Why Taglines May Hold the Key to Shareability


It’s the season of sharing. But for digital marketers, the season runs throughout the year. For this group, sharing is what people do with interesting content. Give it a look, then whisk it to your favorite recipients.

What’s noteworthy about this phenomenon is the fundamental impulse that drives the generosity -- people enjoy sharing data with others. So concluded a study conducted by UCLA psychologists earlier this century. According to the in-depth research, “people are regularly attuned to how the things they're seeing will be useful and interesting, not just to themselves but to other people.” Clearly, the psychological stage is set for marketers – the human desire is there. All that’s required is inspirational content.

Know this, however, inspirational content doesn’t necessarily begin with the first sentence of the published piece. In fact, it frequently begins with a tagline, headline, or title. As has been discovered, users often will share content based on tagline alone. A title that sells the book.

This behavior was observed by researchers at Columbia University and the French National Institute. According to these sources, 59% of users share content based on tagline – whether or not they eventually read the content.

Until better methods surface, it behooves digital markets to ensure all content taglines puss the correct buttons. Button-pressing is more likely when this important string of text exhibits several attributes. Among these is a clear demonstration of value. Some benefit to the reader must be apparent in the tagline, whether implied or stated outright.

If possible, carry this benefits policy to its logical conclusion by communicating specific results to the reader – what will they get by feasting their eyes on the content? Admittedly, a lot to cover in a short line of text. But nobody said it would be easy. Take fewer coffee breaks, and make more time for tagline crafting. The gains will be well worth it.

Also, you’ll get more mileage from taglines by being pronoun savvy. The optimum one to use is ‘you’ or ‘your’. ‘We’, ‘I’, and ‘me’ definitely are out.

If you have questions or comments about improving content sharing, or any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way. You can connect with the Young Company team at 949-376-8404 or bart@youngcompany.com. And be sure to follow us for the latest brand marketing news and tips.