I’m not going to lie to you: I love me some good ole Kardashian gossip. I mean, seriously, Kim Kardashian reappeared at her family’s Christmas party a few days ago sporting a lip ring. A LIP RING. She’s either losing her mind or completely playing us for fools, and I need a front row seat to watch it unfold.
Now, not everyone has this gleeful reaction to the word “Kardashian.” In fact, a lot of people’s reactions are more like:
- They’re useless!
- Who cares?
- So trashy.
- Why is this worth writing about?
- You’re wasting my time.
The Kardashians have become so polarizing that it’s more acceptable to hate them than it is to enjoy them. But if so many people detest these social media/reality TV stars, how on Earth are they so rich and, for lack of a better word, successful? It’s simple: A large part of it is thanks the “hate read.”
What Is a Hate Read?
Hate reads are the bread and butter of the entertainment industry. Sure, people love certain celebs (*cough* Reese Witherspoon), but there are many more famous people they can’t stand. A hate read is basically when you dislike something or someone so much that you want to read about it just to fuel your anger.
Following with the Kardashian example, you might want to see Kim K’s latest outfit (which, let’s be honest, is bound to be ridiculous) so you can ridicule it and use it as Exhibit #4069 why the Kardashians are dumb/useless/trashy. As strange at is, you have to be informed about the Kardashians to continuously justify your negative perception of the family, and that means Keeping Up With Them—pun wholly intended.
Hate reads are not limited to celebrity articles. People are more than happy to hate read (or watch, in the case of TV/videos) about controversial topics in politics, science, justice, education or whatever else they feel passionate about. Give them something to disagree with, and they’ll do it with fervor.
How Can You Use This in Your Content Marketing?
While, yes, I am fascinated with the anatomy of hate reading, there’s a larger point to this article. If you’re wily enough, you can actually use people’s tendency to hate read to further your content marketing.
If you’re wily enough, you can leverage hate reading to further your content marketing.
Common goals of content marketing are to drive site traffic, boost social media engagement and increase brand exposure—all of which you can accomplish through a controversial article or two. Experts agree that there are ample benefits to provocative content (check out this article from the London School of Marketing), but are you brave enough to write it?
Don’t get me wrong. You don’t have to write a scathing take-down of Trump. There are probably enough of those as it is. Just take an unpopular stance once in a while. Write about how the latest fashion trend actually sucks or why a certain celebrity is overrated. You’ll find that these articles get significantly more attention than “5 Ways to Style an Infinity Scarf.”
DISCLAIMER: Hopefully this goes without saying, but if you’re going to play with fire, please be prepared for negative feedback. The internet brings out the worst in people, so put on a hard hat before you dive into the social media comments.