How to Use Humour In Your Blog to Win Clients

inbound marketing

A famous Marilyn Monroe quote reads, “If you can make a woman laugh, you can make her do anything.”

Perhaps the same can be said about a content marketer and his or her audience.

Using humour in your blog is great for inbound marketing and for building relationships with customers.

Relationship building, of course, positively affects leads and sales.

But perhaps most important for content marketers, making your audience laugh makes them feel good. It acts as a bridge to develop a more personal relationship with your readers or viewers. Because humour and laughter help connect us on an emotional level.

Due to this connection, your brand is likely to better resonate with audience members.

But, what if you’re just not that funny?

You don’t need to be the next Amy Schumer or Ricky Gervais to scribble witty content.

Below, we show you how to pull off humour in your inbound marketing strategy.

But first, let’s delve into some other benefits of laughter.

Benefits of Laughter

Even though people love to laugh, research shows that adults don’t do it nearly as much as we should.

A 4-year-old, on average, reportedly laughs 300 times a day while a 40-year-old, on average, genuinely laughs only four times per day.

In more serious news, laughing is good for our health.

It reduces levels of stress hormones like epinephrine, dopamine, and cortisol. And it increases hormones such as endorphins, neurotransmitters, and those that fight infections.

Research also shows the effectiveness of laughter on a more direct inbound marketing level. A Nielsen study found that humour is the advertising theme that resonates most with Europeans at 51%.

This was compared to other themes such as real-life situations (41%), family-oriented content (29%), and aspirational content (17%).

So, how can you put these benefits to the test in your own inbound marketing without totally flopping on your face?

Below are four serious things to know before you indulge in any funny business.

How to Use Humour in Your Inbound Marketing

1. Know your audience.

Humour can be offensive. This fact amplifies if you’re preaching to the wrong audience.

Not knowing your brand’s demographic is one of the top common content marketing mistakes that you want to avoid.

For example, what’s funny to a college student might not be so funny to a 60-year-old.

There are many unfortunate risks involved if you’re shooting in the dark, and it could cost new customers. Heck, even loyal customers could turn on you if they become offended by your brand.

So it’s important to know and consider your demographic beforehand.

This is especially true if the humour you’re introducing is crude, dark, or satirical.

Other times, if your demographic is large and varied, jokes in good taste can work in a one-size-fits-all manner.

An example of this is the British commercial for during the Super Bowl. The segment is fittingly dubbed “Evil Little Girl.”

The commercial, less than a minute long, shows a mother and young daughter in a car. The mother gets pulled over by a cop for speeding. When the cop tries to make conversation with the child in the backseat, she convincingly pretends that the woman driving is not, in fact, her mother.

While this can be considered dark humour to some, the idea that children can be dramatic and come up with the darndest things is universally funny.

Most of us know a child that gives their parents a difficult time, so the message is relatable.

Plus, it does an effective job of communicating the message of the Young Director Award, which seeks out young talent.

2. Know your brand.

Knowing your brand is just as important as knowing your audience.

Just like with any of your content, make sure your humour aligns with your brand and brand voice.

A baby formula company might make tasteful jokes that relate to pregnant women and new mothers. Because of the product’s demographic, the brand probably leans more toward the conservative side.

On the other side of the spectrum would be a beer commercial targeting young millennial men. This brand may choose to use crude humour similar to Dollar Shave Club.

Dollar Shave Club’s motto? “Our blades are f**king great.”

Again, this type of humour is much more liberal than that of the baby formula company.

If the beer brand chose to be cutesy and the baby formula company decided to be crude, their humour would no longer align with their brand. And as a result, they’d lose that human connection we spoke about above.

Shock factor is one thing, but misaligning your brand with the wrong type of humour could cost your brand its reputation. And even worse, it could cost you your customer base, authenticity, brand trust, and revenue.

3. Be conversational.

Now that we know the foundation of what not to do, let’s take a look at some tactics that have clearly worked for big brands.

Whether you rank a 4 or a 10 on the funny scale, being conversational pulls audience members in. A casual tone, as if you’re talking to a friend, makes for easy reading and, if you’re lucky, deepens the connection you have with readers.

This strategy is a safe one to feel out whether your audience thinks you’re funny or not. (It also helps to have someone else edit the piece before it’s published—just in case.)

One way to mix humour into the conversation is in your tone. This can be done with a tongue-in-cheek style or just a playful one (like this piece from freelance writer Jamie Varon).

Popular millennial sites like Elite Daily do a great job with this.

4. Include memes or other funny curated content.

Humour often increases the chance of content being shared on social media networks.

Memes are a great example of this type of viral content.

Familiar with The Most Interesting Man in the World or Bad Luck Brian? What about eCards or the Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl…” memes?

Chances are, you’ve seen at least one of them before.

Internet memes are defined as activities, concepts, catchphrases, or any piece of media that spreads from person to person through the Internet.

Memes and GIFs can easily be integrated into inbound marketing content in listicle-formatted blogs (BuzzFeed nails this) and throughout your social media strategy.

Check out more marketing tips and content here.