There has been all kinds of hype in online marketing recently because of the success of “linkbait” or “clickbait” type site's like Upworthy and ViralNova and Buzzfeed.
Basically, these sites create huge amounts of content (up to 4000 articles a month) by
a. Hiring writers
b. Having those writers create content that aggregates content from around the net.
A typical clickbait site article takes a list of things, or takes a video from youtube, makes a comment about it in a couple of paragraphs and ads in some ads into the mix for readers to click on.
The last, and most important ingredient of this formula is to write an emotionally driven headline that engages the drama gland, the curiosity valve or the funny bone.
Here are a few examples:
-Men have an issue with her face when she's not even trying to make one.
-When this guy explains why women won't date him, you may roll your eyes. But 2 minutes in…
-Here’s What Happened When Six Corgi Puppies Visited a College Campus
-I Left My Husband & Daughter At Home And THIS Happened! I Can’t Believe It!
-I thought this was just a video of another depressed teenager but when she started talking I almost cried.
Even though there is a tonne of articles defaming clickbait headlines online it's really nothing more than another soapbox trend.
Because copywriters have been using emotionally driven headlines for over 100 years, and all the clickbait phenomenon really shows is that emotional copywriting still works.
AS much as experts go on about people becoming dead to the marketing tactics and copywriting strategies to get attention… See add blindness, etc…
The underlying truth is that even though marketing tools have changed, human nature hasn't.
We're emotional. We like to get involved or hear about other people's drama. We're curious, and we like to share stories.
We have been a story driven race for thousands of years. Long before the internet… long before audio recording… long before books or even writing we were telling and retelling stories.
Storytelling was the basic currency of education and culture development.
The only difference between ancient times and now is that we have more storytellers (a LOT more) and these stories can travel further and faster than ever before.
The problem with too many storytellers is that the quality of stories falls. Time was when stories told were of big topics:
Courage, bravery, compassion, death, healing, purpose and our place in the world.
These were stories that were designed to pass on roles, rules and ways of understanding the world.
They were parables and lessons and guides to right living.
These days – it's less so (Much less so)
but the fact remains that we as a race still seek these stories, we crave them, we need them.
Our brains are constantly looking to take in that ‘right' bit of information to help us process and make sense of what's around us. We are narrative generating machines, and clickbait headlines call to this need in us.
In the soup of information that surrounds us in modern society, our brains are always searching for inspiring BIG stories that speak to us of life, love and the world around us.
Many clickbait headlines call out to us, yet when we click and follow the link the article doesn't follow through with the “good stuff”. It's often meaningless garbage that does not feed out humanity.
But sometimes, just sometimes, they do tell a story worth our time.
Unfortunately, there is no algorithm in Google to separate articles written by idiots, and those crafted by skilled storytellers telling meaningful stories. There probably never will be.
It is conceivable that some people need to hear trivia about “Corgies going to a college campus.” or “Why women won't date some (bland) man”. It's conceivable, in the same way, that it's conceivable that some people can actually extract nutrition from a Micky-D's McCrap Burger…
Conceivable but unlikely. Maybe that's just me.
As long as we remain human we will probably seek out stories.
Online we need to craft good stories, quality stories with meaning and richness.
A well-written story or article with genuine interest points will last longer. They may take longer to take off than the funny cat videos, but they will stay longer, effect more people and change more people's lives.
Use the clickbait headlines as inspiration – they work. They work because they speak to the emotions, our curiosity and the need for a good story… use them well… use them often.
Use them for articles, use them for email marketing subject lines, for social media posts… but that's only half the story.
Follow them up with something worthy of that click.
You've invited people to look at your information with an emotional invitation – now deliver…
Deliver their ‘brains out' and they will love you for it.
Thanks to Mike Vern of http://8020.tips for this great article