The Internet is a world of endless information. Unfortunately, a lot of the information nowadays is unhelpful and pointless. To drive traffic to your site, it is essential to make your articles and posts stand apart from others. How should you go about this?
They key to writing well, as we are told throughout our lives starting from the early days of elementary school, is to have a creative and compelling title.
What is “clickbait”?
How does it differ from a compelling title?
“Clickbait” is a way to attract readers to your content. Often times it is a compelling title or as The Atlantic describes, a cliffhanger that draws curiosity such as “What state do you actually belong in?”
This automatically draws readers in who want to find out how an online quiz may predict accurate information about them. Generally “clickbait” is somewhat of a game or intriguing question that makes people wonder and then causes them to perform an action: The Click.
It is in our nature to figure out what comes next when presented with a question or intriguing thought. Unbounce.com quotes marketer Jeremy Smith who explained, “Our minds are not content with the imbalance of disequilibrium — the lingering sense of incompleteness that we feel after reading a successful article title. So, we click. We pursue equilibration.”
When did “clickbait” get such a negative connotation?
People generally refer to “clickbait” negatively when they have been manipulated by it in the past. Poynter.org explains how both misleading these catchy titles can be, and how much of a let down the actual content can be compared to the intriguing nature of the title or prompt.
If people feel like their time is being wasted, ultimately this becomes a problem for your business. As seriouslysimplemarketing.com describes, people are clicking due to curiosity, and may leave the site quickly, not having the intention to convert to a paying customer.
How to effectively use “clickbait”
“Clickbait” can be effective when incorporated into your marketing plan correctly.
Below are some tips to ensure that your articles don’t have the typical negative connotation associated with “clickbait”:
- Don’t mislead or manipulate your customers or potential customers.
- Make your actual content as compelling as the title drawing people in. Include inspirational videos or helpful FAQs.
- Don’t make it difficult to access information (i.e. too many steps, multiple clicks, or many pages).
- Post topics that relate to reader interests. This can be determined by looking at the analytics of your website and seeing what already draws the most clicks and conversion.
- com explains how you can send out different versions of a post (with unique titles) to different percentages of customers to see what drives the most traffic (i.e. send an article with one title to half of your email list and the same article with a different title to the other half).
“Clickbait” is useful
Ultimately, “clickbait” is a useful tactic. It can lead to increases in both readership and customer conversion.
To use “clickbait” successfully, you must relate it to the user experience and overall usability. What you post must be easily accessible, easy to read, and logical in reference to your title or prompt. If people have a straightforward user experience, their loyalty to your business will increase, and they could become converting customers, making this marketing strategy a success.
Endless companies and media such as BuzzFeed and the Washington Post are using the “clickbait” strategy, and are very successful at it.
So what’s stopping you from creating curious clicks?
Written by: Alexandra Kennedy
Alexandra is a freelance and contract writer based in the Greater Boston area. She is a biologist, animal lover, lifelong student, and traveler.