It’s become almost a guilty pleasure of mine, trawling through the ads on facebook trying to spot the irresistible clickbait formulas…
Why? Because they’re so effective! And because anyone with any interest in marketing will be able to learn something from them.
What actually is clickbait?
Clickbait is any digital content (like blogs, social media posts, facebook ads... ) where the sole purpose is to grab a potential customer's attention and get them to click. Once you’ve clicked, you’ll find yourself on a page with a load more ads and this is how the click-baiters make their money.
It’s annoying and tiresome. So why do I love them?
The reason I love clickbait is that their headlines are absolutely brilliant at making customers feel like they need to take action.
You might have seen headlines like, “You won’t believe what happens next!” or “Lose 10lbs in 10 days with this one weird trick”, “Can you find the problem with this photo?” or “This is why your marketing isn’t working”.
Some of these are obviously more appropriate than others to different markets but, if you look at a lot of them, you’ll start to notice that they often follow similar structures. And it’s these sentence structures that are great at grabbing your audience's attention.
So why does clickbait work so well?
Clickbait headlines are so effective because they are really effective at waking up the “chimp” part of our brains.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I talk about the “chimp”, check out my blog ‘Do your headlines wake the chimp?’ where I go through this in detail, but I just mean the primitive part of our brain. The quick responding, emotional part of the brain. The chimp is all about taking action. It controls the fight, flight or freeze response, so is really good at making things happen.
If you want to stop people in their tracks and make them take action by clicking a button or moving forward in their buyer journey, it's really useful to wake up the chimp part of their brain to actually get that movement.
This means that the most effective headlines are the ones which provoke the chimp and get people feeling that they need to take action.
Here are some examples
There are hundreds more so, from now on, every time you find yourself faced with a clickbait ad, look at the sentence structure and ask yourself, “How could I use this headline structure in my business?”
It’s a fun game to play!
If you are ready to make your customers sit up and take notice of your marketing messages, make sure you check out my free masterclass ‘How to attract amazing customers’ to get started!
Get strategic advice, tips and ideas straight into your inbox every fortnight.