Content marketers can learn a lot from stand up comedians. They have more in common than you think! Aside from knowing your target audience and understanding what they look for in a product (or a joke), the content (or joke) you present to them during your marketing campaigns (or stand-up routine) will either win them over or drive faithful fans away.
If you find your sales and marketing campaigns falling flat right out of the gate, try the same tactics stand up comedians use to win over their audiences. You will be surprised by the results and you may end up laughing at yourself all the way to the bank.
It’s been proven for decades that humor sells. Give a person a reason to smile or something to laugh at that really grabs their attention and you’ve gained an audience. Look at the Taco Bell Chihuahua of the 1990’s and the Budweiser Frogs that took over the Super Bowl in 1995. People either thought they were hilariously funny or ridiculously stupid. Either way, you still remember who they are and the slogans attached to them. And who can forget that Rodney Dangerfield “got no respect?”
Know Your Product
It’s important to know everything about your product: the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you’re truly interested in making a new customer, poke a little fun–just like comedians do. The makers of the NSS M1 vacuum cleaner played off of the fact that their sweeper looked like a little pig on wheels. They even gave it that nickname during their marketing campaigns. Needless to say, very few people remember NSS M1 but everyone remembers the “little pig vacuum.”
“Yes, but…” Spontaneity Is The Clincher
“I am constantly amazed by Tina Fey. And I am Tina Fey.” – Tina Fey
When you’re making cold calls are giving your pitch to the public, spontaneity is the key to success. Not having a quick comeback when someone tries to shoot you down can signal a slow and painful death of a salesperson. Instead, try the “yes, but…” routine. Be quick on your feet and don’t let them best you with a put-down or a refusal. Even if you don’t really want to be forceful, a quick-witted comeback will at least make them smile or chuckle. That instant when they realize what you said was funny is your doorway to turn the sale around.
Don’t Try to Be Funny, Try Being Honest
“Men don’t care what’s on TV. They only care what else is on TV.” – Jerry Seinfeld
In some cases, being funny just isn’t the way to go. Sarcasm and honesty can go hand in hand to help bring a person’s attention back to front and center. There’s nothing really funny about bladder leakage. It’s a fact that the majority of women have had some degree of incontinence through the years, but will they talk about it? No, because it is embarrassing and they don’t want anyone to know they have THAT problem. How do you market it? You just throw it out there like it’s yesterday’s news.
Be as honest as you can about it. Take a risk and shock people with the fact that, “Hey, we know you do it and it’s just fine. We have products that will help you solve the problem.” It takes mortifying someone to get them to see that it’s okay to talk about it and that they aren’t the only one with the problem. You don’t just pass the ball into their court, you punt it through the uprights where it will get their attention.
Jake From State Farm
Content marketers, take note: one of the things that stand up comedians are good at is setting the scene. They tell the story and set you up before they drive home the punchline. This isn’t a stand-up routine, but it’s a really well known commercial that gets the point across: look at “Jake from State Farm.” We all know he’s a guy wearing a red shirt and khaki pants at 3 AM, and yes, he’s hideous. He would probably make an ugly girl. That’s the point. You want to create a scenario and punch line that will stick with your customer for the long term. You want them to remember your advertising for years to come. Jake my end up a 70-year old retiree in a red shirt and khaki pants, but everyone will remember he was an insurance agent with State Farm.
If you’re trying to boost your sales and want a campaign that’s memorable, spend an evening watching your favorite improv and stand up comics. Watch how they interact with their audience and keep them engaged. You will be surprised at how many of their gimmicks you can adapt to suit your own needs. Take some notes and practice your new tools when you take your next few phone calls and see how things work out. Have a few laughs, even if they are at your own expense. Engage your customer. At the end of the call, if you are both smiling at the exchange, you may have just made a sale.
Wendy M writes on a variety of topics with health and environmental topics being her most common subjects. She has most recently been published on both eHow.com and Livestrong.com. Wendy specializes in health, fitness, diet and alternative therapy pieces.