Online Marketing & Digital Marketing

Go Viral by Using Humor in Your Marketing Strategy

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By Héctor Borrás, on 22 June 2021

When planning your marketing strategy, there is a very powerful tool that you may not be taking into account, and that is none other than humor!

Whatever your brand is, provoking emotions in your audience works wonders. Everyone loves to laugh and people are much more likely to share a video or image they find funny, so incorporating humor will help you go viral.

* Do you want to know the secrets of successful viral marketing campaigns?  Download our free ebook to discover the fundamentals of viral marketing,  including two in-depth case studies.

Go Viral by Using Humor in Your Marketing Strategy

Why Use Humor in Marketing?

  • Because it generates positive emotions around your brand. Humor is something that unites us and laughter is contagious. If you manage to make people laugh (without being offensive), you will gain trust and good will from your target audience and you will make progress on the road to conversion.

  • Because it promotes brand recall. Humor stimulates the parts of the brain that memorize information. When we find something funny it leaves much more of an impression than simply presenting data.

  • Because it helps you with your viral marketing strategy. People not only remember things that make them laugh, but they also tend to share them with others. If you create a marketing campaign that makes people laugh, you have a better chance of expanding your reach. A great example of this is the Dollar Shave Club, a shaving subscription service that has garnered more than 25 million views with its humorous introductory video.

5 Ways to Use Humor in Your Marketing Strategy

1. Know Your Audience

Humor can be very personal. What is funny to a particular group of people might not be to others. Therefore, the first essential ingredient for a humor-based marketing campaign is to know your audience.

Research your buyer persona in depth and look for the type of humor they like. You have many resources that can help you with this such as their favorite shows, their hobbies and interests, or even comments on social networks. Once you take a look at these things, think about how you could adapt that type of humor to your brand.

Another way to find out what makes your audience laugh is to let them show you themselves. Sometimes, the funniest, most viral campaigns are those that use content created by the users themselves, such as Tik Tok challenges. Not only will you save resources, but you're sure to get a lot of new ideas for your next campaigns.

2. Don't Stray Too Far from Your Brand

Humor must be adapted to your brand, not the other way around. The message has to be relevant to your products and services, or else it won't help you meet your marketing goals. Of course, your humorous content does not need to be 100% promotional, but you should link it naturally to your brand so that the message is clear.

3. Don't Complicate Things

Jokes that are too convoluted or difficult to understand can cause the audience to get lost. Therefore, marketing campaigns based on humor should not be too complicated or long, but simple and concise.

The ultimate goal is to make your audience laugh without investing a major portion of your budget, time, or attention to a single campaign. If the idea works, you can always develop it further.

4. Try Out New Ideas

Humor can be a bit like a catchy song: when people get tired of it, it starts to generate rejection. To prevent this from happening, you need to keep your jokes fresh and explore new ways to make people laugh.

For marketers, this means paying special attention to ad fatigue in humorous campaigns. Monitor your ad metrics and when you see that it is no longer generating reactions, refresh the campaign and try something different.

5. Use Memes

Memes are the new language of the internet, which is good for brands because they are easy to implement, very cheap, and people love to share them.

Of course, memes are especially useful if your company targets a young audience, though they can also be popular with older demographics.

There are plenty of free tools to create your own memes, so it's easy to get started. Just keep in mind that you should never use a meme you don't understand.

How to Make Your Video Go Viral Using Humor

  • Be a pioneer in your industry. Some brands have an easier time using humor than others, but almost all of them can take advantage of it if they have the right point of view. If no one in your industry has dared to run humorous campaigns so far, you're in luck! This gives you a chance to stand out and show that you don't take yourself too seriously and, in turn, can help you win over your audience.

  • Try different ideas. Humor walks a fine line, so it's not easy to get it right the first time. Spend as much time as you need on the creative process, develop different ideas, get opinions, and test everything out before making it public. If you get it right, it will be worth the effort.

  • Be authentic. If you're not comfortable or trying too hard your audience will notice. Rather than forcing yourself to use humor for humor's sake, it's about finding your own voice and seeing the funny side of your brand.

  • Get the most out of your content. Creating a video is a considerable investment of time, resources and, in many cases, budget. Therefore, take the opportunity to create different content, such as a "how-tos" or shorter clips for different social networks. You can also integrate the same concept into your website and even create interactive content that will further enhance your campaign and encourage users to share.

The Secrets of Viral Marketing

Héctor Borrás