If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a great headline is everything in your ad copy. In fact, there is nothing more important in any social media ad than putting the right spin on the headline, using the right words and creating the right feeling among the audience.
Writers, journalists and bloggers all agree that the headline or title is usually the hardest part to write and they usually leave it until the end, after writing the entire article body. The reason for this is that you may find the right combination of words for a title as you keep writing, or you could use a meaningful quote from the article itself.
When it comes to ad headlines, they have an all-important role: they need to draw attention, create interest and stimulate the desire to click on the ad and follow through with the call to action. All these have to be achieved in just a few words. Social media platforms regularly limit the number of characters of for ad headlines and body. But even if they did not, you will never keep people reading beyond the first 4 or 5 words.
So, what makes a great, clickable headline? We have looked at a collection of highly effective ads and identified the following common elements they display:
- Use a Defining Keyword
Search engine optimisation is no longer limited to websites – now it includes social media content, including ads. There is a great chance that your ad post will show up on Google search results if you include the right keyword. But this is not the only reason for including a strong and clear keyword in your ad headline.
When people follow various pages and express their interests in different products and services, these interests are added to their social media profile as keywords. When you are targeting ads, matching the content with the keywords included in your prospects’ list of interests will ensure that your ads are shown to the right people.
- Ask a Question
Questions make great headlines for books, articles and ads alike. Just remember iconic titles such as “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” or “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”
A great question headline is short, on point and elicits people’s curiosity. Think of their greatest pain points and ask a question which makes them envision the possibility of an answer.
- Include Numbers
Numbers are great for ad headlines…if you use them right and if you pick the right numbers. For example, statistical data is great – “80% of young parents struggle with this” – as well as large, significant numbers – “over 1 million units sold” – and discount percentages – “50% off with this special offer”. You can also include the price of the product in the headline, if it is an attractive one (this works best for prices under AUD 500).
- Include a Benefit
A great way of introducing your ad is by including one of the top benefits of the product in the headline. This type of ad will immediately catch the attention of people who seek that exact type of benefit in a product and will encourage them to click the ad and find out more about the product. The key to completing a sale is to match the benefits promised in the ad headline with the ones on your website, in the product description.
- Incite Curiosity
Curiosity is one of the strongest human emotions. It makes people go forward and explore possibilities, seek answers and satisfy their need to know and learn more. You can play on human curiosity by including a teaser in your headline, making reference to the contents of your offer, promised benefits and expected results. This type of headline works best for informational products (eBooks, tutorials, diet/fitness/wellbeing programs, coaching courses, etc.).