Content may be king, but we all know that a king can’t function without a sharp witted jester, at least for Shakespeare.
Well, get out your multicolored leotard and adjust your jingly hat, because it’s show time!
It’s Information, but It’s Also Entertainment
You want to make your industry better? You can’t just inform people. You also have to entertain them. They need to know that the knowledge you’re giving is worth getting. They really can’t know that, so the goal is to get them to read until they discover that. If you’re entertaining, they’ll keep reading. If you’re boring, they’re going to click away and choose to read something else. You don’t have to be hilarious all the time, and it can be hard to know what will land with people and what won’t, but making an effort to be amusing can go a long way.
It Really Depends on the Industry, Doesn’t It?
How funny your industry is going to be really depends on what you’re doing for a living. You can’t have the same degree of irreverence in a blog post for a mortician as you can for a musician. It’s just not logical. So your jokes, sarcasm, and witty level of personality have to be focused around what your clients can and can’t accept for amusement value. You don’t want to be disrespectful and accidentally alienate the people you’re trying to entertain.
What Does “Funny” Even Mean Anymore?
Funny means all kinds of things, depending on who you are. Blistering sarcasm can be great, but so can knock-knock jokes. It really depends on who your audience is. To know what funny means to your audience, you have to know who your audience really is. Yep. Target marketing might not sound very funny, but if you choose the wrong kind of funny for your market your clients aren’t going to think your hilarious. Neither will your boss. So it’s important to know who you’re talking to before you decide what to say.
How Far is Too Far, and Should You Push the Boundaries?
Remember Carlos Mencia? No? He’s a comedian – and you don’t hear much about him anymore. For a while he was all over the place with TV specials and he even had a regular show. But he also really pushed the boundaries of good taste a lot. Really a lot. There’s nothing wrong with being that kind of comedian, but there’s a time and a place for it. The next boardroom meeting or piece of content for your site probably isn’t that time or that place. It’s not a roast. It’s a blog post. If you push the boundaries, poke at them gently. And if you get much backlash, be willing to back off and apologize. You want to keep your clients, even if it means curbing your comedic tendencies.
Making Fun of Your Own Company is Better Than Dissing Your Competition
Want to tick off your clients? Make fun of your competition. No, seriously. It makes you look like a sore loser, and like you get ahead by putting others down. Want to make your clients laugh? Make fun of your own company. Do a parody video. Write about something silly that happened. If that something is mildly embarrassing and not inappropriate for a family-friendly industry, that’s even better. Clients want to see that you’re human, and that you can laugh at yourself. The more of that you give them, the more they’ll respond because they feel a connection with you. Laughing together helps form a bond.
Are There Complete No-No Subjects, or is Anything Fair Game?
Anything is fair game if it’s an industry where you can get away with it. Anything is fair game if you don’t mind alienating some people. But for most industries and most companies, not everything is fair game. If you wouldn’t talk about it around the Thanksgiving table with your grandma, maybe leave it out of your business commentary, too. Politics, religion, and yes, sex, should be avoided or very carefully referenced. Most businesses and industries just really aren’t set up for a lot of joking about that with clients. But you know your industry best – and if you don’t, you should. Make sure you understand what no-no subjects belong to your target market. Stay away from those, and let your clients know you’re lighthearted about the rest of life. It’ll go a long way toward forming stronger business relationships.
Michelle B writes web content, articles, blog posts, product descriptions, and more, and has created thousands of pieces of content for companies all over the world. She holds an associate’s degree in business management and a bachelor’s degree in legal administration.