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I love list posts. Love them.
They set a clear expectation of how much information I can expect.
They are often easy to read – I mean scan. I can start reading each item and decide if I need to keep reading each explanation. I feel like I’m in charge of my time.
I do know that list posts perform well – which is why many do them.
But here’s where I run into problems with web headlines like the one above.
I doubt that a 72.4 percent increase is possible to be exactly duplicated. Even if every exact step is followed.
First of all, that’s super precise.
Second of all, things change. Social media networks change. How many people see a post changes. Or user behavior changes. Or who knows what else changes.
One day I promote a tweet for $50 and get one amount of clicks and impressions. The next day, I do something different and get a totally different result.
But I did nothing different. Something changed somewhere.
Something is always changing. Take a look at technology news headlines online. There’s always something happening. Sometimes it’s minor and we wouldn’t have even noticed without the article. Sometimes it’s more major and we notice because we don’t like it.
Telling readers that there are x number of steps to see an y amount of increase is easy to comprehend by consumers. Some might even believe that they can duplicate the results.
It’s more marketing than authentic blogging, though.
Adding the time element adds another specificity that makes it appear that this is possible fairly quickly to accomplish.
In reality, content marketing and blogging projects take time and are long-term investments.
Some results certainly can be duplicated and we can always learn from each other. Sure.
The article needs to keep what the headline promises. When it doesn’t trust erodes. Sometimes trust goes out the window just because a headline seems to over promise. My perception is that these types certainly do that.
We all have a choice with the content we share. You can decide which movement to join:
1) Writing the most clicked headlines whether or not they are accurate or not.
2) Write headlines and content that is authentic, real and tells a great and engaging story without over promising.
Authentic storytellers – in content marketing and elsewhere – tell the best stories that add long term value.
Their stories get read, too, shared and are helpful because they are great authentic stories.
Your decision can be completed in seconds. The implementation will likely take a bit longer.