Have you ever encountered a link or title that seems to lure you in? You seem so interested in what you’re reading and you just have that urge to click that link in order to finish what you read. Chances are, what you just encountered is what we call clickbait. Basically, clickbait is an advertiser’s or a website’s way of luring and attracting readers and viewers in to an advertisement or to an ad based article. There are a lot of things you should know about clickbait and this article will shed on the infamy of it. Read on if you want to know more about how clickbait work and exactly why does it work?
What Is Clickbait?
Most likely, you have experienced being clickbaited once or twice in your daily surfing of the net. But what exactly is clickbait? Clickbait is a term used to describe link titles and / or headlines that attempt to lure or “bait” in the reader. From the word click + bait, meaning, they bait you in so that you will click their link. Commonly, clickbait headlines will only provide the reader with minimal information just enough to arouse your curiosity and eventually lure you in.
The following are the common format of headlines used by clickbaiters.
“This man hugged an elephant. What happens next will blow your mind!”
“These facts about your sex life will instantly blow your mind!”
“What this kid is about to do will totally break your heart”
See? Clickbait make use of catchy and headlines that interests you in order for it to work.
How and Why Does Clickbait Work?
Clickbait creates a knowledge gap in our mind – something that will instantly capture our attention and arouse our curiosity. It’s like an itch that you have to scratch in order to get rid of it. Clickbait works effectively because we have to address that knowledge gap created by the headline, or else we are constantly bothered by it. That’s why it makes use of headlines and link titles that pique our interest because it wants to lure us in.
The main reason why a clickbait headline works is because it invokes different emotions thus leading users to click the link. Examples of these emotions are:
Who Uses Clickbait?
The answer is simple, websites and advertisements. They use clickbait in order to earn money. More clicks are equals to more page views is equals to more money earned. These websites used clickbait as a tool and it can be an annoying method of marketing. Their main intention is to increase their page views and nothing more. If you analyzed examples of clickbait links, most of them do not focus on the content. As long as you clicked the link, then they are really happy.
In conclusion if clickbait is getting on your nerves, there is an option in some social media sites to report malicious posts. If you are also considering using clickbait as a marketing method, then think twice. You may cause more harm than good with your marketing campaigns in the long run.