Last Updated: March 2020
Ever been scrolling through your feed or browser to see an epic thumbnail for a video, to find out only after clicking that it was totally unrelated to the content? Then you have been a victim of click-baiting! The Clickbait Problem affecting social media today has created a great uproar from a lot of the leading social media influencers such as Derral Eves or Gary Vaynerchuk.
Clickbait is a form of false advertisement whose main goal is to get the users to click by any means necessary. Just below, we are going to the problem with clickbaiting and how to clickbait should be properly used to grow.
What is Clickbait?
Clickbait has been around since before the beginning of internet advertising. Prior to the internet there were journals, newspapers, magazines, etc. all using shocking headlines and captions to get the readers to pick up their piece.
With eye-catching titles that simply poke at your center of curiosity, it’s almost impossible not to pick it up for a quick glance.
However, a large portion of Internet marketers and Influencers alike are starting to use these clickbait tactics to lure in audiences with false pretense. The Clickbait problem has shifted from titles now to photos, videos, and even voice!
Clickbait tends to exploit “the gap of curiosity”, giving just enough away to peak your curiosity but not enough to satisfy it without clicking through.
However, Clickbait recently has become the bait & switch. Internet Marketers have been using clickbait that has no connection with the core content. This method has become widely used in the social media realms and has created massive distrust with clickbait.
The Clickbait Problem
Accounts that are using the bait & switch method are utilizing the power of clickbait in exactly the wrong fashion.
When new users view content from these accounts two things are accomplished.
- The new user has little trust because they were swindled to view or engage with the content.
- The account has lost a potential lead or if for some reason the new user does follow/subscribe, the long term value (LTV) of the follower will be minimal at best.
Now, the account owner may feel that the bait & switch is a good method because of the high engagement and possible growth. But in reality, these short term victories destroy the long term potential of an account. The increased engagement although organic was acquired by misleading content causing the growth if any, to be of low LTV followers.
Lastly, these accounts create a bad reputation for clickbait, hurting not only themselves but for all other internet marketers. The root of the clickbait problem is the bait & switch method. It has created massive distrust in the internet community, making it harder for marketers to attract and entice new clients with legitimate clickable content.
Click Baiting the Right Way
Prior to its negative connotation, clickbait was a thriving method for internet marketers to attract new users. However, the clickbait they released pertained to the core content.
In doing so, not only did they generate more traffic to their links. They also generated organic niche-specific traffic with targeted leads. How do they do this? With clickable headlines of course!
It is a common misconception that the major traffic source for organic views is having a SEO optimized title. In actuality, the major source of organic traffic on Youtube is the Suggested Videos. This is why having a clickable headline and thumbnail that relates to the content is key for organic growth. The same holds true for other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
If you want to increase the click-through rate (CTR) of your clickbait then you have to understand your audience. This means analyzing the data. Always see how your content is performing with your audience. Take the strongest components of each post and slowly refine the content to bring the most value to your following. In doing so your engagement, CTR and overall growth will begin to increase drastically. The more specific your content becomes to your audience the better the results will be.
Creating Content with Value
When you create content that gives real value to your audience, you not only introduce your brand in a positive & helping way. In addition, your brand will become top of mind when they have another issue or require service.
Cleverly written titles & curiosity poking pictures can be helpful clickbait to drive back massive traffic to your content. If you use Inbound Marketing properly, then your content will captivate your audience by providing real value to them.
The problem with clickbait is not clickbait itself, merely the misuse of the concept.
The bait & switch method internet marketers are using today leave a new user with a bad taste in their mouth. Their curiosity was peaked only to be let down with invaluable content.
Prior to this trend change, clickbait was able to generate massive amounts of organic niche-specific traffic by exposing “the curiosity gap” and over-delivering with valuable content.
Despite its current reputation, clickbait at its core is a vital tool for internet marketers. It should not be cast aside and should become an integral part of your marketing plan. Start refining your content and creating catchy titles to draw in new users. But be sure to create valuable content that goes above and beyond the expectations of the new user.