Clickbait is sensationalized text or images designed to entice viewers to a post, thus generating revenue for the author. In essence, you may be paying authors for their inaccurate and misleading posts simply by viewing it.
With this definition in mind, it is easier to identify the similarities in the following headlines:
- 90% CRASH BEGINS
- [Famous Advisor] Leaves the Audience SPEECHLESS
- IT WILL HAPPEN IN THE NEXT 5 MONTHS!
- MOST PEOPLE WILL LOSE EVERYTHING!
- URGENT! IT STARTED…
- THE COLLAPSE HAS BEGUN
- DON’T BUY ANYTHING FOR 18 MONTHS
- What’s Coming is WORSE Than a Recession
- TELL YOUR FAMILY TO PREPARE
These titles utilize fear tactics and are intentionally overstated to drive profit.
Let’s consider the first headline: “90% CRASH BEGINS.” If this was true, why wouldn’t all major networks headline this unprecedented finding? The answer is simple: this is a baseless prediction meant to lure viewers. Fear mongering titles are not worth your attention.
Additionally, you may find that these videos give very little actionable advice. They are simply empty words pasted over financial images made to look like a doomsday poster. Each video can be summarized as “if you don’t watch more of our videos, you will be in trouble.” In other words, ensuring that you “click and subscribe” is their sole purpose.
While clickbait can be difficult to ignore, it plays a big role on the internet. Many authors looking for any edge to increase revenue will resort to using clickbait in their works. In one example, a financial YouTuber with 739,000 subscribers uses clickbait to generate an estimated $15,000 per video according to WebFX .
Because of the overwhelming amount of misleading information, it is often best to ignore daily financial noise. However, sound financial advice can be found despite the storm of charismatic clickbait. If you are going to pay an author with your click, consider supporting a credible site.
At Marotta On Money, we sell no advertising. We do not benefit from the number of pages you visit. We care about the quality of the advice we offer. The depth of our articles serve as an advertisement to the depth of our knowledge about financial planning. Some readers are going to be implementing our advice and need to know the intricacies. Others may be trying to determine if we are the right advisors to partner with for them to reach their own goals.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash. Image has been cropped.