Emotional headlines really do increase engagement, and CoSchedule can prove it. The marketing planning software company studied why a headline was shared; a topic covered on Simpleview’s Layover Live. Digital Content Editor, Amber Gallegos, discussed the article with Jason Swick, VP of Digital Marketing, in the weekly YouTube series. It stands to reason, what works for a blog can work for sponsored digital content. Let’s dive in!


First let’s take a look at the CoSchedule study. They hit over 10 million headlines uploaded to their Headline Analyzer tool. So they decided to put the data they had to good use and find a way to predict if a headline would be well-shared.

They combined their massive database of headlines with their social sharing analytics and top content reports to get a unique view of headlines. Then using the Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) score, they generated an actual rating that judged how well headlines converted.

On average, posts with a higher EMV were shared more often than posts with a lower EMV score. The posts with a high number of shares frequently reached an EMV score of 30 or 50, several points higher than posts with fewer shares.

Pull Quote from the Emotional Headlines Article

So what are emotional headlines?

“Emotional headlines are pretty self explanatory; they evoke an emotion and set the reader up to anticipate a benefit,” explains Amber. “This emotional connection makes it more likely they will click, read, and share the post. While you might think negative emotion would trigger the clicks, positive emotions actually get more shares.”

You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with my sponsored digital content?

If positive, emotional headlines get clicks on blog posts, it is only logical to think the same principals can be applied to your sponsored digital content to drive more referral clicks to your website!

There is a wonderful free tool provided by the Advanced Marketing Institute (also used by CoSchedule) called the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer.

Co-Schedule Headline Analyzer on a Laptop

“With this tool, you can pop in your headline and select the topic category to generate the EMV score. The more emotional the headline, the higher the score and the better chance you have at referral clicks,” shares Amber. “If you need ideas for emotional words, CoSchedule included a list of 180 power words for emotion compiled by copywriter Karl Stepp. You can download a handy tear sheet from the article.”

Using the tool and the tear sheet can help you create emotional headlines for your sponsored digital content on your local destination marketing organization website, and your content’s landing page. Amber cautions overuse of emotional headlines across an entire website, noting a visitor is not typically inclined to share a main page on a website. But there are uses where emotional headlines are effective.

Young woman searching her cellphone and smiling.

“If you have an interesting landing page with an emotional headline, your reader might want to share that with family and friends when they’re in their planning phase, tagging someone and saying we should go there or do that,” she says. “The main pages on your website have to be keyword rich and self-explanatory so don’t get too flowery there.”

You can still add emotion to the copy on your website. Those main navigation pages need to tell stories that evoke emotions, too.

“At Simpleview we always tell our clients to use sensory details on their website so the reader can really imagine themselves in the destination,” Amber says. “Through your copy, they are hearing, seeing and imaging themselves there. It’s a great opportunity to get creative and set your visitors up to anticipate something positive in your destination and at your business.”

The exact same thing can be said for your sponsored digital content on your local destination marketing organization’s website. Make sure your headline is emotional to get that click, and that the visitor lands on a page on your website that delivers on that positive emotional promise.