Spike wins the 'Publisher innovation award' at the Australian Magazine Awards!

The Ultimate Guide to Headlines, Images and Spike Ads

The Ultimate Guide to Headlines, Images and Spike Ads

Posted by on May 17, 2018

If you want to capture the attention of your target audience, you need to recognise that your campaign’s use of imagery and titles are just as important as the actual content.

Why? Both elements have the power to attract the right readers, increase your click through rates (CTR), and help your campaigns scale. Compelling titles and captivating images draw people in. A good title has the power to spark interest, and the image that accompanies that title is just as critical as it visually communicates your message.

In this guide, we’ve outlined our best practices with examples for reaching engaged audiences by using the right image and titles in your campaigns.

Crafting Compelling Titles

It doesn’t matter how skillfully written your content is. It could be filled with expert insight and the latest statistics; however, if no one is discovering your article because of a poorly composed title, no one will ever read it. It would be a shame to have gone through all the trouble to create a quality piece and lose an audience because a lousy title was slapped on it. Here are three tips for writing the perfect title for your content:

    1. Perfect balance of copy and keywords

Our best performing fintech ad

When people are faced with options, they will choose the one that is not only most relevant but the one that is most interesting. Part of your content marketing strategy involves identifying what keywords your target audience will find most compelling. With that insight, you’ve already won half the battle. The other half is creatively integrating those keywords with captivating copy that resonates with your target audience.

2. Delivers on its promise

Good titles set clear expectations for your readers. Spend time crafting your title because you respect the reader experience. If your title cannot deliver on its promise, you will ultimately lose your reader’s trust.

3. Concise but compelling

When it comes to titles, there is beauty in brevity.

The Anatomy of a Headline

Choosing the Right Images

The correct use of imagery in your ads is vital.

When people hear information, they are statistically likely to remember 10% of it three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the message three days later.

So imagery plays a big part in how we retain information. When asked to recall an article we recently read, our brains are naturally wired to remember the title and the photo that accompanied it. This is because imagery is easier to process than words; not to mention, more entertaining. BuzzSumo’s analysis of over 1 million articles found that articles with an image once every 75-100 words received double the social media shares as articles with fewer images.

So we get it, images are important – but what type of image?Succesful headlines for ads are key

When people are in a bookstore looking for a new novel to get lost in, the cover of the book plays a role in whether the shopper reaches over to take a better look at the book and flip it over to read the synopsis. If books are quite literally judged by its cover, the same can be said for how articles are judged by their image. Our top tips for choosing the right image

  1. Relevance

The image you decide on should relate to the content. Matching an irrelevant image with your blog can throw off your audience. If your title claims to explain asset management or finance industry trends, adding an image of kittens playing with a yarn ball can be confusing for your readers. It can cause them to stop and wonder if they clicked the wrong link.

The image you add to your article doesn’t have to be an exact representation of the title; however, it should complement it.

  1. High Quality

Image quality is probably what people notice first. Use a poor quality, low-resolution image and your audience will get the impression that your content quality is just as poor. Quality images aren’t just high-resolution, but they should be expertly captured. You don’t have to be an authority in photography to recognise if a photo was taken by someone who was keen on composition. Look for images where the lighting creates the right mix of shadows and highlights, and the color saturation is realistic. And whether the photo is of a moment or an object, it should be framed well.

  1. Don’t Be Generic

Bespoke imagery is ideal but not something all marketers have the budget for. If you must use stock images, choose wisely. Avoid images that are too generic or have been overused; if you spend enough time online reading articles, you’ll know what we mean by images that have been used time and time again. It’s simple; use a generic image, and your audience will assume your content is just as ordinary.

What Kind of Images Should You Be Using?

  • Images with people are more relatable
  • Grab readers’ attention by using images with eye-catching colors
  • Avoid images that are cluttered with too many elements which can be distracting to audiences.
  • Don’t use images with brand logos, clip art, or layers with text.

Test, Test, Test

 A/B Testing Headlines and Images

A/B testing can help you narrow down the most effective elements of your campaign such as copy, headlines, images, color, font and even your CTA. A/B testing can help you determine which title and image will perform the best with your target audience.

We recommend as a minimum using the 3×3 strategy. That’s 3 images, 3 headlines, creating 9 ad variations, using each headline and each image. After a week you’ll be able to get a feel for what’s working – and pause or update any underperforming ads within the platform.

Both title and image can make or break your content. As the first things people see and the elements they remember the most, take time when creating your title and be thoughtful when choosing your images. Spend time on getting these right, and you’ll notice how much more attention your content will receive.

Spike Creative

We’re here to help! Our team has a breadth of experience and expertise to help nail your strategy and delivery that’s hard to beat.

Talk to Spike Creative Today!

Talk to Spike today about our content solutions