Love, Hate and Content Marketing

November 18, 2014
November 18, 2014 Daniel Burns

When most businesses start a content marketing campaign, they really have two goals:

to improve their search engine positioning and to get potential customers to like them, or least form a favorable impression of the company.

That’s a reasonable approach, but not necessarily a great one.

The reason is actually pretty simple:

People who like your company aren’t necessarily going to buy from you… but the ones who love you will. And of course, the more people you can get to love you, the more some are going to hate you at the same time.

In other words, in order for your content marketing to be effective, it’s a good idea to stay away from the “safe” approach once in a while and stir up a bit of passion and controversy. When you release a piece of content, your biggest fear shouldn’t be that people are going to hate you; it should be that they’re going to be bored and ignore you.

So how do you balance love, hate, and content marketing to come up with something that’s memorable and compelling?

We’re glad you asked because we have a few tips to help you spice up your pages, blog posts, and social updates:

  • Generate titles that grab attention.

Which would you rather read: “How to Tell If an Avocado Has Gone Bad” or “A Rotten Avocado Tried to Kill Me (and You Might Be Next)”? That’s a very simplified example, but it illustrates the way two titles can mean the same thing even though one is entertaining and the other is dry as toast.

  • Embrace a little bit of controversy.

Sometimes the best pieces of content are controversial, so don’t go along with the conventional wisdom if you don’t agree with it. Just be sure you can back up your argument with a few facts, statistics, or anecdotes. Otherwise, it will feel like you’re just baiting people into a disagreement for no reason.

  • Let your brand be like you.

One thing people hate about sales, marketing, and PR is the sense that the companies they do business with are devoid of any humanity or personality. With a little bit of creativity, humor, or even edge, you can make your business standout. Not everyone will like it, but buyers will respond to an authentic message more than they will a generic branding effort.

  • Attack topics, not people.

Even though it’s okay to have people hate you, one thing you shouldn’t do is attack colleagues, customers or critics personally. That just makes you look petty and draws attention away from the topics you’re trying to introduce.

Most people are highly risk-averse, which leads businesses of all sizes to take a very vanilla approach to content marketing. That’s all right when you’re trying to share information and build a search engine position, but if you really want to make an impression – and win loyal buyers in the process – remember that love and hate are two sides of the same coin.

Add a little heat to your content marketing and you’ll probably turn some potential customers off, but you’ll also make a lot of them appreciate you more and earn their loyalty at the same time.


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