Capture Attention with the Right Words

Written By : Clifford Blodgett

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As a financial advisor, you understand the importance of networking through referrals, and content marketing can be a powerful source for this. And yet, all the content production in the world won’t make a difference if no one reads your articles. Grabbing your audience’s attention may be key to a successful content marketing strategy.

announcement imageSo how do you get their attention?

Luckily, it only takes about five words – or four, or maybe seven. We’re talking about your headlines, which happen to be the most important part of any blog or video for two important reasons:

  • Your headlines entice your audience to click in and read your blogs
  • Your headlines are what people see when you share your posts on social media or through emails

Think about it: Your headline is your content’s introduction to your potential audience. They have the choice of either clicking the link to read your article, or disregarding it altogether. It’s an important moment, and the decision is made in a fraction of a second. The right headlines can earn you new readers, while the wrong headlines turn off your potential audience and drive them away.

So what type of headlines work in content marketing?

It’s important to remember two crucial rules:

One…  Content marketing is different from other forms of media production. The main publishing goal of many popular websites such as Upworthy or Buzzfeed is to gather as many readers as possible. These sites utilize curiosity-driven headlines which sound a lot like the front pages of grocery store tabloids. What they want is a high rate of click-throughs, because that’s what drives their advertising revenue. Those websites are not seeking a particular type of reader, and they certainly don’t care about forging a relationship.

Two…  With content marketing, the goal is to develop a relationship with your audience. The focus is not on quantity of readers, but on quality; you don’t simply want thousands of click-throughs to your blog. You would rather have a few hundred click-throughs from your intended audience – people who might actually become clients one day.

So here’s the bottom line:

What works for Upworthy may not work for you. Your intended audience may feel turned off by overly sensational, screaming headlines. They may even feel disappointed and betrayed when they give in to curiosity, and click through to find a rather straightforward article on retirement. More importantly, the people who do click through a curiosity-driven headline are probably not your intended audience. So you’re turning off your intended audience while gathering clicks from all the wrong people – not what we want in content marketing!

Don’t give away the ending of your story. Having said that, we certainly don’t want you to think curiosity has no place in content marketing. After all, the whole point is to attract people who have questions which you can answer. The key is to think of your blog posts as an unfolding story; no one would keep reading if they are given all the answers in the first paragraph. On the other hand, no one will read it at all if there’s no promise of a good ending – or in this case, useful information or an answer to a question.

Consider the difference between these two headlines:

You Won’t Believe These Retirement Secrets!!  


5 Things You Need to Know About Retirement

The first headline assaults the reader with a tabloid-like sales pitch. Not to mention, there probably isn’t anything so shocking about retirement that such a screaming headline is warranted. At best, you may garner a lot of click-throughs from the wrong people; at worst, your intended audience may feel betrayed when they discover your very believable “secrets”. The second headline provokes some curiosity, and creates an urge to read. Yet, it doesn’t over-sell the point and it doesn’t make promises it can’t keep.

If all of this sounds confusing, just remember the concept of balance. Yes, you want your audience – your intended audience, that is – to be curious enough to click through and read your articles. No, you do not want to go so overboard attempting to entice a large readership that you lose sight of your intended audience. On one end of the spectrum you have tacky headlines that attempt to over-sell the point, and on the other end you have boring headlines that no one wants to click. Remember to analyze your basic principles: Who is my audience and what does my audience need? Create your headlines with those questions in mind, and you’ve cleared the first big hurdle to content marketing success.


Filed under: Financial Advisor Marketing

Written By :

Clifford Blodgett is the Director of Digital Marketing and Demand Generation at Creative One. He is integral in financial advisor interactive communications strategies, website management, social media, content marketing , and overall demand generation.

has written 81 articles