More and more brands are adding humor to their content because it’s entertaining and it works. A few well-placed jokes can make an article seem honest and caring instead of salesy. Humor also motivates people to read content carefully instead of skimming and to share with friends on social media. It can help you and your brand stand out instead of being boring. Here are 5 serious tips to help you add humor to your content.
Know Your Audience
Humor is subjective, and the things a college student finds funny could be offensive to a senior citizen. That’s why you should always understand your audience. You don’t have to please everyone, but you should make sure most of your customers will like your content.
Pay attention to current trends and avoid controversial or potentially offensive jokes when possible. Otherwise, you could drive away future customers instead of attracting them. For example, DiGiorno used the #whyistayed hashtag on Twitter to talk about their frozen pizza. Since others were using the same hashtag to discuss domestic violence, the tweet made many people think the company doesn’t take this issue seriously.
Fortunately, you can avoid a faux pas like this by asking one or two friends or family members to read your content before you post it. If most of your audience members are women in their 30s, ask some female friends that are about the same age for their opinion. If most readers are men in their 50s, you can show your content to a family member in that demographic. For a large, diverse audience, tailor different pieces to different groups. That way, you can offer something for everyone.
Make Fun of Yourself
Self-deprecating humor makes you seem likable and trustworthy. It leads readers to realize that you know your brand isn’t perfect and you’re working hard to fix the flaws. For example, you can show a funny message on your website like “So sorry! It looks like we’re getting a little too popular!” when your server is busy instead of using just another boring error message. It’s interesting, it’s memorable, and it makes people smile instead of causing anger or frustration.
Remember the old saying: “If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.” If you try to pretend that you’re perfect or your brand is perfect, people won’t trust you because they’ll know you’re not telling the whole truth. Being comfortable enough to laugh at yourself can help you earn more confidence from readers than simply saying that your brand is the best. After all, even the best brands still have room for improvement.
Use Research and Statistics
You can find out who your core audience is and what kind of humor you should use by doing a little research. Look at social media statistics to get a good idea of who your biggest fans are. Just study who follows you, who likes your posts, and who leaves comments. When you post a funny article, a tweet, or any other type of content, review the number of likes and shares.
If you get a good response, you should keep doing what you’ve been doing. If you don’t get many likes or shares, you should change your brand’s voice and use a different type of humor. What works for a coffee shop or a nice restaurant may not be the best choice for a cable company or a toy store.
Incorporating Popular Topics
Mentioning trending topics makes new customers more likely to see your posts and learn about your brand. Find out what’s trending by watching the news and checking Google’s trends page. You can also check Twitter for the most popular hashtags. Then, use a trending topic as part of a joke. For example, a salon or a barber shop could make gentle fun of Donald Trump’s hair.
Just make sure you stay away from controversial or tragic topics. Making fun of Trump’s politics could offend people, and joking about bad news just isn’t funny. There aren’t many lighthearted things you can say about hurricanes, recent deaths, or other serious topics. However, you can stick to subjects like sports or TV shows to take advantage of trending topics without inviting controversy.
Using Images, Memes, or Gifs
Image via Flickr by WB – CMH
A meme is an image with a funny or interesting caption, like a cute cat picture or Mr. Spock from Star Trek saying “fascinating.” Humans are very visually oriented, and it’s often easier to get people’s attention with a funny image or a short video than with text. A humorous image can catch readers’ eyes and persuade them to read and remember the rest of your article. Most people only remember about 10 percent of the things they read, but they can recall more than 60 percent of images and other types of visual information.
A good joke can also keep people from just skimming your content. However, they’ll have to take at least a few seconds to read the joke and the rest of your introduction. Funny images can bring you more readers, break up long posts, and prevent boredom. Many people can’t help smiling when they see an adorable animal or a silly gif. Adding funny visual elements to your content also makes it more shareable on social media. Since images and gifs have small file sizes, they’re also easier to view on mobile devices than longer videos. They even look great in emails.
Even if your business is in a field most people find boring, like accounting or mold remediation, you can figure out a way to make your content entertaining and fun. Funny, memorable articles will make more people think of your company when they need your service, even if they haven’t looked at any of your content for months.
With humor, small companies can compete with huge corporations and giant companies can still seem friendly and approachable. Surprise your audience, be sarcastic or ironic, add a cute picture of an animal or a baby, be ridiculous, or combine all these techniques. The right jokes can make people anticipate your content as much as they look forward to funny Super Bowl commercials.