You're Authentic and On Message. But Are You Funny? Marketing With Personality

Adding a Bit of Zing to Your Inbound Marketing Content Strategy


Some companies shy away from humour for various reasons. Done wrong, it goes over like a lead balloon. Done right, it soars. Just think of a time you had to give a presentation and you opened with a one-liner. Determing if it was great or horrible depends on the audience's reaction. If you had tonnes of laughs, it likely was a good joke for the room. The absence of any guffaws (the sympathetic ones don't count) is indicative of a bad joke. 


In the online sphere, you can't always judge a reaction by measuring the laughs in the room. So how do you measure? If you've put out a good campaign, you'll get comments mimicing the same tone as the original ad or post, as well as likes and shares—all of which are all great indicators of quality engagement by your audience with your brand.


Being funny is important. Why? It drives engagement with your brand. Don't believe us? Take it from Doc Searls and David Weinberger, author of the gonzo marketing guide The Cluetrain Manifesto. Their book puts forth 95 theses for working in the modern world. Most recently the duo said that "companies need to lighten up and take themselves less seriously." 


We agree. Opening up allows a company to be more engaging. So, how do you do that? Develop a culture of conversation and don't be afraid to talk about your organization realistically. Speak of its successes and its failures and show how you learned from your hurdles. It's a way of saying that you are "flawsome."


Honesty helps in bringing forth a funny dialogue, but other than that we don't have much to offer in the way of technique. We must admit that humour isn't easy to do. Just try to sit down with a deadline and the directive to be funny when writing your website content or blogs. It isn't easy. Humour develops along the way or when you're not really thinking about it. Humour doesn't work with deadlines. It's kind of a diva that way.


So what to do? We'll advise you by taking a cue from funnyman and bestselling novelist David Sedaris who always keeps a notebook in his pocket to jot down ideas as they come to him. Do the same. Record your ideas and observations as they arise. Eventually a campaign will form in your head around the idea. It might even generate a few hardy-hars or a few eye-watering knee-slappers.






And take inspiration from others. Even those touting serious concerns, such as the Suzuki Foundation, have found that using humour to draw eyeballs to an unfunny cause gets you noticed. 


And that's nothing to laugh at. Har!


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Topics: Social Media, People, Websites, Branding, Content Marketing

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