The need to churn out a continual flow of content for a business’s marketing channels can be exhausting. Making that content interesting each and every time can feel impossible.

If you’re struggling to develop good content your audience wants to engage with regularly, you may need to rethink your creative process. Start by considering how to spice things up within the content itself without upsetting your audience in the process.


Provocative Not Inflammatory Content

One of the key elements of good marketing is catering to your audience’s emotions. 

Things like functionality and accessibility are other key drivers that push consumers to make a purchase. But at the end of the day, if someone feels emotionally stirred — whether that’s via happiness, nostalgia, or even righteous anger — they’re often more likely to make a purchase.

If you can infuse content with an emotional beat that resonates with your audience, it can instantly boost its value. Positive emotional content can lead to things like higher engagement, more shares, and better lead generation.

The challenge is finding ways to intensify your content’s emotional elements without alienating large portions of your audience in the process. That’s why it’s good to understand the difference between provocative and inflammatory content.

What Is Provocative Content

In a word, provocative content is good content. It attracts a reader’s attention and draws them into an experience.

One needs to look no further than the definition of the word provocative to understand what’s meant when it’s applied to content creation. Provocative means “serving or tending to provoke, excite, or stimulate.”

Provocative content creates an emotional reaction that is exciting and stimulating for anyone engaging with it.

Inflammatory Content

In contrast to the act of provoking, inflammatory content brings the worst out of an audience because inflammatory means “tending to excite anger, disorder, or tumult: seditious.”

While still relating to emotions, inflammatory content creates negative reactions. It upsets and angers readers, often leading to their disengaging from your brand. 

The tricky thing is understanding that inflammatory content can actually resonate positively with portions of your audience. However, what may work with some readers tends to do more damage than good when applied to the whole. It can alienate specific demographics and can also generate bad word-of-mouth marketing.

If you want to spice up your content to boost engagement, you must toe the line between being provocative and avoiding inflammatory commentary.


Clickbait versus Click-Worthy Content

If you’re going to have the “provocative versus inflammatory” content discussion, there’s another important addendum to add to the conversation. You also want to create content that is worth clicking on in the first place.

This kind of content often falls into one of two categories: click-worthy or clickbaity content. As is the case with provocative and inflammatory content, these represent two similar but critically different marketing tactics.

Click-worthy content focuses on your audience and their needs and pain points. It should be insightful and targeted. It should resonate with readers through provocative suggestions and thoughtful statements. Ultimately, click-worthy content should generate trust with your audience, too.

Clickbaity content focuses on your own goals. It prioritizes generating clicks and driving traffic over providing real value to your audience. This can be misleading and can lead to confused and frustrated readers.

An easy way to figure out if your content is click-worthy or clickbaity is by asking the question: “How does this offer value to the reader?” 

If the answer is that the value is insufficient or even nonexistent, you’ve likely created clickbaity content and need to make some major edits.


How a Freelance Writer Can Help Generate Provocative Content

Understanding the difference between provocative and inflammatory content is one thing. Applying that knowledge is another.

If you’re struggling to generate provocative, click-worthy content for your business, you may need to hire a writer to help. A freelance writer can bring a degree of professionalism to your content creation that can be difficult to recreate in-house and on budget. A professional writer will:

  • Have lots of experience communicating through the written word. They will be able to use thought-provoking language appropriately and in context without upsetting readers.
  • Be able to write authoritatively. A career spent composing text in a variety of different circumstances gives a professional writer a greater level of confidence. As they interact with freelance editors and SMEs from one client to the next, they can speak with a unique degree of authority.
  • Know how to use the right structure. They will be able to break up long paragraphs and use headers to encourage readers to engage with the text to the end. This will lead to more people scrolling and fewer site visitors bouncing.
  • Have experience selecting good titles and headers. Blog writers have the experience and capability to develop multiple click-worthy title options. These should spark key emotions, stir curiosity, and foster expectation.

If you want to create provocative content that is also high quality, invest in the right talent to help you do so. A freelance writer can be a crucial contributor that takes your content to a fresh and engaging new level.


Upping the Ante With Your Content

Creating an endless stream of content that is consistently engaging can be challenging. Focusing on provocative writing and providing click-worthy value to your readers are good strategies to keep those creative juices flowing over time.

Tapping the power of freelancers can also be a critical piece of the puzzle. In fact, along with the benefits mentioned above, a good freelance editor can also play a role in keeping your content exciting and clean. 

If you’re looking for an accomplished freelance writer or an experienced editor to help with content creation, PowerPublish can help. We’ve designed our writer marketplace to streamline the process of finding professional writers to meet your content needs, both now and in the future.