If you’re reading this, then you’ve proven that clickbait works at least on some level, and that’s okay. In 2018, headlines that scream solutions to your problems are everywhere, but some use “clickbait” more effectively (and ethically) than others. The term “clickbait” is used to describe headlines that attempt to pull you in by making you curious enough about the content that you click through to content. Maybe you’ve seen examples of this in marketing efforts across Kelowna. For example:
That last one is actually real—someone needs to tell them what extinct means. In any case, clickbait has been proven to work. However, it’s how it’s used that differentiates bad clickbait headlines like those above, versus good clickbait headlines that will get you results while avoiding cheesy titles. In fact, number three will amaze you! Okay, okay, no more clickbait jokes from here on.
AdWords (Google’s search engine marketing ad platform) is great for finding out which clickbait headlines work and which ones don’t. For example, creating headlines with the current year can help improve traffic. This particularly helps on Google since your ad is at least always relevant on some level since it’s the most “up-to-date.”
The headline has the current year (2018) making it relevant for people interested in the most recent winning wines (the hook) and follows it up with a call to action to get people engaging with the ad.
Many clickbait headlines also involve money like ones that say you can “earn $100,000 from working at home.” Obviously these are ridiculous and false claims. That being said, you can use money in your ads effectively. Incorporating savings into a headline (without being too over-the-top) can be a good clickbait strategy. The ad below for a ficticious hotel is a good example:
This time the hook is how much you can save on your next big trip, and the direct offer is how little a room will cost. Thus enticing people in with a low barrier/easy decision. And who doesn’t like to save money on vacations?
Other effective strategies on AdWords include advertising an “Ultimate Guide” (if you have one), or advertising “guarantees” (although only if you offer them).
Of course Facebook is one of the first places clickbait started to appear, especially with respect to Buzzfeed articles. Clickbait still exists on Facebook, although the company has been working on reducing articles with them as much as possible, especially with all the ‘fake news’ going around. So how do you still get those sweet, sweet Facebook conversions while avoiding being the company everyone avoids because of their ridiculous headlines? This one is tricky because there’s not really a right answer. It’s important not to be too hyperbolic in your statements, while still enticing people with a call to action. How you present your ads depends on how you present your brand.
Let’s suppose your goal is to sell this t-shirt below:
Then you shouldn’t use the following as a title and description:
A better ad would look something like this:
As per this blog title, clickbait is a particularly effective when used in conjunction with blogging. While it’s good to grab people’s attention, if you oversell your message you can have people bounce right off your blog and onto another site without a second glance.
So how do you create effective blog headlines that draw people in? Like AdWords, using the year in your title can be an effective method. Integrating the word “updated” into the title (or using both methods) indicates the content in your blog is up-to-date. This also helps your content rank higher on Google. Just make sure your content is actually for the current year and/or has been updated. Here’s a good and bad example of what I’m talking about:
See how they’re stating the same thing but in a different way? The clickbait title in the first sets your readers up for disappointment. The second still uses clickbait, but it’s a softer sell and doesn’t scream for your attention while still drawing in your curiosity.
If you’re going to use any form of clickbait, it’s important to monitor results carefully to ensure you’re not losing your customers due to what might be construed as a deceptive or misleading headline. Depending on your company’s branding, poking fun at clickbait in your advertising may produce even better results. However, if your brand is more professional, using clickbait may come across as more desperate rather than intriguing. Clickbait isn’t going away anytime soon, but deciding if it works for you will likely require experimentation and testing.
If this seems like a lot to work with, or you’re simply unsure of where to start when it comes to your marketing methods, Sayvee provides search engine marketing, Facebook ads, and blogging (among other services) to get your brand out to the world. Check out our digital marketing services here!