6 Amazingly Simple Headline Tips to Transform Your Existing Content

It’s springtime, a perfect time to review what’s in your closet and see what existing pieces can make a new outfit or a new look.

The same principles apply to Content Marketing.  With a few headline changes, you can change the appearance of your content to be brand new. Much like a wardrobe has essential components, there are six distinct components to a headline. An outstanding headline should be explicit and have at least three of the six components. And, just as some outfits work better for certain occasions, some headline words and components are more optimal on diverse social platforms.

1. Emotional

The headline should include an emotional trigger word using a superlative.  Examples are amazing, humorous, electrifying, stunning, inspiring, extraordinary, and successful.  Know your audience and speak to them, carefully choosing the words that will most appeal to your target customers. For example, the word “successful” is much stronger on LinkedIn than on Facebook or Twitter.

Creating a clever headline can also appeal to the humorous side of the reader and intrigues the audience to click into the blog. One of Zircon’s most popular blogs, “A Wall is a Wall is a Wall” tells a simple headline narrative that beckons the reader to find out more.

We used the superlative, amazingly, in our headline. We could easily change it to “6 Successful Headline Tips”, or “5 Effective Headline Tips”, depending on our target audience.

2. Content

Use a word or phrase to indicate the type of content the reader should expect. A picture or video can be useful in demonstrating to the audience how a tool works; Zircon, for example, often embeds video content into a blog via our YouTube channel. Other examples of content words within a headline include charts, quotes, facts, tips and tricks, habits, warnings and mistakes.

“Tips” works well across most networks. We used the word tips in our headline.

3. Topic

Hot topics can be trending topics found on Right Relevance, Buzzsumo, Hootsuite, Buzzfeed, Twitter, Facebook and more. Within the DIY world, hot topics include the words DIY, home remodeling, tools, kitchens, bathrooms and more. Select a topic that resonates with your audience.

Our topic is content.  (The word headline in our headline is a descriptive word. The headline would work with or without it.)

4. Format

Content Format reveals the style of your content.  Ever notice the numerous examples of a “Top 5 list of” or the viral impact of a quiz or the special interest people pay to personal stories? These examples, plus research reports and how to posts work effectively throughout social media.

The number 6 is in our headline to indicate a list post.

5. Promise

What happens if the reader clicks into your headline? What can they expect? This is what the promise should deliver to the audience. Perhaps they’ll receive a how to guide in home improvement or practical tips of how to install shelving and lighting or a way to create a larger space within a smaller dwelling.

Our promise is to transform your existing content with some simple headline changes.

6. Number

The headline length makes a difference and lengthier headlines spur increased clicks. Experiment with the number of words that are ideal for your target audience.

Our headline has 10 words, not too short, but not so long that is it is not catchy.

Did our headline live up to your expectations?

What’s in your content closet that can be refreshed with a new headline?

At Zircon, we’re continuously looking for ways to help solve end user problems and communicate our solutions in the most effective manner. We would love to hear from you about your content ideas and invite you to share your marketing experiences with us. Please visit us at zircon.comlike us, or follow us.

Please join us the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month for #diytrends. Engage, learn and share. We would love to hear from you!

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Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image

The Two-Way Marketing Street

From the early days of transactional marketing to today’s highly engaging relationship marketing, marketers have learned to adapt to the changing customer culture. Today’s marketers are entrenched in a two-way marketing street – one that is give and take, listen and respond, lead and reciprocate, and go forward and take a step back.

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Customers are directing traffic to and from your website, stopping to converse from the sidelines of third party sites or they are sitting in the driver’s seat, steering your discussion via the social media stratosphere.

How can companies benefit from the two-way street of marketing? Here are five superhighway ideas for your brand:

  • Rev It Up. Ignite your customer engine by understanding first what’s on your audience’s mind. What do they want? What are they thinking? Customer centricity is #1, replacing a sometimes contrasting sales mentality. Get the customer insights directly from the source. Conduct customer surveys, create polls, and engage in social listening via online services, such as NUVI, to understand what is most important to your audience. With survey tools, such as SurveyMonkey, Zoomerang, and SurveyTool, you no longer need to guess what your customer really wants.
  • Remove Roadblocks. How does your brand reduce customer pain points? Show how your product saves time, creates value, and eliminates guesswork. Offer hands-on YouTube tutorials, create an online knowledge center, and offer how-to tips via social media. By sharing time and money saving ideas to your fans and followers, you’ll reap the benefits via enhanced customer loyalty and a more engaged audience. At Zircon, the company’s Interactive Support Center offers 24/7 troubleshooting, customers can call tech support to talk to a live tool technician, and the company’s social media channels offer timely DIY shortcuts and useful project hints for tool enthusiasts.
  • Create Curb Appeal. To develop the road to customer engagement success and an enthusiastic, on-going dialog, communicate your brand’s uniqueness in a clear, succinct, yet creative manner. Amp up your shares, likes, and followers through knowledgeable and resourceful content that resonates with your audience. Out of ideas? Research industry influencers, conduct in-office brainstorming sessions, and develop partnerships with like minded companies to nurture, create, and catapult ideas. DIY industry leaders, such as @HGTV, @industryedgeNHS and @kbtribechat have insightful content that may springboard your own blog, video, and content ideas.
  • Test Drive. Take a test drive to gain a new business perspective and meet customers where they are. Although you can find your customers at the retail point of sale, smart devices are also making traditional offline moments into online opportunities. Cultivate your brand by providing a QR code to click to your brand’s website or develop an interactive mobile app. Be proactive in posting timely responses to both positive and negative online reviews. Join in the social media conversation by searching industry #topics, participating in Twitter chats, and replying to @brand mentions. Test different dates, times and social media tweets and posts to ensure you’re reaching the optimal audience members when they are most apt to engage.
  • Tune Up. Review your customer diagnostics and compare the results to your company goals. If expectations are not met, what changes are required? If it does not appear that you’re engaging enough with customers or your content is not providing you with new fans or followers, perhaps a new approach is needed. Are you on the right track? Test a new “vehicle” –a promotion vehicle, that is. For example, a social media ad campaign or a cross promotion with a marketing partner can provide you with a new audience.

Make your two-way marketing street the optimal road to a new and refreshing conversation with your customers. In addition to these five steps, you may have your own avenues to success and we would love to hear from you. Please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat. Catch the next ones on 6/18 and 7/2. Let’s share, engage, and learn from each other.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image

Flooring it! Stand out Merchandising Tips for Your Brand

Within the retail setting, companies are challenged on how to stand out among the competition. Marketers need to differentiate their brand from dozens of other products that line retailers’ shelves.

Companies only have a few seconds to grab the customer’s attention. In addition to aesthetically appealing, functional and informative packaging (please click here for our “It’s All in the Packaging” blog), what entices a customer to pick up and purchase a product? In-store merchandising is an effective vehicle to engage the customer to help make the purchase decision. As an accompaniment to packaging, merchandising works hand-in-hand at the point-of-sale (POS) to elevate a company’s brand presence and sales.

Zircon Merchandiser

Vibrant graphics and consistent messaging on this Zircon merchandiser entice customers while reinforcing the brand.

Retail merchandising activities encompass in-store displays, shelf talkers, and product demonstrations just to name a few. A focused and engaging point-of-sale display that delivers on the key benefits of the product can increase the number of packages sold. Ever notice how the home center floors are covered with displays during the back-to-school or holiday seasons? Manufacturers and retailers alike understand that a stand-out display practically beckons you to take a closer look, pick up the product, and ultimately, make the purchase.

At Zircon, a point-of-sale display is often part of promoting their brand new stud finders and scanners into the marketplace and to distinguish their unique product advantages. Informational display graphics are integrated with colorful packaging visuals to compel the customer during the pivotal buying process. Merchandising is an effective marketing tool for Zircon and other companies. As products technologically advance, increased education from the manufacturer to the customer will be pertinent, further emphasizing merchandising’s focal role as part of the marketer’s plans.

And even after the sale is made, customers continue their quests for information, advice, and instructions on how best to use their new products. Companies have an opportunity to deepen their customer relationships by providing thorough how-to’s and stellar customer service. Excellent tips on how to meet after market service needs can be found in the blog, “Buy Today, Gone Tomorrow“.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics.

Sharon imageFor more info, follow us on Facebook or tweet us @zircontools.

What is a Blog (Part II)

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In Part I, we explored what a blog is versus other forms of writing.  Optimize your blog today by reading our “How to Blog” tips!

Keep it light.  Readers turn to blogs that are conversational in tone and have a humorous, airy, and entertaining tone. Successful blogs have a “voice” that resonates with readers.

Be thought provoking. It is important to hold the attention of the reader and provide tangible and useful information. Blogs should read well and offer information or a key takeway that the individual can use in his everyday work/job site environment.

Tone down the technical.  Although a blog, similar to other Zircon content, must be 100% accurate, the content should appeal to a broad audience and shouldn’t be an instruction manual, white paper, or technical paper. The objective of the blog is to engage the reader, not necessarily provide a complete how to use the product.

Make it short, but sweet.  Keep the copy simple and concise.  Content that gets to the point and isn’t bogged down in unnecessary jargon or details will obtain higher readership, better shares, and more likes if the information is not too stuffy, confusing or lengthy.  Keep it brief, but not too vague.

Bright Idea iconBring on the visuals.  As strong as words are, think of how the blog can be enhanced with images.  It is often easier for you to get to a key point with a pictogram than many words. One strong visual, in concert with writing, creates the emphasis.

Zircon bloggers tackle everyday business challenges via the Zircon Pro Expert, Zircon in the Real World, and Zircon’s Marketing ToolBox blog sites.  Check out these blogs to get an idea of what a blog is.  What topics would you like to blog or read about?  Comment on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and share your blog with us. We’d love to hear from you!