A content strategy all about positivity. How lovely! Okay, I'm a little late to the party, but I just became acquainted with Hello Giggles – the website started by actress/singer Zooey Deschanel and friends.
It makes me really happy that something like this not only exists, but is thriving.
And I’m surprised that no content strategist has de-engineered this project (that I can find), because it’s beautiful. And simple. So so simple.
The site’s description sums it up nicely:
HelloGiggles is a positive online community for women (although men are always welcome!) covering DIY and crafting projects, beauty, friendship, sex & relationships, pop culture, pets, television & movies, nostalgia, fandom, tips on savvy and stylish living meant to inspire a smile. Founded by Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer and Sophia Rossi. Reader contributions are welcome and published daily.
And if I had to articulate it more succinctly: “An online community and content hub for women that’s strictly positive.”
That last bit about positivity has been key to the site’s epic success – Hello Giggles now has 12 million unique monthly views, up from one million a year ago. Turns out, the millennial generation was craving a safe harbour from all the negativity and ranting that’s saturated the Internet thanks to anonymous commenting.
Although Hello Giggles core concept of positivity is simple, it needs the guidance and governance of a content strategy to make it work.
The site has 5 key principles:
Positive, purposeful content – all content must have a point and a lesson learned for the reader, keeping the site from becoming a collection of personal blogs. Content contributors even get editorial guidance to help shape their stories and tone.
Positive topics – no gossip or trashy content (you’ll be hard-pressed to find any listicles here).
Positive tone of voice – conversational but articulate and intelligent writing, with absolutely no swearing allowed.
Positive environment – the site is vigilantly policed to immediately scrub out any negative, mean or snarky remarks. (Disagreements are allowed, as long as the discussion doesn’t turn catty.)
Positive associations – Hello Giggles doesn’t allow alcohol brand sponsors because this doesn’t match their mantra.
Brands can take a lesson from Hello Giggles success: don’t be afraid to really narrow down your content strategy and stay true to your purpose.
Hello Giggles doesn’t apologise for not catering to boys. They’re not worried about altering user submitted content to maintain their tone of voice. And they aren’t afraid of super strict comment monitoring to protect the positive vibe.
Now, what would the voice of fear have said?
“We shouldn’t be so overtly girl-focused because we’ll lose potential audience… We can’t tamper with user-generated content... Such strict comment monitoring might discourage discussion…”
We all know the voice of fear. All too often, fear takes over and dilutes that initial focused vision beyond recognition. And then, you end up with yet another mediocre, vanilla content hub – which is the only thing you should actually fear.