If you’ve so much as glanced at the Internet in the last year, you probably won’t be surprised by what #buffer’s Kevan Lee found after analyzing 3,016 headlines from 24 top content sites such as #buzzfeed, ViralNova, and #upworthy. While some of the single words and two-word phrases that came up most often are notable — such as the fact that “you” or “your” were found in 16 percent of the headlines — things get really interesting when you examine the most popular three-word phrases.
“This is the” “will make you,” “when you see/til you see,” and “what happens when” were the four most common phrases found. Are you nodding right now? Then you weren’t surprised to see that “in the world,” “I’ve ever seen,” and “blow your mind” are on the list too.
That’s right: hyperbole, urgency and intrigue are pretty much fueling the Internet right now. But as Lee points out in his analysis, there’s a logic to the madness. The prevalence of “you” and “your” in headlines, for example, provides valuable insight for content creators.
“What does this say about #viral headlines?” he asks of the second-person phenomenon. “They seek to add value for you, the reader. Make content about the reader, not about the writer.”
Likewise, the anticipatory and questioning nature of the common three-word phrases piques readers’ interest, especially when they add up to the question of “why.”
Thank you for sharing! Great content ‘strategy’ as always!