A young shepherd was once looking after a flock of sheep during the night. He called out ‘Wolf wolf” pretending that the sheep were being attacked and then laughed when the villagers rushed to his aid. But when a real wolf appeared, nobody came to help the boy.
So… clickbait means you’ll be attacked by a wolf?
Well, something like that.
The thing is, clickbait does get results the first few times you try it. But if you keep disappointing your audience over and over again, they’ll stop coming back for more, even if you do eventually ditch your click baiting tactics.
After all, in the words of Aesop “Nobody believes a liar, even when he tells the truth”.
What is clickbait?
Clickbait is when content is overly sensationalised, for example, by giving a blog post a really dramatic title, or putting a shocking thumbnail on a video, and not providing the content that was promised.
It’s disappointing, annoying, and kinda desperate.
Why it’s a brand killer
It’ll ruin your precious reputation
We get it, it’s so tempting to use clickbait to get the attention you crave. But falling into these bad habits will really harm your brand later down the line.
When you’re providing a service or product, the trust between yourself and your customers/clients is so so important for retention and growth. The reputation of your company can really make or break you. After all, would you give money to a company who’s famous for lying with clickbait titles? Or would you choose a competitor with a perfect reputation?
…Yeah, we thought so.
You’ll only get attention the first time around
Clickbait can get you lots of website visits. But the second time you do it you’ll get slightly less, and then the third time even less, and so forth. People will begin to associate your content with disappointment and stop falling prey to your clickbait-y headlines.
When you look at your analytics, your traffic might look pretty good. But when you cross-reference this data with the length of time people stay on your site, and how many people are return visitors, it’ll be abundantly clear that clickbait is not the way forward.
The algorithms won’t play nice
Again, the big bouncing bounce rates on your website won’t look good. Facebook, for example, will take note of these bounce rates to judge your site on its quality. And if it doesn’t think your content is high quality then, well, you’re busted.
In case it wasn’t clear, the moral of the story here is to stop using clickbait (and not to lie about wolves). Let us know how you feel about clickbait over on Twitter at @ContentCal_io