Want to know more? Of course you do.
There’s a canny trick that purveyors of internet click-bait have been perfecting over the last few years, and we are (largely) powerless to resist.
Our inboxes are deluged with newsletters and offers, and our browser real estate is becoming ever more cluttered with ads and links, all vying for our attention. The proliferation of ‘sponsored content’ that sits at the bottom of almost every web page seemingly knows no bounds, and it is increasingly hard for anyone who wants to get their message across to cut through the noise. What is common to all of these is their ability to tease us with the promise of more. They create a ‘curiosity gap’ which gives you just enough information to whet your appetite, but not enough that your appetite is sated. Sometimes it’s a tantalising image that offers to reveal more when you click on it. Sometimes, an irresistible headline with a life-altering promise.
So what can we learn from social media’s ability to engage and entice us, amidst all the noise?
Firstly, a simple acknowledgement that there is noise might help us find ways to cut through it. No longer are Insight and Marketing Managers hanging on our every word; indeed, insight is competing for share of voice with a wide range of information and sources. We need to up our game if we want to compete.
Secondly, we need to offer our audience a tantalising glimpse of what our insight has to offer. How? Perhaps instead of withholding everything we’ve found until the final presentation, we should send out teasers (images, videos, quotes) to entice people. Rather than a standard calendar invite, perhaps we should be asking questions (‘How do you disrupt your customer’s shopping routine?’); challenging assumptions (’10 things you thought you knew about your consumer which aren’t true’); or offering solutions (‘5 easy ways to engage consumers on the purchase journey’). Whatever we do, we should be assuming that need to attract our audience, rather than act as if we already have one captive.
Of course, there is one thing which we shouldn’t copy from social media click-bait, and that is the propensity for disappointment. Ultimately, unlike the ’10 simple hacks which will change your life,’ we’ve got to deliver on what we promise.