In the world of copywriting, headlines can make it or break it when it comes to content production. Just think of the amount of information you see when scrolling through social media and google searches. What kinds of articles catch your attention and make you click on the links?
Headlines serve 3 key roles:
- Communicating the value of the content you?re offering
- Getting the readers? attention
- Convincing them to take action
If you are a copywriter or simply working on a piece of content for your blog, you can follow a few specific rules to help your potential reader to click ?read more?. The simplest way to do that is follow?a few rules that are generally true for ‘effective’ headlines.?
1. It names the benefit of reading the content
Numbers, secrets, strategies, and tricks. Example headlines can be ?5 steps to success? or ?A secret method to increase your revenue?
2. It names the prospect and selects the reader audience.
Beginners, marketers, doctors, YOU. A lot of brands make the mistake of talking about themselves – ?We published??, ?We launched??. Instead, try reversing the sentence to talk about the target audience. ?Read about the launch?, ?Download a guide for your success??.
3. It uses vivid language.
Strong verbs, bright vocabulary choices. It paints a picture to an audience. Take out your thesaurus and start using verbs like ?dreamy?, ?exceptional?, ?innovative?, ?never seen before?.
4. It elicits emotion.
An emotion-filled headline can make readers feel scared (?Don?t miss this opportunity!?, inspired (?Become a better self?), and determined (?Get started now?).
Below are some example headlines that feature 2 or more of these components:
?Don?t miss out on these killer offers!?? includes all 4 components: the benefit is an offer, the prospect is YOU, vivid language is the word ?killer? and the intended emotion is scared to miss the offer or slightly rushed to check out the email)
“The Beginners guide to retargeting campaigns? features 2 of the 4 components and still works! 1) it names the benefit – you get to learn about retargeting campaigns and solve the issue of not knowing how to build one and 2) it names the prospect – a beginner at retargeting campaigns. . Even though this headline doesn?t elicit emotion or use vivid language, it still informs the user of the value of the content and identifies who should be reading it.
Now that you learned about the 4 components of amazing headlines, we challenge you to revisit and evaluate your headlines on social media, blog posts, and website copy and see how they can be improved. Share what you end up with in the comments!
We’re thrilled to work with clients like Impraise who are striving to make workplaces happier and healthier. More about Impraise: While agility and flexibility have long been valued as business strategy, they?re an afterthought when it comes to developing our most valuable asset ? people.…
Measuring PR is one of those age old questions. Many agencies will refuse to try, others will claim they can give you detailed metrics. The truth is, you guessed it: somewhere between those two options. One of the biggest challenges in measuring PR is that media outlets, in part, stay competitive by refusing to provide detailed reports of how your pieces performed. That said, there are secondary indicators you can look at — they aren?t perfect, but they get you started somewhere.
Here?s how we recommend measuring PR impact, and a few benchmarks you can actually rely on when monitoring your outcomes.
Understand why you want PR
Companies pursue PR for a variety of reasons and with specific goals in mind. This is why there is no ?one size fits all? approach to measuring the impact of your PR (and there certainly isn?t just one strategy). These are the top reasons that our clients choose to invest in PR:
- Brand awareness & share of voice
- Investment dollars
- Customer acquisition
- Executive leadership publicity
These goals are all different, so of course, each one requires a unique strategy. When our clients tell us that they are looking for user acquisition, for example, we stop pouring all our energy into landing Tier 1 features. Why? Although Tier 1 coverage is always exciting, we know that it doesn?t result in enough new customer conversions for the time spent (in most cases). In these situations, we actually steer clients in other directions — like niche blogs and publications where their ideal customer is spending time.
PR is an investment in your brand and your credibility — business growth outcomes like increased traffic and customer engagement can be supported through PR tactics, but we actually don?t recommend PR as tactic #1 in many of these cases.
The PR Scorecard
Once you?ve established the main motivation behind your PR investment, we recommend creating your own scorecard that captures exactly what you want to see come from your PR investment. As previously mentioned, there are only a few key PR outcomes that you should be focused on. The table below provides some realistic KPIs associated with each category.
|Increase brand awareness||Website traffic, inbound links, media mentions, new website visitors, referral traffic, blog/newsletter subscribers, domain authority.|
|Increase market share||Pre- and post campaign survey of brand awareness, number or leads generated, share of voice.|
|Improved customer engagement/loyalty||Engagement on social media, tone and sentiment of mentions, brand preference over the competition, customer referrals or reviews.|
Once you?ve honed in on the category that is most meaningful for your business right now, you can develop your own scorecard for PR measurement. If you’re working with an external PR person or firm, having a solid grasp on these pieces will ensure that you get more out of your engagement.
Sample PR Measurement Approach
Most of our clients just want to see a certain amount of media activity and then watch their own metrics. We?re happy to work with people on creating their own model or a mixture of a few different approaches. Since we?ve worked with a lot of startups, we know that proving the investment upfront is a big deal, especially for tight budgets.
The McMedia Index is one popular approach for measurement. Here?s how it works:
- Outlet: How relevant are the outlets to their audience? Rated on a scale from one to three.
- Visibility: What is the potential reach of each outlet? Rated above average to below average.
- Story type: What is the tone and content of the coverage? The article may highlight an emotional benefit (three), rational benefit (two) or just mention the product/brand (one).
Another method, adopted by Echosign, appeals to many startup clients in particular:
We developed an almost Fibonacci-esque scale for all PR hits, from 1-15. TechCrunch, WSJ, NYT were a 15. A ?1? was a blog written by someone decent but with little traffic. Then our VP of Marketing would assign targets in between these two extremes. We?d take a multiplier x1 is Echosign was prominently mentioned in the piece. We?d add a x3 if the article was solely about Echosign. All press/PR hits were worth a rating of 1 to 45.
What we would add to this approach would then come in the form of secondary tracking. Depending on your own scorecard, keep a list of your outcomes that can be observed through site traffic, social engagement, new leads, app downloads, etc.
When you know, you know
Lastly, try to keep in mind that even when PR can be tough to measure with specific data points, there is a strong abstract value that can be observed when a huge win is secured. Recently, one of our clients was featured in a Tier 1 publication. In a very simple / quick look at Google Analytics, we could plainly see the impact of that hit on site traffic by isolating the date range around the published article (see below). Even though this client wasn?t leaning on a specific scorecard, the impact on the brand itself was evident — and they may be seeing results from that one feature for years to come.
As always, we recommend taking a close look at your own goals for PR ahead of time, and then engaging with a professional team. If you have any questions about PR measurement, get in touch with us — we?d love to help.
At Cove, we’re lucky in that we get to work with clients who are building awesome products for their customers. Metricstory is the perfect example. Their product mines through your Google Analytics data and cuts out the noise to give Fortune 500 companies a clear…
This week’s resources include?Mark Suster’s commentary on some of the silent (but major) benefits of PR, conducting a competitive analysis for your content marketing, creating great content that keeps earning back-links long after it’s published, & more. How Startups can Build Long-lasting Media Relations: 10…
Startup Angels is on a mission to create more angel investors around the world. The team believes that great investors can come from anywhere, not just Silicon Valley — and equipping investors in their own backyards helps local economies thrive. Their workshops and events support investor education and their newly-launched marketplace product aims to democratize investing and make investing opportunities readily available. Below is a shortlist of coverage from our work with their team, ranging from thought leadership topics to event-related news.
VC funding is abundant in Silicon Valley and a few tech hotspots, while throughout the nation entrepreneurial energy withers for lack of capital.
These investor behaviors can permanently damage their startups.
Keep these seven differences in mind before targeting and pitching investors.
The main difference between angels and VCs comes down to motivations.
As American relations with Cuba continue to improve,?Startup Angels?sought to answer some of the questions that tech entrepreneurs and startup investors have about the country.
Aminta Ventures, a new South Florida organization aimed at educating and supporting aspiring women investors, wants to attack that gap ? at least locally. The big goal: a new wave of female angel investors that will ultimately help to shape a stronger, more diverse ecosystem.
Startup Angels say it can suppress investors and crowd the field, acting as disincentive.
Leslie Jump?is passionate about entrepreneurs, especially those in early stage. She?s worked with technology entrepreneurs, vetted them, and put her money into them.
In Dublin this week to attend the?Angel Summit?at Google?s Foundry, McClure isn?t your typical Silicon Valley venture capitalist.
Is it time to implement a PR strategy? Successful PR requires good timing and self-awareness from founders. For startups in particular, it can be difficult to assess if it?s time to start acting on a PR strategy or hire a specialist or firm. In most…