Love it or hate it clickbait has become a huge deal in recent years, becoming yet another tool used by marketers and business to try and generate interest. These days no website is safe and it seems like nobody is above resorting to clickbait articles, titles and imagery to help encourage people to click on their links.
With so many opting to use clickbait within their content marketing and with many sites thriving on publishing clickbait content, should you be doing the same?
What Is Clickbait?
Essentially clickbait is content that is written specifically to attract as many clicks possible, from news stories, blog posts, interviews, videos, when written in a specific way any type of content can become clickbait. Clickbait is likely to contain a number of characteristics, including an eye catching or dramatic headline, a small amount of content, out of context imagery and lists.
It’s also common that clickbait doesn’t live up to the hype that the title suggests, focusing more on generating clicks from a ridiculous title or image, rather than generating clicks from interesting or accurate content.
While clickbait might have some positives such as more page views and more brand awareness, there is a much darker side to clickbait, which could kill your conversions and clicks.
The Cons Of Clickbait
Clickbait has a number of drawbacks and as internet users become more aware of clickbait, it’s likely to become even more of an annoyance than a beneficial content marketing tool, which is why brands looking to maximise clicks with clickbait should also be aware of the following pitfalls.
Brings In the Wrong Type Of Traffic
When thinking about bringing more traffic to your website, it’s likely you’ll want to bring in traffic that’s relevant to your business, ensuring that your audience represents the message of your business.
If you’re looking to reach targeted audiences who are likely to purchase your products or services, then it’s unlikely that clickbait will bring in that type of traffic, instead attracting audiences who want to be entertained only, not people looking for your services.
Misleading Content Damages Brand Reputation
Nothing gets rid of your audiences trust quite like purposely misleading them and clickbait does exactly that. When your audience click your content they expect to be taken to content that both matches the title and also provides relevant, accurate and entertaining information.
Intentionally deceiving your audience for the sake of a few extra page views can be a huge turn off, sending your audience anywhere other than your site and also leading them to perceive your brand negatively, which could cause problems for your business on a whole.
Sensationalism Is Getting Tiresome
These days audiences want facts, what might have somehow worked for Buzzfeed in 2007 no longer works for Buzzfeed 2017, people are wising up to clickbait and it’s leading to waning interest from audiences. With every site seemingly using misleading headlines and imagery, it’s honestly just getting old and audiences are likely to find this extremely off putting.
Sensational headlines don’t have the same effect they used to, people now want real content, they want to know what’s going on, not see news outlets and content produces stoop to new levels of desperation to make a tactic work that should have stopped being relevant 5 years ago.
Clickbait can be lot’s of fun for writers, businesses and marketers, allowing them to create witty, sensational, inaccurate headlines and content and it can be great to see an increase in traffic, page views and shares. However, with clickbait being viewed more and more negatively, it could be time to decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks