Retail Marketers Discover Seven Ways Clickbait Can Change the Way America Shops. Number Four Will Make You Cry
Did you love that headline? Or did you hate it with the fire of a thousand suns?
When it comes to clickbait, there is rarely an in-between.
Thanks to sites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy, clickbait – tempting, vacuous, over-promising headlines that harken back to the “don’t-touch-that-dial” antics of television and radio – is everywhere. A tactic aimed at enticing readers to click on a link to generate ad revenue for various news and entertainment sites, clickbait works. Perhaps less now, as people have become more savvy, but enough for some publishers to keep using it. (In a meta turn, BuzzFeed clickbaited clickbait.)
I think of clickbait as a Coney Island carnival barker. He lures me into the tent with colorful language and lurid descriptions of the three-legged man. When I go in, it’s just a guy with a crutch. But I don’t mind. I knew what I was walking into, and I admire the showmanship and chutzpah.
Retail marketers can learn something from clickbait headlines. An early Upworthy formula:
Outrage + Uplift + Mystery = clicks
You want to stir emotion, tell a story, up the volume and throw in a cliffhanger. Following are some clickbait qualities that will turn lackluster in-store signage and display into a back-from-the-white-light experience for the shopper.
“What Happens When One Nearsighted Trailblazer Talks About the Elephant in the Room?”
“Watch a Blind Cancer Patient Become a Legend with Only Ten Words”
“This Is What Happens When a Deaf Rodeo Clown Doesn’t Worry About What Anyone Thinks”
“11 Ways Magnet-Wielding Hackers Are Breaking Into Your Email Right Now”
“This Boy Was Made to Leave School Because of His Fangs. First You’ll Be Shocked, Then You’ll Be Inspired”
“This Video Will Prove You’ve Been Sniffing Cantaloupes Wrong Your Whole Life!”
“23 Squirrels That Look Like Kim Kardashian”