Controversy always seems like such a good idea at the time for an online marketing campaign. However it can seriously backfire. So just why is controversy so bad for an online marketing campaign?
At EBS Marketing we’ve heard that old adage ‘all publicity is good publicity’ a thousand times. However the reality is that it’s a myth and that it can actually be far more negative than you realise.
It can seem so tempting to use controversy in an online marketing campaign; after all the success of these campaigns often depends on things like how much ties they are retweeted and how many times they are liked on Facebook and controversy is bound to bring these to your online marketing campaign.
However the truth is that whilst they will bring online attention to you in the short, term, controversial online marketing campaigns have a tendency to linger and damage the reputation of the brand in the long term.
This is because of the nature of Google. You need to have an online marketing campaign rank on Google for it to be truly effective; after all these days people use Google to find you and if you’re not on there then chances are that your campaign won’t get the chance to be effective if it doesn’t rank on page one for your search term because they’ll never see it.
So this would make it seem like a good idea to have a controversial marketing campaign as it is more likely to have a presence on Google meaning that more people will see it. However the reality is that all people will see is the negative press that your campaign has generated; and these negative links will linger for a long time, damaging your brand in the long term.
Take the McDonald’s Twitter campaign #CheersToSochi for example. It was done to highlight the fast food giant’s sponsoring of the Winter Olympics in the Russian resort town of Sochi. It seemed like a smart move however McDonald’s knew that it would be controversial.
However Russia’s attitude to LGBT rights has meant that people objected to the Winter Olympics being held in Russia. LGBT rights activists high jacked the hashtag and caused an online nightmare. It’s also generated a headache for page one for their search term.
It can always seem like a good idea to use controversy to make an online marketing campaign shine but you know that it’s going to backfire. If you do try to use this online marketing technique remember that you really are playing with fire.