Digital Marketing

4 ways to use humor in your digital marketing campaigns

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By Jessica Bubenheim, on 14 August 2019

Whether a little joke, a nice gesture, there are many things that make us smile - or laugh. Unfortunately, many laugh too seldom, and laughter is healthy! There are so many ways and opportunities that can bring ourselves and those around us to laugh every once in a while. How often do you laugh, or see something that makes you smile? Who or what makes you laugh? Is it your favourite television series that you can not watch without laughing out loud at least once? Or is it perhaps your favourite brand's newsletter that knows exactly how to put a smile on your face in the morning?

Laughter is social and contagious, and for digital marketing campaigns humor can often be your ticket to virality. And the best part is that it usually feels good to laugh properly or make someone else laugh."Humor can be practiced" says Leigh Anne Jasheway, an award-winning humor speaker, comedy teacher and author who has spent her career figuring out the answer.

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Behind every kind of humor is a technique.

Even if they want to make us believe that: no comedian in the world develops all their gags spontaneously on stage. Most of them are created in a quiet room or within a team that masters certain humour techniques. But you do not have to be a gag writer to be humorous-quick-witted. When you’re sitting down to plan your next marketing campaign, and want to add a touch of humor, all you need to bring along is the right attitude, a little courage and the appropriate dose of impudence. Today let’s look at show the techniques you can use for incorporating quick-witted humor in your next digital marketing campaign:

1. Break the expectations

We naturally laugh when we are surprised in a harmless way. Everyone has experienced an interaction at the beginning is a bit tense and overcooled. The same may go with your customer or client relationships for initial engagement or interactions. If you are looking to break the ice and create a relaxed atmosphere, a small trick often helps: breaking the usual expectation of the person you are communicating with. It’s normal to fall into a standard communication tone. However in a world where we are interacting with countless brands on a daily basis, it’s a unique brand personality that will stay at the top of minds. Engage with your audience by breaking the standard communication expectations, and try saying something a little bit crazy. Be cautious here not to scare your audience away. Ensure you fully understand you target audience, their values, wants, needs, and fears.

2. Tell a joke

Create a joke that is narrated or portrayed to make your audience laugh or smile. Keep in mind that jokes do not always have to be funny, they just have to trigger a reaction in the audience. Ideally, for your digital marketing campaign, these will be jokes that your audience wants to share with the rest of their social network! In order to trigger such a reaction, you can tell a joke that refers to your audience directly; a joke that supports the way they think, makes the audience feel better about themselves, or reinforces your their brand loyalty by identifying them with your brand.

One example of jokes are wordplay jokes. Wordplay jokes are a kind of pun that induces the audience to think twice about the meaning of the words or phrases you’re using in your campaign. Here are a few wordplay examples:

  • How do turtles communicate with each other?
  • With shell phones.
  • I accidentally went to bed with my contact lenses in the other night.
  • My dreams have never been clearer.
  • Is your iPad making you fall asleep?
  • I can help, there's a-nap for that.
  • I tried to sue the airline for losing my luggage.
  • I lost my case.

3. Don’ t take yourself so seriously

Self-irony is a great way to handle brand criticisms with grace. Here it is important to pay attention to the correct emphasis, so that your self-ironous remark is not misunderstood. The ironic handling of one's own brand’s weaknesses and quirks is an important characteristic of quick-witted and loved brands.

4. Stay ready even with mistakes

"Those who have never made a mistake have never tried anything new". Albert Einstein was already convinced of that. But it's not that easy to handle our mistakes. Especially in with social media marketing campaigns: slips in the word use, typo on the social add or other communication errors are usually deeply embarrassing. Mistakes are human, we know that, but we do not like to see them ourselves. In most cases, we use too much energy to sweep them under the carpet. A great factor in building trust among your audience is transparency, so next time, why not try and use your mistakes to your advantage for the sake of humor and bring some smiles to your audience!

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Jessica Bubenheim

Jessica ha cursado negocios internacionales en Warwick Business School y tiene especial interés por los emprendedores sociales.

International Business at Warwick Business School. Inspired by Social Entrepreneurs.