Studies show the average attention span is a measly 8 seconds — even less than that of a goldfish.
As marketers, we put a lot of weight on the very first sentence. It’s entire purpose is to intrigue our readers with a hook to continue reading — and it starts with the headline.
Like any major publication or social media network, users are scrolling through their feed, looking for something to catch their attention. This is no different for WeChat — the world’s 6th most popular social network.
The decision to click into a WeChat advertorial is an impulsive one, and much like other social networks, users are overwhelmed with online content at all times. A catchy headline is arguably the most crucial piece of text to increase your click-through rate, and in turn the number of views. No matter how great (or poor) the actual content is, if the headline is boring or it looks like an obvious advertisement, it will turn people away and ensure you lose the potential wider audience.
If you’re new to WeChat marketing, we’d recommend you first read our blog post about the differences between a WeChat advertorial and a press release article before diving into headlines.
Get ready to jump into the world of WeChat and write your first advertorial. This post outlines some headline dos and don’ts, as well as 12 tactics to help you write a killer advertorial headline that gets views.
Dos & Don’ts of WeChat Advertorial Headlines
Writing a good headline shouldn’t be taken lightly. Much like an email subject line, your entire click-through rate depends on your headline grabbing the attention of your reader within the first couple words they skim through. If it doesn’t hook them, they’ll be scrolling on by to your competitor’s advertorial without a second thought. Here’s a succinct list of dos and don’ts to keep in mind when constructing your headline.
- Engaging and soft
- Soft means informal and engaging. The tone of advertorial copy in general should be soft, whereas press release articles are more formal and ‘hard’
- Informative and appealing, addressing hot topics, news, & events that are relevant to the target audience’s lifestyle
- Reading an article about the newest trends or social issues is sure to get a lot of views with many are searching for this type of content to stay up to date
- Use conversational tone
- You don’t want to be boring your reader to death by using academic-style writing. Using a conversational tone will keep the reader’s eyes on your advertorial as it’s easier to digest
- Simple and compelling to immediately catch the reader’s attention
- There’s a reason why we started this blog post with a fact about attention spans — it’s a pretty remarkable one. The same goes for advertorials.
- Hard selling
- Avoid being overly promotional with the product or service you’re trying to sell. No one wants to read about how great you or your product is — people want to be told a story that evokes emotion which will inspire them to take action.
- Project/sales-specific information
- People won’t care about your product or service features until they’re actually interested in buying from you. Don’t jump the gun, or face pushing people away.
- Formal language
- Headlines with big words are dry. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes — they didn’t come to the media site to read an academic research paper.
- Complicated and/or long headline with too much information
- You’ll lose your reader faster than you can say ‘advertorial’. It’s tempting to include a lot of information in the headline, especially when it’s all insightful, compelling information. Your reader will experience information overload and tune out.
12 Headline Tactics to Hook Your Target Audience Immediately
Now that you’re aware of the common dos and don’ts, you’re ready to go one step further and start writing your advertorial headline. We’ve outlined 12 proven tactics we practice to get outstanding results for our clients.
1. Relate it to trending topics: Discussion of informative social issues or news will more than likely pique a reader’s interest since these topics are relevant to a wide audience
2. Ask a question: A question is an effective way to make the headline more interactive with your audience and stimulate curiosity to find the answer
3. List of tips: Audiences will be interested in a listicle that may help them solve a problem or find inspiration in a topic as it conveys what the reader can expect (much like this article)
4. Use of numbers: Numbers are eye-catching, convey the presence of data, and help break up the monotony of words
5. Benefits: Talking about benefits a reader can gain from your advertorial will inspire them to take action
6. Resonating with the audience: Everyone wants to be understood. You know your target audience — put yourself in their shoes and write about something relatable to them
7. Sense of urgency: A strong sense of urgency will create FOMO that will provoke your audience to act now before they miss out on the opportunity
8. How to: Most people are curious and want to learn — provide value by sharing your expertise
9. Social language: WeChat users like entertaining, everyday social language rather than a boring statement. Tailor your headline to this tone.
10. Surprising tone while sticking to the facts: If you convey surprise to some shocking data point, you just might elicit the same response from your reader
11. Celebrity related: People love reading about celebrity gossip — it’s all over the internet. The public will be influenced to buy or experience a similar product, service, or event.
12. Reasonable length of headlines: An effective headline cannot be too long or too short — best practice is ideally less than 35 Chinese characters
Examples of Advertorial Headlines That Raked in the Views
1. Wood & Water by Anthem
During Chinese New Year, red pocket/envelope messages and housing promotions are everywhere. People are fed up with seeing them. This headline is different and sparks curiosity about the most popular home type in the booming Metro Vancouver housing market.
Tactics used: Trending social topic; sense of urgency
2. Tesoro by Concert
WeChat is the most popular social media platform among Chinese mainlanders and immigrants alike. One common dilemma is whether to choose to stay here or moving back to China. A topic that speaks to this is relatable and resonates with them.
Tactic used: Resonating with the audience
3. King George Hub by PCI Developments
$300k+ is a competitive price anchor to attract a wider range of buyers as housing prices are increasing. The forecast of the population rising in 10 years time coupled with the comparison with Vancouver entices the reader to learn more about the region in question
Tactics used: Use of numbers; asking an interesting question
If you’re hastily writing your advertorial headlines, you will likely end up with a poor click-through rate and unsatisfactory number of views. When creating an impossible-to-ignore headline, consider your target audience and put yourself in their position. Think about their likes and dislikes, demographics, location, and newsworthy things they’d find interesting. An engaging and informative headline with a casual tone that is not an obvious advertisement will boost the number of views of your WeChat advertorials and get a successful result in the end, regardless of the content of your advertorial.
Learning a whole new social network can be difficult — especially since most of the content isn’t in English. If you’re still unsure about your headline or advertorial content and design, it may be a good option to outsource the work to an agency. At Periphery Digital, we’re WeChat experts and specialize in creating amazing WeChat content for our happy clients. If you’d like to learn more about how we can boost your business bottom line with WeChat, contact us today.