Do Clickbait headlines still do it for you? As an avid researcher nothing turns me off more, or makes me feel that a person isn’t looking for credible sources when I see “clickbait” articles posted in their feeds or on their blogs. It’s rare that I will bother to look now because invariably the heading and the content will have little in common.
they do absolutely nothing to build a reputation as any kind of expert or thought leader
“You wont believe what she did next” (actually she didn’t do anything), “the one ingredient you have been missing in your diet” (water?) “so and so will tell you the one thing to change your life forever” (no I don’t think so). Pardon my droll sarcasm but these headlines just are grating and they do absolutely nothing to build a reputation as any kind of expert or thought leader in my opinion.
There are even apps for generating headlines (ok they are parody’s but I’m pretty sure some people might be using them! http://www.upworthygenerator.com/). It creates gems such as “I Thought It Was The Worst Kind Of Discrimination. But Then I Saw This Amazing Fifty Second Video” or “listen to the last sentence and try to tell me babies can’t be homophobic”??? Say what? I really hope noone has written that article! A little humour is not a bad thing, but a misleading headline can paint you into a corner which you may find it hard to return from.
Your credibility is important. Grabbing a headline or throwing in the “catch of the day” phrase or trending topic isn’t always the smartest move, particularly if you are trying to estabilish yourself as an expert. Ensuring that you are adding some relevant thought, opinion – providing your “take” on a situation is of much better value.
Using Clickbait style headlines has the effect of removing context from your content. Sure a really funny/clever/ambigious headline might grab some rapid shares and likes but if the content doesn’t live up to the expectation then you may well find that people do not return to your articles. Once trust is gone, it’s hard to win back. The worse part of this is when a credible writer seeks to use a Clickbait headline in the hope of converting some kind of mass engagement, and in doing so actually diminishes their own value.
So what are your thoughts? Are the clickbait headlines where the headline and content really seem to have no bearing on each other an annoyance? Do you avoid them or do you still see value as a marketing exercise?
This post was originally published on Linkedin in. You can read original post and comments here.