Tag : headline writing

M3 Publishing >
2May
content marketing humans robotsContent: Are You Writing for Humans or Robots?

Content: Are You Writing for Humans or Robots?

Do you consider this a strange question?  It is not really, if you understand how the internet works.

When writing content, it is vital that you communicate with ‘people’ rather than ‘search engines’.

Over the last decade or so, Google has steadily been improving the way they respond to and, in turn, value well-written, natural content

We have come a long way from heavily-keyworded content, that did not make any sense whatsoever. These articles were written, in many cases, to accommodate the requests of the search engines.

We can still spot content that has been written “for SEO purposes” but they are sometimes uninspiring.

Grammatically, they may be well written, and contain the relevant keywords and phrases that will attract the search engines. But from a customer’s perspective, they are as dull as dishwater.

Who cares? you may ask. Well as website owners, we all should…

How Valuable is Engaging Content?

Next to unique & relevant content, Google also measures your website’s ‘popularity’.

We recently spoke to a business that was paying an agency for over 20 articles each month, to be published on their website.

On the face of it, this is partly what the search engines wanted to see. But when we looked at how many of these articles were actually being viewed and shared, the results were very disappointing.

From a count of say 50 articles, only half a dozen of them had actually been shared on social media and none of them more than twice.

When you realise that one of Google’s methods of measuring the popularity or ‘value’ of a website is in the number of times others share their content, this is a content strategy that is having a negative influence on their rankings.

Again, the content was informatively written, and served its SEO purpose but, frankly, it was dull.

So, if you are going to get your content written by others, ensure that they aim it at humans and not just at the internet spiders.

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15Apr
headlinesHow Can Intriguing Headlines Help Your Stories Connect?

How Can Intriguing Headlines Help Your Stories Connect?

At our recent M3 Connections event, jointly hosted with RBS (Future Williams and Glyn), over 50 business leaders and directors discovered the real value of headlines. This invitation-only gathering, in Central Manchester, gave me the opportunity to talk about how to attract interest, through headlines that intrigue.

I spoke about how to engage an audience’s attention by using headlines that spark interest. I also explained the importance of headlines and how they are the key to engaging with an audience by attracting or even provoking them.

The object is to make readers want to read more. Treat them as people and not as prospects.  Give them something to think about, and don’t simply talk at them with facts.

Andrew Thorp, of MojoLife, fully complemented my talk with his follow-up session about the power and potency of storytelling. Andrew focused on how well-constructed stories can give an audience a sense of emotional investment in a particular subject or topic.

Everyone in this room is in the influencing business
Andrew Thorp, MojoLife

Andrew advised that turning dry case studies into stories with human interest was a valuable way of attracting and retaining people’s attention.

The talks were followed by a group workshop session where attendees shared stories, learned about shaping them to make them more dramatic; and then came up with dynamic headlines for them. This was a very practical way of putting the things, that Andrew and I had talked about, into practice.

RBS Relationship Director, Steve Taylor, commented on how the M3 Connections events have real value for making business connections. “These events combine valuable insights with supportive connecting and a proper exchange of views that can really spark inspiration for all involved”.

David Lomas
CEO, M3 Media Publishing

 

If you are director or business leader based in Manchester or the North West and would like to make quality connections at a future event, please call M3 Media Publishing on 08450 519374.

Alternatively, fill in your details below and one of the M3 team will get in touch with you.

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20Mar
How engaging are your headlinesHow Important are Headlines?

How Important are Headlines?

Headlines are really the most important part of your article writing.  It is the first thing that can grab the attention of your reader or web visitor.

Your headlines, in effect, are your first real point of connection with your prospective customer, so you need to get them right.

Your headline is important to your reader as it is a great indicator of your true ‘behaviour’.  It should NOT try and sell to your reader, but should draw them towards wanting to continue reading the rest of your article.  Don’t try and say too much in your article – make one point and do it well!

Using a ‘question’ in your headline is the most effective way of doing this.  This is also something that the search engines like – especially when the rest of your article contains the answer!

A question, if written well, should be able to attract, intrigue or even to gently provoke your readers to want to read more.  Using more ‘interesting’ verbs will help you do this.

Here is a quick example of how we would aim to attract architects to an article about the benefits of using design software.  In this case, we use two powerful verbs – inspire and achieve.

New Software Inspires Architect to Achieve Top Award

The headline is not only intriguing, but it also alludes to the success or ‘legacy’ within the story.

Writing Headlines – Keep It Simple

There are different elements within any headline that readers will ‘connect’ with.  You can’t squeeze all of them in at once, otherwise you could actually lose the impact you are wanting to create.

Some people suggest headlines should contain no more than seven words, but we have had equal success with longer titles. We would, however, suggest you keep them as simple and ‘to the point’ as possible.

Here are some simple guidelines:-

  • Ensure the message in your headline is clear and ‘to the point’
  • Your headlines should highlight the ‘benefit’ to your reader of reading your article
  • Get your headlines to ‘resonate’ with your reader by showing that you understand their pains or particular business issues

 

 

For help with creating powerful and attractive headlines for your chosen target audience, please call us on 08450 519 374.  Alternatively, fill in your details below and one of our team will contact you.

Good Luck!

David Lomas, CEO
M3 Media Publishing

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