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Clickbait fishbait, whose the fish in this story?

Have you ever gone fishing and used earthworms as fish bait?  Whether you have or not, you’d understand that those poor little helpless earthworms are used to attract, tempt and catch fish.  The same applies to clickbait, except that in this story you and I are the fish!

You’ll find clickbaits everywhere, on a number of web pages and even within your own Facebook news feed.  Clickbaiting is a method that intentionally misleads the reader through exaggerated headlines and images, giving you the reader just enough information to arose your curiosity, but not enough information so that you are encouraged to click on the link to find out more.  Whilst you may not have ended up in the same position as that caught fish, you’ve certainly been caught through clickbait tactics.

Having clicked-through to the webpage to learn more, you may find yourself clicking on more and more links to follow the story from one page to the next; or you may eventually start to wonder why you are reading content that doesn’t offer you much. Often times we are left disappointed as the content does not live up to the expectations that it created, it isn’t well researched and is generally poor quality content.  Clicking on the numerous links just leaves you feeling like you’ve got better things to do with your time.  Does this sound familiar?

Clickbait example
Clickbait example

clickbait example
clickbait example

What is the purpose behind clickbaits you may ask? 

There are two clickbait tactics that are used.  The first one is a bait you to get you to click on a link, however it delivers absolutely nothing other than an advert that tries to sell you something, alternatively gets you to a landing page where you may discover other articles of interest.  For example:

clickbait example
Clickbait example

Clickbaits help online advertisers make more money.  Advertisers often get paid per page view and can ask you to pay higher advertising fees based on the large number of incoming traffic to their website.

Clickbait advantages?

There appears to be no real clickbait advantages for you and I, the reader, marketer or business owner.  Therefore if you are considering to advertise your business via banner ads on an advertising platform that receives high traffic volume; investigate whether the advertiser uses clickbait tactics as this will certainly influence the costs of your advertising spend.

A time and place for clickbait tactics

Is there a place for clickbait tactics within content marketing?  Let’s be honest, clickbait tactics work for arosing the readers curiosity and driving traffic to your website, so if you are tempted to use provocative headlines and images to grab your readers attention, make sure that your readers are not let down by poor quality content. When you use clickbait tactics that leave the reader disappointed, it leads to a negative brand experience and an overall mistrust for your business and brand.  The learning here is that readers have high quality content expectations.  Don’t disappoint on that expectation.

Over to you:

What are your thoughts on the use of clickbaits?

Ignite Media is a B2B marketing and sales agency based in Cape Town.  Contact us today for your digital marketing support.

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