Over the years we have seen how, many celebrities, media personalities and businesses intentionally create drama and do ignorant and racist things to incite outrage, thus leading to free advertisement. This lazy but very effective phenomenon is called outrage marketing.
OUTRAGE MARKETING 101
- Brand does something ignorant/racist/outrageous.
- People are outraged and share what the brand has done. Brand goes viral = free marketing.
- Brand may give a superficial apology. Reputational damage is often low and it’s business as usual until next time.
The cycle continues.
A few brands/ people that are great at this technique:
- Katy Hopkins
- Previously used outrage marketing through her tweets but she has since been banned from twitter 🙂 and when she said on This Morning that she hates when parents name their child after a country but named her child ‘India’.
- People like her tweet for attention, just block them.
- The Kardashians
- Twitter, Instagram, ‘North took this’ and her sisters going viral for fighting, the list goes on. If they post something ridiculous, ignore them. If you really dislike a celebrity and get annoyed at their virality or the stuff they post, just block them? It’s not hard.
- The Daily Mail, Sun, Star.
- Tabloid writes racist stories, people get upset (understandably), people quote tweet what they have said with outrage ‘can’t believe they wrote this’, article goes viral, some people who have seen the quote tweet go onto the website, website makes money from clicks. If you really want to quote tweet then screenshot the article so others don’t have to click the article link.
I don’t even like speaking about these brands but I felt it was important to provide examples.
Engagement makes the world go round
Each engagement is an interaction.
Each interaction gives the brand attention.
Attention = more money.
There are many different ways to engage:
- Posting Links
Next time you see something outrageous online ask yourself, does this need my engagement, or should I block them? The answer is often the latter.
By engaging with ‘outrage’ content you are:
- Keeping them relevant
- Spreading ignorant and hateful things
- Driving traffic to their business
- Letting more people know about them:
- Some of whom agree with what they represent and believe that you “can’t ‘take a joke”, are a “snowflake” and “outraged for no reason.”
So, instead of engaging, why not block?
Seriously, you’re not their social media manager and they didn’t hire you as a digital marketing company so stop acting like one.
You may be reading this and thinking ‘but Sarah they’re in the wrong and I want to tell them.” You’re well within your right to and speaking up and defending what is morally right is important, however you must choose your battles wisely.
You must use discernment to know when content has been published to incite your outrage and gain your engagement.
Engaging with popular people and businesses who are wilfully ignorant, racist and committed to outraging you, is futile. It wastes your time and energy, both of which should be used in ways that benefit you. For the benefit of your own peace of mind and precious time, sometimes blocking is the best course of action, because why engage, when you can block?