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First impressions are everything, and in the content marketing assets we create, our best chances to capture connections at first click-through are in crafting captivating, compelling titles. Though it may sound like an ethereal marketing art, there’s actually a pretty solid science behind writing effective content titles, and we can measurably see it in the behaviors of the Best-in-Class.

In our studies of Best-in-Class content marketers, we’ve found that the most common differentiator is aligning content with buyer personas. As cited in Trip Kucera’s recent report, Content Marketing and The Road to Revenue: Answering the Questions, 50% of Best-in-Class companies are already aligning their content with their company’s buying personas. This is compared to only 35% of companies identified as Industry Average and 12% of companies identified as Laggards. Titles may seem trivial — what’s in a name, after all — but they’re actually the most focused point where the relevance of our content and our understanding of our buyer converge. Think about it as your opening line on a first date, if your introduction doesn’t create a spark in that first moment, then you’re trying to make it up the rest of the evening — or worse, you’ve lost that person’s attention all together.

The following provides you with 10 tantalizing tips to consider when writing your titles.

  1. Ask a question. Instead of a statement, make it a question.
    • Example: Is B2B Really Ready for Video and Social Media Marketing?
  2. Incite an action. Inspire your readers to take action, immediately.
    • Example: Align Your Marketing and Sales Teams with the Right Metrics
  3. Solve a problem. Provide a solution to a common problem you know your audience faces.
    •  Example: How to Use Content Marketing to Engage with Financial Advisers Online
  4. Include keywords. Your SEO keywords should be first; these are what your audience is searching for.
    • Example: Integrated Lead Management – How Data Driven Marketing Increases Revenue
  5. Give content clues. Give a quick overview of what’s included in the article.
    • Example: 5 Key Steps to Effective IT Ops in a Hybrid World
  6. Introduce some fun. Similar to subject lines, entice your audience with a fun statement.
    • Example:5 Things NOT to do When You’re Trying to Hire a Superstar Salesperson
  7. Be careful with buzzwords. If every title has a buzzword, is it really a buzzword?
    • Example: Big Data – Why your business should care about it NOW.
  8. Identify your audience.
    • Example: 5 Management Tips Marketing Leaders Can’t Live Without
  9. Alliteration always aligns. They are just fun to read.
    • Example: 10 Takeaway for Tantalizing Titles
  10. Keep it short & sweet.
    • Example: Windows Security Holes – Must Have Info for IT Security Pros

Do you have good rules or tips to share? Please leave a comment below.

For more on how Best-in-Class companies are integrating content marketing with their lead flow, download Content Marketing and The Road to Revenue: Answering the Questions.

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