Clickbait headlines have recently become a monstrous beast thanks to websites like Upworthy and BuzzFeed. However, clickbait goes back to at least the nineteenth century when newspapers were fighting for more circulation, the same way social media sites compete for visitors and views today.
Clickbait is a type of content that aims to specifically attract as many clicks as possible. It draws your attention, but it also tends to skimp on the quality for the sake of being sensational.
Clickbait can be news stories, blog posts, interviews, infographics, videos – pretty much anything with a headline. To put it simply, classic clickbait consists of a clever title that captures your attention, makes you instantly curious, and makes you intrigued enough to get you to click – but when you finally get to the real content you’re ultimately disappointed. It doesn’t live up to its promise.
There are some good reasons why you might want to use clickbait in particular ways, but there are also good arguments against it. If you’re thinking of using clickbait video titles and content but aren’t sure how they’ll affect your videos or channel, we’ve collected some of the clear advantages and disadvantages of using them right here.
More Video Views
The main reason why people use clickbait titles on YouTube is to get more video views. If one of your goals is to simply get more views, using a clickbait title can help you get them.
Famous YouTuber Trish Paytas once uploaded a video entitled “I was poisoned.”” It even had a dramatic thumbnail. If you watch the video and listen to her story, she wasn’t poisoned at all.
Was it clickbait? Looks like it. Despite that, she’s gained over 200,000 views on that video.
When you use deceptive and dramatic titles, you risk becoming the subject of internet meme culture:
Higher Chances of Being Shared
A video with an effective clickbait title creates more incentive for people to share it online. If you want to encourage your audience to share your video, the key is to make your video title appeal to their emotions. The more your title appeals to their emotions, the more likely they will be to share your content.
Let your title appeal to the emotions of your audience whether it’s fear, surprise, anger, disgust, sadness, or joy. Combining a strong appeal to the emotions with an attention grabbing video title can be key components of a viral video.
There’s no doubt that politicians are masters of clickbait. Here, Obama teamed up with Upworthy to promise faster internet to the kind of people who want it most – people on YouTube. Whether or not the plan would go through and actually provide better internet to everyone wasn’t wasn’t certain at the time – but the video title promised it anyway.
Increase Brand Awareness
If your title brings more video views and shares on different social media platforms, then more people will get to know you, your brand, or your channel as it flies around the web.
Brand awareness is an important factor in content marketing and using clickbait titles is one of the easiest ways to achieve it. If you want your viewers to remember you, make your titles memorable as well.
Although making viral videos are not the only way to build brand awareness, if you are successful in getting a ton of new video views and social shares you’ll be boosting that process pretty significantly.
Damages Brands and Erodes Trust
Clickbait video titles may lead to your audience getting irritated and eventually you can end up losing their trust for misleading them. When people click your video and you fail to meet their expectations, they may never visit your channel again.
If you deceive people for the sake of video views, they’ll notice quickly. They might immediately close the window, and may even see your brand or channel in a negative light going forward. You could end up with some angry viewers or negative comments, which are both bad for your brand.
YouTuber Lisa Schwartz uploaded a storytime video called “The time I almost died.” If you read the comments section, there are people talking about how she’s being overdramatic and playing up a small incident. It turned out the “time she almost died” was when she took a short car ride with some friendly strangers, got nervous, and asked them to drop her off at her hotel. Which they did, without a problem.
Image credit: Lisa Schwartz YouTube
If you title your videos this way it can work out poorly for you, especially if you’re posting for a brand and you care about your reputation. You’ll end up irritating your subscribers, causing some to unsubscribe and tarnishing your credibility.
Clicking vs Watching
If you think video views are all that matter, you might settle for mediocre content while using clickbait titles to attract more viewers. But what good are video views if your audience eventually leaves your channel once they realize you don’t have what they’re looking for?
These days, video views may be one of the important metrics in building a successful channel, but the amount of time viewers spend watching your videos is another powerful signal of engagement.
The total time people spend watching your video is a more important measure of content success, compared to a simple view count. Views are only the first step – you need to keep them interested and engaged throughout the video.
Attracts Untargeted Viewers
While you do get a lot of curiosity clicks, many of these will not be from your target audience. Many viewers will just click for the headline, watch for a few seconds, and then leave your channel, never to return.
Sensationalism Strategy is Old School
BuzzFeed was launched in 2006 and quickly rose to fame. It was one of the few sites that used clickbait as one of its signature tactics. 11 years later, this strategy may already be considered old school.
Using sensationalist clickbait titles and content has become a strategy that has saturated the web. You’ll be better off with some different tactics in order to attract more viewers to your channel.
Should You Buy Views?
If one of your goals is to truly become more popular and successful online, you should consider purchasing YouTube views. Clickbait may not always be the best strategy, but this is a tried and true method for improving your social proof.
We’ve been testing and reviewing different YouTube service providers for years, and we’ve seen all the advantages and disadvantages of using their services. Here are some pros and cons that will help you decide if these services are right for you.
Kickstart Your Channel
Instead of starting with 0 views, buying views is a great way to give your videos and your channel a big head start. You can buy 1,000 views or 10,000 views, pretty much as many as you want.
This can help you quickly gain an advantage over your competitors by attracting more potential viewers, faster.
You Gain Social Proof
Social proof is like your reputation online, and it helps determine what people will think of you. Very popular people and companies have a lot of social proof; new or disgraced companies have little.
Buying views will make your YouTube channel appear more popular, credible, and trustworthy. Your audience will be more inclined to watch your videos, trust what you say, and buy your products. The more views you have, the more likely people will be to watch your videos.
Become an Authority
When your videos are getting tons of views, your audience and influencers in your industry will see you as an authority figure, a trendsetter. You can even become an influencer yourself. This will aid you in growing your brand and channel more quickly.
Higher in Search Rankings
This may be a given at this point, but as you buy more views, your videos will be seen as more and more popular, as a result of those views and the social proof they generate. This means you’ll start ranking higher in YouTube and Google searches, which will result in even more views!
Low Quality Providers are Risky
There are many reliable companies and service providers out there that will give you quality views and other forms of engagement. However, they’re usually outnumbered by the scammers whose only goal is to make quick money.
You have to be careful when choosing which service provider to buy your views from. Take a look at our top-ranked providers, where you can be sure that you’re working with a decent and reputable company.
No Direct Ad Revenue
Bought views don’t let you earn money directly through ad revenue. They can, however, help you indirectly. Buying views will help you get more attention, and that should eventually help you profit indirectly.
Viewers are Not Directly Interested
Bought views are from people or bots who are not interested in your videos, whether you buy views that are targeted to a specific region or not. Your bought views won’t directly result in subscribers and customers, but they will draw in people naturally.
Although they are only there because you paid for them, they will help attract an organic following more quickly.
To Clickbait or Not to Clickbait? That is the Question
Coming up with a witty, creative, and enticing video title is a skill, and it’s a very important part of your video.
While clickbait headlines and video titles can be a powerful way to attract attention at first, they don’t seem to be a great long term strategy. Clickbait tends to focus on quick views and shares. But the best headlines attract a lot of attention while providing meaningful, valuable content as well. When you can do both, you’ll be on the path to success.
As stated in this article, we’ve seen the pros and cons of using clickbait video titles in your marketing strategies. You can still choose to use them to gain more video views, or you can take the smarter road and buy high-quality YouTube views from a reputable provider. This will safely improve your social proof, drawing in more viewers who can eventually become customers.
Master the art of the headline, but don’t make any promises you can’t keep!
Image credit: Giphy