Marketers can increase their content writing's viral potential by including certain verbs, perspectives and details in their headlines.
According to a recent Startup Moon study, after reading through more than 100 blogs and reviewing content analytics data, [it was] determined a number of common traits found in widely shared blog content headlines.
1. Powerful (and dark) verbs
Surprisingly, websites’ most successful news content often feature somewhat morbid headlines that use words like ‘kill,’ ‘fear,’ ‘dark,’ ‘war’ and ‘bleeding.’ For instance, the title “Big data is dead. What’s next?” was the most shared post in VentureBeat’s Data/Cloud section, the study found.
2. Say what’s missing
Online content is more likely to go viral when titles use words such as “not” and “without,” the study revealed. The top shared post on GigaOm’s Cloud page was called “Cloud adoption: it’s not about the price, stupid.” Therefore, marketers are advised to position stories about what’s not happening – rather than what is – when appropriate.
Online articles might have more viral potential when they use powerful language, but marketers shouldn’t include buzzworthy terms at the risk of losing accuracy. Headlines are shared more often when they include specific qualifiers, like the number of examples coming. According to Startup Moon’s analysis – titles with higher numbers perform even better, so marketers shouldn’t be afraid to go all out with their lists.