Few digital terms are as dirty as clickbait. It’s the scourge of the web, and Facebook recently announced a News Feed update aimed at reducing the prevalence of clickbait headlines on its service.
But RXM Creative, a digital agency, is attempting to turn clickbait into a positive force. It has launched Clickbait for Good, an initiative that uses clickbait links to drive individuals to the websites of worthwhile charities and non-profits such as the World Wildlife Foundation and Charity:water.
Through clickbaitforgood.org, RXM Creative is highlighting the causes it has selected and creating clickbait headlines that users can share on Facebook and Twitter to promote them. RXM Creative is also posting these to its own Twitter account and Facebook Page.
“What we see is clickbait usually points to trivial news and meaningless issues. We wanted to use this [tactic] but shift it onto things that really matter,” RMX Creative’s creative director, Mihai Botarel, told The Wall Street Journal.
Charities can submit themselves to Clickbait for Good for consideration and the initiative says it has no plans to promote the clickbait links using paid advertising.
What non-profit content marketers can learn
While Clickbait for Good has a laudable goal, it’s not clear that it will be able to achieve it. After all, the problem with clickbait is that it’s the virtual equivalent of the bait and switch. Users click on a link based on a sensational headline but the content can’t live up to their expectations.
The fact that clickbait is being used to drive individuals to charity websites doesn’t change that, so it seems questionable that the traffic Clickbait for Good delivers will be productive for the charities it seeks to help.
In a worst-case scenario, Clickbait for Good could even hurt charities if the individuals who click on clickbait links feel duped.
This said, Clickbait for Good serves as a reminder to non-profit marketers that the rules of effective content marketing apply to them too. Even though clickbait goes too far, writing effective headlines is very important and can make a huge difference on social media. C
ontent itself should connect on an emotional level, and marketers should be aware of the attributes of shareable content.
When they do all of these things, they can win. No clickbait required.