In this post on OkDork, 1 million blog post headlines were analyzed in the hope of finding out what makes one post more shareable than another. The results are compelling and worth incorporating into your own content creation process.
For those with short attention spans, here are the key takeaways:
- List posts are the most likely to be shared, so write more of these.
- Use ‘you’ and ‘your’ in headlines in order to speak directly to the reader.
- Use words that show benefit to the reader (for example, giving away something for ‘free’ or teaching them ‘how to’ do something).
- List posts are popular on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- Share videos on Facebook.
- When sharing, write different headlines for different social networks.
- If you have the right type of content, Pinterest will generate a huge number of shares.
- If Pinterest is not the right audience for your content, Facebook generates the most shares.
- Headlines with emotional words are shared more.
- You can calculate how emotional a headline is (see below for how).
The article introduced me to a new copywriting online tool, the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer from the Advanced Marketing Institute.
The tool calculates a score, called the ‘Emotional Marketing Value’ (EMV) for a headline based on how many emotional words it includes. The idea being that the more a headline appeals to a reader’s emotions the more likely they will be to read the article or share it.
I thought I would test the EMV score of some recent headlines we have written for our work blog (which is about security and surveillance):
- Do You Know Who Is Spying On Your Baby? (EMV = 56%)
- Home Burglary Prevention Tips for the Holidays (EMV = 43%)
- 7 Common-Sense Tips for College Students to Protect Personal Safety (EMV = 40%)
- How to Improve Home Security with the Right Security Cameras (EMV = 40%)
- Top Tips for Maintaining your Video Security System (EMV = 38%)
- The Alarming State of Elderly Care in America and How to Keep Your Loved Ones Safe (EMV = 25%)
- 50 Ways Your Home is Vulnerable to Theft (EMV = 13%)
One thing I have learned from looking at the EMV scores is that it’s actually quite hard to predict them. I expected the two lowest scoring headlines to perform quite well.
Let’s see how we can improve the emotional value of our lowest scoring headline, “50 Ways Your Home is Vulnerable to Theft.” For starters, simply changing the word ‘theft’ to a more resonant ‘burglary’ increases the EMV score to 25%.
Expanding the headline to speak more directly to the reader, so that it reads “50 Ways Your Home is Vulnerable to Burglary. Which Ones are You Guilty Of?” increases the EMV score still more, to 36%.
And, if we tweak that second part of the headline a little further, to “50 Ways Your Home is Vulnerable to Burglary. How Many are You Guilty Of?” our EMV score is increased to 43%. Not bad at all.