by David Brown, Certified Content MarketerQuestions evoke a response, and as a result, they can be effectively used in a title.
First Words as First Impression
When it boils down to the most important aspect of content marketing, the title of the post, or web page, blog, or article is the first impression that the reader has of the content. An effective photo can also create a curiosity about the content. The photo above of the flowers being offered does not relate directly to question in the title, yet it engages the reader by evoking a question such as "celebration?", "surprise?", or "gift?".
Answering an Existing Question or Need
The use of questions can serve as a "hook" to persuade the reader to want to answer the question in their mind and/or search for the answer in the copy that follows the title.
If the question is worded in a way that addresses a need of a target audience, then the engagement can be increased. Increased engagement is an important goal in content marketing and social media marketing. Using questions gives content marketers an edge to increase the engagement of tweets or posts that we create for our clients.
Goals of Using Questions in Titles
What should be the goals of using a question as a title for an engaging post or blog?
1) The question is worded so that the reader sees some value in learning that will help them in their life, or business.
2) The keywords in the question can address the keywords of the target audience. For a ballroom dance studio, the word dance would be an important keyword in the question.
3) Use one or more of the The five W's. These are five keywords that are used in questions to gather information. Since many people are gathering information from news feeds in social media, to reading blogs, or other content, these can be effective as the first keyword in the title. The five W's are: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. A sixth word may also be used that does not start with a "W" - How.
4) Use the questions as a "hook" - the question is worded in such as way that it acts like a hook to grab the attention and draw the reader into the text and message that follows.
5) Increased engagement. A measurable increased response to the post as a result of using a question, as shown in the engagement to the post through insights, web traffic or other metrics.
In summary, the use of questions are an important part of an overall strategy in writing engaging content titles with a diverse variety of keywords, goals, and techniques to create value, and evoke respones with likes, shares, +'s, and/or comments.