You will be amazed what happens next

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One thing I can’t stand online, is when articles or video descriptions have the words “you will be amazed what happens next” in the title. If this is in the title of something, I know that it is clickbait. The phrase just sums up what is wrong with SEO, copywriting for web and the rise of clickbait.

It seems that the web has turned in to a place where everything is the same. Where there is one right headline to make sure you get the most clicks and reads, so everyone sticks to it and does the same thing. It’s like there are magical words and phrases.

Maximizing impact

If something has a title that I can see has been written to maximize impact and encourage you to click, the more it makes me not want to click it. When I see a title like that, I know that the writer/website just wants me to click the link and what I link through to has a very low chance of actually being something of quality.

Titles and headlines like “you will be amazed what happens next” seem to have been written after someone has done some basic reading on psychology. The writers are trying to use words and phrases that they think will make you want to click. Words and phrases that still make you click even though you know you are being had and that you know that it is clickbait. Some may call it very clever, I just call it unimaginative.

If you can’t beat them, join them

I will be amazed when and/or if this way of writing ever ends, as I think we are doomed to it for quite some time. The pressure to get you the viewer on to a website for that website to make money is fierce and most companies are going with the adage – “If you can’t beat them, join them.” It seems everyone is so worried about losing out on a potential click that they are willing to sacrifice any standards in order not to miss them.

I know in all forms of art it is so hard to be new and different, as so much has been done before but it doesn’t mean we should just all copy what each other are doing. I want to read quality, I want to enjoy what I am reading and I want my time spent visiting a website to be good and worthwhile not an experience where I feel like I have been duped in to and one that I wish I hadn’t wasted my time on.

Blessings in disguise

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This week the Church of England have taken over the headlines here in the UK, after leading cinemas refused to screen a commercial they had made featuring the Lord’s Prayer.

The advert that they submitted can be seen here:

There were no complaints made from the general public about the advert and the rules set out by the Committee of Advertising Practice only urge advertisers to avoid causing offence and inciting hatred, they do not say that something of a religious nature cannot be shown.

A lot of us will no doubt be going to the cinema over the Christmas period to see the new blockbusters like Star Wars, so it was a great advertising idea by the Church of England to capitalize on this market. I think that churches need to use media and interact with culture to reach people in the modern world we live in, so will always support initiatives like this as I want to see more things like this. I want to see the media taken over on all levels.

I think he big cinema chains scored a huge own-goal by banning this advert. From a business perspective they gave away income and lost future potential business from the Church of England. After doing this they also gave the Church of England a million times more publicity than they would have got, if the advert hadn’t been banned. The biggest marketing and publicity companies would be giving themselves the biggest high fives if they managed to get the publicity that this advert has received but it wasn’t a marketing company, it was a church.

The big chain cinemas could face a backlash for this action as by some media outlets they are being seen as not allowing freedom of speech. People will continue to go and see films, don’t get me wrong, but peoples view of certain chains of cinemas could change considerably.

In the UK, the media is telling us that we are becoming less of a Christian nation. The uproar about this advert being banned gives me hope and I think shows that although church attendance maybe down or the number of people who call themselves Christian maybe down, underneath these numbers I think there is still a lot of support for the church and Christian faith in the UK.

The timing of all of this in the run up to advent and Christmas is brilliant for the church and Christianity. The cinemas did not think this through at all but I hope through this incident that it will encourage more people to think of Christ this Christmas.

How Clickbait has made the world focus more on headlines than quality content

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It seems we are a generation that are a sucker for a headline and will click links based merely on what they say. We get overexcited about what we are about to click through to and then 9 times out of 10 are left disappointed.

Viewing statistics are King

In today’s world no one seems to care about content and brand, all people care for is views so that they have impressive figures to boast to potential advertisers and sponsors. If I were running an organisation that created content I would want my brand to be known by what it provided, rather than how they sell what they do.

If something is being heavily promoted it is usually because the company behind it isn’t confident enough in the product. As a world we need to become a more discerning audience. I hope that one day that instead of being guided towards things by well-worded links that instead we go directly to the content providers that we value and that we think provide great content.

Sharing content has never been easier

I think because sharing content is so easy these days, there is so much out there and everyone is fighting to get noticed. This isn’t the only problem, one thing I notice on my social media feeds is that someone has been duped in to watching something through clickbait and then it then shows up in all their friends newsfeeds, so they in turn have a look and not before long the video, article or media has spread like wildfire. Hitting a share, retweet or like button I think at times has made it too easy for people to share things and has contributed to the clickbait world we live in.

The biggest and most successful companies in the world are the ones that provide the best service or product. If you are a growing company that wants to be big then you need to act like a successful company in the way you deliver your product, brand or service.

Engaging an audience

As a company you surely don’t want an audience that clicks through once and then never again, you surely want to be a company where your audience continues to engage with you. If you have to hide your brand to get people to clickthrough because you are regularly clickbaiting, then what is the value of clickbait?

You know you are a successful company when people are talking about your organisation without you having to use clickbait. There is more value in your audience posting things online off their own back, than there is in you posting things talking about how great your own company is.