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Catching consumers’ attention is a goal for all brands, whatever the niche, and sharing blog articles is a great way to do that. Unless, of course, your headlines are hurting your credibility.

You’ll Never Believe How Much This Matters!

If you think a simple thing like a blog headline can’t impact brand health, think again. The way you approach catching consumers’ attention matters.

Sensationalistic headlines that don’t deliver are known as clickbait – and they won’t do your brand any favors. At worst, they lead to complete non-stories that offer zero value to the reader.

At best, these types of headlines exaggerate or outright lie to entice consumers to read the linked article – offering a twist explaining the lie within the full text.

But this presents a problem if the headline is believed and shared far and wide – which happens often. A recent study claims 59 percent of social users will share an article without actually reading it.

In this era of fake news, brands have a responsibility to avoid intentionally spreading falsehoods in the name of a few clicks. Plus, that reach doesn’t usually result in conversions, so you haven’t gained anything worthwhile.

At the same time, you may lose something super valuable: consumer trust. The 41 percent who do click through will never do so again if the article doesn’t fulfill the promise of the headline.

Why? Because when consumers follow a link in good faith, only to end at a spammy, ad-laden article that has nothing to do with the headline that encouraged their click, it tells them your brand doesn’t value their time – and isn’t worthy of their attention.

What Happens Next Is Super Scary!

Once consumer trust is broken, it can be challenging – if not impossible – to win back. Consumers want to be treated as if they matter to brands. They want brands to remember they have a choice – and can easily take their business elsewhere.

And that’s not an empty threat. Consumers now have nearly unlimited options beyond your brand. So everything you do should be about engendering their loyalty. Crying “wolf” with clickbaity or misleading headlines is just an invitation for your competitors to swoop in and take better care of them.

Unless you’re doing it ironically.

Well played, Papa John’s…

As for crafting headlines that matter – what’s the answer?

The #1 Way to Make Consumers Love You

Social listening is your best friend in all matters online, especially offering up relevant content to the people you want to do business with you.

Before you write or share anything you should know whether your audience even cares about that topic, and how much.

First you’ve got to learn about your audience – and what makes them tick. Everything they share on social is another clue. All you have to do is pay attention as they talk about their work, home lives, hobbies, pets, families, and favorites from food to books to TV shows.

But don’t stop there. Use sentiment analysis to find out which things they love the absolute most – or hate the absolute most. The key here is passion, as anything lukewarm is hardly worth commenting on or sharing. What gets your audience excited? Find out and offer that.

This is what Cuisinart did when they began research around a recent holiday campaign. Wanting to understand what consumers were looking for with regard to meal prep, they used sentiment analysis and uncovered a surprising demand for Labor Day barbecue recipes.

These insights led to three times the video views of prior campaigns, along with 30K impressions, and the identification of an entirely new audience segment.

Focus on value and you can’t go wrong

There are a lot of ways to approach headlines – and trends will come and go – but providing value is never the wrong answer. If your audience knows your brand always delivers, they’ll keep clicking. So make sure you use your social listening tools to give them exactly what they want.

Want to see our sentiment analysis tools in action? Reach out for a one-on-one demo! 

Image from Anthony Easton

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