You Are What You Post: Don’t Let Clickbait Ruin Your Reputation


Clickbait can attract more traffic to your site, but it creates more problems than it solves.

In a world crowded with competition, many entrepreneurs and small businesses resort to marketing “tricks” to get results. It can be tempting to strive for the quick and easy clicks that come from a catchy headline, but you always have to pay a high price for cheap thrills. If the headline isn’t backed up by anything, you’ll lose the interest (and possibly the respect) of visitors and potential customers.

Of course, some marketers just don’t care; for them, the main thing is to attract traffic at all costs. The end justifies the means. Of course, clickbait seems easy. However, that’s where the problem lies. Let’s learn more about the dangers of clickbait and what you can do to get your audience’s attention.

What is clickbait?

If you’re not already aware, clickbait is “catchy” article headlines that are designed to grab people’s attention and get them to click through. Many marketers and entrepreneurs like to use such headlines because they do generate more clicks and interest, but they also lead to higher bounce rates.

We’ve all been victims of them. Think about it: Sometimes there’s no question that you’re going to click on a blatant bait. You understand all too well, but curiosity takes over. You just need to find out what this “little-known way to lose 20 pounds by tomorrow night.”

There are probably dozens of ways in which these misleading headlines can ruin a solid reputation or brand, even with a single use. Once a company or business posts an article with a clickbait headline, it essentially confirms that all it wants is attention, and maybe the user will get something too.

How clickbait destroys a brand’s reputation

Disappointing the audience.

Clickbait headlines are notorious for causing only shock and nothing of substance-that is, such headlines may evoke strong emotions, but the content behind them is usually superficial, uninteresting, or misleading. Sure, you can excite people with a flashy headline. But you can just as quickly disappoint them when, upon visiting the site, they see that there’s nothing substantive behind the hype.

Clickbait spoils other valuable site data

Companies that use clickbait put almost all of their site’s analytics and metrics at risk. How can you get accurate tracking information and data about your site and its content if the lead generation tactics used are not trustworthy?

A single clickbait headline may generate hundreds of views, but it can create just as many bounces and confuse all your data. This makes it nearly impossible to track marketing strategies and improve conversion rates because there is no accurate information from which to improve or measure success.

Other ways to get clicks and attract traffic

You should never seek to trick people. Many marketers rely on clickbait because they are looking for a one-time benefit – quick results. They don’t care if the content provides real value.

When members of your audience notice the mindless posting, you can be sure they won’t care about the fun. They may even think your brand is spam or a company not worth investing in. Fast website traffic growth is great, but long-term relationships in business are always better.

Here are some more valuable ways to increase click-throughs and drive traffic with your content without resorting to clickbait or other misleading tactics.

Provide valuable information

Your main goal with your content is to create quality information that your visitors can use. Brands that are able to create content that answers the “how” and “why” of their product or service are proving that you don’t need gimmicks to get a lot of clicks on links.

Educating your target audience is not only a good way to increase click-through rates, but also to build your brand’s reputation as an authority in your industry.

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Use headline analysis tools

When creating powerful and attention-grabbing headlines that don’t turn into click-bait, there are a number of tools that can help you. A headline analyzer can take all of your content headlines and evaluate them and provide tips and recommendations to help improve readability and distribution potential.

These tools shouldn’t be the only way to create effective headlines, but they can be a useful tool in the initial brainstorming process or help those just starting to create their own headlines.

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Consider article lists

Unlike clickbait, article lists will remain. Some marketing critics may be tired of them by now, but consumers love headlines based on lists and numbers. Consider adding numbers to your headlines and create a list-type article to generate more interest: “X lesser-known tips for marketing success” or “X ways to build a brand without buying your audience.”

These aren’t the only options for compelling content, but marketers who are trying to figure out how to create strong headlines and content can always rely on lists to help them make a name for themselves.

Just say no to clickbait

The best content marketing takes advantage of a myriad of tools and possible content styles. It focuses on creating strong headlines with even stronger content to back up the headline and providing users with something of value that they can take with them. Whether it’s additional information about a particular brand, a “how-to” article related to an industry, or just tips and ideas that users can take away, it has to be something of value.

In the current situation, most consumers see clickbait headlines and immediately walk away from them. Look at your social media feeds. Scroll through it and find someone who has shared a clickbait-style headline and check the comments. In at least a few of them, social media users will leave comments like “This is clickbait. No real substance” or “This information is useless and has nothing to do with the headline.”

Most importantly, you can’t treat your potential audience as if they aren’t smart enough to recognize tricks and marketing gimmicks. Take the time to do the right content marketing and build a brand that works for your prospects.

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