‘Bah, Humbug!’ Why Unfavorable Content material Turns In Such Optimistic Outcomes

Individuals like to hate Steven Singer.

That “hate” is so pervasive that the jewellery retailer’s web site is: IHateStevenSinger.com. The corporate is so dedicated to celebrating the “hate” that it doesn’t even personal the area StevenSinger.com.

What’s behind all that “hate” pervading Philadelphia radio and satellite tv for pc airwaves? (The corporate says it’s the longest-running advertiser on The Howard Stern Present.) It’s the story of buyer suggestions (probably apocryphal) that launched a advertising marketing campaign that’s lasted for years.

It’s additionally a narrative concerning the energy of contrarian considering – a useful reminder for content material entrepreneurs.

@IHSS (I Hate Steven Singer) exhibits the facility of contrarian considering, a helpful #ContentMarketing lesson, says @AnnGynn through @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

Contrarian technique stands out in a gift-driven market

The web site’s Historical past web page recounts the origin story: A Steven Singer buyer returned 20 years after shopping for an engagement ring to purchase one other diamond ring for his or her anniversary. About 9 months later, the couple returned to the jewellery retailer to point out off their new child. The spouse exclaimed, “I like Steven Singer,” to which the husband responded, “Right here we go once more. We’re up all evening with feedings and diaper modifications. I HATE Steven Singer.”

(Right here’s the audio rationalization used of their commercials.)

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Steven Singer Jewelers turned that humorous remark right into a model viewpoint.

A weblog publish known as Why Hate Steven Singer explains recounts why huge retailer jewelers hate Steven Singer:

  • Steven Singer Jewelers says it doesn’t low cost as a result of it gives the perfect worth from the start and mocks different jewelers’ huge low cost gross sales
  • The unbiased jeweler criticizes the lower-quality diamonds bought by the large shops, referring to them by their trade title, “frozen spit.”
  • Steven Singer lets clients improve purchases from the corporate by giving them a trade-in worth equal to the value they initially paid.

The contrarian messaging continues all through the positioning. The location record the enterprise handle as “the opposite nook of Eighth and Walnut” in Philadelphia. Even the Oops message (proven under) continues the theme, declaring, “Steven hated this web page … so he moved it. Attempt these as an alternative.”

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The right way to craft a contrarian content material advertising method

A contrarian or adverse method can remodel your content material advertising technique.

The objective is to get your viewers to say, “Wait, what?!”

Subverting the expectations of audiences dulled to comparable messaging offers them pause – and entices them to decipher what you’re speaking about.

You may apply parts of reverse or adverse considering to particular person property or make it the “voice” of your content material, as Steven Singer does.

A contrarian, adverse, or opposite-thinking technique is daring –some folks might not perceive what you’re doing. Simply be certain your model’s management does. In any other case, they’ll cease it nearly as quickly as you publish it.

Listed here are a number of methods to place that technique into motion (as soon as it’s accepted).

A contrarian or adverse #ContentStrategy is daring. Not everybody will get it. Simply be certain your management does, says @AnnGynn through @CMIContent Click on To Tweet

Write an sudden lead

Begin small by crafting introductions to articles utilizing reverse messaging. This small step may also help you take a look at whether or not your viewers is receptive to this method.

Do that train internally to make sure your staff understands what you need them to do: Give the writers an article you already printed and ask them to rewrite the lead following the contrarian, adverse, or opposite-thinking technique.


Quick Firm printed an article with this intro:

After practically three years of a worldwide pandemic and months, if not years, of working from residence, the principle factor drawing employees again to their places of work is the need to easily deal with their work. However on the identical time, places of work within the U.S. have hit a 15-year low in relation to how efficient they’re for enabling centered work.

This troubling mismatch is without doubt one of the prime takeaways from the 2022 U.S. Office Survey from the Gensler Analysis Institute, the analysis arm of the worldwide structure and design agency Gensler.

Contrarian-strategy revision:

U.S. employees don’t know what they’re speaking about.

That’s the revelation from the 2022 U.S. Office Survey from the Gensler Analysis Institute.

Its survey discovered the preferred purpose for employees desirous to return to the workplace is to deal with their particular person work. But, it additionally finds U.S. places of work are at a 15-year low in how efficient they’re for enabling centered work.

The unique model focuses on what folks say they need. The negative-strategy model exposes the mismatch between what folks say they need and the fact of workplace environments.

The tone is eye-catchingly adverse, and the sentence makes a U.S.-based viewers curious to find why they might be improper.

Dig deeper for thought management content material

You’ll entice a much bigger viewers in case your thought management isn’t the identical previous standard. However that doesn’t imply you need to take an opposing view when you don’t imagine it.

The subsequent time you sort out a thought management asset, analysis what’s already written or stated concerning the subject and the way it’s usually expressed. Then, ask in case your view on the subject differs out of your content material rivals’.

If that’s the case, brainstorm the chances and choose the one most related to your viewers. If not, you possibly can nonetheless create one thing completely different by searching for an underdeveloped or unaddressed level or angle on this subject.

When reacting to printed analysis, most individuals write thought management items across the first statistic or two. To create one thing that bucks the mainstream (with out taking an reverse view you don’t imagine), go deeper into the outcomes. Discover completely different stats related to your curiosity viewers and body your content material round that.

You’ll entice extra consideration in case your method to thought management avoids the same-old story, says @AnnGynn through @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet


Let’s use the 2022 U.S. Office Survey once more. The Quick Firm article centered on the office effectiveness chart introduced on the webpage for the report (because the screenshot under exhibits).

Screenshot showing a research chart near the top of Gensler site page called How can we design a more compelling office of the future?

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Sudden various:

However you possibly can dig deeper into the analysis to discover a contemporary angle.

With most individuals centered on the primary or most evident chart, search for one thing much less anticipated buried deeper within the analysis.

The chart on the backside of the report net web page (as proven within the screenshot under) seems on the respondents’ “perfect combine” of experiences for an organization office. The chart exhibits the chances for eight classes: clubhouse, espresso store, library, inventive lab, boutique lodge, residential, convention heart, and company.

Screenshot showing a research chart near the bottom of a website page.

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A content material marketer in a related trade might craft a thought management piece across the workplace experiences employees need.

Suppose past content material creation

Whereas the Steven-Singer technique is sensible for content material creation, it can also work for different parts of your content material advertising program.

Entrepreneurs typically wish to know the perfect time and day to ship an electronic mail, publish to social, and so forth. You do a Google search and discover Tuesdays are the perfect day to ship emails. That very same report signifies that the perfect time to ship electronic mail is between 9 a.m. and midday.

After all, since so many others will see that very same window listed as a finest apply, electronic mail inboxes get flooded between 9 a.m. on midday on Tuesdays. Why not ship your emails later within the day or on a special day of the week?

Take a look at the alternate ship time for a number of weeks to see if that opposite-thinking technique works on your viewers. If not, you possibly can at all times swap again.

Don’t neglect about your content material codecs, both.

CMI’s most up-to-date B2B analysis discovered that almost all entrepreneurs (89%) use articles and posts of lower than 1,500 phrases for content material advertising. Different generally used codecs embody:

  • Movies of any size (75%)
  • Case research (67%)
  • Digital occasions/webinars/on-line programs (62%)
  • Infographics/charts/knowledge visualization/3D fashions (61%)
  • Lengthy articles/posts (greater than 1,500 phrases)
  • E-books and white papers (59%)
  • In-person occasions (49%)

Then again, solely 17% of entrepreneurs use print magazines and books.

That’s an opposite-strategy alternative. May you develop a print journal on your viewers? Given how few entrepreneurs do, your content material would stand out.

If print isn’t possible, take into consideration different lesser-used sorts, comparable to audio content material (utilized by 33% of entrepreneurs), analysis studies (utilized by 30%), or livestreaming content material (16%).

TIP: An opposite-thinking technique for content material codecs doesn’t require you to desert the unique format. Search for methods to repurpose content material deliberate for widespread codecs into less-used ones.

You may apply an opposite-thinking content material technique with out rejecting widespread codecs, says @AnnGynn through @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

Change into essentially the most ‘hated’ content material advertising

Your content material rivals will solely proceed to develop within the months, a long time, and years to return. The necessity to stand out and entice consideration and curiosity out of your viewers by no means goes away.

With that in thoughts, adopting a Steven-Singer technique on your content material is sensible. And who is aware of? It would simply be the ticket to outcomes that everyone likes.

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Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising and marketing Institute