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Digital Marketing

Is Clickbait Dead? You’ll be shocked by these Results

Clickbait is a term that anyone who consumes media online will be familiar with, and this “short-termism” approach which has been driving digital marketing strategies throughout the 2010s is now on its way out!

Clickbait focuses on the now, not the future

One of the main faults with this method of marketing is that it focuses on the wrong metrics, as a 2019 survey revealed that CMOs were spending 68.5% of their time focusing on the present and only 31.5% preparing for the future. As these methods only really work for short-term engagement metrics, they can also damage customer lifetime value. 

The hyperbole that is used in clickbait titles often leads to an anti-climax, so while the quick win of getting a customer to click your link may help your initial traffic, it will ultimately set you up for a fail. Whilst coming up with punchy and engaging titles will undoubtedly remain an important aspect of digital marketing, 2020 will witness a shift towards a long-term view of audience relationships through effective messaging, authentic engagements and a more sustainable, consumer-centric approach.

Create content that users will respect

Another criticism of clickbait content is that it leaves consumers feeling annoyed and let down, which makes for a high bounce rate, low loyalty and ultimately bad PR!

If you want content that users will respect and reshare, your headlines need to be justifiable and live-up to any claims that they make. They should be able to draw users in without any gimmicks or attempts to trick user into reading something that doesn’t benefit them.


Using emotion to get clicks

Just because you’re not using clickbait titles, doesn’t mean that there aren’t any tricks to help you engage readers! Research has shown that being able to elicit an emotional response from your consumers can significantly boost sales, and this psychology also applies to your content.

Emotion is a powerful cause of user engagement, and being able to create genuine and meaningful content will do more for your customer engagement and loyalty then clickbait ever will. While using words like “unbelievable” may get someone onto your page, it won’t keep them there or help establish an emotional connection.

What can SEO teach us?

SEO seeks to connect users with brands and webpages that they have expressed a potential interest in, it’s not just a tool for increasing your clicks with no deeper meaning. This should be something that you consider when writing content and coming up with a fitting title.

SEO also reminds us that writing for an online audience is far different to writing for print newspapers or magazines. People have different expectations depending on where they are getting their content. While a ‘clickbait’ title may work for engaging a consumer when they browse the magazine aisle of the supermarket, this tactic wont work when you’re online and competing with someone that has optimised their content with applicable keywords. 

When you’re writing a title for your online content, you need to make sure that it has been optimised for SEO and happily summarises the content concisely, cleverly and clearly for any readers. They need to be reliable and accurate representations of the content they are presenting, so that users click on the content because of a genuine interest and not because of a psychological trick!

Read more of our predictions for this year by downloading our free innovations ebook:

Find our last blog post here.

Chris Thomas


Chris Thomas

CEO & Founder

Chris has been at the forefront of eCommerce and a pioneer of online retailing since the early 00s. A 5-time Drapers Award winner, Chris has extensive experience in developing fashion brands online.

Chris founded Cake in 2016. Based in Birmingham, with offices nationwide, Cake specialises in helping fashion brands understand their market online and then helps to develop appropriate strategical direction to achieve their plan, all backed by his 20 years of operating in the retail market.