6 Small Headline Tweaks That Speak to Physicians

With Real Examples from the Doximity Newsfeed

Oct 31, 2023 | Kate Domin - Doximity Marketing Manager

Your headline is the first impression a viewer gets on your content. It’s the first (and possibly only) thing a viewer will read. It’s your opportunity to entice and intrigue, providing context and driving deeper engagement. But we spend so long crafting the perfect copy that sometimes the headline can feel like an afterthought.

This article showcases the transformative power of a good headline, showcasing examples of the type of content that has seen success on Doximity. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to crafting a great headline, we’ve identified six themes that tend to resonate with physicians on Doximity from the following A/B tested headlines that ran on the newsfeed.

  1. Specialty-Specific

Physicians are busy, and they value information that is specific to them and their practice. By making a simple tweak to include or allude to the specialty in the headline, you can signal to your audience that the content will be relevant to them, which in turn can increase engagement significantly. Instead of “Top 3 Hospitals for 14 Specialties in 2022-2023,” try something like “Top 3 Hospitals for Cardiology in 2022-23.” 

  1. Locality-Specific 

Similar to specialty, people tend to be more invested in news that hits close to home. By emphasizing a local tie-in, you can build engagement. Instead of "America's Best Hospitals to Work For, by State” try “Which Missouri Hospital Made Forbes' List of America's Best Employers" (for a Missouri-based audience). 

  1. Questions

Use a question to entice your reader into learning more. This reframing can be simple but quite effective. For example, transforming “Cultural Barriers to Treating Depression” into a question “Is Depression a Cultural Thing?” yielded much stronger results.

  1. Spoiler Alert 

Sometimes it’s valuable to go ahead and get to the meat of an article in the headline. Instead of something vague like “Effectiveness of Intranasal Mometasone Furoate vs Saline for Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Children,” give your readers the reason why they should be interested (“Nasal Spray Shown to Significantly Reduce Snoring and Breathing Difficulties in Children”). 

  1. Less in More 

We always talk about concise clinical content. Headlines follow the same general rules. Keep it concise and share the details in the full story. For example, “Dual Antiplatelet Therapies and Causes in Minor Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack: A Prespecified Analysis in the CHANCE-2 Trial” was trimmed to keep it brief and enticing as “Ticagrelor-aspirin vs. Clopidogrel-aspirin in TIA or Minor Stroke.” This small change saves physicians time and still communicates the heart of the article. 

P.S. Using acronyms has been shown to be very effective for physician audiences. Keep in mind what acronyms your audience will be familiar with, and don’t be afraid to use them. This also helps keep your headline concise – a win-win. 

  1. Name Drop 

People respond to the source of information (a behavioral science principle explained in our recent blog post). When you have a trusted source to include as a part of your headline, it can drive engagement. For example, the headline “Antiamyloid Monoclonal Antibody Therapy for Alzheimer Disease: Emerging Issues in Neurology” referenced the specialty, but when the headline was re-written to include the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the click-through rate went through the roof: “AAN Issues Guidance on Antiamyloid Monoclonal Antibody Therapy for Alzheimer Disease"

Use these tips to experiment with small language tweaks in your headlines. Now that you’ve nailed the headline take a look at our tips for cracking the code to physician-centric content strategies.