We’ve all seen it and we’ve all succumbed to the temptation of it. Even to the savviest and most sophisticated web surfers around, clickbait has an appeal that’s hard to resist. It taps right into the human psyche and tugs hard on our FOMO (fear of missing out).
If you’re not quite sure what the term clickbait means, you’ll recognize its description right away. You know those headlines that leave out the most critical information, and you have to click to open the article to find out what it is? That’s clickbait.
Here are some examples:
“When He Opened His Car Door, He Never Expected to See THIS. What He found Changed His Life”
“She Rubbed Coconut Oil on Her Elbow and Took a Shower. What Happened Next Blew My Mind”
“This Dad Told His Daughter She Was Going to be a Big Sister and Her Reaction Was Priceless”
“Drinking Wine Can Actually Help You Lose Weight?”
These headlines might make you cringe or roll your eyes. But, let’s be honest, sometimes you click.
You might be thinking to yourself that this doesn’t apply to your business, but these headlines are using effective copywriting techniques that you might be using too to get your blog posts read or emails opened.
There’s a good chance you would open an email from a trusted resource that said:
“When I Made This One Small Change in My Business Sales Skyrocketed”
“Facebook banned marketing?”
“You’ll Never Believe What Happened at [important industry conference]”
It’s exactly because these headlines work so well that Facebook changed its news feed algorithm again to hide them. They interfere with the user experience, annoy people, and most importantly cause people to click away from Facebook.
But while we welcome their efforts to clear spammy and aggravating headlines from our newsfeeds, business owners and marketers need to be mindful that their well-intentioned content can be affected too.
Here’s what to avoid:
- Headlines that purposely withhold information required for a reader to understand the context of the article
- Headlines that create misleading expectations for the article’s content
- Headlines that use language associated with hyperbole and exaggeration
Here’s what to use instead:
- Headlines that are informative and transparent about the content of the article
- Headlines that create curiosity because the content is relevant, valuable, and interesting for your target audience
- Strong headlines that inspire action without resorting to manipulating or tricking readers
Clickbait isn’t banned on Facebook. But you’re already competing for organic reach, and paid reach is becoming increasingly more competitive. So think careful and be cautious about the headlines you use if you want people to actually see your content on Facebook.
Need help staying on top of Facebook’s changes or creating content that gets seen, clicked, and shared? Give us a shout!