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Step by Step Guide On How to Create Controversial Content

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As digital marketers, it is our responsibility to get consumers to notice our content and brand. We want people to know about us and tell others about us. The main aim is to have something that is a good conversation starter to raise awareness and attract attention.

However, with so many businesses having the same business strategies as you and attempting to achieve the same thing, it isn't always simple. To be honest, it is challenging. This is why you need to step up by upping the ante. You must do something unique, remarkable, or big-time-different to get the attention you desire and need.

One approach that has proven effective and productive is using controversial content or creating controversial content to ignite that spark. When managed properly, this approach can burn so bright, catapulting your business or brand into the forefront and driving significant engagement. 

In this post, we'll look at how to generate controversial content to ignite conversation and spread the word about your brand without harming your reputation.

What is Controversial Content?

Controversial content is any content that is likely to spark debate, discussion, or controversy among its audience. 

You know the saying, "Any press is good press?" In a sense, it is true. While good press is the best, bad press (no matter how bad it is) is also beneficial. It is an interest sparker.

The objective behind coming up with such content is to ensure that people contribute their thoughts and increase the number of visitors coming to the site, therefore boosting its popularity.

Basically, the positives of creating controversial content are numerous, some of which include:


  • It stimulates the interest of your target audience to learn more about the content as well as your company.

  • It influences so many likes, comments, and shares.

  • It makes people view you as a "thought leader."

Overall, people love controversy, making it a good marketing and visibility strategy, However, this needs to be done responsibly so that it does not cause any unnecessary offense and also harm your brand reputation.

How To Create Controversial Contents 

Creating controversial content is an effective means of generating engagement and stimulating conversations. If carefully considered and implemented, it can grow traffic and shares and improve brand engagement. 

Here are some vital guidelines for creating controversial content:

Understand Your Audience

Knowing who your audience is matters most in writing controversial content. Not every demographic reacts to controversy the same way; therefore, adjust your approach so as to connect with your target audience. 

Reflecting on their moral values, choices, and cultural background will make it possible for you to strike the right balance without alienating your support base.

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Choose Topics Wisely

When creating controversial content, look for controversial topics that are current, relevant to your brands, and on which you can make a persuasive case without upsetting readers. Don't fall into the trap of bringing up delicate things to cause a commotion. 

One strategy is to seek topics that are a bit more benign: for instance, you can go for topics like "This app is new: Why isn't it all cracked up as it should?" or "Ways this extremely popular product is actually bad for health." 

Such topics are more likely to pique the curiosity of your readers without coming off as rude. 

Add Your Own Perspective

Controversial content should never be written with the goal of making a point or furthering your own personal agenda. However, as an expert on the topics, you should clearly define your own point of view, particularly if it is distinctive and interesting. 

The reader may completely disagree, or they may welcome the new perspective on the subject. Your opinion may even assist them in concluding what they truly believe about the topic in question. 

Tell Both Sides of the Story

Content that simply offers one side of the story is typically perceived as prejudiced, unreliable, and inauthentic. Not only will it fail, but your readers will stop coming back for more. 

When developing controversial content, it is essential you explain both sides of the story and provide the reader with a variety of perspectives. This will give the audience the perspective necessary to make their own judgment on the topic. 

The bottom line is that you should be great at storytelling.

Embrace Authenticity

Compelling content always starts with originality. Therefore, when dealing with controversial topics, be authentic in your approach. Insincerity is easily detected by audiences; hence, make sure that your content conforms to the values of your brand while keeping a consistent tone of voice. 

Remember, authenticity remains central even during times of controversy.

Stick to the Facts

There is no room for error when developing content for a large audience. When creating controversial content, you want people to speak about it because it is thought-provoking rather than because it is factually inaccurate. Always utilize credible sources when discussing facts or providing figures. When connecting to sources, make sure they are reliable (and familiar, if feasible)

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Guide Readers to the Conclusion

Develop a narrative that takes readers to an end that supports what you think about something. Instead of pontificating from the start (being pompous and dogmatic), tell them specifically what you believe and show them how they can achieve this opinion on their own part.

Case Studies of Brands That Utilize Controversial Content and Their Strategies

Below are two brands that utilize controversial content to grow their brands:

Wendy's: The comeback account

Here's an example: On X (the former Twitter), Wendy's is famous for its cheeky responses to questions and queries and for making bold statements. Basically, how they interact with their audiences or followers (potential and existing) is by adding humor or provocative statements to the responses or messages.

Some of the techniques or strategies they employ are 

Wit and Humor

Everyone loves humor, no matter what type: Dry, funny, physical, dark, pun, witty, etc. Humor triggers laughs and remembrance. When a person sees something that makes them laugh, they tend to remember it. It is this approach that Wendy's added to their strategy.

Wendy's tweets on X are laced or sprinkled, or sometimes baptized with comedy in them. For instance, if someone says or asks something, they respond with irony and fun in the answer. This not only serves as memorable entertainment for the audience but also reminds the audience of the brand's popularity.

Bold Statements

Everyone is afraid of making certain statements, especially bold ones, because they don't want to look bad. However, what seems bad is one of Wendy's marketing and visibility strategies.

Wendy's sparks conversation and debate through their courageous statements or challenges to rivals. This approach has attracted lots of attention and cemented them as tough and fearless players in the fast-food domain.

Interactive campaigns

They have managed interactive campaigns such as having users take part in challenges or tell their own experiences. This not only raises engagement but also creates a sense of engagement community around the brand name.

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Scrub Daddy: F-Bomb All the Time 

Scrub Daddy, a household cleaning product brand, has a different approach to controversial content. Scrub Daddy does not use wit and humor but instead embraces controversy by designating its brand name with an explicit term – The F-bomb.  The F-bomb, in this instance, relates to how it can change texture when hot or cold water is used on it. 

The following are some techniques they employ:

Memorable Branding 

Using its marketing materials and product descriptions, Scrub Daddy has made it memorable and attention-grabbing through the use of the F-bomb. This makes it a clever branding strategy, as the controversy lies in punning words.

Targeted Audience

 By incorporating a controversial element, Scrub Daddy speaks to a particular section of the audience that appreciates humor and responds positively to edgier marketing approaches. Hence, this targeted strategy helps the brand connect with humorously inclined consumers.

Viral Potential

It is easier for controversial content to go viral because they are polarizing in nature. Scrub Daddy ensures that its products and brand are subjects of conversation on social media platforms, at offices, and at homes, among other places people meet.

Why Is Controversial Content Beneficial For Your Brand?

When it comes to digital marketing, creating controversial content for your brand can be enormously effective and impactful. A good piece of controversial content, whether it is an article, YouTube video, or social media campaign, will lead to a significant rise in:

  • Traffic to your websites

  • Comments, likes, and shares

  • Number of people and publications linking to your content

Controversial content can also change how people perceive brands. Opinionated content either touches them because they agree with their stance on the matter or it provokes them to look at things differently.


Creating controversial content is an art that requires sophistication, comprehension, and a sharp grasp of your brand as well as your audience. When skillfully handled, controversial content can make your brand famous overnight by engaging readers with it and getting a community of fans who are passionate about it. 

Also, by using these strategies and striking the right balance, you can master the skill of composing valuable content that deviates from the norm while still considering ethical matters.

Are you seeking help in hand-creating content (controversial or not)? Speak to Ruth Sherrill Marketing Service – we're an award-winning digital marketing agency that offers bespoke marketing services tailored specifically for your business.

Want to know moreYou can follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok, or contact us for more information

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