Let’s face it, one of the last things anyone wants to see when browsing the internet is clickbait ads. When they first came out, such ads seemed unique, exciting, and even creative. However, over time, most people came to realize that these ads are quite true to their name by acting as nothing more than bait to lure readers in.
Now, what’s wrong with luring readers when you’re trying to sell products, you ask? That’s a good question, we answer. After all, capturing a reader’s interest and imagination is the key to executing a successful marketing campaign, so why are clickbait ads considered harmful? Well, a few years ago these ads got out of hand and started featuring misinformation and warped facts to suit their purpose of nurturing curiosity among unsuspecting audiences.
Eventually, more and more people began to feel cheated after being lured in by ads that headlined false claims. This rapid spread of misinformation caused by Google Display Ads with clickbait headlines was widely condemned. As a result of this condemnation by readers and genuine ad agencies, Google chose to impose a blanket ban on all ads of this nature.
But what exactly does a clickbait ad contain? What makes them so widely disliked and what obvious signs can you watch out for in clickbait ads? These are the most noticeable features of clickbait ads that you can keep an eye out for to identify them instantly:
- They feature a headline that’s too good to be true or plain outrageous
- They seem to be quoting people when they aren’t
- They reveal enough information to ignite curiosity, but essentially reveal nothing
- They straight state lies
Now, regarding the last point, you may be wondering how ads – clickbait or otherwise – could be stating plain lies and getting away with it? Well, they do! That’s exactly why Google chose to ban them. Think of the various ads doing the rounds on the internet that feature headlines like, ‘A 16-year old from XYZ city made a million dollars in one year using THIS investment secret’. How many times have we come across ads like this? And how many times have they turned out to be true? Exactly.
Here’s another key feature of clickbait ads that is often overlooked: customer retention. Brands that indulge in using false claims to advertise their products are unable to retain customers simply because those who are deceived once would be less than likely to purchase from the brand in question again. Such disgruntled users could also post negative reviews online and advise people not to sample their products or services which could lead to negative publicity.
This isn’t to say that all ads that are clickbait feature false information or lies. Some, or indeed most of these ads often advertise genuine features of a product, just not as honestly as possible. In other words, these clickbait ads toe the line between spreading false information and information that’s simply exaggerated to engage readers. And those who work in the world of marketing are sure to tell you that these ads can generate clicks, whether you like them or not.
Sure, just because a reader clicks on an ad doesn’t mean they’re going to purchase your product or service. A high conversion rate is not guaranteed by using clickbait ads, so to speak. However, it’s difficult to say what guarantees a high conversion rate so generating clicks is as good a place to start as any. Therefore, we’ve somewhat established that just because clickbait ads are not a very sophisticated or refined form of advertising doesn’t mean they’re not effective.
Well, then how do you use these ads to your advantage when most people view them unfavorably? First, you have to understand that there are essentially two types of clickbait ads: those that exaggerate and those that lie – that’s about as plain as we can put it. A Google Display ad that exaggerates the benefits of the product it’s promoting is not likely to cause harm to its readers. However, the same cannot be said for ads that are false or mislead readers into believing the product they’re advertising has features it doesn’t in reality.
Therefore, if you must use clickbait ads, you’ll have to make sure these ads don’t contribute to the spread of misinformation that’s rampant on the internet. Instead, you can use clickbait content in Programmatic Advertising to get readers engaged without leading them down the garden path. In doing so, you’ll be able to generate clicks and retain users who would otherwise have lost faith in your brand if you had made false claims regarding your product.
A major advantage of using clickbait ads is that they cost very little to create. If you’re going to rely on written content that’s sure to grab the attention of users, you needn’t spend too much on the design or layout of your ads. This is why the most basic ad agencies that don’t have great talent or skill at their disposal create such ads for reasonable rates. We’d go far as to say that since these ads promote an utter lack of creativity, even those that aren’t professionals in the world of advertising will be able to tackle them well enough.
Over the years, clickbait ads have been a huge part of PPC marketing and it seemed as though they would be here to stay. However, with the rise of other marketing models (think: Influencer Marketing on Social Media), clickbait ads don’t enjoy the kind of popularity that they did before. Since these ads are veiled in a thin layer of falsehood and mistrust, it’s no surprise that using such ads can negatively impact a brand’s credibility and reputation.
All said and done, using clickbait ads may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but could be worth a shot for those that have nothing to lose. In other words, if you currently run a small company and don’t lose too much sleep over its reputation and garnering negative publicity, then these ads might just be perfect for you. However, if these things do matter to you, give clickbaits ads a miss and stick to making genuine Google Display Ads.
Sasha is the kind of person you'll always find with a book in their hands. She believes writing is also a way of learning, and apparently there's nothing better to learn about than PPC & Advertising.