If you create really high quality content that your audience find useful to the point of being something your audience feel almost compelled to share with their friends and family, this is often to as referred to as “link bait.” If you get it right, link bait will generate numerous links for you, whilst also being shared on every social media platform know and who knows, if it’s really good it could go viral.
What is ‘click bait’?
Click bait is different in that it’s basically any content created to be clicked and read. Now this is true of all content you create in your content marketing campaigns, however with click bait it is often taken to the extreme. Click bait normally involves using sensationalist and extravagant titles with the aim of getting people to click through to a website, an article or something else. If you use Facebook you will often see such click bait.
Here are two examples of ‘click bait‘ titles:
You’ll Never Guess What Happens Next in This Video – It Will Change You Forever!
10 Tips That Will Help You Double Your Profits in 2015 – Number 8 Will Blow Your Mind!
In both these cases, the titles are designed to pique the curiosity of the person reading them. In the first example, you have no idea what the article/video is about until you click the link, you just have the assurance that it’s going to be life changing. In the second example you have a fairly common generic list type title, but the fact that ‘number 8’ will blow your mind once again gets you interested, in learning what number eight might in fact be.
Should You Use These Techniques?
So that’s a quick summary of what click bait is, in a nutshell… a better question is should you use it?
The answer is no: while this content might attract a high click through rate (CTR), they generally also have high bounce rates, which means that people click through and find that the content doesn’t meet the promise made by the click bait and people simply leave.
Clicking on an article title without knowing precisely what it is you’re going to be reading is frustrating for the visitor and if something amazing is promised and not delivered then this can create a lack of trust. If your aim is to build a long term audience or to convert them into customers then this technique is more likely to drive people away.
A content marketing professional can however learn a lot by understanding the psychology of what makes people click through. You should still create the content, normally a blog title that sounds highly clickable, shareable and excites your audiences’ expectations. The content you create however has to back up the promises and expectations you weave in your audiences’ mind, by doing this you elevate your content from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
I guess the real point here, is to stop thinking about how you can get more and more clicks and to instead focus on how you can get more targeted clicks and then keep those people on your website. By doing so your bounce rate will be low (mine is 4.65%) and your audience will engage with your content making your content marketing activities successful as you’ll generate more “link bait.“