Monday, July 28, 2014

What I Just Read About Digital Marketing Will Shock You. And No. 3 Will Change Your Life.



Sorry. Did you believe that headline?  It's called clickbait. Don't feel bad if you were misled. Unfortunately, we have all fallen prey to these social media bear traps. Several of these fallacious posts bombard us each day on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the like. So suffice it to say, there won't be any panaceas in here to change your life, no earth shaking news, no online marketing solution that will make you gobs and gobs of money utilizing social media. There won't even be a No. 3.

These kinds of sensationalist posts are the latest trend to hit the Inter-webs and what I've dubbed tabloid social media. The subject is usually about some amazing act of kindness or feat, by a dog, baby, or an elderly or physically impaired person. It's really no different from what the media has done for years. They promise something that will tug at your heart strings, give you belly laughs, or change your life.  All high claims that rarely deliver.  And fewer ironically, "shoot lower" and claim to simply interest and engage you.

Click on one or all of these links and you will soon discover they over-exaggerate at best, or flat out lie. It's because though these links almost always deliver a viral video, it's purpose is not to inform or entertain, but to sell whatever is on the landing page. Why not just put a banner ad for wrinkle cream, a new car, or that TV show about a redneck mafia housewife beauty pageant on giraffes? Because banner ads are (pretty much) dead. When was the last time you clicked on one?

And while we're at it, the chances of me "liking" or sharing an article I read with my online community? 5-10%. The chances of me "liking" or sharing an article with my online community when you block the article with a pop up requesting me to do so? 0%. 

Though that doesn't seem to stop every website from doing it now. But like teenage boys honking at their high school crushes, despite the fact that those "block ups" are annoying and obtrusive, I assume the reason it persists it is probably effective.

But bad online practices. should not be lauded.


So clickbait is the new banner ad until we collectively catch on and stop clicking on them as well. It's just with all the recycled content, we are looking for new things to read about, ones that haven't been repackaged with an astonishing headline or claim.

So though this article did not change your life, it did explain why we are seeing so many of these annoying posts, and how the only way to make them stop is to resist and don't click on them.  Trust me. With all the recycled information on the Web, my sardonic reference to a redneck mafia housewife beauty pageant on giraffes TV show can't be that far away.


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