Who would have dreamed you could DOUBLE YOUR REACH ON FACEBOOK with a few taps on an Apple Watch? While the Apple Watch “Glances” feature gives you real-time views of the information you check most often, be it the weather, stock quotes, or upcoming calendar events, there is actually nothing inherent in the Apple Watch that will double your Facebook reach — not technically, anyway.
But the Apple Watch may make you more attentive to social media, which may affect your reach on Facebook. Alas, our article title was designed to illustrate the practice known as “clickbaiting” and show you how to Create Effective Clickbait.
The term clickbait is understood by many as a pejorative expression to describe headlines that entice readers to click through to linked content that falls short of delivering what the headline suggests.
Clickbait in the pejorative sense is as old as media itself, and basically just a variation of the bait-and-switch tactic used when people advertised certain goods for a bargain and then substituted an inferior product after the sale (click-throughs) was made. Flagrantly misleading clickbait headlines used to exploit readers to attract click-throughs should be avoided.
In fact, last year in August, Facebook announced it was taking technical measures to reduce the impact of clickbait on its social network, using time spent by the user on visiting the linked page as a way of distinguishing clickbait from other content.
How Will Facebook Determine What Looks Like Clickbait?
If people click on an article and spend time reading it, it suggests they clicked through to something valuable. If they click through to a link and then come straight back to Facebook, it suggests that they didn’t find something that they wanted. With this update, Facebook will consider whether people tend to spend time away from Facebook after clicking a link, or whether they tend to come straight back to News Feed when we rank stories with links in them. This is very similar to Google’s “Time on Page” measurement.
Another factor Facebook will use is the ratio of people clicking on the content compared to people discussing and sharing it with their friends. If a lot of people click on the link, but relatively few people click Like, or comment on the story when they return to Facebook, this also suggests that people didn’t click through to something that was valuable to them.
But QUALITY Clickbait Works
The fact is, clickbait works and anyone who suggests otherwise is lying. People who rail against clickbait and label it “evil” are just broke marketers who make believe they aren’t doing it.
Also, bear in mind that the term clickbait is highly subjective, because clickbait can also include the creative use of a headline or title that will spark a reader’s interest enough to read the linked content; a good headline is informative, but just being informative may not be powerful enough to get readers to click on the content itself.
If you’re not using clickbait tactics, sites that are will diminish your visibility on social media.
The best clickbait has a snappy, attention-getting headline. The information in the content, no matter how well-written or useful, is secondary. The idea is to create alluring headlines that don’t exploit readers by promising something that is never delivered after the click is made. Creating clickbait is just good writing practice because it rallies the mind of the reader into learning more about the subject of an article.
For example, consider this recent headline in The Hollywood Reporter: Google Chairman Eric Schmidt: “The Internet Will Disappear.”
Of course the Internet won’t disappear. What Schmidt suggests in the article is that it will be transformed. Schmidt explains that there will be so many IP addresses, devices, sensors, things that you wear, and things you interact with that you won’t even sense the Internet. “It will be part of your presence all the time. Imagine you walk into a room, and the room is dynamic. And with your permission and all of that, you are interacting with the things going on in the room.” This is quality click bait at its best.
5 Tips on Creating Premium Clickbait
1) Always Rely on “The Curiosity Gap”
When crafting headlines, only reveal enough information to get the reader interested, but not enough to disclose the essential meaning of the content they’re clicking on.
2) Create A List of 10 Potential Headlines For Each Article
With clickbaiting, the headline is everything! It’s as simple as that. UpWorthy articles are rigorously tested for how effective they will be on getting click-throughs. For each article they produce they generate no fewer than 25 separate headlines, then they test which will attract the most hits.
According to UpWorthy CEO Eli Pariser, you can have the best piece of content and make the best point ever, but if no one looks at it, the article is a waste. “A good headline can be the difference between 1,000 people and 1,000,000 people reading something.”
3) Know Your Target Audience
Much of the success in attracting readers and click-throughs is accomplished by knowing precisely who your target audience is so the content and headlines you create is of high interest to your readers. You should produce a profile of your customers that includes demographics, websites or blogs they visit, along with the social platforms they most frequently monitor.
4) Brevity is Key
Most clickbait articles are short, concise and succinct, around 300 words, and include images and video.
5) Clickbait Headline Generator
This is just for fun, but if you need practice in understanding the nature of clickbait headlines, this parody version of an Upworthy headline generator created by Mike Lacher, randomly creates Upworthy-style articles, combined with random emotional video screen grabs. Click the button or refresh the page to see another one.