Made you look! But will you be coming back anytime soon?
Clickbait has dominated the way information is presented across the internet for a good few years now. In simple terms, clickbait articles have headlines and snippets that promise some scandalizing, shocking or horrifying news once you follow the link.
Most times however, these headlines are gross exaggerations, and many verge on sheer misrepresentation of facts.
This strategy is often used by websites to promote traffic and gain revenue. It uses people’s curiosity against them, as they are designed in a way that the person would want to know what happened next. On the face of it, clickbait thus sounds like the perfect digital marketing strategy.
After all, they virtually guarantee that a person will check out your website. But before you decide to incorporate this tactic into your digital marketing strategy, there are some negatives you must consider.
I’ve Been Pwned!
Anybody who has been on the audience side of the clickbait operation knows that these schemes do not last very long. In the earlier days, it was easy to entice people with such tactics, but today, clickbait runs into a number of issues, which include –
People Don’t Like It
A majority of the population may still not be able to resist a good clickbait, but many today detest clickbait immensely. Some even comment or post the content of the link so that others do not have to follow up. Thus, this digital marketing strategy is no longer a guaranteed hit, and may actually repel a large chunk of your customers.
It Makes You Less Trustworthy
Clickbait is fine if you are okay with people just turning up to your website once. If you want to build lasting relationships with customers that ensures that they keep coming back, clickbait might not be the way to go.
This tactic is often associated with ‘low quality’ websites and journalism, and thus you become less trustworthy in the eyes of your customers.
You Stand to Disappoint
Another way you can lose customers via clickbait is through disappointment. Clickbait encourages content creators to sensationalize the information in any way possible, including sometimes distorting facts outright. If you tie a clickbait to a product or service, and exaggerate, you can lose customers very fast.
They might come in expecting a GOTHIC ANTIQUE WRITING INSTRUMENT, only to be presented with a bird feather and inkpot – you get the feeling.
Platforms Are Putting an End to It
Taking note of increasing complaints by audiences, many social media platforms have begun to roll out rules against clickbait. The most notable of these is Facebook, which at a point was completely infested with the trend.
Thus, the use of clickbait as a digital marketing tactic can cost you presence on social media, which is arguably the most important way of advertising today.
You Can Do Better
Due to the reasons above, many see clickbait at the bottom of the digital marketing barrel, something that companies resort to when they can produce nothing better. The tactic may thus create a negative outlook for the company in its efforts to win over loyal customers, which is the last thing you’d want to do.
Despite these drawbacks, there are some situations in which you can use clickbait to your advantage, provided you do it correctly. Here are some tried and tested strategies to help you boost your digital marketing efforts.
Back Up Your Claims
Don’t ever flout the cardinal rule of marketing and promise what you cannot deliver. Though it may take a little time and effort, you can certainly come up with clickbait worthy titles without distorting facts.
Your shoes may not ‘cure pain’, but they surely can be the shoes ‘preferred by thousands with foot pain.’ Backing up your claims automatically makes you more reliable and trustworthy.
Be Sparse With It
Good clickbait is like garnish – used with utmost discretion. When clickbait headlines are used few and far in between, people are much more likely to be enticed. Use this strategy when you are low on hits, have a new product or service to announce, or have truly discovered something incredible/shocking.
Use the Right Words
Play to people’s positivity, curiosity, and desire for growth rather than relying on scandal and gossip. So instead of going NUMBER FIVE WILL SHOCK YOU, try going for ‘8 ways to…, or maybe ask a question like – do you know how…
This will prevent people from dismissing your headline as another sensational attempt at grabbing attention, and pique their curiosity too.
Throw In An Image
An image is worth a thousand words, which means it can convey more information than any headline ever could. Images are generally more eye-catching than text, and they can give an effective preview about what your link contains. Infographics, statistics, and funny posters are some ways of generating interest.
Think from Audience Perspective
As a general scroller, you too must have come across countless instances of clickbait. The next time you do, take note. Does the heading make you want to know more? Does the elements of the post make you feel interested, or do you think that the link is a cheap gimmick?
An aware audience perspective can help you develop enticing links that attracts your audiences too.
To conclude, there is no one right way to look at a clickbait. It can be both an annoying tactic that most audiences are desensitized to, or it can be a great way to drive attention to what you are offering. The role it takes depends upon how you execute this digital marketing strategy. So, follow the tips above to get the best from clickbait.
Do you think that clickbait can be used in a positive way? What are the features of a headline that make you want to click on the link? Are there other digital marketing strategies that can replace the clickbait? Let us know in the comments below!