They say laughter is the universal language. They also say that about math and music, but that’s beyond the point. If you think about the articles, blog posts, TV shows, etc. that you remember the most, you will notice they all appeal to either your intellect, your emotions, or your sense of humor. While not everyone can get on board with having their mind blown or their sensitive side tapped into, most—if not all—people enjoy a good laugh every now and then.
Humor is an incredibly effective tool to use in content marketing because it allows your company to be more relatable. When using humor correctly, a company elicits memorable and persuasive messages to its audience as more of a friend than a business. The best part: your company doesn’t have to be all rainbows and ponies in order to make humor work in your content. Industries that are deemed “boring businesses” can use humor just as effectively as companies that sell more exciting products.
Companies that specialize in toilet paper, razors, and insurance, for instance, use humor in their advertisements and marketing tactics in order to make their products stand out. While their products are necessary, they are mundane and usually go unnoticed. But, by using humorous content, they make their brands more likeable, which motivates their audience to buy. Now, I know what you’re wondering: “Can I make my business content humorous, too?” The answer is yes, young one, you can. But, make sure you have the right tools to get started so your execution is a 10 across the board.
These 3 bits of advice will ensure you create content that is comedy gold:
1. Know your audience
If you’re going to talk to your audience like you’re all best friends, you should probably know who they are. No matter how good you think your jokes are, the wrong audience won’t think they’re funny. So, consider who you’re selling to and then get to the drawing board. It’s okay if this takes a few tries—trial and error is good with this sort of thing. Eventually, you will realize what your audience thinks is funny and what doesn’t land. Researching your market is important for many aspects of your business, but is supremely relevant when it comes to advertising. You want to make sure your product, and the way you sell it, make sense with who you’re selling to. Think about age, gender, race, and the interests of your target audience, then relate to them. Take advantage of current events and pop culture. These topics are some of the easiest to poke fun at, plus they’ll inspire you to create your own funny spin-offs.
2. Be Subtle
We all know that guy at the party that tries WAY too hard to be funny. Don’t be that guy. You don’t have to crack a joke every two seconds in order for your audience to keep paying attention to you. Instead, be subtle with your humor. Incorporate it strategically in your content and play around with it to see which directions it could go. The simpler the joke, the more people can relate. You shouldn’t have to explain your jokes to people who read them. That’s just sad, honestly. The punchline should be clear and relevant. Quick tip: remember to put your punch line at the end of the joke. Not all jokes follow the same formula, but being strategic about your punch line placement will encourage your audience to read the entire post rather than just the first few words.
3. Be tasteful, not offensive
It’s okay to push boundaries with your humor as long as you keep it classy. Remember you’re trying to relate to your audience, not push them away. Take toilet paper, for example. We all know what it does. But, that doesn’t mean we need to make every joke crude or cringe worthy just because of the nature of the product. Instead, keep the joke content lighthearted. Make your audience bond over day-to-day activities that go unmentioned, but don’t make them uncomfortable. Making distasteful jokes could give your consumers the impression that you’re making fun of them for using your own product. Wow, that sounds a lot like negative progress. Try using a familiar topic and apply an unexpected twist. The point is to not take yourself too seriously. Just because you sell something ordinary, doesn’t mean people can’t enjoy buying and using it. So, roll with what you have. Just remember to keep your audience on your side.
Humor is the secret ingredient to better marketing content regardless of your company’s specialty. So, learn to laugh with your audience! It just might pay off.
Kathryn is a content marketing specialist for Factor Finders, LLC.