A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words

January 23, 2017

 

We’ve heard it over and over, “A picture’s worth a thousand words”, but what happens when there are no pictures? Catching the attention of a potential customer or client can be easy with the right words. However, losing their trust can be just as easy if you choose the wrong ones. When approaching social media and blogging, it can be hard to know what to say in a public forum, especially when the audience is constantly changing.

Think of Your Audience

 

If you offer goods or services that are specifically geared towards a certain demographic, think of that in your choice of headline terms also. If you’re a restaurant on the beach during Spring Break and your core crowd is 18-25 years old, then you’re definitely not going to be writing the same headline as the exclusive restaurant with a view that caters to the mostly 30-50 year old crowd in a big city. You can drive away potential business just by giving off the wrong attitude with the wrong words. Sometimes the first draft of a headline is not always the right one.

Don’t Reveal too Much

I hate to compare headline writing to adult entertainment, but there’s a bit of truth there. When writing a headline sometimes you need to tease a little to get their attention. If you gave away the goods, so to speak, in the headline, why would anyone need to click on the actual link. With Spring Break quickly approaching, let’s take planning a trip as an example. If you were to write a headline that said “Planning your Spring Break trip? Make sure to pack your towel, sunscreen and your I.D.”, a person reading that would quickly scan over it and keep going. However, change it up a little to “Make sure to include these essentials when planning your perfect Spring Break!”, and you have something. You haven’t told them what those essentials are but you’ve let your viewer know these items must have some importance so they need to pay attention and click on that link.

Don’t Create ‘Click Bait’

It doesn’t matter who you are or what subject you’re reading about, no one likes to be mislead. Recently I saw where the musical group Hall & Oates were going back out on tour after all these years. Almost as soon as that news was released, a story started making the viral rounds with headlines like “Hall bites Oates” and “Hall arrested after assaulting Oates”. How could there be such discord between the two? How is it possible?! However once clicked upon, the link soon revealed that the duo in question were not THAT Hall & Oates, but just 2 random citizens with the same last names. You fell for it, again. Would you go back to that source looking for information? No. That’s one more customer lost and one more sales opportunity gone.If you’re not face to face, it’s hard to convey context and feeling through words on a screen. We’ve all had it happen. You get a text or private message and take it the wrong way. When trying to compose a headline, use the old fire adage “stop, drop and roll”, but instead “stop, think, write”. Choosing the right words could make all the difference in gaining more viewers and hopefully customers. 

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