Applying Viral Headline Tips to Everyday Marketing

Last week we talked about a study by Ripenn that examined thousands of headlines from popular websites (especially those that are known for generating viral content, like BuzzFeed) and collected some of the most common words.

This week we want to think about other ways that you can apply the insights that the Ripenn study provided — because we got to thinking, and really, these rules can give businesspeople some valuable lessons in other aspects of communication.

So where else can these vocabulary “hooks” be employed?

What about throwing in a few examples of “this” and “that” when you’re conducting the all-important elevator pitch to a potential buyer? You’ve only got their attention for the same short amount of time as a headline does. Be direct, be specific and guide their attention with these pointed words. You’ve got one shot!

You always want to remember to throw in “you” and “your” when you’re trying to market an idea. Think to yourself: What can I offer my listener? He wants to know what I can do for him, and this should be the focus of my communication.

The same goes for the slightly longer sales pitch, where you want to be amusing without piling on anything more than what your audience wants to know. Focus on “what, when, where” and, as the Ripenn study concludes, you especially need to add “why.” Ask yourself: Why does this person want to hear my story? Why should he buy from me? Tell your listener “why,” because you alone have the answers that they need to proceed in working with you or purchasing from you.

Even the standard weekly business meeting — like a Monday brainstorming session or Friday wrap-up — could be spruced up with a few key words trickled in. Keep the ears of your co-workers perked in your next presentation by trying out these tried-and-true headline-writing techniques out loud.

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