Digital Marketing

Fix Your School's Headlines in Five Minutes

April 9, 2019

When it comes to creating successful school marketing content, there are a lot of variables at play. Your post needs to be researched. The writing needs to be clear and user-friendly. It needs to be formatted correctly. The content actually needs to be useful to the reader.

But there’s one last element that almost guarantees the success or failure of your post… your headline.

Why are headlines so important?

When you share a piece through email marketing or on social media, it has to compete with a sea of other impactful, interesting content. The viewer will be deciding whether to invest the time to view your content, or move on and spend their time elsewhere. The best way to sell them? Your headline.

Not only that, headlines send signals to search engines what your post is about. Including a key phrase in your headline can improve your website’s overall SEO (provided the headline isn’t stuffed with keywords or doesn’t misrepresent what the post is about).

How do I write a captivating headline?

There are a few key factors to consider when you’re putting pen to paper and writing an effective school headline. But there’s one bit tip that will get clicks to your school websites -- guaranteed.

Include the benefit to your readers in the headline.

So before you write your headline, take 5 minutes and have a good long think about what benefit your post offers to your readers. Be as specific as you can.

Will they learn how to support your Christmas fundraiser? Will they go behind-the-scenes of your school musical? Will they find out how the changes to curriculum will affect their child?

(Brutal honesty: If you read over your post and you can’t find a benefit to your readers at all, it’s probably best you scrap that post and start again.)

Once you’ve discovered the benefit to your readers, it’s time to communicate it with a headline that grabs their attention.

Headline formulas that work

Grab the latest edition of Women’s Weekly or jump on Buzzfeed and you’ll start to see headline formulas that have been reused over and over. These headlines work because they are brief, punchy and they put the benefit to the reader front and centre.

Use a number

Putting a number in your headline works -- and you’re living proof because you clicked to read this blog post!

Example: Fix Your School’s Headlines in 5 Minutes, 3 Benefits of Using an Online Enrolment System

How-to or guide headlines

These headlines signal to readers that you will teach them how to do something -- just make sure your post actually delivers on that promise!

Example: How Your School Can Use Live Video, Guide to Writing the Perfect Push Notification

Ask a question

Draw readers in by posing a question to them. To find out the answer, they have to click to read the post!

Example: Is Virtual Reality Changing the Way Students Learn?, Your School Website is Going Live: What’s Next?

Make a comparison

Comparing two brands or products against each other is a surefire way to get readers to click on your post - particularly if they are making a decision or want to know more about both options.

Example: YouTube vs. Vimeo for Schools, Mobile Apps vs. Responsive Websites for Schools

Keep it current

Making the content current and up-to-date by including the year you are publishing makes it stand out from similar content pieces.

Example: 2019: Social Media Trends for Your School and How You Can Implement Them, Top 10 Design Trends for School Websites in 2019

Next steps

You’ve written your killer headline, and you’re ready to press post. Take a quick pause and have a read over your entire post. Does it deliver on what your headline has promised?

If your headline entices a reader to click, but they are taken to a post that barely touches on the benefits promised, they will likely leave your website in no time at all. Not only that, but they may feel tricked or deceived -- a poor result when you are trying to build a reputation of trust with your audience.

Magnetic headline that sells the reader on a benefit? Check.

Interesting, informative content that delivers what they headline promised? Check.

Time to hit ‘publish’!

Looking to develop your school blog? We’ve written extensively about blogging in our resources centre. Check out our posts about driving enrolments through blogging, formatting your blog and more.