Humor in Content Marketing
One fine evening, a man was strolling aimlessly about a marketplace. He kicked a can which landed on the door of a pub. He looked up at the door, guffawed and went straight in. Wondering what was it that instantly pulled him inside the pub? It was a note, which read, ‘We serve beer colder than your ex’s heart’. A wonderful humor hook to lure the customers in. Zingers and puns like this are specifically put outside cafes and restaurants to drum up the foot traffic.
Humor is a powerful content marketing tactic. It can connect with your target audience, and influence choices and decisions in magical ways. Can you recall some of the most memorable advertisements you’ve ever seen? ‘We’re pretty sure a strong majority of them would be laced in humor.’
Whether it’s a blog or an advertisement, infusing humor in it helps your work stand out in a crowded market by-
Grabbing the attention of the readers or the audiences, making them smile, and thus, engaging them throughout.
Building a connection with the readers or the audiences and thereby cementing it.
Enhancing shareability; humor is infection!
Increasing its recall value- any message imbued with humor will be easier for their target demography to remember.
However, let’s face it, if not executed well, humor can go horribly wrong. It may even end up tarnishing your brand’s reputation. The key is to find the right balance and using humor sensitively and effectively. Here are some points to keep in mind.
Timing is of essence. A good joke uttered at a bad time can end up being extremely distasteful.
No humor for humor’s sake. The comic element should tie down to your brand’s image or selling proposition. The joke cannot be detached from the brand.
Class versus crass. Don’t give into cheap words and thoughts in the name of humor.
Sensitivity. Ensure that your comedy is not distasteful or hurtful to any segment of humanity.
Marketers need to observe their audience well enough to know their reflexes in different circumstances. They should be able to figure out what kind of content will be effective for them. Most importantly, they should be able to pin-point what will engage and entertain their audience, while communicating the brand message accurately.
According to Dr. James Barry, a humorist, and professor at Nova Southeastern University, brands fall into three categories when it comes to humor in content marketing- Red, Yellow, and White industries.
So, what makes a brand red, yellow, or white? How can one tell which brands belong where, and which have the easiest time using humor?
Red industry stories are highly emotional. These are the brands asking their audience to make high-stakes decisions on luxury items like a Lexus, or jewelry etc. Using humor can end up being distasteful, out of context and even, offensive.
Yellow industry content is often… boring and devoid of humor. The stakes involved with a purchase are much lower. If your brand offers snack foods or beer or candy, it falls in the Yellow industry.
White industries are where B2B comes in. These brands can experiment with humor balancing their technicality.
All and all, humor serves a different purpose throughout the three loosely-defined stages of a buyer’s journey. Call them top, middle, and bottom of the marketing funnel or call them Attract, Engage, and Convert, as our team does. The idea is the same: How you use humor should change depending on your context.
TOP OF THE FUNNEL: PURE COMEDY GOLD
Top of Funnel content can be mostly comedy – designed exclusively to entertain people. This is what we call a “chocolate cake” or “dessert” post. This is basically the most fun-filled part, but one should not scatter it with jokes willy-nilly. Jokes should be sparingly used with proper strategy.
Middle of Funnel: Humor + Value
In the middle of the funnel—what we call the “Engage” stage—comedy is still a welcome component of your content. But unlike top of the funnel, the comedy can’t be the main attraction here as you’ve already brought your audience in. Now you must provide value beyond a chuckle or two. This is basically the section where your brand gets a personality.
BOTTOM OF THE FUNNEL
By the time your customer is almost ready to make a purchase decision, you don’t need to keep throwing out the punchlines. They’re already sold on your brand’s personality; now they need to make sure your solution is the perfect fit.
People love to laugh. Humor can be very potent and help you win the hearts of your target audience. It’s an important tool if leveraged the right way.
**Dramantram (Pronounced as Dra-Mann-Tram) is a video production, communication design, digital marketing and a concept photography company that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to innovate, create and communicate. Our flexible approach works in tandem with creativity and innovation.