You probably know clickbait when you see it: article headlines that try to get you to open and read more about a topic that either isn’t what you expected, or is overly sensationalized. Clickbait is alive and well, and many companies still employ it in their lead generation because they know that people will fall for it repeatedly. The only problem? It’s doing damage to your brand’s reputation by sacrificing conversions and new business for the sake of periodic spikes in website traffic.
Why does clickbait work?
First, let’s talk about why people fall for clickbait. It’s the anticipation of knowing, says Psychology Today, that ultimately drives us: a dopamine punch to the brain that gets us excited about the salacious information we’re about to receive because we want to know, even if we don’t ultimately like what we find. That’s the kicker, too — what we imagine we’ll see or read is often better in our minds than what we’re presented, yet many of us keep scratching that itch with the thought that maybe this time will be different. (Spoiler alert: it probably won’t.)
So what’s the problem?
Sure, clickbait might initially prompt more people to come to a specific landing page. But once they get there, they’re going to find out you were peddling shock over substance, says Entrepreneur, which could create an equally sizable bounce rate in your web analytics. In other words, it doesn’t do you much good if people click, see you don’t offer anything valuable for them, and leave just as quickly. That makes it even harder to try and regain their trust the next time you post content or send out emails asking to talk about new business.
Opt for value-based content instead
There’s a difference between creating a sense of urgency with your leads, and simply misleading them. At the end of the day, value-based content is the best way to promote your brand safely and effectively. That means avoiding common spam phrases, crafting headlines that accurately reflect your subject matter, and including subject matter that actually offers your leads information they can use to do their jobs better. It establishes your authority, creates long-term brand relationships, and encourages others to recommend your services. That’s absolutely worth phasing out any gimmicks.
Does your brand need a detox?
If your brand has gone full-blown clickbait, or still dabbles in clickbait lite, it’s time to talk about how to get a better program. We have the tools and expertise to improve your digital outreach, inbound marketing, and social media content. When you’re ready, click the link below to schedule a free consultation.