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  • Writer's pictureRogier Visser, Founder Roundabout social

Which Types of Headlines Drive the Most Content Engagement Post-Click? [New Data]

A few weeks ago, inPowered labs released it's report “200 Content Amplification Headlines that Drove Ridiculous Amounts of Engagement Post-Click.” In the report, the inPowered team analyzed the content engagement analytics of post ad unit clicks from 2018’s highest performing social and native headlines. In this post, we'll look at those findings, and analyze what it means for marketers.

The next stage includes looking directly at the macro-performance of the five categories of headlines. There are many studies out there which examine article headlines and clicks, but very few of them juxtapose native and social ad headlines, and their subsequent relationship to users actually engaging with the content post-click.

This is perhaps even more important than studying article headlines, because social and native ad headlines have liquid cash behind them. Not learning best practices can lead to inefficient, or wasted, paid media budgets. So, without further ado, let’s look at how we approached this study in the lab.


The data below was gathered from the top 200 native and social ad unit headlines from 2018. Over 40 networks were included in this study - it juxtaposes the average engagement rate and the average engaged time (in seconds) by category.

Post-click, ad engagement is only counted if the user spends 15 or more seconds in the active window with the content.

The five categories defined below are a variation of BuzzSumo’s methodology for organizing articles. Our categories are for native and social ad unit headlines, and not the actual title of an article. However, often they can be the same.

1. Article - The catch-all category for native ad unit headlines which don’t fit into any other category.

2. Brand Mention - Any category of headline that includes a brand mention, which supersedes the other categories.

3. How-To - Any headline communicating the content will show how to do something.

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