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Thinking about using humor in your conent? Remember A GOAT

Humor is serious business. (Ha! See what I did there?)

We all know that humorous content works. People love to laugh, and humorous content tends to be viewed, read, liked, shared, and commented on.

But what about B2B content? Should humor be used in B2B? If so, how?

My answer is a resounding yes!


If it’s right for your brand.

And if you do it right.

Doing it right is the real trick. While humor can make your content awesome, trying to be funny, and failing, can be a disaster.

We’ve all been at a wedding where the best man tries to tell a joke in his speech, and all you hear is crickets after the punchline.

So should you use humor in your B2B content? How should you decide? Where do you start? How will you know it's funny? How many engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

To answer these questions, I’ve created an easy-to-remember acronym - A GOAT*.

A is for Authenticity

Humor should be authentic to you as a company. If your company has a dry, irreverent, or goofy culture that permeates your organization, then it’s only natural that you use humor.

But if your company is decidedly not funny, your attempts at humor may come off as awkward or trying to get attention.

G is for Goals

All content should be designed to accomplish your goals, and humorous content is no exception. If you’re trying to be funny just for its own sake, then it’s probably not going to work.

Before you even start, have a good understanding of what your content goals are, and let them determine if humor is a good choice. If you feel humor will move the needle you want to move, then break out the rubber chicken.

O is for Outsider

Look, being funny is hard. Understanding what will get your audience to laugh is hard. This is where an outsider’s perspective can come in handy.

They can not only help you create the messages, but they can tell you if they think it will be truly funny. Unless you have someone on staff who is truly funny and understands how to do it, I highly recommend working with a professional.

O also stands for One. As in, it takes one engineer to screw in a light bulb, because they’re very efficient and not very funny.

The other A is for Awareness

As with all content, you have to know your audience (I suppose A could stand for Audience, too). Be aware of how they see you, and how that gibes with how you want them to see you.

If your customers see you as ultra serious, and you put out a wacky, zany video, that would be more confusing than anything. Be true to who you are and if you want to alter your perception, do it gradually.

T is for Time Commitment

If you’re going to use humor, commit to it. Usually, humor is not something you can do as a one-time campaign then go back to your normal approach.

I’m not saying that if you use humor, you have to use it all the time. Just be aware that if you do it, then customers will come to expect it from you. Being funny is not a short-term proposition.

And finally, this should go without saying but unfortunately I have to say it. In some industries humor just plain doesn’t work. But those industries are are fewer than you might think. I mean, you wouldn’t think that industrial fans would be good for humor, but look what Big Ass Fans has done.

So if you think that humor might be a good approach for you, I say go for it! There may not be a better way to make your content as effective and awesome a it can be.

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