Here’s a riddle for you. What’s less than 10 words, takes 3 seconds to read, and has the power to make or break your content? No, it’s not your editor—it’s your content titles. These few words determine content that flies, and content that flops.
People use titles to judge if the content you’re promoting is worth their limited time. And more often than not, they don’t think it is—research suggests only 2 in 10 people who view your titles click through to your content. The other 80% of people scroll on by.
What does this mean for B2B marketers? Should you accept these dismal stats and keep optimistically cranking out content? Absolutely not! Instead, focus on creating titles that communicate your brand identity in a consistent manner, all in effort to increase clicks through to your content.
The Impact of Brand Consistency on Your Business
Jeff Bezos is widely quoted as saying, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Turns out, if you want what they say to be positive, brand consistency is key. Consistency is one of the top four qualities people mention when explaining their loyalty to a brand (FWIW, the other three are cost, quality, and experience). Without a coherent brand identity, you’ll puzzle your prospects about who you are and what you stand for, which will impact their ability to trust you. Not only does brand consistency build trust, but it also benefits the bottom line. Consistent brands achieve up to 20% more revenue than their inconsistent counterparts.
How to Maintain Brand Consistency with Strong Content Titles
Content is a common component of branding strategies, with 53% of businesses relying on it to help build their brand. However, in a world where interactive videos, webinars, and podcasts are an increasingly important part of B2B marketing strategies, the title of these assets can be an afterthought. After all, you’ve spent significant time creating something amazing, you’re eager to get it finalized and published. But this thought process is counter-productive, as content titles determine whether anyone bothers to consume your content at all. Therefore, it’s worth your while to spend time perfecting them. Here’s how to create content titles that present your brand in the best light possible:
Ensure Visual Consistency
Your brand should be recognizable at a glance, but something as simple as the capitalization of your titles can throw your image off-kilter, creating an unprofessional impression of your brand. Put yourself in the shoes of prospects landing on your blog overview page. If they encounter a jumbled mess of lower case, sentence case, and capitalized headlines, they’re going to question your professionalism. Whether you’re Team Chicago, Team APA, or something else entirely—pick your team and stick to it.
Get it in Writing
Once you’ve chosen your style, communicating it briefly during a meeting isn’t enough to ensure it’s adhered to. Document your requirements, ideally within your company’s wider brand guidelines. This formalizes the process and provides a reference point for anyone seeking a recap, or for new starters. Don’t stop at style—include all required criteria for your headlines, including words to prioritize, preferred character count, and even words to avoid.
Train Your Team
After adding headline requirements to your brand guidelines, don’t simply attach them to an email and hope everyone will read them. Train your team on what’s required of them. This way, you can explain the importance of a strong headline and the positive impact it will have upon your business. Remember, training will need to extend beyond those who write the headlines—consider other team members involved in the QA, publishing, or social posting processes, and include them, too.
Choose Your Keywords Wisely
What does SEO have to do with communicating brand value? Well, the keywords in your headlines impact the experience prospects have with your content. By adding irrelevant keywords into your content titles in the hopes of boosting your chances of ranking for them, you’re likely to frustrate your audience. The headline sets the expectation for the content itself. If you don’t meet your audience’s expectation, you’ll quickly lose their trust and damage the reputation of your brand in the process. And this damage can be lasting—63% of customers abandon brands that provide a bad experience, opting for a competitor instead.
Stick to Your Brand Voice
Nothing kills your brand consistency vibe quicker than a tone of voice that switches personality like Jekyll and Hyde. If your headline’s tone doesn’t resonate with your brand voice, you’ll confuse your prospects about who and what your brand is. 88% of customers say authenticity is important when purchasing from a brand, and a muddled brand voice is a guaranteed way to seem inauthentic.
How to Measure Content Title Performance
To write the best titles, you need to measure their performance, and you can start by analyzing their potential impact before you release your content into the wild. Simply upload your headline into a tool such as the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to receive a headline ‘score.’ The tool analyzes criteria such as sentiment, word count, and clarity. Take the results with a pinch of salt—nuance and humor aren’t always understood—but they provide a useful baseline to start with.
Once your content is live and you’re looking to measure title performance, these metrics can help you:
- Click-Through Rate. The percentage of people who saw your content title, whether on your website, social media, or elsewhere, and clicked through to the main content. This is an indicator of how enticing your title is.
- Bounce Rate. The percentage of people who exit your content after viewing it briefly—literally ‘bouncing’ off your page. This indicates something on the page doesn’t align with your audience’s expectations, suggesting the content doesn’t match the precedent set by the headline.
- Time Spent on Page. The length of time a user has lingered on a page on your site. This indicates how engaged they were with the content. A high average Time Spent on Page metric means your website visitor found the content interesting or engaging enough to spend time on it. If click-through is high, but time spent on-page is low, it suggests your headline is appealing, but your content hasn’t lived up to the reader’s expectation.
These are just a few ways you can measure your content titles—always use them in conjunction with additional data points for a more accurate picture of your performance.
You’ve Perfected the Content, Now Perfect Who Sees It
Great content deserves an audience. But not anyone will do. For B2B content marketing to generate leads and drive revenue, you’ve got to get it in front of the right audience, at the right time. DemandScience’s content syndication solutions can help you direct content to your target prospects, bolstering your pipeline with in-market buyers rather than uninterested parties. Contact us today for more information.