Why Click-Bait Gets a Bad Rap – But Shouldn’t

Account Director/Senior Content Director
Published 3/14/19
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We’ve all seen the links.

“We say goodbye to Kelly Ripa!” or “American Icon Clint Eastwood gone too soon!”

We know they’re not true, but how many of us click on them anyway out of sheer curiosity, just to see what crazy things the interwebs have to say that day?

That’s exactly what the folks who wrote those misleading links want you to do. They’ll say whatever it takes to get a user to click, because – sadly – it works.

These are the shysters who give “click-bait” a bad name, which is a terrible thing. Because when utilized correctly to deliver the content promised, attention-grabbing link text is a beautiful thing – an incredibly effective marketing tool that gets your content seen by the people who want it.

Few do this more effectively than GQ magazine, whose enewsletter I curse (secretly praise) for how well they keep me clicking day after day after day.

  • The ONE Fashion Accessory You Need
  • 5-Minute Hacks to Help You Lose Weight
  • The 10 Coolest Bars in America
  • How to Get Rid of Pimples Overnight
  • The Best Deodorants for Every Kind of Stink

Gets me every time. Why?

Because these links take me to articles, videos and lists that delivery EXACTLY the content promised. They have it and they know just how to draw me into it. That’s not shady; it’s super-smart marketing. And it’s what destinations should be doing to attract visitors to their content as well.

Travel is one of the greatest joys in life, but it takes time and energy and money – things most of us don’t have in abundance. We need help sorting through all of the info-clutter. We want someone to tell how to best spend our time and money in a destination.

Think about it.

When you’re visiting a new place, do you want to know about all of the restaurants you can try, or just the most unique ones? Are you looking for all of the scenic overlooks around, or just the best ones? Every attraction, or only the can’t-miss ones?

“Our destination has something for everyone!” Oh, please. Give me …

  • Top 10 Historic Hotels
  • 6 Life-Changing Creole Dishes
  • The Most Beautiful Lodge in the Rockies
  • Scenic Selfies to Slay Your Social Feed

If you tease the information I’m looking for and then deliver it in a single click, I’m buying whatever you’re selling.