These 10 Fact-Based Findings Will Make You Think Twice About Your Marketing Headline!

buzzsumo facebook headline study 2017

Headlines are one of the most important elements of your marketing.
Buzzsumo (a great tool I use often) recently released a report after analyzing over 1 Million headlines from 2017.

Do you want to know what they found?

Facebook headlines that drove the most engagement had the phrase “will make you” in it. This is over 2x better than the #2 phrase “this is why”.

Can you guess the reason? “will make you” is a linking phrase – it doesn’t start or end a headline.
For example, “13 Travel Tips That Will Make You Feel Smart“.

This is why headlines work. They evoke some emotion and sense of certainty, thus giving people two of the most important things that drive action. This will make you is both certain and action oriented. Put emotional context around it and you have a winner!

The WORST Facebook headlines use the phrases:
work for you
control of your
what’s new in
on a budget
simple way to

But beware of applying findings from one platform to another. These are generalities. For example, for Pinterest DIY boards, “on a budget” performed extremely well.

buzzsumo facebook headline study 2017


A few other cool findings that you should be taking into consideration.

1. Use of “10” in a headline outperforms every other number. Ask David Letterman.
2. List posts outperform most other types on average.
3. Headlines with 15 words are the best. Between 10 and 20 are ok but less than 10 or more than 20 die a slow death. It should also be about 90 characters, so no BIG WORDS!
4. If you are doing B2B, try phrases like “The age of”, “The impact of”, and “The rise of”.


Dave & The RRM / MCC Team

About The Author

Dave Bowland

Dave has created, worked in, and run successful businesses in various industries over the years, always leveraging technology to market, sell and deliver the goods. Personally selling over $20M in products and services, Dave has a deep understanding of what small and medium sized-businesses face on a daily basis when it comes to marketing and sales - all while ensuring their business runs smoothly and delivers top-quality customer service.