Kogan vs. ANZ vs. Qantas: Headlines, head-to-head

Tuesday teardown – In summary:

  • Headlines matter. If you’re not achieving the results you should be from your content – the first place to look is at your headlines.
  • Great headlines are personal. Make your headline personal for the reader (and avoid describing your content in the abstract).
  • Add more ’emotional’ words to your headlines. Headlines that trigger an emotional response typically perform strongly.

Websites referenced in this teardown:

Transcript of this teardown:

Hi. I’m Steve Pell from TLP. I’m here to do another one of our Tuesday Teardowns, where we look at some well-known websites and well-known CEO blogs for practical takeaways about how you can improve your marketing online.

Now, today we’re going to talk about headlines on blog articles, or for any type of content for that matter. We’re using three very well-known Australian CEOs: Ruslan Kogan (of Kogan Electronics), Alan Joyce (QANTAS) and Mike Smith (the recently departed CEO of ANZ).

There’s three takeaways today:

The first is that headlines really matter. If you’re not achieving the results that you think you should be from your content then I’d really encourage you to get stuck in and have a look deeply at the headlines, see how well they are performing, use some of the tools that we’re going to talk about today and see if you can improve, not the content, but the headline and the way that you’re describing that article out to the world.

The second takeaway, is that you should write personal headlines. Write headlines that are made personal for the readers; for the people who are engaging with your articles. If you do that instead of describing the content in abstract terms, if you make it personal/ individual, you’ll almost always see better results.

The third takeaway is if you can give your headlines have a degree of emotion, and add more emotional content, you’ll also see much better results.

Let’s jump in to the three articles. I’m going to show you some practical tool as well that you can use to pull apart your headlines and see how well they are performing. The first article we’re going to look at here is from Ruslan Kogan. It’s called “Best advice: If your ideas get rejected, you’re on the right track.” This article has achieved 14,000 views, 1,000 likes, 153 comments – so, a pretty well performing article all things considered.


Ruslan Kogan’s article – Best advice: If your ideas get rejected, you’re on the right track

We’re going to look at this CoSchedule headline scoring tool that allows you to input any headline, and it will give you a headline quality score. It will run you through a whole bunch of things about how the headline is going to perform on different mediums, the key words etc. Now, this isn’t always going to be accurate to the nth degree, but it’s a good indication if you’ve got a really low score or a really high score; that an article might not do as well as you’d hope or might do better than you’d expected.


The CoSchedule headline analyser

The other tool I’m showing here is this emotional value score from the Advanced Marketing Institute. This will give you a score based on the emotional content of words in the headline.

AMI emotional value

The Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer

In this case, 25% of the words from Kogan’s headline have an emotional content; the higher this score is, the better that headline will typically do, and I’ll put some links down below to some research showing that great headlines typically sitting a 30% to 40% emotional range will drive much better performance. So this is a reasonably good example from Ruslan Kogan. You saw we had a CoSchedule score of 75, and then an emotional content score of 25% here.

Let’s jump on to Mike Smith who’s talking about “Saying goodbye to a stronger, better ANZ“. This article has achieved 6,000 views, 1,000 likes, 64 comments, so a bit lower in terms of performance than the Ruslan Kogan article.

Mike smith

Mike Smith’s article – Saying goodbye to a stronger, better ANZ

Again, this is a personal topic from Mike Smith. So, it should be something that we can write an emotional, personal headline for. Let’s jump in, and you can see here a 65 headline score from CoSchedule; and in terms of emotional content it’s standing at 16%. Again, this correlates with what we’re talking about in terms of the performance of the article. Again, this comes back to more emotional, more personal headline equal better performance.

Let’s talk now about Alan Joyce: “Making the Business Case for LGBT Inclusion.” Again, this is a topic that Alan Joyce should be able to write a very personal headline for. You can see it’s achieved 850 views, 315 likes, 11 comments. This is really underperforming. Again, I’ve talked about some of Alan Joyce’s content on LinkedIn before, and it does tend to be a little bit more boring than it should be.


Alan Joyce’s article – Making the business case for LGBT inclusion

Perhaps this is below what you would expect for a CEO of an ASX 100 company. You question if this is worth his time. Let’s have a look at the headlines here in terms of scores, and you can see here a 59 headline score. It’s, again, lower. It’s a little bit boring, I would say, and the emotional content, it’s, again, down lower, with a score of 14%.

In conclusion

So, some really practical takeaways there for you today as we ran through three Australian CEOs and their blog headlines.

The more emotional your headline, typically, the better that’s going to perform. The more personal the headline, typically, the better that’s going to perform. Headlines, they really do matter. They are an area that has a huge impact on the performance of your content, so please, jump into the resources below, tweak your headlines, see if you can achieve some better performance. And please start using some of these tools that really help you to start understanding how your headlines are going to perform.

Thanks a lot. I’m Steve Pell. That’s been another one of our Tuesday Teardowns.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • […] Today I’m comparing Qlik and Tableau – both big software vendors. They both sell business intelligence software, but the takeaways today don’t really have anything to do with business intelligence. The takeaways are about how to improve your headlines. This is a topic we’ve touched on recently. Today we’re going to add something to what we talked about last time, which was focused on writing headlines that are emotional and practical. […]