Clickbait Uncovered: Are You Making These 4 Responsible Marketing Mistakes?

Rachael Bews

Read Time: 3 minutes

Falling down the social media rabbit hole is easy. With the rise of zombie scrolling, it’s time to review our responsibility.

It may seem counter intuitive, given we are constantly driving people to our websites and social media, that we would ever consider a scenario where driving this traffic wasn’t desirable.

We’ve talked a lot recently about the lessons of slow content marketing and how to be a responsible marketer. Yet what remains to be addressed in our audience’s active (or all too often, passive) consumption of digital media. Fanning these controversial flames is the overuse of clickbait.


What Is Clickbait?

According to a recent article by Inc. clickbait is, “a form of web content that employs writing formulas and linguistic techniques in headlines to trick readers into clicking links, but does not deliver on promises.”

We all know that ‘how-to’ and ‘expert’ guides make for content marketing best practice. As do 5, 8 and 10-step guides. However the line that clickbait crosses is that of deceptive intent. Think fake news and scraped content, packaged up as the ‘real deal.’

Read More: How to Be a Responsible Marketer: Lessons from the Wellness Industry


How To Make Content Click-Worthy

Fortunately there are many ways in which you can make your content responsibly click-worthy without employing clickbait tactics.


1. Speak Where Your Audience Will Hear You

It’s a content marketing staple – making your voice heard where your target audience is actively listening. For instance, LinkedIn and Twitter for B2B audiences, Facebook and Instagram for B2C audiences. Bear in mind that just because your content might gain impressions, it doesn’t mean those ‘viewers’ were engaged – enter zombie scrollers.


2. Be Click-Worthy But Not Deceptive

An engaging headline can be enough to stop a zombie scroller in their tracks. The questions is – are you encouraging click-throughs but failing to deliver? Look at your bounce rate and dwell time. Too high/too low, there’s likely a disconnect between what you are promising and what you are providing – no one likes to be deceived.


3. Use Your Nurture Funnel Responsibly

Continuing with the theme of deceit – beware of ulterior motives. You might promise a free webinar, only with the intention of stuffing each attendee into a nurture funnel spanning now to 2030. Lead gen is vital, but there’s a responsible way to do it. Ensure people know what they are signing up to when they hand over their precious data.


4. Talk Only When You Have Something To Say

Constantly disappearing down the social media rabbit hole only fuels the comparison trap and digital FOMO. By limiting your online activity, you encourage others to take a break. Even Instagram is recognising the importance of this with its new, ‘you’re all caught up,’ feature. We can all do with a digital detox from time to time.

Sharon Moriel sums it up eloquently when she describes, “the unfamiliar quietness in the absence of social media,” that left her feeling strange during her digital detox. It’s hard to believe there was a time when this noise didn’t exist at all. How we positively add to it, or lessen its mindless consumption, is what really counts.

Read More: Untapped Secrets of Slow Content Marketing

If you’d like to put a responsible content marketing strategy in place, and would like support to do so, please get in touch.

Written By: Rachael Bews

Written By: Rachael Bews

Rachael is a social media specialist and freelance contributor to The William Agency.


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