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Using clickbait in marketing

clickbait in marketing

It is difficult to avoid headlines that motivate you to click on them to go to the page on the Internet. “The actress lost 40 kg. She uses…” and other baits. Even if the name seems silly, curiosity does not give rest, and the hand reaches out to click.

Maybe this is the secret of “successful success” for promotion? Let’s understand what clickbait is, where it came from and whether it is worth using it in marketing.

Where did clickbait come from

Clickbait is a loud (screaming) title. Looking at it, everyone wants to click to find out more information. After the transition, the user will be disappointed, because he will not find the expected answer. But it doesn’t matter anymore – the title has brought a click.

Clickbait’s homeland can be considered the media.

With the development of the Internet, clickbait got a “new life”. Against the background of high competition, clickable headlines quickly turned into a must-have for attracting an audience. In addition, they can be applied to almost any content – texts, video and audio materials.

But why do users keep clicking on fake headlines? According to Nick Patel, the whole point is that clickbait affects human emotions.

The BuzzSumo team even conducted a study of clickable headlines, identified the most engaging phrases and found out that users in 73% of cases share the title, not the article itself.

How to create clickbait headers

People care about the same values: love, health, financial well-being. In addition, a person is naturally curious – the presence of a certain riddle always attracts attention. Here are the most popular ways to create clickbait headers:

  1. Сreate intrigue and mystery, arouse a desire to know what an article is about.

If women are worried about every extra kilogram, then the possibility of easily losing about 50 kilos will definitely interest them: “I lost 48 kg in 8 months and will tell you about something others don’t know”.

  1. Use understatement, hide part of an intriguing title.

Well, how not to be interested in what the loser Messi said: “Here’s what Messi said in the locker room after the defeat”.

  1. Point to something that the user must definitely see/read.

An incomprehensible name, a meaningless picture, but… a 2019 documentary special project that everyone needs to watch: “Everyone must see it! Don’t skip!”.

  1. Gain trust by talking to every person.

Well, it’s impossible not to click – who doesn’t want to become really rich, and even for free: “One fact that will make you rich”.

  1. Design a stand-out title by using CAPS LOCK and a large number of punctuation marks.

It’s hard not to notice the title written in capital letters.

  1. A banal beginning + a mysterious continuation.

You probably already guessed that there are a lot of examples of clickbait on YouTube. For example, here the very word “suddenly” becomes a mystery: “He was just filming the sea, when suddenly…”.

  1. Apply significant exaggerations and vivid epithets: “Better than any luxury cream.”
  2. Include numbers in the title.

Why not quickly read about “8 techniques that will boost your productivity”.

  1. Directly tell the user what he needs to do.

Healthy breakfast, with a detox program and especially for you, and even on the first page of the search results – you need to find out more: “Click here to find out more”.

As you can see, the main purpose of the headlines is to motivate you to go to the site through emotional impact.

Should you use clickbait in my marketing strategy?

Intriguing headlines become a rather dangerous tool when handled inept. The use of classic clickbait in marketing is a losing strategy, because:

– Clickbait affects the bounce rate. When the title does not meet the expectations of the visitor, he is likely to leave the site in the first seconds. 

– The active use of “yellow” headers will annoy your regular visitors. Many people understand that there is nothing worthwhile behind the clickbait. Gradually, they will lose confidence in the site and traffic will decrease.

– Clickbait has a negative effect on ranking in search results. For example, search engines reduce the rating of a site with a significant number of rejections. In addition, if a resource abuses low-quality content, it will lose its rating in the output.

All of the above consequences are guaranteed to overtake you if you use headlines like “ATTENTION! Aliens yesterday…” or “You wouldn’t believe what would happen if…”.


But when the headline is honest and contains accurate information, it can be useful to attract an audience. The main thing is that after the transition, the reader finds what is said in the title. If the title of the article sounds like “5 ways to learn English”, then it should be about 5 language learning options.

Clickbait can be honest, although it balances on the edge. You can use intrigue headlines for marketing purposes. The main rule: the title must match the content. It is important that the reader receives the promised information after the transition and stays on the site.

If you decide to use clickbait to attract traffic, take care of the high quality of the content.

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