Have you ever come across funny content like a meme or a video that you still remember today?
Humour helps your brand to stand out, and it also creates an emotional connection with your audience that will result in higher brand recall. They’re also great if you’re looking to market on social media — think memes.
Here’s why you should do it.
Imagine you’re at a party with three people. One person talks about the weather, another complains about his job, while the other tells a brilliant joke that makes you laugh. Who will you remember the most? Surely, it’s the one that makes you laugh.
The same can be said about your content. Why be boring when you can be funny? Your audience will remember your brand for making them laugh or smile, and sometimes they can be great conversation starters too — which leads us to the next point.
One of the reasons for people to share content on social media and other platforms is to bring valuable and entertaining content. That’s why grabbing your audience’s attention and evoking a strong enough emotion is crucial for them to take action.
Humorous content that evokes awe, laughter, and joy makes it more likely to be shared than those who evoke negative emotions, such as sadness or anger. If that’s the case, it can be said that humorous content is more likely to go viral. One example is the “Old Spice” commercial below:
Due to this commercial, the company’s sales doubled, its website traffic jumped by 300%, and its YouTube channel became the #1 Most Viewed Sponsored YouTube Channel in 2010.
Zendesk, the customer service software, highlights the usual struggles of connecting to a person in a call centre — from asking your ID number to being passed to multiple people before reaching the right person. But, what makes it even funnier is that this call is being made to the caller’s parents.
Another example is Apple’s “The Whole Work From Home Thing” commercial that highlights the features of Apple’s products to support collaboration and work from home needs. The commercial shows the difficulties and humorous situations of working from home during the pandemic, such as dealing with kids and family members and being on mute during meetings — totally relatable. The video has been watched over thirty million times.
Most importantly, humour is an effective content marketing weapon because it makes your brand familiar — and people are more susceptible to suggestions especially after they’ve lowered their guards.
Your humorous content should be obvious, meaning that the joke or what makes it funny shouldn’t need to be explained. If it does, it immediately loses its effectiveness. Don’t make complex jokes; make a simple joke that anyone in your audience understands and can resonate with.
One good way to incorporate humour into your brand would be to leverage on existing viral trends or current affairs.
When the “Dad Bod” phenomenon started, Juicy Fruit jumped on the bandwagon to show different sizes of gum packs available. This is a clever and humorous way to incorporate a current topic of conversation into their content strategy.
Another example is when celebrity feuds between Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj occurred, White Castle posted their beef product and tweeted to them, saying that their beef is the only thing they’ll need. Since the word beef is also a jargon for a feud, this tweet had the right humour — promoting their product while also relating to the current trend.
Not everything is funny, however. While it might be tempting to make jokes out of every topic and hop on every trend to stay relevant, it’s important to put the brakes on so that you don’t come off as being insensitive. The last thing you’d want is to alienate your audience, or worse, be embroiled in a controversy.
SunnyD, a company that sells orange drinks, tweeted, “I can’t do this anymore,” during the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show, alluding to how they couldn’t keep up with the long hours of the game. While some agreed and sent funny replies, other users were concerned that such a phrase often associated with mental illness issues is being used as a joke to engage with their followers.
It might not always be appropriate to make funny content, depending on your brand values and your target audience. Humour can make your content fun, but it might also cause your brand to not be taken too seriously.
For example, if you’re selling a luxurious item, be it a car or a diamond necklace, you might run the risk of alienating your target audience by ‘cheapening’ your brand value with slapstick humour. Since purchasing your luxury product is an expensive decision, you might be better off appealing to their aspirational nature instead!
Humorous content can differentiate your brand from others in the same field. If done right, it can lead to higher engagement and sales. However, you must be careful not to cross the boundary — there’s a fine line between being funny and being insensitive.
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Click2View is Southeast Asia’s premiere full-service independent B2B content marketing agency servicing clients like Microsoft, Google, Visa, Prudential, and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.