“You might think that humor only works for inherently funny businesses, but any business blog can become more interesting and relatable by lightening up,” KeriLynn Engle of Business2Community reminds blog content writers.
Leyl Master Black of Mashable agrees: “Do you like to laugh? Guess what: so do your customers,” he says. “To breathe life into a complex (or even boring) product, consider putting a humorous spin on how people use it.”
As a corporate blogging trainer, I admit to having mixed feelings about humor in business blogs. Sure, I like to laugh as much as the next guy or gal, and I’ve no doubt about the humanizing effect of a chuckle. But I agree with Mark Ivey, who advises, “Be funny at times. But be careful in doing so.”
“Good humor works because it connects with people at an emotional level,” Ivey says. “But humor has to be handled right,” he cautions. “Just being funny online is not enough, and there are risks.” Tips Ivey offers:
- Be direct and swift – (avoid long stories leading up to punchlines).
- Make sure the humor is consistent with your brand.
- Poke fun at yourself, the weather, and other innocuous subjects.
- Stay away from political or religious issues.
- Don’t target any race, gender or group such as senior citizens.
Bill Faeth of Inbound Marketing Agents names at least two good reasons for using humor in a blog:
- Humor builds connections because it’s a shared experience that builds trust.
- Humor is memorable marketing, creating “aha!” moments in prospects’ minds.
Faeth is in agreement with Ivey in terms of being pithy and creative when using humor, but adds a strong caution about using sarcasm, which he names the most likely form of humor to backfire entirely.
There is a strong tie between humor and marketing, Hannah Kaufman of Savvy Panda points out. But, she cautions, “Before you even think about creating a funny marketing campaign, make sure you align your humor with your target audience. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about them.”
Putting fun into a business blog is a good idea, but it must be done with finesse!