Headlines. You just read one. Did it hook you? I started my career as a writer in college and was schooled on headlines by every editor I worked for. I worked for some small newspapers: The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, The Daily Breeze (Santa Monica), Night Moves, LA Weekly, The Argonaut, and the Los Angeles Times. (A few of these still exist.) Whether I was writing a story about a high school football game in Spotsylvania or a new restaurant review for The Argonaut, I learned very quickly that headlines were very important. I also learned that headlines were difficult to write…for other people.
I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve always been able to write an interesting and attention-grabbing headline. This is probably the number one reason I made the transition from journalism to advertising 30 years ago. A headline may be the single most important component of a great ad. It’s also important for your email, your press release, your social media post, your blog, or anything you create that has the specific goal of capturing someone’s attention.
We get bombarded with ads and content every single day. If we tried to read them all, nothing else would get done. Instead, we skim the headlines to get a synopsis. As I wrote last week about our shrinking attention spans, it’s no more important than ever to get your interesting idea across in just a few words. You have to get to the point. You have to write something snappy, and it has to pique the reader’s interest.
Writing a great headline is so important, but a word of caution — there’s a difference between a great headline and clickbait. A great headline captures our attention and the subsequent content should delight and deliver. Clickbait, on the other hand, is designed to disappoint and sometimes disgust. In short, a headline is the truth. Clickbait is not.
Clickbait: “87-Year-Old Trainer Shares Secret to Losing Weight” and the article is about eating eggs. #SayWhat
Headline: “I’ve Eaten Chili Dogs Three Times A Week Since 1941.” The article tells the story of 87-year-old Gloria (aka Glory B.) who was born in 1935, works every day as a seamstress, and has eaten chili dogs at the Texas Inn since she was six years old. #TrueStory
Headlines are click magnets.
WORKING ON YOUR WEBSITE
Speaking of reading, have you checked out our recent blog? In honor of July Fourth last week, Communications Specialist Kennedy Heidel shared four easy ways to revolutionize your website. Even though the holiday has passed, there’s never a bad time to make some “revolutionary” improvements. Go ahead and take a look.
DISCO AT DOMINION ROOFING SOLUTIONS
On Tuesday, a handful of Madison+Main-iacs led by Account Executive Taylor Peoples spent the afternoon with our client Dominion Roofing Solutions for their Discovery (DISCO) session. This was Taylor’s first DISCO, and boy, did she deliver! Both of our teams are extremely excited to start working on projects together and take things to new heights.
On Wednesday, HR & Operations Manager Mollie Banks introduced the first phase of our newest performance management platform, 15Five, to the team. Through her amazing presentation, we learned how to give virtual high-fives, track objectives and goals, and hold check-ins to ensure our team members are empowered to feel and do their best. Thank you for all of your hard work setting up this software, Mollie B. Expect a virtual high-five coming your way soon.
FAWNING OVER NEW FRIENDS
This week, Creative Director Art Webb went on vacation to the beach with his family. But from the looks of it, he’s been pretty preoccupied photographing a few bucks. Two of which he’s named “Fuzzy” and “Wuzzy.” They visited him daily at sunset to eat dinner with him, and of course, pose. Just look at those antlers!
LOTS TO CELEBRATE
Today, the team celebrates Digital Marketing Manager Laura Hunt’s birthday! OK, so it’s tomorrow, but we couldn’t wait. ICYDK: Laura is also the owner of Girl Friday, LLC. and does everything from digital planning to conversion tracking. She’s committed to content strategy, and we’re committed to sending virtual birthday wishes all day.
Tonight, our client CowanGates is throwing a retirement party for their former administrator, Mary Ann Hartzell. After years of hard work at their full-service law firm, their team and some of our Main-iacs are celebrating this next chapter of her life. Congratulations, Mary Ann!
Swimming Superlatives Holiday Barn Pet Resorts Glen Allen & Midlothian, VA July 18-22 | All Day Join Holiday Barn Pet Resorts as they stay cool by the pool with your pups for their Swimming Superlatives event! Dogs who are signed up for a swim will go home with a Swimming Superlative certificate. Find out if your furry friend will win “Is Most Likely to Soak My Counselor” or “Best Belly Flop.” Sign up today!
“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.“— Leo Burnett