It is difficult to remember a time when you could scroll through the feed or social media platform of your choice and rarely come across a hyperbolic headline:
Re:Creators Is A Classic Anime In The Making…
Eromanga Sensei: A Modern Masterpiece…
How Moe Is Saving Anime…
Top 10 Best Betrayal Anime Ever…
Four examples should suffice, and these are only a few of the headlines that I stumbled across over the last handful of days.
Some of them inflate their credibility, overreach, or hardly relate to the content at hand once you click – but their common essence is clear: Lure viewers to the site regardless of the quality or context of the content underneath.
And with that comes the heart of the issue with clickbait in our community: These type of headlines generally offer mismatched value with their expectations, while monopolizing the time and attention of people that could be otherwise spent on more worthwhile pursuits.
In short, they often end up as disappointments once clicked, rarely living up to their initial claims.
Despite this, clickbait does have its place within reason. Unfortunately, creators in our community seem to struggle finding this place with each passing day.
A Promise That’s Necessary & Can’t Be Easily Resisted
Mafia dons make offers that cannot be refused. Anime clickbaiting dons make promises that cannot be easily resisted.
And to a degree that’s necessary.
Anime content that wants to be seen has to equal or out-perform all the other content around it, clickbait content included.
So yes, from a creator perspective to some extent, it’s wise to create attractive headlines to standout among the sea of content out there.
However, there’s a fine line between captivating, relevant anime content and clickbait.
Anime content creators shouldn’t be coy about wanting to attract people onto their site with an alluring title, so long as the content delivers on their promises in reasonable fashion.
So before you publish that highly exaggerated headline, ask yourself: Do my superlatives over promise? Does this headline firmly match the content? Will my viewers feel satisfied and not tricked?
Always keep in mind to put your audience’s value and integrity first, not dollar signs and faceless clicks.
If you have trouble coming up with a title that isn’t baity yet effective, let us lend you the best piece of headline advice that we know:
Is This Next Section Going To Be The Best Headline Advice Ever?
I’ll end the suspense: No, it’s surely not.
And I bet now you’re feeling a bit let down, like I overhyped this section with the subhead.
Well, I did. And if I had used a similar superlative laced subhead as the actual headline for this article, I bet a lot of your eyes would of rolled once you actually engaged with this content.
Over promising and not following through sucks, hopefully this take home message has been made clear.
That aside, we do actually have some decent advice for anime content creators looking for a headline:
As you know, your headline is a promise to viewers. Its job is to clearly communicate the benefit you’ll deliver to the viewer in exchange for their valuable time.
Promises tend to be made before being fulfilled. Writing your content first puts you in the position of having to reverse-engineer your promise.
Turn it around the other way and you have the benefit of expressly fulfilling the compelling promise you made with the headline, which ultimately helps to keep your content crisp and well-structured.
Trying to fulfill a promise you haven’t made yet is tough, and often leads to a marginal headline. And a poorly-crafted headline allows good deeds to go unnoticed.
So give it a shot, try coming up with your headline first before any other part of your content. Sure the idea is simple, and there’s likely to be some of you doing this already, but it’s effective nonetheless.
Over To You
Have you come across clickbait in the anime community recently? If so, do you find yourself ever taking the bait? Let me know in the comments below!