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

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I’ll be Back! Relaunch Your Business, Terminator Style

Terminator: Genisys reignites the Terminator’s (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s) famous tagline and reenergizes the film series. The movie sequel, along with the Avengers, Mission Impossible, and Jurassic films point to a common theme – retro, prequels, and sequels are all the rage. What once was old is new and what once was new is old, but in a cool, touch-back to the 90’s kind of way.

Many brands can use retro ideas to relaunch their own “Terminator” cycle. Make old new again with these three tips:

1)  Vault Back-and-Forth. Determine what worked before and see if it makes sense to suit up again. Can the idea be retrofitted, reformatted, or revamped? Starting from scratch takes time and may not be the best option. As past Terminator movie-goers, we’re programmed to believe that Sarah Connor must live. Will Terminator: Genisys stick to this central theme or change the paradigm completely? While we toy with the idea, the movie vaults back to a familiar time period: pre-internet, pre-smartphone, and overall, pre-technology. How, in this time period, will our heroine and Terminator survive to live in another sequel? They stick with what they know – allowing, of course, for necessary sub-plot changes and a crafty redressing of who we think the Terminator is. In marketing, the same holds true. Take past sales campaigns, promotions, and partnerships and corral them into programs that are new again.

2)  Old is not necessarily obsolete. The Terminator of 1984 is not as we remember him. His random techno-talk and outer flesh-like layer show signs of aging and are in stark contrast to his younger selfie version. TERMINATOR-GENISYS-7

Yet, the older Terminator, also known as “Pops” now displays finesse, confidence, and a sense of humor – he has adapted to new technology, perfected his skills and enhanced his internal communication chip. Rather, in Genisys, we see that Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) is the one who struggles with old vs. new, future vs. past, and tested vs. new relationships.

Old-time brands, likewise, are not obsolete. Continuous adaptation, a passion for reinvention, and a focus on nurturing long-term relationships are key attributes that will help thwart the competition. From an idea to patented technologies, Zircon anticipates ways to make DIYers work and lives easier, simpler, and more rewarding. Innovation began with the Original StudSensorTM and continues today with an ever-expanding sensor and scanner line. original-ss

3)  Determine parallel paths. Businesses can benefit from the ‘what if’ scenarios if they commit to making a decision, sometimes with limited information. To challenge the machines, Kyle Reese jumps back to 1984; this action changes the trajectory of not only his own path, but Sarah Connor’s as well. Brands, too, can propel their competitive position by brainstorming options, exploring parallel paths, and assessing risks. As with the Terminator, when the “end game” is at stake, brands need to act quickly and decisively.

See other retro business ideas from Terminator: Genisys? 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 9/17 and 10/1. 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

 

Product Innovation: The Customer is Always Right!

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Each year, companies beef up their product lines with new innovations. What drives ingenuity? How do businesses engineer the next big hit, time and again?  Is it simply the passionate pursuit of one creative pioneer or do several experts brainstorm the next wave of technological wonder?  Does the company pour through mountains of research to determine what products will invigorate, revive, or launch the next new brand?  Or do they just use their core competencies to reengineer a prior product line into a sleek, updated version?  The next product launch could be the brainchild of a singular individual or many think tank professionals.

Oftentimes, the most successful companies evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, current product line, and wants and needs of their customers to provide the greatest genesis for new product inventions. Feedback from jobsite professionals, distributors, the retail network, and experts in the field provide vital insight. Each online end user visit, email, phone call, social media interaction or click through the company’s website provide even more key data of how customers relate to the products.  Each real-life application gives a company, such as Zircon, new information of how the products are applied in the construction or home environment, the problems still to be solved, and the new products that would be the most helpful for everyday work or personal use.

The StudSensor™ HD35 stud finder features the latest design innovation by Zircon.

The StudSensor™ HD35 stud finder features the latest design innovation by Zircon.

With idea generation, creativity is key.  What hasn’t already been tried? What has been tried, but may not have worked? Some product ideas do not reach fruition; however, even these ideas can lay the groundwork for a new product that actually will materialize and prove to be successful.  Zircon uses customer preferences, analytics, and design and process evaluations to determine which new tools will solve DIY and professional sensing and scanning problems.

To meet the company’s mission of delivering innovative, easy-to-use technology to the world’s toolboxes, a new product goes through a rigorous evaluation process. How does the product fit within the current product line and how does it expand upon the existing key benefits and features already promoted by Zircon? Of course, the product must be cost effective and provide real value to the end user as well.  To progress from concept to manufacturing, the potential customers must rate the product with high marks.  How will it help the end user?  Will it make his job quicker and simple to perform?  Will the product be more accurate than comparable products in the marketplace?  Is it intuitive and easy to understand?

The company reviews the product to assess its viability in terms of engineering, manufacturing, and budgeting.  At the jobsite, environmental testing is performed to ensure that the product meets stringent everyday use.  Product science and art converge to produce the next big innovation. The crossroads from idea to manufacturing to marketing is not always a clear cut path. What is clear, however, is that the customer is the leader in this product innovation process.

Sharon imageSharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. For more info, follow us on Facebook or tweet us @zircontools..

Marketing Innovation

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Each time Apple makes a new product introduction, it makes me think of innovation and how new product development promotes sales growth, enhanced productivity and a corporate sense of well-being.  Product innovation sets the stage for manufacturers, retailers and service providers, enabling sales growth and foray into new markets.

Innovation breeds passion for the product and for the brand.  From concept to tooling to final production runs, the new product creates bold energy that existing products cannot compete with.

As a marketer, each time the newly minted product packaging ships from the factory to its final retail destination, I feel a wave of anticipation.  It is one thing to see 3-D renderings and quite another sensation to actually feel the tooled product in your hands.  And even before the package sits on the store shelf, I do a spot check.  How well will this new product be received?  Does the point-of-sale display highlight the products’ differentiating features and benefits enough?  Have we effectively leveraged online and offline marketing medium to successfully tell the product’s useful applications?  Is our message enticing and does it compel someone to pick up the package and buy it on the spot?

When new products roll out from Zircon Corporation, customers can try the tools for the first time, retailers increase their assortment mix, and developing markets can jump into a new product line.  Zircon recently unveiled the new HD series and L series products.

MultiScanner® HD900 OneStep® is a 4-mode wall scanner that  locates AC, Metal, studs, and deep studs up to 1 ½ inches deep.

MultiScanner® HD900 OneStep® is a 4-mode wall scanner that locates AC, Metal, studs, and deep studs up to 1 ½ inches deep.

With the new product launches, the excitement was heightened with each step forward in the new product development cycle.  Engineering and product design created a one-of-a-kind tools that are remarkable in functionality, simplicity, and design.  It is the innovative spirit of the product, brand and company that reinvigorates marketing to continue to scan for new opportunities.

Making a lasting brand impression is vital within customer service and other areas of the organization. For a personal viewpoint of this idea, visit Zircon in the Real World’s blog, “Brand Recognition in the Everyday World“.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Sharon image

It’s All in the Packaging

Marketing imageThe next time you’re in your home center or local hardware store, go to the nearest aisle and pick up a product that catches your eye. Ask yourself, “Why did I select this particular product? Is it because of the graphics or maybe the shape or type of the packaging?” Then take a closer look at the package as a whole. What message does the packaging convey? Does the packaging complement the product?SS HD25 frnt

Retail packaging is an art and, when skillfully done, serves multiple purposes. In its most practical sense, packaging houses and protects a product. However, with adequate thought and design, it can also be functional.

Packaging materials can range anything from plastic, cardboard, aluminum, or glass and are often combined for improved functionality, reduced costs, theft prevention, durability, and increased store shelf appeal. In the home improvement market, you may notice more rugged, durable materials, such as hard steel cases or clamshell embodied packaging that completely encase the product, are used.

A marketer’s goal is to design an aesthetically appealing, yet informational, package that can entice the shopper to pick out, learn about, then buy, their product at the point of sale. Differentiation is key! In the couple seconds a consumer decides if the product is viable, the packaging must quickly and clearly convey what the product is, how their tool is better, and why the shopper needs it. As packaging real estate is often very limited, style design and determining what product information is most pertinent can be a challenging, if not daunting, task.

At Zircon, we continuously look for ways to effectively and concisely communicate our product’s story via our packaging. Incorporating technological advances such as QR codes, that when scanned with your smartphone, can link to additional product information and videos, take minimal space, and yet allows us to supplement our product’s message so our customers can still make an informed buying decision.

While our packaging has evolved over the years, changing size, shape, color, and words, our overall commitment remains the same – design a package that not only engages the consumer, but provides an unwritten bond between Zircon and our end user as he/she purchased a tool they understood, valued and needed.

To optimize the usefulness of your Zircon tool, make sure to view our blog, “How is Your Battery?” for key insights.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Sharon image