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CEO and Founder, The Go! Agency

How To Avoid Writing Clickbait

How To Avoid Writing Clickbait
Ah, clickbait. We’ve all seen it, whether it’s part of an online marketing campaign or simply a scam lurking around the web. Most of us have fallen for its trap at least once. If you’re unfamiliar with the term clickbait, you’ve still experienced the practice without even knowing it. It’s essentially social media posts, news article headlines, and online advertisements, that entice the reader to click to learn more information. However, it’s often a veil for low-quality content. If you’re a social media copywriter, it’s a frowned upon practice that needs to be avoided at all costs.
The reason clickbait has such a stigma in the world of copywriting is that it’s disingenuous and frankly, a cheap trick to get engagement. It’s a way to get your audience’s attention and get some interaction with your profile or site, and while that sounds ideal for an online marketer, it makes your brand look illegitimate in the process.
Here are the top 3 signs that a piece of writing is clickbait. Are you copywriters guilty of them? 

1. The Answer Lies Within

“You will never believe what Apple has in store for the new iPhone! Click here to find out.”

Yes, marketers want people to click and interact with their content. But the above example has no substance or “take away.” It’s simply a way to get people to visit your site for the answer. Often times, blogs and companies won’t even have the answer to the question they pose. They will instead utilize the keywords of a trending top, like “Apple” and “new iPhone” and extort it for clicks. While you should always try to incorporate appropriate trending topics, this kind of approach isn’t the best.

2. Explosive Vocabulary

“You’re MISSING OUT on this UNBELIEVABLE sale!”
One of the first rules of sales writing is to use strong verbiage – which makes complete sense if you want to present your brand or product in an appealing light. However, if you use words of such exaggerated magnitude that it looks like you’re a used car salesperson, then you’re going to look like a scam artist very quickly. When you use words like “unbelievable”, “amazing”, and “once in a lifetime”, you’re almost setting your brand up for failure because you’re putting it on a pedestal.

3. Unnecessary Suspense

THIS is what happens if you don’t have your computer files backed up!”

If a cyber security company created a piece of content with the above sentence, they might get a few clicks from interested viewers. However, instead of luring readers to your website, simply present ideas, facts, and honestly up front. Your writing represents your brand’s code of ethics and as such, transparency is key.

While it’s true that clickbait has the power to create short bursts of engagement, your company will suffer from this type of marketing in the long run for the following reasons:

  • Overuse of these tactics will cause your audience to be annoyed and regular customers to question your legitimacy. Would a huge, established company use this type of advertising? Most likely not. Then neither should you!
  • Your bounce rate will go up. A lot of

    clickbaitwill either lead viewers to an irrelevant website, or it will drag the reader down a rabbit hole of sketchy sites until they finally, maybe, get to the article, which will no doubt be riddled with ads and hard to navigate. Because of this, people will spend a VERY short amount of time on your website and then leave. As a result, SEO and social media efforts will suffer.

  • Clickbait has a tendency to attract the wrong audience. This is particularly the case if you “highjack” a trending topic on social media and try to take advantage of it by shoehorning your own content around it. Subtle, powerful, and clear writing is always the way to go.

To the core of every social media and online marketing strategy is writing. Make sure yours is worth reading and clicking! Even though a short and powerful burst brought on by clickbait may be enticing, clickbait will only hurt your marking efforts in the long run because it has a high chance of annoying and turning away customers who will actually turn into conversions.

Your brand deserves effective and professional copy. Contact us today to see what our copywriters can do for you!

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