Are clickbait headlines bad for B2B marketing?

Faith Ocampo Published on October 23, 2015

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Most, if not all, of us have fallen under the trap of clickbait headlines. Article titles such as “7 Incredibly Easy Steps to Get Your Web Traffic Shooting through the Roof” or “This Sales Agent Closes Six-Figure Deals ALL THE TIME. You Won’t Believe How Simple His Secret Is!” have one aim, and that’s to get you to click on it. Clickbait headlines are heavily characterized by an intense appeal to emotion, so readers won t be able to resist reading, or at least clicking on, the content.

Predictably, it has also become a content marketing weapon. It’s not only websites such as BuzzFeed and UpWorthy who resort to clickbait content to drive traffic to their sites. Even B2B marketers are using this technique to capture the audience’s attention. But should you really adopt this technique?

Why more and more sites publish clickbait content

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1. More page views

Clickbait works for advertisement-driven websites. In these content-heavy sites, writers focus on generating reader interest, so they maximize the opportunity to direct users to their pages. Social media networks are also perfect platforms to disseminate these types of posts, as they make content sharing instant, easy, and fun.

2. Produce viral content

Content marketers want their content to be all over the web, and it’s more difficult to do this in B2B marketing because the audience is limited to businesses and professionals. If you can make clickbait work for you, this may be a good way to reach a bigger audience.

3. Increased brand awareness

As your readership becomes wider, more people are becoming aware of your brand. As a content marketing principle, everything in your website is a reflection of who you are as an organization. If you can get people to click on your content, that’s a first step in introducing your brand to them.

Why clickbaits may not work in B2B marketing

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1. It may damage your reputation.

When communicating to business professionals, it’s important to embody a trustworthy online personality. When people click on a content, they can easily be disappointed if the entire piece doesn t live up to what its title promises. The last thing you want your readers (i.e., potential clients) to think is that you re using them to generate page views.

2. Page clicks don’t automatically translate to leads.

Content marketing is all about lead generation, especially from a B2B perspective. But simply getting your target readers to click on your content or linger on your website for a few minutes doesn t translate to a valid lead. You need to present a compelling case about why they should do business with you, so you need to support a click-worthy headline with top-quality content.

3. Engagement beats page views.

Now that you’re getting readers to click on your post, the next essential question is: how long did they stay on your page? Did they leave a comment or a message? Did they share the content? In B2B communication, readers prefer substance over what’s trending in a social media-obsessed world. Again, the quality of your content should match the “excitement” your headline promises to readers.

Clickbaiting can sure be fun, but its effectiveness as a B2B marketing strategy depends on your ability to achieve a balance between the quality of the actual content and the appeal of the headlines used. Otherwise, it’s a pretty dangerous tool to play around with.

Faith is a digital media enthusiast aiming to become an active part of the tech world by sharing her insights. She likes to blog about everything digimarketing, technology, and social media.
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