A not-funny post about using humor in marketing

funny monkey

Reading a blog post about humor that’s largely void of humor is like showing up to a comedy show only to realize that you’re at the opera. I get the irony. That said, when it comes to marketing, humor can be seriously good for business.

In this post, I’m referring to humor in terms of written content. So while content marketers can use memes in their marketing campaigns to great effect, that’s not what I’m focusing on here.

Add a dash of humor

A little goes a long way with humor. As the saying goes, “Humor is the spice of life.”

Just like spice can make or break a dish, so too can humor make or break a piece of marketing content. Too much and it can ruin the marketing message you’re trying to convey. But just the right amount — with punchlines sprinkled strategically throughout — can greatly add to the enjoyment of your piece.

Understand the difficulties of making humor work

Digital marketing content can be a lot of things: educational, informative, and yes, funny (if done correctly). Like all jokes, marketers might find their attempts of humor fall flat. This is understandable since so much of humor is comedic timing, as evidenced by stand-up comics. Because of that, written humor is really difficult to do well.

And it can be hard to know what makes your target audience laugh. Or decide on what types of humor your brand should use. In short, humor can be just plain confusing.

While there are difficulties when it comes making a specific audience laugh (or smile), it can be good for your business. Here are five ways how being a little silly can benefit your content marketing strategy.

1. It can help with brand awareness and drive audience engagement

Humor can strengthen your digital marketing presence because, if nothing else, it can increase your brand awareness and drive audience engagement on social media platforms.

Often people will share social media posts they think are funny. Who’s to say they won’t share your company’s post if they get a kick out of it?

2. It can make your content memorable

The funniest family stories are often repeated, and for good reason — I’ve found that shared humor experiences are typically the ones that are the most memorable. This is why people may not talk about the time the one-year-old spit up, but they will talk about the time when the baby farted so loud that it woke the dog.

3. It can help you sound relatable

You can use humor to help people feel at ease, especially if this is your first time meeting someone. It’s one of the ways we build connections with one another. Because humor is so relatable, you may want to try incorporating it into your marketing content from time to time.

4. It can set you apart from your competitors

Oftentimes, I think people view their business blog posts and social media posts as needing to be strictly professional. And sometimes this is the case. But I think a lot more businesses could afford to cut up and break from the norm once in a while.

You’re likely to pleasantly surprise your audience with a well-placed joke in the middle of an educational piece of content or a witty one-liner on LinkedIn. And, if you do it well, you can make your brand stand out from others in your industry.

5. It can help your CTAs

A lot of folks who read brands’ blogs probably expect some kind of call-to-action (CTA). What they may not be expecting is for that CTA to include humor.

Here’s an example I did for my client, Keen Digital Solutions. They sell software to help marketers use relevant data to make decisions, especially in regards to spend. I didn’t include humor in the post until the end. At this point, I wrote the following CTA:

“If you’re someone who hates quality data and prefers to spend your ad money willy-nilly, you won’t want to request a free demo from us since it’s all about giving you useful data for decision-making.”

This is by no means a perfect example, but I think it illustrates one way you could use humor.

Wrapping up

Here are a few takeaways: Remember that humor can improve your web traffic, audience engagement, and CTAs. It can also help folks relate to and remember your messaging, which can set your marketing efforts apart from your competitors. For marketers and business owners who want to improve their brand’s identity, using a little bit of humor might be a good idea.

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