Writing content title tips

Is Your Content’s Title Interesting Enough?

The role of your blog, eBook, whitepaper, or video’s title cannot be downplayed. If it doesn’t hook your audience, chances are they aren’t going to go any further with it.

In fact, you have only about five seconds or less to grab their attention and get them to read, watch, or listen. In other words, the title is your content’s chance to make a good first impression. This shows just how valuable titles are when it comes to attracting more eyes to your brand’s content. As such, it’s always wise to put ample attention to crafting good titles as part of your content marketing strategy. If you go for boring, mundane titles, fewer people will consume your content, no matter how good they are inside.

Optimising Titles for Search

Titles also have serious implications beyond attention. It’s usually a good move for the title to contain your focus keyword or keywords for improved search engine optimisation (SEO) results. Briefly defined, SEO is the practice of getting more online traffic from free, organic, and editorial search engine results. Putting the right keywords in the title could be the difference between your content appearing high on the first page and it being relegated to page 2 (and beyond) of search engine results.

Using keywords also informs your reader as to what the topic of the content is. If they don’t feel it’s relevant to them, they’ll probably just ignore it. But don’t just stick keywords inside the title without thought; it should look and feel natural and not forced for the sake of increasing hits.

Using keywords specific to an industry or product can help improve search engine results as well. Doing so lets a reader know immediately if it’s relevant to their needs. This is especially important for businesses in niche markets since they need to make their content stand out as well as be relevant to their target audience.

In terms of title-building, if you want to make it more interesting (thus, increasing your content’s chances of being read), here are a few things you must take note of:

Use Curiosity

Curiosity is a great way to grab attention and to set up the specific and valuable information you’re going to share through your content. One way to use curiosity is to go with words such as ‘who’ and ‘why’; these are terms often used in questions and you using them gives the impression that you’re going to provide answers. In fact, headlines which contained the word ‘who’ actually generated a 22% higher click-through rate (CTR) than headlines without it.

Aside from using specific words, you can use phrasing techniques to pique your audience’s curiosity. Phrases like ‘how to’ and ‘tips on’ set up a ‘promise’ to the reader that they’ll learn about something if they read, listen to, or view your content.

Keep it Short

Brevity is typically a good rule to follow in building your headlines. If they are too long, they’ll be cut off when posted on social media, which will confuse your target audience. Studies on CTRs indicate that eight words is the optimal length for creating a title. With only a few seconds to gain a reader’s interest, it’s better to be more to the point rather than add fluff words. Titles shouldn’t be wordy; they should be concise and tied to the key message of the content.

Use Punctuations

Punctuations can also impact your title’s click-ability. Using them can make a title more interesting, engaging, or even elicit a bit of controversy and mystery. Posts with a colon (:), hyphen (-), or a dash (—) actually received 9% more clicks compared to those without punctuations. Be careful with using punctuations though. Be sure you know how to use them and apply them the right way to your headlines. A mistake could negatively impact not just the perception of your content but also of your brand as a whole, especially if you’re aiming to be a thought leader in your field.

Value Accuracy

Your content should accurately portray what the content’s focus is. Make sure it reflects what the content contains; think of it as a sneak peek. Avoid using titles that misrepresent the content and mislead the audience. If they learn that you’re misleading them through your content’s title, they’ll avoid reading your other content in the future and label your brand or site as dishonest or not trustworthy. Nobody likes being ‘clickbait-ed’ after all.

If needed, you can try adding a bracket before or after the title to avoid confusion on what the content is all about. A recent study of over 3.3 million paid link headlines showed that those which used the brackets [Podcast] and [Infographic] performed 38% better than headlines without them. Using brackets this way makes it even clearer for the audience in terms of what your content exactly offers. For example, if they want to view an infographic about a certain topic, adding [Infographic] to the title makes it easier for them to know that your content might have what they’re looking for.

Ask a Question

Many blogs, brands, sites, and publications often use questions as content titles, and for good reason. Questions basically summarise what the reader can get out of your content. Also, titles in the form of questions can attract more attention and add a bit of dramatic flair, making readers more curious about what your content is all about.

However, as much as possible, you should also provide at least some form of an answer. Readers don’t want to be ‘left hanging’. They don’t want to feel excited over something that will leave them feeling underwhelmed after. If you don’t have specific answers to the question you used as your title, make sure your content is good enough that they’ll be able to extract value out of it, such as a nugget or two of information.

Last But Not the Least: Be Creative!

When combined with the aforementioned tips, a little bit of creativity will help you create titles that not only accurately represent your content, they stand out too, in an online sea of filled with ‘ordinary’ headlines. Your target audience will recognise this, which is a big positive in your efforts to get more views for your brand’s content.

Title Examples that Won Plenty of Views

Income, a blog for web entrepreneurs, shared 10 of their headlines which collectively garnered over 10 million views. The list revealed different headline strategies such as using “How to” titles, asking questions, and adding a bit of controversy. Listed below are a few of them to give you a better idea of what a good title could look like:

  • 21 Ways to Dominate YouTube: The Ultimate Guide
  • Parenting Guru: From Chaos to Access
  • Are You Too Clever For Success?
  • Want To Immediately Reverse All Your Health Issues?
  • 10 Reasons Civilization May Collapse Because Of Organic Foods

Got that? Now go ahead and start creating better content titles! As with any other discipline, you’ll probably encounter a bit of difficulty in the beginning but, don’t fret! As they say, practice makes perfect.


This post was originally published on Smallville.com.au

Digital is the future of marketing

Why Digital Is Truly The Future of Marketing

The face of marketing has changed dramatically in recent years, and we can expect even more changes in the future as technology evolves and new possibilities emerge.

Traditional marketing techniques such as direct mail, print ads, and television advertising are still around but are increasingly becoming less popular options, particularly for small- and medium-sized businesses with limited marketing budgets.

On the other hand, digital marketing revolves around the Internet, digital platforms and devices. It makes use of online channels to reach a wider audience and build brand recognition and is composed of several disciplines including:

  • Social media marketing – Communicating with customers and publishing content on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
  • Content marketing – Creating or curating content such as videos and blogs that are not directly promotional, but drive customer interest and action.
  • SEO and SEM – Search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) increases the visibility of websites in search engines leading to more visits.

Most businesses are now starting to realise the potential of digital marketing, but some still downplay or even downright belittle its role. This is certainly a short-sighted way of thinking. While traditional methods may still be effective currently, there’s mounting evidence that it won’t work quite as well in the near future for new generations of consumers. For example, research shows that Millennials are increasingly being turned off by old-style marketing, with 84% of them saying they don’t trust traditional advertising.

As such, relying solely on traditional marketing methods is certainly not advised in this day and age of digital connectivity and interaction. So, why should you focus your efforts on digital marketing as we move towards the future?

It’s Simple—People are Spending More Time Online

The average Australian spends a whopping 10 hours every day using internet-connected devices including computers, smartphones, and tablets. Most of this time is spent on mobile devices, which have now overtaken desktops and laptops in terms of internet usage worldwide. This increased time online has had a knock-on effect on the activities that traditional marketing uses as advertising channels, with one in seven Australians watching no commercial television at all and magazine sales declining year on year.

This does not mean that marketing opportunities are decreasing, only that a shift in strategy is needed to take advantage of these changing habits. In fact, Australians are now watching more videos and TV show content than ever before, but choose on-demand and online content over traditional broadcasting.

It’s clear that small- and medium-sized businesses need to take advantage of this growing online screen time and place their advertisements where the most eyes are going to see it. Social media is one channel, in particular, you should pay attention to, with over half of Australia’s population checking in on social networking sites at least once a day.

Digital Marketing Offers Impressive Return On Investment (ROI)

In terms of return on investment, digital marketing is hard to beat. Print and television advertising are astronomically expensive compared to engaging in content marketing or maintaining an active social media profile, and in many sectors, digital methods have been able to offer a higher conversion rate.

If you own a small business, it’s likely that your marketing budget is limited. While bigger brands may be able to risk shelling out thousands or even millions of dollars for television advertising without a second thought, for smaller companies the result of wasting the majority of your marketing budget on an unsuccessful campaign could be devastating.

On the contrary, effective digital marketing campaigns can be set up with much smaller marketing budgets. For example, posting on social media is free, requiring only time commitment, and marketing emails can be sent out for just a few cents per recipient. Even if these campaigns are not as effective as hoped, much lesser is lost in terms of investment.

ROI will, of course, vary widely between different business sectors, audiences, and campaigns, but there is plenty of proof that digital marketing offers better returns overall.

Utilise Features such as Improved Personalisation and Segmentation

One of the limitations of traditional marketing methods is that it’s difficult to tailor and offer advertising only to a particular set of individuals or demographic. This is an area that digital marketing excels at, and it is now possible to segment and customise campaigns on a huge range of criteria including age, location, shopping habits, personal interests, and more.

Facebook ads are one example where this kind of highly targeted marketing can be very successful when done right. Users can be targeted by location, interests, and behaviour, and even be ‘retargeted’ by sending the same user an ad for a product they’ve already shown interest in.

Naturally, this results in a higher success rate, with targeted ads being twice as successful as untargeted advertising so next time you schedule your email campaign or implement ads, think about how you can segment your audience for better results.

Digital Marketing Offers Valuable, Real-time Results

Digital marketing campaigns have the ability to instantly track and measure success built right into the technology. You can start seeing open and click-through rates for marketing emails as soon as you send out the campaign, and it’s possible to view traffic on your website in detail, right down to tracking exactly where individual users click on your web pages.

Website analytics software such as Google Analytics make it easy to see how website visitors are finding your site (from search, social media, or links from other websites); this offers valuable insights on where you should concentrate your marketing efforts going forward. The results you gather from your real-time results can also help you in segmenting and personalising messages for your audience, something that would have been a challenge in traditional marketing where return on investment (ROI) is notoriously difficult to measure and attribute figures to marketing efforts.

Be Authentic, Show What Your Brand Stands For

As mentioned in the previous, young people are becoming increasingly distrusting of traditional advertising, mainly because they dislike being marketed at directly. The distrust toward traditional forms of marketing may be why digital marketing is gaining a stronghold when it comes to trust, with 64% of Australians saying they are more likely to trust a brand if it interacts positively with them on social media.

Yet, not all businesses are taking advantage of these changing attitudes towards brand trust, as only 47% of small- and medium-sized businesses have a social media presence, and only 26% advertise on social media. With very little to lose from setting up an account on one or more popular social media networks and communicating regularly with your target audience, this is an ‘easy win’ that every Small Business should target.

Authenticity is definitely the keyword here, and it’s important for brands to show their personality online. Informal language, behind-the-scenes peeks, and candid photos all work well for engaging your customers and building trust on your brand.

More IoT, More Digital Marketing Avenues

The ‘internet of things’, in which data-producing everyday objects including cars, wearable devices, and household appliances are connected to the internet, is still in its infancy. However, more and more of these smart devices are being produced which means this trend will only gather steam as we experience more digital innovations.

The rise of such devices opens up a host of new channels and marketing methods, including exciting possibilities for digital marketing. Some examples of how this technology is already being used for marketing and advertising include smartphone users being sent special offers from local shops and restaurants when they’re detected to be in a particular area; Amazon dash, which allows instant ordering of consumable products such as washing powder at the touch of a button; and ride-sharing apps such as Uber, which allow users to view nearby Uber cars in real-time and see when their driver has arrived.

There’s simply no doubt about it; digital marketing is not going anywhere. Small- and medium-sized businesses still relying solely on traditional offline marketing methods will need to change their strategies or risk being left behind by the competition.

Don’t let this happen by relying solely on traditional offline marketing methods, change your strategy to include digital moving forward.


This post was originally published on Smallville.com.au

Digital marketing tips for small businesses

SME Talk: How to Make Digital Marketing Work for You

Digital marketing is a great tool for businesses of all types and sizes. By harnessing the power of the internet you can gain additional leads, promote and market your products or services better, build brand awareness, and have a more awesome online presence.

Don’t believe anyone that says digital marketing is just for the big companies though—it can also be a key to success for SMEs. However, just because you have a website doesn’t mean you’re going to reap all its benefits. You’re going to need an online strategy and utilise digital tools to truly make digital marketing work for you. If you run a small business, we’ve come up with several key tips to help you get started.

But first, what is Digital Marketing?

In a nutshell, digital marketing is composed of all online marketing efforts made for a brand. It’s a term that includes different channels such as social media marketing, email, content marketing, and website building and design. Digital marketing can have different formats and be facilitated through these channels. Digital marketing’s main goal is to generate more leads and build or strengthen a business’ online presence.

Looking at the different areas and channels involved is a great way to better understand and leverage digital marketing.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is B-I-G, which means you shouldn’t ignore it. Fact is, Facebook has over two billion active monthly users, and many other social networks have hundreds of millions of users. As such, your current and prospective customers are most probably on social media as well. How can you use this channel to connect with them? While individuals aren’t necessarily thinking about purchasing something, social media marketing allows you to start a conversation based on interests, among other things.

Social media marketing helps your brand target and attract prospects based on their interests, location, demographics, and preferences. When you are able to target so granularly, you can cultivate interest in those that have a real need (or at least curiosity) for your product or service. PearlyWhites, an Australian company that sells in-home teeth whitening kits, grew more than 10,000-percent as a result of embracing social media to reach potential customers. Jake Munday, its Managing Director, says he uses Facebook to target certain demographics that might be interested in his product. He can keep track of their social media efforts and drop campaigns that are not working, improving efficiency and budget-planning.

One important thing to note is that you don’t have to be on all social media sites. Analyse what you offer and who your customers and target customers are (their habits, preferences, demographics), and choose the social media sites which best fit the results. For example, if you’re all about food and your target markets are enticed by gorgeous food shots, go to Instagram which is a widely known photo-based social network where food photography is very popular. For more in-depth advice, do check out our previous post on social media marketing.

Content Marketing

Content marketing primarily focuses on online content that educates, engages, and inspires. It’s not necessarily product- or service-focused. Instead, it delivers content (e.g. blogs, videos, photos) which offer something of value to readers/viewers (e.g. tips, trivia, news) which then tie back to your brand. The key here is generating online buzz around what your business offers. Content marketing is about putting the right message in the right place for your audience to see it.

One effective content marketing strategy is to create and deliver content that tells an engaging story. Remember that storytelling, when done right online or offline, is an almost intimate form of interaction between a brand and its audience. For your content marketing efforts to be successful, you should create buyer personas (to have a better idea of who you want to target), craft a distinct voice and tone, and determine the goals of your content. Once you have a foundation based on these factors, you should create a content calendar around specific keywords, campaigns, or objectives.

Be careful though and avoid delivering content that’s too promotional as they tend to lack authenticity. Also be sure to be consistent in creating and delivering content to fully utilise audience engagement. We recommend reading our recent blog on content marketing to answer your other content-related questions.

Website Design and User Experience

Websites are often one of the first key steps to building an online presence, and they must do more than look nice. It basically acts as your business’ online portal and HQ and is often viewed as the starting and ending points of many digital marketing campaigns. Your customers’ experience on your website has a lot to do with whether or not they come back (and convert).

However, you shouldn’t focus all your website efforts on the desktop; you should also make mobile devices a big part of your plan. Consider these statistics:

  • 52-percent of users say that bad mobile website experience made them less likely to engage with a brand.
  • Mobile users are five times more likely to abandon a purchase or task if the site doesn’t provide great mobile user experience.

Thus, it’s imperative that your site is easy to view and use both on desktop and mobile devices. You cannot ignore the latter as it is one of the key factors that dictate your audience’s level of satisfaction regarding your online efforts. As more and more of the population spend more time on devices such as smartphones and tablets, having a mobile-friendly digital marketing approach is now a priority rather than a mere option.

Email Marketing

Email isn’t dead, not even close. To put things in perspective, it actually still has the best ROI of any digital marketing channel. According to recent research, 18-percent of companies reported an ROI of over $94 for every $1.35 spent on email marketing. The importance of email marketing for SMEs is huge—it’s an opportunity to customise messaging and offers as well as target certain people or groups more accurately based on segmenting. It also allows you to continue the conversation (from social media or content interaction) and offer content.

To continue fostering engagement on this channel (often measured by the amount of opens and clicks), it’s important to offer something relevant and offers value. Understand the threshold for your users with regards to how often you send emails. Be straight to the point, creative, and interesting. Make sure to come up with interesting titles for your email campaigns as well to encourage more clicks. Here are a few more tips on how to make an effective content title.

Digital Marketing Impacts Small Business

Adopting digital marketing initiatives creates digital engagement, which can lead to, well, more leads and conversions. More importantly, it helps you create an effective online presence which you can use to battle toe-to-toe with the bigger players of your industry via the internet. According to a recent report from Deloitte Access Economics, Australian SMEs that have mastered digital marketing are:

  • One-and-a-half times more likely to be increasing revenue
  • Eight times more likely to create jobs
  • 14 times more likely to be innovative

Every business wants to have these numbers, and executing effective digital marketing projects can be your ticket to getting them. Again, if you want your business to survive today and in the future, you should take on digital marketing—the numbers don’t lie.

Get Started on the Right Foot for your Digital Marketing Journey

While it is indeed beneficial and even crucial to a business’ success, digital marketing can still get rather confusing and intimidating for the uninitiated. That said, it’s wise to call on expert help if you want to get started on the right (digital) foot. Curate Bee offers different services—from social media management and website-building to content creation—to help you jumpstart your digital marketing journey and gain success along the way. Consult with us today and find out how we can be of service.