If the title of this post nearly caused you to tear your hair out in frustration then don’t worry, you’re not alone. Clickbait has become the scourge of the internet user in recent years, with whole forums and blogs set up to crusade against it. And yet it doesn’t seem to look like it will die off anytime soon.
I hate clickbait and always have done. However, working in digital marketing has caused me to take on a few alternative opinions about it. Firstly, I’m not actually sure why I (and many others) hate clickbait. Originally I thought that this was because of the way my brain has been trained to hate spam, and the fact that clickbait titles always give off a whiff of spam (e.g. “This London mom earned $16536 from Google”) even when they link to pretty genuine articles. However I also believe that we also don’t like them because we don’t like being duped by something that seems interesting at first that turns out to be rubbish.
There’s also a general concern that once a click has been generated, that the content becomes completely irrelevant. This happens quite a bit on modern ‘news’ websites, where the image and headline will reel someone in and the article appears worthless or worse, completely different to what you originally thought it was.
And this brings me on to the slight turn of opinion that I have had. There is such a thing as ‘good’ clickbait. If your content is interesting, doesn’t irritate anyone and doesn’t get in the way of anyone’s browsing experience then this can be regarded as such. Also it is important to not be too over the top with your title. Be clever. Don’t make it too obvious that you’re baiting for a click, and then you can easily incorporate this kind of content sharing into your marketing strategy – without annoying half of the world.