How To Draw Reader’s Attention (Without Using Clickbait)

Content Marketing

Every marketer knows that producing quality content is essential when it comes to engaging your customers in the long term and earning their loyalty. Unfortunately, with the advent of the digital age came the now overwhelming use of clickbait headlines – a technique that is employed by many sites to drive traffic to their pages in spite of the fact that people generally abhor it.

How many times have you clicked on a catchy title, only to find nothing but banalities and obtrusive ads inside? Quite often, I guess; we all have. But it is also likely that you’ve closed the page instantly, realizing you have fallen prey to clickbait, even though you know well what it is and how it works.

It’s relatively easy to make someone open the page; the real challenge lies in keeping a reader’s attention, engaging with him and not disappointing him. So, how do you do that?

Be modest

Promoting yourself and your brand calls for a delicate balance between putting out enough content to be visible and not so much of it as to be found annoying. the idea of drastically increasing traffic to your website via clickbait might seem appealing, especially when things don’t go your way.

However, you should consider that not only is clickbait a frustrating experience for users, but it can also have a detrimental effect on your brand. The loss of trust this technique can cause will damage your company’s reputation in the long run.

So, what should you do? Get to know your target audience and utilize the right tools in each platform to self-promote in an effective and unobtrusive way. For example, spamming your audience is a big no-no. Being overly aggressive when promoting your brand can make your consumers start to view you in a negative light. Likewise, you don’t want to push too many promotional links on your articles.

Affiliate links are great when and if they’re used correctly. You should include them only if they’re relevant to your audience and do so in a manner that is discreet, without bombarding your readers. If you’re not sure of the right way to use these promotional links, there are plenty of resources online that will help you navigate the dos and don’ts of affiliate marketing.

Be honest with yourself and readers

If you have a business, then a website filled with quality content is necessary nowadays. Good web content will get you by, but great content will turn leads into conversions. And that’s ultimately what every brand wants.

When it comes to creating the content, it’s advisable that you do your research first. What is your target audience interested in? How can you best engage with them? How can you convince them to buy your product/service? Knowing your audience is the best strategy for producing relevant content that your readers will love.

You also have to work within your capabilities. If you’re venturing into web content writing, you should write only about topics you can handle. Marketing is about communication; teach your readers something new and stand out from your competitors by becoming a good source of information. As your site grows, you could even consider hiring a professional content writer or ask some of your employees for more help.

Be creative

Web content should be engaging for your readers. You want to live up to (and exceed) their expectations so that they come back to your website again and again.

It should go without saying that your writing has to be of good quality and the non-generic kind. Try to find creative ways to write about relevant topics. This way, you will not only set yourself apart from your competitors, but you’ll also be able to capture your customers’ attention for longer than just a few seconds.

Also, try to stay tuned to the novelties in your industry so that you won’t bore your readers with old, uninteresting content. In addition to this, each new post you put out should also be genuine. Unless your consumers connect to your words, they won’t want to come back to your site.

Be consistent

Consistency is a mandatory thing if you want to increase your site’s traffic. The meaning is twofold in this instance. On the one hand, you’ll have to be consistent in regards to the quality of content. Letting the quality of your posts decrease even slightly can have a big impact on your brand. Each and every one of your articles matters.

A good way to ensure quality is to produce evergreen content. If you don’t know how to create content that will have a long lifespan, you may look through examples of how famous brands did.

In addition to being consistent with the quality of your articles, you should also be on top of the frequency of your updates. This means at the very least providing your readers with fresh new content every week.

If you find yourself without enough time to dedicate to content writing, you could always consider asking one or more of your employees if they’re up to the task producing new articles each week. The advantage being that they have insider knowledge of your brand and products/services.

What’s the bottom line?

It doesn’t take a genius to draw some attention with sensational and exaggerated headlines. In fact, it’s still being used today because it is an effective way to catch someone’s eye for a little while. However, while clickbaiting may increase your traffic in the short term, it will not help you with keeping your readers’ interest and having them return.

When it comes to headlines, make sure you don’t oversell the topic and avoid over-used phrases typical of clickbaiting such as “you won’t believe this”, “blow your mind”, etc. Surely, it takes much more work to do things right, but it’s the only way to make sure that your efforts won’t be in vain.

If you follow these simple rules, you are very likely to succeed.

Feature Image: Flickr

Author Bio

David Gutierrez started his career as a web designer in 2005. In 2012 he founded a creative design agency, now serving clients across multiple industries with a focus on FMCG and Fin-Tech. You can find him on Twitter:@GutierrezTweets