Here’s What Numbers & $pecial Char@cters You Should Use In A Branded Content Headline

December 20, 2017

We’ve spent a lot of time with premium publishers discussing content and creative best practices. After meeting with many campaign manager and content editors, we found that many have not developed an internal playbook for creating strong performing creatives. As a result, we decided to examine headline performance data across all of our global publishers to uncover new actionable insights for driving more clicks. We extensively reviewed over 10,000 branded content headlines from publishers like Condé Nast, Gannett, Oath, News Corp, and The Telegraph.

With our aggregate headline data, we released a comprehensive 37-page report on What Makes A Great Branded Content Headlinewhich examines a variety of elements that contribute to a headlines success.

A few weeks back we released our first blog post, Your Branded Content Headlines Should Be 12 To 16 Words Long, which examined how headline length impacts CTR performance. In general, we found that longer headlines tend to promote stronger click-through rates. In this second post, we’ll look at how different characters affect CTR.

$peci@! Ch@r@cter$

The above plots out CTR performance based on the use of special characters used in a headline. Special characters are symbols that are not letters or numbers.

  • Do special characters impact CTR performance? Absolutely. Based on the headlines we analyzed, using a dollar sign ($) or an exclamation mark (!) has a positive effect on CTR.
  • Using the “and” symbol (&) or question mark (?) does not necessarily have a negative impact on CTR, however, there are no clear positive trends.

Numbers (Represented as a numeral) 

The chart above plots out CTR performance based on the use of numbers (shown as a numeral) in a headline.

  • When using numbers in a headline, consider using 4, 9 or 3 as they had the strongest median CTRs.

Numbers (Represented as a word)

The chart above plots out CTR performance based on the use of written numbers used in a headline.

  • Generally speaking, numbers perform better when shown as a numeral, rather than written out.
  • Six was the top performing written numbers, but one of the worst performing numbers when represented as a numeral.

Even & Odd Numbers

  • Our research has confirmed that odd numbers perform better than even numbers, however, not by a large margin.
  • You are better focusing on specific number performance than higher-level factors such as even or odd.

In case You Missed It…

Your Branded Content Headlines Should Be 12 To 16 Words Long – This first post in our ongoing headline best practices series examines headline length and how the number of characters and words had a direct effect on CTR performance. In general, we found that longer headlines tend to promote better CTR.

Looking for more headline insights and best practices?

Check out our 37-page whitepaper ‘What Makes A Great Branded Content Headline?’ We take a much closer like at the relationship between headline performance and characters, numbers, words, and phrases.

[Download Whitepaper] What Makes A Great Branded Content Headline?

Please note, this research represents the aggregate performance data from our sample. We are not recommending a “one size fits all”, in that the benefit of branded content is building experiences that are relevant to your voice, tone, platform and environment for your audiences.

 

WHAT MAKES A GREAT BRANDED CONTENT HEADLINE?

OCTOBER 2017

New actionable insights and best practices focusing on characters, words, and phrases, giving you a detailed look at global aggregate headline performance data from the world’s leading premium publishers.

DOWNLOAD FREE COPY