Take a deep breath, and visualize this! You find yourself transported back in time, a time when you were about 12 years. You are enjoying your summer vacations playing all morning and return home exhausted. You request your mom to make a bowl of your favourite, ‘2 mins noodles’ while you run to the fridge grab a bottle of cold drink, and pop – you ‘open happiness’. You jump on your couch and pick your controller plugged-in to your TV and the start a game as you try to imitate ‘It’s in the game’, a phrase that you love hearing. (Yeah, those were the good times!)
Now back in the present, did you realize something? While imagining all of this, you clearly understood which brand was being spoken about but we never mentioned the name of any brand! Yet, you were able to understand, the snack, the drink and the game. (or at least 2 out of the 3 were spot on!) How did this happen? Well, the answer is a magic skill called copywriting.
What is copywriting?
Copywriting can be defined as the art of writing advertising friendly copy that ultimately persuades the audience to take a certain action. It has always been the root of every marketing strategy as it allows brands to communicate with their audience directly. With the use of copywriting, brands have learnt the art of leaving an everlasting impression in the hearts of their customers, thereby, driving brand loyalty. (Yes, exactly what we demonstrated above!)
However, as marketing strategies and approaches began to become more targeted and direct, the need for copywriting to change accordingly as necessary. Along with this, the human attention span has reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds now. Due to these factors, the copywriting industry began to witness a huge shift towards developing copies that are quirky and have the capabilities to grab the audience’s attention immediately. This led the use of a new kind of copywriting i.e. the clickbait copy.
Here’s the hidden secret behind clickbait!
Just like this heading, clickbait is a kind of copy that is designed to make readers want to know more about it. It is a kind of catchy copy, headline or link, that compels us to action it, doing which leads us to a content source, which is where ads are bombarded on us! So, it acts as a lure that ends up getting exposed to ads. And the biggest twist is that the ads shown to us are based on what we spoke, or searched or recently texted about! Due to this, a certain percentage of people viewing them end up being buyers as well. But, why are we so interested in clickbait copies?
Clickbait often work because of the way our psychological systems are programmed. Humans are hardwired to forage for information as our evolution process makes us believe everything has survival value. Along with this, clickbait ends up activating a dopamine pathway. Basically, this pleasure hormone is triggered when we see a clickbait copy, therefore, giving us the urge to find out more about it.
To clickbait or not to clickbait? That is the question
Now that we have understood why clickbait works so effectively, let's get to discuss more about the use of clickbait copywriting! Despite its ability to drive more traffic, clickbait copies are similar to bait-and-switch tactic. In this tactic, the advertiser or business owners use misleading words or use salesy words to drive their sales. While it seems rather too convenient and easy to do in the short-run, relying on that strategy could cost you to lose many customers in the long-run. Along with this, using a lot of ‘clickbaity’ copy or headlines can cause your audience to lose interest in your brand altogether. In simple words, it can end up causing a lot of negative publicity for your brand.
So, what is the solution you ask? It is imperative for marketers and advertisers to first understand the negative effects of using misleading copies. It is better for you to focus on quality content than rely on instant results by using such simple shortcuts!
Remember, it is all in the way you say it. As consumers today are highly influenced by how a brand treats them, your copy needs to appear more honest and trustworthy. With the use of compelling copy, your marketing strategies end up displaying your brand integrity, which increases your customer retention rates and brand loyalty.
The art of effective copywriting is always about creating subtle and clear copy, that contains a more effective call to action which persuades people to click rather than tricking them.
Clearly, using clickbait titles or copy is not the best marketing tactic anymore! While proving to be advantageous in generating page views in the short term, it can only end up blowing up on your face. Hence, it is time to ditch this approach and instead encourage marketers and advertisers to focus more on providing content that adds value to the customers. Despite sounding cliched, this simple suggestion can save our marketing and advertising campaigns from alienating our customers!