1. Use numbers in headlines
This is one of the most commonly yet effectively used tactics. See above! Numbers add more authority to the headline, invoking a subtle feeling of assurance of evidence in the audience. It also adds more specificity to the headline. Specificity always provokes curiosity than vagueness. The concept of specificity can be doubled down by adding more unique/abstract numbers. For example, even though round numbers are appealing and widely used, a unique number such as 25.46% demands more attention than nice and round 25%. At the end of the day, it’s always about grabbing the attention of the audience from the get-go.
2. Provide a strong and interesting clue to the article/video
There must always be something in the headline that provokes the curiosity of the reader. The best method is to include a summary/hint of the solution that you will be described in the content. Or it could be a benefit of the content. Whatever it is, there should be value-added to the reader from the beginning. The headline could be in a form of a normal sentence or a question. If you are using a question, make sure it provides enough of a clue that the reader will find the answer within the content. Nobody wants to read a long paragraph or watch a video just to be aware of a great problem. There should be some sort of a solution/conclusion and the headline must showcase that.
3. Avoid click-baits always
If there’s something proven again and again on Youtube is that clickbait works! But it begs the question, what is the true intention of your work. Is it just to get some additional views by click-baiting with an out-of-the-world headline? Then what would you do for your next video/article? This diminishes the longevity of your platform and throws off the most precious aspect – loyal subscribers. Whatever your intention with the content, returning visitors are the key to success in the long run.
4. Clearness beats cleverness
Unless you are doing a research submission, there is no need to confuse the visitors by trying to be overly smart. A clear and concise title is always more appealing to readers who stumble upon your content than hard to understand language. However, if you already have a niche and a loyal following, then the story is different. You can use all the jargon that is specific to your subject as the followers are predisposed. They will value the uniqueness and cleverness of the title. But for most mainstream visitors, being crystal clear with the headline about what you will be discussing in the content, is paramount.
5. Sense of urgency
The headline should imply some sort of urgency. Also do not make the mistake of going overboard. If your content has a deadline, make sure to straight away mention it in the headline. The deadline could be anything from a promotional period to a pressing societal issue that needs immediate attention. However, as mentioned above, if there is no such content, do not add urgency to the headline for the sake of it as it will have the same effect as clickbait… Betrayal.