What’s The Point With Killer Content When People Read Headlines Only?
Most people will only read the headline and first lines of an article. That’s why you can be sure that many, seemingly great articles being shared on Twitter or elsewhere on social media, mostly circle around because of their headlines, and not their content.
The main part of the sharers haven’t and will never read the actual story they share. Perhaps they intend to, but they won’t. With this huge amount of content circulating the Internet, good headlines will be shared but the articles never read.
Sometimes I feel like the only thing I do is repeating the same message. I’ve said this so many times, yet there’s still much left to say about it:
People don’t like to read. Then, don’t upset them with text!
Write a headline that people read and skip the rest
With only a few people reading content, why bother writing it? When the one thing people care about is a snappy headline that says it all, isn’t that what an efficient communicator should create?
Provoking words for a writer perhaps, yet something to act upon. I have previously written about The 140 Post – Future of Internal Communication and Future of Corporate Communication: The (Cat) Meme where I, at the time when I wrote it, thought I kind of went to the extremes. But did I really?
BBC in the forefront with short form news
BBC News has moved the needle with a short form news service they call #Instafax (and publish to Instagram). They say they’re still experimenting with it, and it combines a few images or clips with bold headlines which gives the audience the story in 15 seconds.
Instafax critics say that some of the news aren’t completely relevant, but admit that bite sized important global news are of great interest. Others say they actually like the focus on “non-urgent” science and technology news. Many think it won’t replace the other ways they access their news reports, but that it has added another string to the bow.
How to incorporate short form news into your own communication
Use it for your CV. It gives a potential employer an instant overview of who you are.
Engage your visual followers on social media by being able to tell more compelling stories. Combined images and text add an extra dimension to what you see and share.
It’s news on steroids. Whether you’re a brand, a PR agency or an internal communicator, this is the way to cut through the noise. It may be a narrow window of opportunity that goes away when this technique becomes mainstream, but if you hop on the train this very minute, you may enjoy the ride as long as it lasts.
With only a few people reading content, why bother writing it? This article tells you how to incorporate short form news into your own communication.
What Readers Tweet About This
— Anna Rydne (@CoSkills) February 3, 2014
— Joshua Cragan (@Josh_Cragan) February 3, 2014
— Artful Dog (@ArtfulDog) February 3, 2014
— Judy Gombita (@jgombita) February 3, 2014