In the online battle for hearts, minds (and clicks), there are two schools of thought.
One is to provide solid, useful content that engages the targeted audience with news and information that the people want.
Then there is the other camp, who leans on schlocky, ham-fisted attempts to lure viewers by any means possible – often employing the strategy popularly known as “clickbait.”
Shark Tank, the current events blog from right-wing agitator Javier Manjarres, seems to embrace the idea of clickbait more than nearly any other site in Florida.
Case in point; Shark Tank followers recently received this gem – an email with elements taken straight out of Internet Marketing 101:
“93% Of Lotto Winners Do This Before Buying A Ticket …”
The only thing missing in the subject line is the classic “… one weird trick …”
The message continues:
“This man researched people who have won the lottery multiple times … with most of those people winning the lottery at least twice a month. What he found was that before buying their winning tickets – virtually all repeat winners do … “
Here comes the hook. Wait for it …
“… ONE VERY WEIRD THING …”
Ah, there it is! Everyone loves a classic.
Ranks right up there with: “9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact.” Doesn’t it?
Anyone who makes a living with online content – and most people who spend any time on the Internet – see clickbait for exactly what it is. A cheap marketing ploy that is worthy of more giggles than clicks.
Clickbait does have one purpose: It shows more than a whiff of desperation.
You see, when providing online content, especially on a news site, few things beat good, well-written and timely material.
And some work very hard to supply exactly that to their audience.
Others – like Shark Tank – prefer to take a somewhat less stressful route. As the carnival barkers of the Internet, they will always rely on shortcuts, cut corners and sensation to build an audience.
That, folks, is why there will always be clickbait.