Did you like the title of this article? Did you click it because it’s something that triggers your interest? Now, you’re sure to be looking for something that will answer the question on the title, right? But what if we don’t give it to you? What if we just let you read through a bunch of fluff to keep you on our page without giving you what you need because we need it to rank? How will you feel about it?
Pretty annoying, right?
So, let’s not start with a colorful introduction using facts just to make this blog article look convincing. Let’s go straight to the point. Is sensationalism of online content a good thing? The answer is a resounding ‘NO’. It’s not good to do it in print journalism and it’s also not good to do it online, and most especially, it’s never a good idea for content marketing.
About two years ago, social media and search websites started to be filled with a lot of low quality content that draws attention to many users. How come? Why would someone click through a bad quality article? Well, first, the reader was expecting the article to be something helpful but they don’t know yet that it’s useless because the article was creatively crafted to entice the audience’s attention. In journalism, it’s called sensationalism or tabloid writing. In content marketing, it’s called a clickbait article.
Clickbait articles are hard to avoid. You’ll be surprised how reading a credible news article can lead you to watching funny cat videos. It’s inevitable. These types of articles will follow you from search results pages up to the sidebars of reputable news sites. These types of articles are a great marketing tool to generate more exposure which can lead to conversions in the future. This opportunity is seen by many digital marketers. That’s why even if it’s totally annoying for some users, creating sensationalised contents has become part of many online marketing campaigns.
The problem is that content marketing doesn’t really have rules. Well, search engines do. But, the actual concept of content marketing has endless freedom. So, you have the liberty to use content to either market your business, generate leads, or just publicize your company without any restrictions.
Ok. If content marketing is really effective and clickbait articles are really engaging, what makes it bad to publish these types of contents? Well, the problem begins when the brand forgets about its intention and starts seeking for attention.
Intention vs Attention
Every brand or company has a goal for their digital marketing campaigns. They either want to promote a cause or they want to increase their sales. In this search-centric digital age, almost all businesses only want one aim: to be on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs). Basically, being on the first page can hit two birds in one stone – popularity and revenue.
Using content marketing, how would someone be on the top of the list?
Search Engine Optimization!
Yes! With SEO strategies such as keyword research, you can organically own the most coveted top spot on SERPs. Easy, right? But the question is, do you deserve it? Does your content deserve to be on the first page? Does it say something that can actually help the people? Is it well-crafted that it’s not only asking people to avail of your products and services? Are you worth it?
One of the wrong beliefs in digital marketing is that everything has to be technical, everything has to abide with the rules. Here’s a revelation: digital marketing is not all numbers. It’s a method that requires both quantitative and qualitative approach. It has to be a 50-50 strategy. What does it mean? Simply put: Do not sacrifice the sense and quality of your article just to be popular. Make sure that you are committed to your intention.
Focusing on user needs not personal gain
We’ve reiterated multiple times how every content has to be for the benefits of the readers and its contribution to our business is just secondary. And we will say it again. To remedy the utterly obvious sensationalised clickbait articles, make sure to remember these tips:
The difference is making a difference
Honestly, though, if you want to make real impact to your target audience, you have to start thinking ways to make a difference. Instead of asking “What should we do to generate clicks and top the SERPs?”, it’s better to ask “What content would the audience find helpful?” or “How can we educate our consumers about us?”.
Now, do you still like this article? Did we deliver based on how we presented it before you click the link to it? Were we able to satisfy your desire to know if sensationalism is a good way to go? If yes, we hope we made our point. If it’s a no, at least you find something useful that makes you want to finish reading that alone is already worth the traffic.
You see, a good content does not need to cry for attention. If it’s sincere and helpful, no amount of keywords and powerful meta description can beat it.