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Sorry were you looking for content about quitting your job and/or Super Mario Bros? My bad…

Ever click on a link and the resulting content is not at all about what you clicked on or it wasn’t exactly what they promised? Find it annoying and frustrating?

The term for this tactic is “click bait”, and this is where the internet seems to be moving. More and more marketers are using this same methodology to maximize clicks to their free downloads. Promise something big to encourage form completes, meanwhile the actual content is a shadow of what was promised.

It’s annoying. It’s frustrating. And it’s not sustainable for building a business.

This is their methodology:

  1. Drive as many clickers as possible to a free download with a form.
  2. Hammer those clickers with sales messages – repeatedly.
  3. Some of them will probably buy. The rest will just go away.

The problem is that this is an incredibly short term strategy, but in the short term it works.

It’s very hard to look at the long term implications of such a strategy, and the cost of doing this instead of building real engagement is not fully apparent.

  • Poorly developed content that only goes halfway to providing real value is becoming normal.
  • Relentless popups on websites are a jarring experience but it seems like more and more companies are using this approach as well.
  • Both are counterproductive to building a sustainable business.
  • Dishonest and misleading headlines and banner images that don’t fulfil on the promise they have made.

Engaging and Helping People

When you work tirelessly to engage your prospects, when you spend long hours providing value without asking for anything in return, when you constantly delight your customers, something strange happens.

They tend to like you. They become advocates. Advocates tend to buy. And they tell their friends and colleagues. And the word inevitably gets out.

The downside with this approach is why few marketers are doing it. It involves a lot of hard work and a patient long term game plan that many companies don’t have the stomach for.

Non-invasive Calls to Action (CTA)

I fully believe companies must maximize their inbound lead funnel to ensure numerous quality leads are entering the sales funnel. I have spent many an hour figuring out how to turn 1,000 sales leads per month into 2,000 by changing some words and making the button more invasive.

However, and again I stress this same point, this in-your-face spammy and click-baity approach is not engaging actual people. It’s casting as wide a net as possible with the hope some actual fish are in there.

NorthIQ recommends:

  1. Your business should employ a long term marketing strategy based on providing real value to prospects using carefully crafted and valuable content
  2. Invasive CTAs should be avoided. Instead focus on converting the people who want to hear from you, and work on making more people want to hear from you.
  3. Look at the tricks that click bait is employing and deliver value with those headlines. Listicles (6 ways that you can do this to get a benefit) are effective if you deliver on the promise.

I actually did quit my job.

The truth is I actually did quit my job 4 weeks ago and my last day at that company was this past Friday.

I had spent 9 years helping build Info-Tech Research Group into what it is today, but it was time to move on.

The reason why I quit shouldn’t be all that surprising despite the title of this article.

First off working with Brian Garside again every day will be interesting and fun just like it was when we worked at Info-Tech together. We’re a ridiculously awesome team.

And second I am able to help many many more companies build and grow than I was before. This is our passion. I can’t wait.

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Craig Oliphant is a marketing expert with over a decade of experience in digital marketing. He has built online campaigns for multi-million dollar companies, and seen massive returns from very small investments. He has figured out ways to achieve repeatable results.