Clickbait is a pejorative term describing web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines or eye-catching thumbnail pictures to attract click-through and to encourage forwarding of the material over online social media.
These are the sort of headlines you’ll see on clickbait articles:
- Man hugs a dolphin. What happens next will blow your mind!
- 3 facts about oranges that will change your life FOREVER!
- What this little kid can do with a tin can will amaze you!
And when your curiosity is piqued, you click, and you are inevitably disappointed.
But it is not just the disappointment that should make you wary of clickbait, it is also the fact that clickbait is SELECTING you.
We know that clickbait sites are all about getting you to see the advertising content; usually for some pretty dodgy stuff. Advertising for goods and services that you think to yourself you would never personally be gullible enough to fall for.
Yet, by the very action of clicking on the clickbait headline, when you should know better, you have just self-selected yourself as a gullible person.
Clickbait is a trend that any reputable online marketer will studiously avoid.
Why? Because resorting to clickbait in an attempt to capture user interest can do more harm than good for your brand in the long term..
Sure, it grabs people’s attention because the headline is clever or funny, but clickbaits always fail to deliver what is promised, leading to distrust or, worse, damage to your reputation.
Instead, focus on what is valuable and learn to write powerful headlines without resorting to clickbaits.
Remember that content is king and, ultimately, quality always wins.
It may be true that capturing the attention of your audience is just half the battle, but keeping them engaged is another story.
What you provide after the headline matters more.
It is better to have ten people read your online article because it is relevant to them and they are genuinely interested, than to have a thousand click on it and become instantly disappointed.
People tend to stick with those they can trust, who deliver what they promise, so avoid clickbait and look after your online reputation.