Marketers have used humor to great success. But there are potential downsides if your timing is bad or your jokes are offensive. Here are some ways to use humor to boost your business.
Why Use Humor
Research shows and experience confirms that humor makes things memorable. Moreover, people simply love to laugh. Laughter is good for you: it eases stress and releases positive “happy” neurochemicals that brighten your outlook.
Brands that use humorous advertisements or social media campaigns successfully include Dr. Squatch and Dollar Shave Club, Liberty Insurance, Progressive Insurance, Old Spice, and Wendy’s. There are a few caveats to using humor to convey your brand’s personality. Read on to learn more.
Know Your Audience
One reason humorous marketing campaigns are successful is that the brands that use them know their customers and the demographics of customers attracted to humor. Millennials like information delivered with a punchline, and a bit of snark.
The key is not to overdo it. When an ad or message becomes so ubiquitous that it gets annoying, or it becomes a self-critical meme, the campaign loses its initial momentum.
Make Your Humor Relatable
Humor can convey authenticity, humility, and a willingness to laugh at yourself. Funny marketing campaigns must relate to their target audience. If the joke is too “inside,” it will miss most of the people it tried to reach and confuse the rest. If it’s offensive, it will backfire.
Political humor is always risky and can alienate customers who don’t share the message’s point of view. However, parodying pop culture, like reality shows with broad appeal, iconic movies from your target customer’s era, or athletes can make your brand relatable to its audience.
Time It Right
It’s not a great idea to use funny ads or messages in the wake of tragedies. You should also leave religious humor to the houses of worship. While humor can defuse conflict, use your best judgment about how yours will impact your audience.
Use a Variety of Media
While Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram are commonly used promotional tools that lend themselves well to funny content, brick-and-mortar businesses should take a note from funny church signs: they’re effect is primarily local. Even if one goes viral, it’s unlikely that online fans will travel long distances to take a selfie with it.
Another thing you’ll notice about church signs is that many of them look like the kind where the lettering must be attached manually. If you want a modern sign to lure customers, consider the factors that go into choosing an LED sign. Your sign will be more visually appealing, and you’ll be able to change the message on it with a few clicks on a keyboard.
Finding ways to use humor to boost your business isn’t that hard. Silly things happen every day, and with the right tone and targeting, you could capitalize on them. Make your customers smile in a genuine way that also gently encourages them to buy. Humor, used sparingly but effectively, makes your customers associate happiness with your product or service, and buy more!