Creating good great content can be a struggle. It takes a lot of time, research, and dedication to create and promote content that engages your target audience. But it doesn’t matter how amazing your content is if you don’t have a compelling title to attract your reader to begin with. People are busy and they are inundated – not just with relevant and necessary information but with clickbait around every corner that sucks us all in. To be heard above the social media noise, your title needs to stand out.

Be authentic.

Obviously, you want your title to be trendy and eye-catching, but you don’t want to trick your readers. Incite emotion, but don’t aim for drama. The internet is not middle school, and although it’s a playground for trolls, your business marketing strategy should take part in it. Your goal is to attract your target audience, and clickbait will do the exact opposite. They’ll click on your sensational title, only to realize that they’ve been duped with content that does not measure up to what you’ve touted. No one will be impressed.

Promise value.

Remember, this isn’t about you. Your content should always be about how your target audience can benefit. A viral headline is one that will entice the reader into clicking. Whether you’re teaching a new skill, uncovering mysterious information, or revealing the latest news, you want your audience to be intrigued. However, you must deliver on what you’ve promised.

Use precise wording.

Adjectives and numbers are fantastic additions to viral headlines. A number communicates an idea simply, and people love lists. Adjectives are also exciting and add specifics to what the reader is clicking on. You also must consider how many people are viewing your content on mobile devices; so, keep your title a reasonable length. Short and to-the-point titles are a great catalyst for viral content.

Involve the reader.

If your title can accommodate the word “you” and still make sense, go for it. Personalizing the title can make the article sound more relevant and promote more reads. By referencing the reader, you have gone from delivering an impersonal blog to initiating a conversation, which makes a huge difference in terms of engagement.

When it comes to content marketing, you should be putting as much effort into your title as you do into your content. Why would you create a masterpiece and then slap on a generic, shoddy label? Every step requires effort. The title may be the most important part, so give it the attention it deserves.