Ah yes, the dreaded buzzword “click bait.” For those of you who don’t know what click bait is, click baithere is how I define it:
Click bait is content that is created for the sake of getting a click, usually using controversial or attention-grabbing titles that are so compelling one just cannot resist.
We all know that content aggregator sites such as BuzzFeed and Upworthy use click bait tactics, sometimes for better or for worse. What’s interesting to note about these sites is that much of their content is summarizing existing content or re-hashing past content targeted toward specific generations. These sites are known for their entertaining content, but now BuzzFeed has begun investing in more original content, such as news coverage.
The click bait tactic works well for the BuzzFeed or Upworthy model, since their underlying intent is to attract visitors to drive up their numbers so they can sell more advertising, but if you’re marketing a B2B business, you want to avoid click bait unless you are providing actual value.
Catchy titles and eye attention grabbing visuals are important elements for creating irresistible click bait, but you want to make sure that your content isn’t full of fluff, otherwise, you risk the reputation of your business. People should arrive at your article because they are having a problem and walk away with a solution.
These are the three core concepts that should guide the line you cast:
1. Provide Actionable Tips That Are Valuable and Relatable
Whether they are derived from statistics, case studies, testimonials, or just real-life experience, actionable tips demonstrate a process and are easy to digest. The more specific the process or story, the better you can convey the value of your content.
2. Make Sure the Information You Provide Is Up-To-Date
The worst thing you can do is provide out-of-date information, and if you did provide outdated information in a article, go back and revise it. This not only hurts your credibility, but it also misinforms people—which is something you never want to be known for. The benefit of doing this rather than creating a new article will eliminate the chance of somebody finding an outdated article providing outdated information.
In fact, I wrote a blog article in 2014 that talked about the importance of removing low quality back links; I updated it recently after coming across new information about the SEO consequences of link-based negative SEO tactics. It turns out that I thought link removal was more pertinent than it actually was, so I updated the content of my blog article to make sure that it was up to date.
*If you change your article title and URL, be sure to create a 301 redirect in order to prevent any negative SEO effects, such as 404 errors. The consequence of not doing so will result in a 404 error, which is never a good thing for your website!
*In short, a 404 error page is a page that cannot be found and an accumulation of these on a site can decrease your website’s authority and ability to be found on a search engine. A 301 redirect simply brings you to a new page from the old page, which eliminates that page from being a 404 error page.
3. Use Reputable Sources to Back Up Claims
Although this seems like a no-brainer, there are a lot of articles out there that are derived from speculation that are not backed up by empirical data. An example of this would be an article that uses data as the basis of its argument, but does not provide the source that data came from or how the data was collected. Be wary of general claims and always try to challenge the data that is presented in any given report or article. Statistics are a great way to convey your argument, but keep in mind the representative nature of the claim.
Photo Credit to Lwp Kommunikáció; Flickr