4 min read
For many businesses, blogs are an essential channel to relay important company updates and news to their employees. In the age of COVID-19, this has become increasingly important as businesses around the world are dealing with dispersed workforces, with a mix of remote workers and frontline employees. But what is the point of writing so many blogs if none of your people are engaging with them?
Whether you’re a full-time blogger, a leader who is responsible for a weekly company news update, or just looking to improve your copywriting skills, you probably know that the first step to improving your blog readership is getting people to pause when they see your blog. And that is why headlines are everything.
The first and foremost area of importance for increasing engagement in content is headlines.
David Olgivy, who is well-known in the marketing industry, once said:
On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
He's a hero of mine. His book defined my whole profession. His quote on the power of headlines is one that every writer and blogger should remember – your headlines are valuable, so make them engaging and make them count.
How do headlines impact engagement?
Headlines are what draw the reader in – they are the hook. They must capture attention and persuade the reader that it's content that deserves more of their time.
In an ideal world, your audience would automatically read what you wanted to share; however, your content is competing with incoming emails, other bloggers, social media, news channels, notifications, Slack and many other content sources all day. This is why as a blogger you must show in an easy-to-understand manner why your content is of value.
If you’re a leader, it is particularly important that your headlines are engaging enough that your employees will want to read your blog. See how our CEO uses his weekly update to deliver information and inspire employees to read his blog:
It could be tempting to simply write 'People Team Update,' 'Important Product News' or 'CEO Update,' but you must detail the value that the reader will get from investing time in your content. What are they going to get? Or what will they miss out on if they don’t read, click or view your blog?
Let's look at some examples so you can decide for yourself what would be a more compelling read.
|Headlines that demonstrate value:||Headlines that don't show value:|
|New Recognition Feature sees an increase in 20% engagement in our product||Product Update on Recognition|
|Up to £400 of wellbeing goodies available to you by signing up to this year's wellbeing window!||Apply now for Wellbeing Window|
|Improve engagement for offline workforces by learning how our client achieved a 30% increase||Australia Client Update|
While the headlines on the right side of the table might appear short and to-the-point, they won’t draw the reader in. The examples on the left not only excite and engage the reader, but also show the value the reader will gain from reading and engaging with your blog.
Headlines should summarise and be specific
What if I told you that you could help your readers save time by creating specific headlines? Well, you can. By being more specific with your headlines, you’ll ensure that the employee reads the most relevant, important information to them, which gives them back their most valuable asset – time!
The headline must indicate what the following body copy will be about. They should also be specific to show that you really do know what you're talking about and you can be a trusted source of information.
We could say 'We've made improvements to benefits at RG,' but how much more powerful is it to share 'Improvements to our FY20 Wellbeing benefits sees an increase in 48% on employee satisfaction in our annual employee wellbeing survey score.'
Here are a few headlines I particularly love that show you can have a little fun with them, while still being specific to the subject:
Subheaders are equally helpful
Subheaders rarely get much use. Use them wisely - Use them to bring more detail, clarity, and purpose to your original headline.
There is nothing to stop you from adding subheadings to blogs at the start of the blog page, but it’s also effective to use 3rd and 4th level headlines throughout the rest of your content as demonstrated in this blog.
I use headlines to break up my thoughts, topic segments and concepts. Subheadlines are never there by accident – they should always be purposeful and intentionally placed to help you read the blog and digest the content at a good, manageable pace.
And here's my final subheading
These are just a few tips for increasing blog engagement through better headlines and content. You spend so much time writing great content, not investing time in your headline is doing yourself a disservice. Remember - When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
If you take away just three things from this update make sure it's these:
- Tell your audience why your update is valuable for them.
- Be specific and summarise the content.
- Use subheadings to help your reader.
Looking to improve communication in your company? Get in touch with us and request a conversation to learn more about how we can help you to use blogs and improve communication in your company.