Humour in Content Marketing
"Why did the SEO expert cross the road? To get hit with traffic!"1
For years, humour has been used in literature and content to engage audiences. From Shakespeare to Einstein, many notable figures in history used humour as a means to relay complicated or niche messages.
As any marketer will attest, incorporating the basic tenets of content marketing can make your content seem dry or taxing to read. Infusing humour into your writing can keep your readers interested to read, share, and comment upon.
Laughter Is the Best Marketing
The goal of any brand marketer is to convert relevant audiences into loyal fans. With the saturation of content out there (hello, internet!), it can be tricky to stand out in the crowd without compromising your brand values or proposition. For readers, humour is an effective tool to separate the mundane from the relevant. Studies show that 75% of consumers appreciate humour in a brand’s tone and voice.2 Humour is a good way to show personality and show the authenticity of a brand.
Being funny on paper is easier said than done. As writer Brad Smith says, "we’re not all natural-born comedians," which makes the task a little more challenging.3 Luckily, there are tons of brands that have nailed the art of humorous content. You can take inspiration (and notes) from some of the following:
- Netflix: The streaming giant is hilarious on their various, geo-specific social media accounts. Furthermore, Netflix uses their own footage to create most of their content and poke fun at themselves.
- Merriam Webster: Along with a seemingly infinite supply of definitions, Merriam Webster frequently shares content about the origins of our favourite words. They complement their blogs with witty posts on Twitter, often relevant to pop-culture conversations of the day.
Putting Humour to Work
So why aren’t more marketers incorporating humour into their writing?
According to Marc Ensign, most marketers believe that readers aren’t looking for humour. They’re looking for information and want to read blogs that are useful.4 While that is correct, the element of investment is missing. "Your content must do more than just educate," says Ensign. "It must entertain."
He offers tips that can help make the experience of humorous writing a little less daunting. Here are a few that can make your zingers ring to the right audience:
- Use Metaphors: Metaphors are a great way to simplify a tricky concept, while incorporating your own spin. They’re also a great way to incorporate your audience’s interests and expertise without sounding too "on the nose."
- Isn’t It Ironic: When it comes to your industry, your audience will share the same woes that you do. Talking about those contradictions is a great way to infuse a chuckle into your work. But too much irony, and you can sound like a cynic.
- Borrow from the Greats: There is a lot of funny content out there. Let it inspire your future posts. There’s no harm in identifying what works and applying those methods to your writing. However, if you do borrow, give credit.
Humour is an age-old method to keep people engaged with your content. It can be an important tool for content marketers, if they know how to incorporate it.
If witty, humorous content is not your cup of tea, we can help. At MintCopy, our talented team of writers incorporates wit and intelligence into the work we produce for your business.
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