Clickbait is one of the internet marketing techniques most hated by reputable internet marketers. We work hard to build up clients’ reputations and help them expand their businesses. One poorly chosen clickbait headline can plummet an otherwise great marketing campaign to the bottom of the barrel. And rightfully so!
Here are 6 reasons that you should never use clickbait tactics in your marketing efforts.
What is A Click Bait?
For those who have heard the term but are maybe unclear on what clickbait is, let’s take a quick moment to discuss it.
Click-bait is a headline. But, it’s not your run-of-the-mill headline. Clickbait headlines evoke a strong reaction in users by using language that I call the 3 S’s:
They also use heavily rely on exclamation points to make a title way more exciting than it might actually be.
Here are some examples of clickbait style headlines: “Princess X drops to 90 pounds! Health at serious risk!” This evokes a feeling of fear or concern for the princess in the user. What she may find when she follows the link is a sales page for a weight loss product with a probably false claim that the skinny monarch uses the product to stay trim.
“Learn the gross nighttime habits of Celebrity Y!” This evokes an extreme curiosity or urgent desire to find out what on earth Celebrity Y is up to. The user follows the link, but what he actually finds is a blog post about how to make a homemade face mask.
There are some sites that are notorious for these sensational headlines, and they have a huge following. But, for the rest of us, it just upsets users.
The 6 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Clickbait. Ever.
#1 You’ll lose user trust
Long before the days of internet marketing, Zig Ziglar once said, “If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” While Ziglar offered this sage advice many years ago, the observation still holds true today. If you lure users to your website using shaky tactics like click bait, they will not trust you. It does not install buyer confidence.
In fact, the perception will be that you’re pitching a product so inferior that you have no other option but trickery to move your merchandise. Is that really the message that you want to send to users?
#2 You’re Overselling Your Website
Clickbait is an aggressive and manipulative oversell of your website. What does that lead to? Under delivery. This leaves users frustrated and disappointed in addition to the mistrust they feel from point #1. Users will arrive at your site with a high expectation of some juicy news. What they will find pales in comparison to their high hopes.
#3 You won’t draw in the right audience
You want to attract traffic to your website, but it’s important that you attract the correct traffic. Using clickbait to bring in new visitors who will be one and done won’t serve you in the long-term. You will bring in visitors who are probably not your target audience. Therefore, they won’t engage any further with your site, complete a subscription form, leave a comment, or ever return. Is it really worth the effort?
Your time and energy are better spent on crafting a well-written blog post with a compelling headline that’s marketed to your intended users. This will help you fill your sales funnel with better prospects.
#4 Your bounce rate will climb
Your bounce rate, which is the number of people who only view one page of your website then immediately leave, will climb rapidly if you resort to click-bait. Because you are not attracting the right users (see point #2), you will see an influx of people who land on your website, see that you’ve deceived them, and leave within seconds. This is not the sustainable, repeat traffic that you want.
#5 It’s no longer clever
In the first days of clickbait, it was a novel concept and a cutting-edge idea. It’s been done too many times now to be clever. Users are wise to the tactic and will shuffle away without clicking in favor of valuable content.
#6 It diminishes the professionalism of our industry
Tell someone you’re an internet marketer and they probably wonder how a nice person like you got caught up in such an industry. The truth is, we are nice and hard-working people who are just like most other people. Unfortunately, practices like clickbait have created an air around the industry that’s somewhat fishy smelling. The assumption is that we are all trying to manipulate or pressure users in a negative way.
For every one of us who want love internet marketing and strive to maintain a professionalism that’s unimpeachable, there’s an internet marketer out there who is smearing the industry with clickbait.
The Bottom Line
Clickbait tactics are always a bad idea for an internet marketer or website owner who wants to be perceived as an industry authority or professional. In addition, remember that clickbait will yield you a lot of quick traffic, but that’s not sustainable. Your time will be better used crafting a savvy marketing campaign that’s built on proven, solid internet marketing methods. Focus on a strong campaign that will help you build traffic, engage users, collect subscribers, and convert traffic.
That’s the way to real long-term longevity in a digital marketing.