Instead of using click bait headlines, share something useful

Instead of using click bait headlines, share something useful

It’s not really a novel idea. It’s not even clever. It’s simply truthful. Click bait might get you clicks but sharing helpful and useful information will gain you an audience. Admit it, you’ve clicked on an interesting headline only to be disappointed instantly. You’ll likely never go back to that site, so they’ve wasted their crucial first impression.

I’ll admit it - click bait headlines work

We all have the tendency to want to read about gossip or insider news or discover some hereunto unknown way to lose weight by drinking more coffee (if only it were true). That’s why click bait works so well - it preys upon our innate psychological impulses. But getting someone to click, while a major obstacle, isn’t the only step in a long-term strategy to grow an audience and a following.

Fool them once, but not usually twice

You might gain a click but lose a reader forever. It only takes one bad experience to turn someone off of your product or service. And if their first impression is a poor one - or one of being hoodwinked - it’s highly improbable they’re going to join your audience. In fact, you’ll likely not fool them again - since they might hide your posts on Facebook or Mute or Unfollow you on Twitter - essentially stripping you out of their social stream (and flagging your account to the social network algorithms). At the very least, they’ll simply raise your skeptical filter for a while, and you’ll click less on anything that seems too “fishy”.

Instead, offer help, guidance, or solve a problem

Rabid fan bases are invaluable. Some experts even espouse that as few as 1000 ardent supporters is enough to catapult your brand into the stratosphere - since a thousand voices can speak to and share with tens - if not hundreds - of thousands. But even a few dozen continually engaged followers can help to keep your brand growing. These influencers can project you on the “social stream” of their friends and followers. This in turn keeps increasing your fan base and hopefully will help you grow more and more.

You don’t get something for nothing

But here’s the kicker, if you bait someone to click and don’t provide what was implied or even something interesting - at most what you’ve gained is a visit and an increase in your bounce rate. They’ll leave your page dejected and angry. But if you deliver on your promise and you provide something helpful, informative, or better - if you offer them a solution, well then, you’ve gained their trust and more importantly, their readership. And if what you offered is inspiring you might also achieve a social share too.

Nov 13, 2015

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