Also known as ‘link bait’, clickbait is a link that entices the browser to click on it to continue reading a particular article or to view a specific webpage. The main point of using clickbait as an online marketing strategy is to generate and drive traffic to a particular website or webpage. Clickbait typically tempts visitors by using provocative or outrageous statements, or hint at something shocking that may just be one click away.
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The main problem with clickbait is not really that it lures people onto sites, but rather that the content itself is disappointing. In other words, people don’t seem to mind be tempted onto a webpage that sounds particularly juicy, but when then page itself turns out be completely irrelevant or poorly written or executed, that person feels taken for a ride. It’s one thing to manipulate visitors onto a site; it’s another to do so and to reward that person with massive disappointment. For this reason, clickbait has earned itself a pretty bad rap, and it can be seen as an extremely lazy and even underhanded marketing tool.
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If you plan on using clickbait as an online marketing tool, don’t let people down. By all means, hook them and reel them in, but make sure that there is in fact a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (even a teeny tiny pot will suffice). Stick to the golden marketing rule of under-promising and over-delivering. One example of a company using clickbait in a great way is Buzzfeed, who often actually give the reader something better than they anticipated.