The Dangers of Click-Baiting

Urban Dictionary: (noun, pejorative) “A seemingly innocent posting on social media that contains a link to more content, but whose true goal is to trick the viewer into clicking on the link so that the writer can collect view stats — usually for monetary or for narcissistic purposes”.

We’ve all either clicked on or used a click-bait title on videos to encourage friends, colleagues or potential clients to click on our stuff. Whether you’ve done it for the sake of views or promotion of yourself, it can have its pros and cons. You may have seen the likes of:

“YOU WONT BELIEVE THIS!!!”

“YOU HAVE TO CHECK THIS OUT!!”

“THE #1 SECRET IF YOU DO THIS…”

Relying on this kind of trickery constantly, can be more damaging to your brand or image than being beneficial. Once in a while is fine to give your content a traffic “super boost” (I will explain the Youtube Super Boosts in another article) but I tend to see that a lot of businesses feel that their social media or videos need to get tens or thousands of views to succeed and the only way to do this is to lie their way to getting those views.

I want you to understand that as much as it looks great to have high view counts on your statistics and videos, this won’t necessarily mean you get better conversions. You’re not encouraging the right viewers to watch your videos, And by lacking honesty, you don’t build up a trustworthy relationship with them that will see your audience wanting to buy from you in the future.

When I work with clients I highly encourage a ‘what you see is what you get’ attitude to using platforms such as Youtube. This is highly relevant to being authentic and presenting yourself, your business or brand on camera as well as the title you choose to promote your video. But let’s dive a little deeper.

Your are lying to your audience

By tricking potential prospects and visitors into watching your videos, you’re obviously giving them the worst first impression of you. Your viewers were promised a video that the title suggested, something that was going to be useful and valuable to them, but instead to be given something else, perhaps not even related to the chosen title. Content that has nothing to do with what they wanted or had any interest in whatsoever.

People don’t trust you

This obvious thing here is that if they’ve just been lied to, now they don’t trust you! Trust is the most valuable thing in any business. It’s the difference between gaining one potential client or customer to encouraging hundreds, thousands or more. And usually if someone’s trust is broken, it’s very difficult to earn that back. No one want to buy from someone they don’t trust.

Viewers won’t watch your videos anymore

Your viewers have been lied to and they don’t trust you. You’ve just made life more difficult for yourself to get views for the next video you release. As time goes on and this continues, if you persist with click-baiting, you WILL run your channel into the ground. You may even have spent a fortune on advertising to promote your videos, only to find you had little to no ROI.

Now let me flip the script here for when the opposite happens. When you aren’t encouraging false views and instead are giving content and relevant titles that your audience wanted to see.

You are being honest and authentic to your audience

Viewers click on your videos that are appropriately titled and are given the videos that they chose to see. They watch videos all the way through, leaving a comment, subscribing and liking the video, thus improving and increasing your videos in the Youtube search engine and anywhere else.

People trust you and your opinion

The more your audience come to trust and respect you, the easier it will be to sell them your products and services. They will see the positive community that you’re creating for them online and the many followers you have subscribed to you. This puts you in a much stronger and unique position of being a key person of influence.

Viewers will watch more of your videos

The real magic of Youtube isn’t so much in upselling to a product or service straight away, it’s in the encouragement of watching more of your videos. The more videos viewers watch, the stronger the relationship and rapport is built, the easier it is for conversions and channel growth.

More referrals & content shares

Videos that are enjoyed by viewers will most likely be shared and spread like wildfire. Similar to the Simon Sinek on Millenial’s video that recently went viral.

Refined views & higher conversions

So you might not get the view counts as click-baiting, time will tell… but conversions of sales will be much higher and see increases in return of investment. All because your videos and channel have a great reputation.

So avoid using click-bait titles that lie to your audience and instead use titles that are interesting, but truthful. That way you’ll be click-baiting the right kind of people.

Daniel Colbert AKA CameraDan

Youtube Strategist and Video Marketing Coach

www.cameradan.co.uk