the content

Clickbait is Dead. Long Live Emotion Bait.

A strong case for the future of viral content.

A few days ago I came across a really interesting article which announced the demise of clickbait.

We’ve all seen the over the top headlines – “You WOULDN”T BELIEVE what happened after…” – and you’ve likely dismissed them if you’re anything like me.

It can only be so long until people are no longer ‘fooled’ by these types of headlines, thinking the content they offer will match their exaggerated pitch.

That’s why I was in agreement when reading an article which quoted Edelman’s Steve Rubel who stated that newsrooms are now supercharging their content with ’emotion bait’.

I think Steve has uncovered the next big angle we’ll see a publishers following. Sadly, someone got to the domain name before me 😉

Emotion bait is simply writing content by putting an emotional spin on it. By trying to tug at our heartstrings – or even macho side – to get people invested in clicking on news in their feed.

To be more specific, I’ll share a few examples from the original article. Firstly, here’s an example of emotion-bait from a Facebook page called Little Things.

Here’s MTVNews getting in on the action…

Another article from MTVNews, with the powerful headline ‘We Are Not Afraid‘ really got people talking.

If you believe that clickbait will eventually stop working as, well…clickbait, then nows the time to go all-in on emotion bait before everyone is opening up to this new angle.

Don’t use it in every update – unless you run a site that relies primarily on Facebook traffic and earns money from ads – but do see if you can add more emotion into your ‘angles’ and headlines to get people talking.

I really recommend reading the original article – and accompanying video – to get a more depth analysis on the topic if it’s something that interests you.


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