If you’re a writer, content producer or savvy internet reader, chances are you’ve encountered clickbait. Clickbait refers to internet content that’s designed to get the user to click through to a new destination. Using a headline, advertisement, or other kind of content, writers and marketer’s lure their audience from the first impression to a new webpage. However, clickbait usually refers to a specific type of content – the kind that emphasizes traffic over value. We’ll talk about the short-term and long-term effects of using clickbait to promote your brand. At the end of this article, you’ll see why clickbait hurts more than it helps.
Short Term Effects
If you use clickbait to drive an audience to your website, you will see a boost in traffic. Marketers, brands and even newspapers are guilty of using clickbait to fatten up their website view numbers.
Although the headlines, graphics or words the author uses are often misleading, clickbait is designed to get people’s attention. So if you’ve crafted worthy content that can follow up on the marketing, you may actually improve the quality and quantity of your audience.
If you’re going to use clickbait for your brand, be transparent. Admit that these are “promoted stories.” Don’t disguise your advertising as journalism. Use your content to hook the viewer, teach them, and then persuade.
Long Term Consequences of Clickbait
If your blog, brand or channel gets labeled as clickbait, viewers won’t want to engage with your content. They’ll figure out that you don’t make good on your “catchy” lead-ins. You will lose the audience that the clickbait gained for you.
If you have a company related to misleading clickbait, your business could suffer. Clickbait dances around the laws of false advertisement – so, you probably won’t get sued from using it. However, if you try and hoodwink a customer with a shady offer – even if you’re successful – you’re short-changing yourself. You might make some quick cash, but you’re killing the potential, long-term relationship.
Everyone uses clickbait to a certain extent. Campaigns on facebook, content marketing and other persuasive marketing can produce a quick boost in your views; but the longer you use clickbait, the more you’re hurting your content platform.
Clickbait Hurts More Than It Helps
While you may experience a boost in traffic to your content, clickbait can kill your goals. If you’re not making good on your headline with valuable information, you’re baiting and misleading your audience. Focus on developing interesting content that answers questions. Share your point-of-view and provide relevant knowledge. We all want eyes on our content, but you can’t put the cart before the horse. Avoid using clickbait to get more views. Instead, create something meaningful, and publish consistently. Your audience will come.