Can Publishing Controversial Content Backfire?

Controversial Content can Backfire
Publishing controversial content to generate traffic back to your website may not be the smartest thing to do. Sure, it might generate visits that you might not get otherwise but it may not be the traffic you want or need. Instead of resorting to this type of tactic focus on creating useful, informational and great content that people will want to share naturally. Even you are doing it for some time of public relations stunt. Sometimes PR for PR sake may not be the best idea in the world, whether it’s on your blog or on social media.

Controversy Drives Traffic

Sure your controversial blog post may increase your traffic by 1,000 visitors in a few days. However ask yourself this question. Did they buy anything or hire you to perform a service? I would almost guarantee that the answer is, no. So why did you do it?

Also how long did they stay on your website? Even if they were lured by this great headline. How long did they stay on your website? Did they click through to another post or page? Well if none one stayed on your website or clicked through, your bounce rate just increased.

Also as an added incentive you might have just made a big percent of the people that might have bought from you upset. Which means that more than likely they will not be doing business with you anytime in the near future. So pat yourself on the back you increased your traffic but also isolated a whole lot of potential customers.

Here is a great example Seth Rogan compared the movie American Sniper to Nazi propaganda and as a result he is now dealing with backlash from the media, celebrities and restaurant owners. Way to go, Seth you the man!

drawback of posting controversial content

Controversial Content on Social Media

Even if all of your social media profiles are private and you think you are only sharing your thoughts, pictures, videos, etc. with friends and family; you are dead wrong. Here is why if you posted something that at least one person disapproved of all they have to do is take a screenshot of your post and in some cases it can go viral. See example below.

A 911 dispatcher posted some anti-police statements on Facebook and it drew lots of negative sentiment and some were calling for her job. She said that she would feel safer if her son was approached by thugs than police. How do think her co-workers feel about her now?

In this next example we have a Domino’s employee messing with people’s food. This just made his employer look very bad, plus now who is going to hire this guy? Hope he has a lawyer because I am certain what he did has to be illegal.

Can be Unauthentic

Making statements online or anywhere else that are not backed up with facts may come across as just opinions. Therefore if you still insists on publishing any type of controversial content do your best to ensure you are covering both sides of the content. This will make your content more authoritative and less bias. Unless you are trying to strike a chord with someone or a group with an opposing view.

Example if you are stating that there is an increase in police brutality, make sure you show statistics from the last five years at least to show the trend. Do not just make false statements that are biased and laced with opinions.

The lifespan of this type of content is not evergreen. Once the moment has passed more than likely no one is going to be searching for it. Plus if you are just re-writing an article from a major destination they will more than likely get the attribution.

Takeaways from Posting Controversial Content

The next time you get all revved and compose a blog post or social media post that you think it’s going to improve visitors to your website/blog or it’s going to increase engagements on social media think before you hit publish or send. By thinking before publishing can save you some grief that you can receive from people who oppose your view. Learn from Seth Rogan, now he is saying that he actually loved the movie and that his grandfather was a veteran. In other words thinking before publishing controversial can prevent you from that mud you will have all over your face.

However, if you have facts and data go right ahead and publish whatever you want, that blog post or social media may get the positive results you were seeking.