Build Your Headlines on Curiosity Gap

Why You Should Think About Using Clickbait

Headlines are one of the key elements that allow marketers to grab the audiences attention. They are displayed in search results alongside a short description or as a stand-alone line. The catchier your headline is the higher CTR youll get. But this does not mean that we should resort to baiting the audience with false claims, right? Lets look at some examples and finally draw the line between honestly bidding on the curiosity gap and luring people in with misleading information.

Its rather hard to grab your audiences attention if your headlines are boring and wordy. But when you add an element of surprise or mystery, they suddenly obtain the needed allure. This is the curiosity gap in action: when you see that some information is missing from the sentence you have just read, you feel the need to fill that gap at all costs. This is how curiosity clicks happen.

Striking Differences Between Clickbait and Mislead

Lets dig deeper into the notion of clickbait itself and try to understand why it has become bad manners. It has the idea of exploiting the curiosity gap in its basis, yet over time clickbait outgrew the innocent counterpart and became known for its sensational and misleading nature. Most dictionaries even cite it as a kind of fraud and state that clickbait leads to content of dubious value. Still, the usual and mild versions of clickbait-y headlines are still considered clickbait together with the that one lifehack that could have saved Kennedy. This leads to an overwhelming misconception of all types of clickbait being fraudulent and misleading which is not true.

The 2021 Study Reveals that

The 2021 study of headlines for Facebook and Twitter articles reveals that such phrases as X ways of, X things you, and similar are one of the top engagement drivers for the majority of users. These examples may be considered as white clickbait. At the same time, the research proves that headlines about 11 words and 64 characters long have the best chance at attracting the audience. This comes from the idea that, above all, headlines must be informative and actually explain what is going on in the article. And only then do we add the marketing layer and make them clickable and appealing.

5 Tips For Better Clickbait Headlines

  • Be trendy.
    It is better to stay ahead of the curve if you want to grab your audiences attention in a web-full of data and text. Keep your copy and, consequently, the headlines fresh and let them spark that curiosity.
  • Use keywords.
    Headlines act as heralds for your copy, they provide readers with just enough information on the contents within to get attention without satisfying the curiosity in full.
  • Keep it within 711 words
    Research shows that the idea of short and snappy 5-word headlines is old and does not perform at the same level as in the turn of the century publications. Try to be precise yet informative about your copy, and the audience will hold you in their favor.
  • Controversy
    The idea of opposing views or comparison is a powerful curiosity driver. If your topic allows you to bring in an X vs Y headline, you will benefit from doing this.
  • Teasers
    Quoting an idea from your material to draw more attention to the headline is a widespread and actually well-performing strategy. This is also useful for reaching the desirable 11-ish word count if you are running short.

Everything You Need to Know About Clickbait Headlines

The correct use of clickbait is sparking curiosity among readers without twisting the facts. Misleading is not a good practice in most cases, and it can lead to troubles with affiliate networks or distrust from your audience. Lean towards mild clickbait that suggests that not all the cards have been revealed just yet, but do not try to sensationalize your story.

Basically, clickbait is a marketing tool and not a crime or a fraud in itself when you do it right. It may seem simple, yet it is very effective in delivering your content to the target audience that might have been oblivious to it otherwise.

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