In a world of quick scrolls, 140 character tweets, text messages, and Snapchat, ‘clickbait’ serves a very distinct purpose and it’s here to stay.
Let me explain why!
Have you ever read an article on Facebook, and people were passionately replying only for someone to point out that they missed the point of the article, and for the original poster to reply they didn’t even read the article?
Yep, happens every single day.
The problem is with a clearly defined headline, whether it’s a news piece, a marketing article, or a link to something funny. A large majority of people won’t ever click through if they think they can extrapolate the concept from the title.
So for those of us writing content, and if you’re in business – you should be one of us. The only way to ensure that people read the full extent of what you have to say is to use an ambiguous and intriguing headline. The problem – this is now defined as clickbait.
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If I had titled this article, We need clickbait because otherwise, no one would read the whole story. No one would read it, they would assume they knew the full extent of what I was explaining. There will so be people who read the title and argue why clickbait is awful, without ever reading the post.
See the problem?
Clickbait isn’t done with malicious intent – although there are some companies that do use it in an awful way – most people and businesses are just making sure that they can tell the full story.
So how do you write an appealing headline without the ‘clickbait’ title being thrown around?
- Make sure that you are giving enough information in the title. People are busy, they don’t want to waste their time reading something that isn’t relevant. So if you can find a way to exclude and include the right people in your headline – you’re less likely to annoy and frustrate your readers.
- Be intriguing, but not deceptive. Highlight the key point and hint at the article topic, but do so honestly
- Make the content easy to read, include bullet points, headings, videos if possible, and don’t make people have to hit ‘next page’ just to finish reading the article.
‘Clickbait’ is here to stay, but let’s do it well, and with integrity.
What do you think?