What is Clickbait?
I know you must be surprised after coming across the word clickbait, but you will be amazed to know its meaning. Any content on the internet whose main and exclusive motive is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page is known as Clickbait. It is a medium to entice users to read, view, and listen to a linked piece of online content. It is the only way for many organization’s to exploit the curiosity gap by using clickbait headlines. It leads to the content of dubious value or content. These are attention-grabbing headlines used for Web or mobile content to lure readers into clicking on normally uninteresting content. Many websites or organizations or news journals, and much more, use clickbait as a mechanism or profit tool to gain popularity via higher click-through rates. It is specified by a highly attractable headline with a hyperlink that, when clicked, depicts a website that has content that is not nearly as interesting or attractive as the headline. It is the only way to increase the number of views to a particular Web page, website, or link portal. For a more brief way, I am explaining clickbait through an example,
Let us consider any non-clickbait headline, say – “See how this celebrity lost 10 pounds last month”. Then, the same headline, when written as a clickbait headline, can be redesigned and written in the following way :
- Celebrity weight loss secrets finally revealed!
- You’ll never believe how much weight this celebrity lost in a month!
- Shocking details of this celebrity’s latest diet!
You must have nearly understood the curiosity gap which clickbait headlines create when a user sees that link. So It is essentially baited that websites place for users or visitors. It is the most profitable medium for social media marketing and news marketing. They just allure users by their lucrative headlines to view uninteresting content, which the client also pays off.
Why is Clickbait Used?
After making you understand what really clickbait is, I also want you to know why it is used or why it is so much important to any organization. So here are the reasons associated with this :
- It is self-explanatory
- Baiting And Switching is too easy to manipulate visitors or users
- Standing and Not Really Delivering the desired output
- Making Empty Promises
- Baiting the Hook – it is one of the most promising clickbait tools which is used nowadays. Using this tool, you can write clickbait headlines simply combining half an actual idea with a generic provocation. So, for example, you can consider:
- “Do just this one thing, and you will never have to go to the bathroom ever again . . . ”
- “These completely anonymous people that you’ve never heard of are practically unrecognizable now . . . ”
- “Drinking these household cleaning fluids with club soda could be deadly. #8 will shock you . . . ”
- “This guy rear-mounted a jet engine to his El Camino. You’ll never guess what they peeled him off of . . .
- “This man filled his washing machine with puppies and carpet tacks. What happens next is horrific . . . ”
- Redirection between Truth vs Fiction
- Not Clickbait but Definitely “Clickbait-y”
Now I can assume that you must have understood both the real meaning of clickbait. Unfortunately, it is used so much nowadays that it has become a trend to unnecessarily using clickbait anywhere to just allure visitors to an uninteresting article or link or website just by attractive headlines.
We can say clickbait headlines are the changing face for online journalism or publishers or social media or digital marketing. So let us discover some psychology behind clickbait :
- Affective and Suspenseful Language
- Empty or Unresolved Pronouns
- Overuse of Numerals
- Action Words
- Reverse Narratives
- Incongruent Images with Emotional Load
Not only these publishers are using 5 tactics of clickbait psychology in an ethical way to lure visitors who are:
- Use Clickbait-Style Content Humorously
- Use Clickbait Features in Moderation
- Make Sure You Have Variety in Your Content
- Use Clickbait Tactics to Link to Other Relevant Articles on Your Site
- BuzzFeed Headline Tricks to Steal
Pros and Cons
It is nearly very well said that clickbait tactics do more harm than good, so it is very important for us to discuss both the pros and cons of clickbait. Coming to the pros or benefits of clickbait, which are :
- More Pageviews
- Higher Potential for Social Shares
- Increased Brand Awareness
Whereas the cons or dark side of clickbait are :
- Misleading Clickbait Damages Brands and Erodes Trust
- Pageviews Aren’t Even That Important – under this comes to factors which are :
- Total Attention on Site
- Total Attention per Piece
- Sensationalism Is Getting Old
Content marketing is all about generating traffic. If you can’t attract or lure visitors to your site, your chances of online success are virtually non-existent. But using clickbait is also very dangerous or bad to us, it is so because :
- Web page bounce rate increases which decrease your website rating
- It can be an invitation to fake news so people might not see that
- A new algorithm update can mismanage everything.
- Updation of website or web portal decreases.
Here are the 7 ways to analyze clickbait:
- Was the title a list?
- Was there a mention of “You” or “I” or a personal story aspect to the title?
- Was there an animal mention?
- Did the topic receive recent media attention, or was it a news piece?
- Was there a pop-culture or food culture reference?
- Was there an unknown or new concept mentioned in the title?
- Was there an element of shock or excitement?
So, at last, I would like to say that we must be very active to analyze whether clicking a clickbait article will benefit us or it will be a degradable aspect for us in the present as well as in future. The last line I would like to add will be that we should be able to decide to differentiate between a good or a bad clickbait headline.
This has been a guide to What is Clickbait. Here we have discussed Why it is used, Pros and Cons, and Analyze of Clickbait. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –