Headline Engines for Creatively Exhausted Content Marketers
Aug 23, 2012
There is a long-followed metaphoric pattern that unimaginative content makers use to easily create their headlines and make them more appealing. The pattern is simple and effective in grabbing the attention of casual and undiscerning readers. And never mind whether or not these headlines are able to draw an insightful or valuable connection. That doesn’t matter. Trust me.
You see it everyday on Twitter and in marketing blogs. I must see it at least twice a day. It looks like this:
– What ________________ has taught me about __________________.
– What _____________ can teach you about ____________________.
– How _________________ is like _______________________.
The pattern’s effectiveness is based on both the outrageousness and the dissimilarity of the paired items. The more dissimilar and/or outrageous the metaphor’s pairing, the more effective the headline will be at hooking the reader. And that is all that counts.
Here are a few excessively hyperbolic examples I have come up with to over-illustrate this incredibly effective phenomenon.
– What surgical earwax removal can teach you about content marketing.
– What Olympic cameltoe can teach you about SEO analytics.
– What Snookie’s scalp lesions can teach you about social media marketing.
– How resurfacing your deck can help you understand Twitter hash tags.
– What 9th Century Viking intimacy taught me about word of mouth advertising.
– What desalinating anestrous mares can teach you about automated marketing.
So now you know the pattern. Just remember these rules when you give it a try:
– This is about the headline only so don’t worry about your metaphor’s role in the body copy.
– Make your pairing outrageous and even controversial. Don’t be shy!
– Make sure you pack in the most highly relevant keywords like “social media” and “content.”
– Counterintuitively, your pairings don’t need to have anything to do with one another. At all.
Good luck snagging those readers with those outrageous headlines. I know you can do it!