Marketing Bytes : Clickbait Vs Nonbait

I happen to come across a question on Quora that asked what the difference was between clickbait and “good” marketing.

I think the reason behind the question was due to the fact that essentially “all” marketing is “clickbait” marketing and, in a sense, that could be true. Anything to get that sale, right? Wrong. There are crucial differences, ones that are not only based on ethical and moral grounds but on the very foundation of the marketing field itself.

Clickbait is using headlines, titles and/or meta-descriptions to essentially “decieve” you (rather than just trick or bait) into clicking a link that leads to content that may or may not contain what aforementioned titles led you to believe. This is to varying degrees of “decietful-ness” — some can be grossly misleading, highly exaggerated or simply half-truths. It also gives off a sense of desperation, that the source in question is not confident enough about what it has to offer so it has to use “any means necessary” to pull consumers in.

Good marketing does not include having to be decietful to attract your attention, but rather piques your interest in an honest, intelligent and meaningful way. It does not have to resort to over-exaggeration (except of course if the context and situation calls for it) to get its message across. It does not have to be loud and shocking and bold for the sake of it. It is a mere extension of whatever is trying to ultimately reach a consumer and informing that consumer that their needs will be met.

To add a twist to a famous Bruce Lee quote — marketing should be like water, my friend! — easy to adapt and take form for whatever situation it finds itself in, done in a pure and unadulterated way.

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