention and indicate that you have exactly what your target readers wish to know.
As an example, let us consider the headline of this post. It promises secrets, so you have the chance to get in on something not known to many. It specifies exactly three secrets, so you know what’s in it for you. It promises to transform your content marketing, raising your expectations and making you wonder if you may miss out on good advice.
If the headline had read “Copywriting tips for Content Marketers” or “Three Best Practices of Copywriting” or “How to Write Great Copy”, they would be less motivating to the reader. Even if you got a bit cryptic with the headline, say “The Best Advice Content Marketers Will Ever Get on Copywriting”, it would be a lot more intriguing than generic titles.
Experiment with negative headlines
Some readers tend to be wary of positive superlatives such as ‘best’ or ‘most’, and gravitate more towards words with a negative bias, such as ‘worst’ or ‘never’. The positives may seem like endorsements or simply cliché, while the negatives may make us wonder if there’s something we’re doing wrong or somehow seek to confirm what we already know we’re doing wrong. The example below makes use of negative subheads that have a good chance of appealing to people struggling to change their lives.
Pick the Best Topics and Ideas for Your Blog
We want consumers to say, ‘That’s a hell of a product’ instead of, ‘That’s a hell of an ad.’ – Leo Burnett
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