using humour in copy

Funny guy: Is your business scared of using humour in copy?

I belong to an awesome group of copywriters on Facebook. A common thread I often see is how business clients are afraid of using humour in their business website copy and social media.

Personally, I remember only two clients over the last 5 years who’ve actually requested I write funny and quirky copy for their new websites. Dream client!

I’m actually a big fan of writing content which shows wit and personality because differentiation is crucial when it comes to winning and keeping customers. If you’ve read Steve Jobs’ book, you’d know that man thrived on being different all his life – would we ever have Apple if Steve had decided not to stand out or do something drastic?

Add playfulness to your business copy:

• You’re one faceless provider out of a possible thousand in your industry. Witty content makes you memorable.

• Humour makes you more likeable –  do you recall clearly who the funny and popular guy was in your school? I like people who poke fun at themselves heaps better than people who insist on telling me how great they are (cue jargon).

• Jokes and comedy shows are popular because they make people laugh – think Ricky Gervais and The Office or his recent Optus ad.

Humour is important in life – laughter is the best medicine!

• Humour makes you approachable and human – two qualities clients like when it comes to choosing who to buy from.

• It makes your copywriter’s life much easier. Corporate jargon makes us grumpy and whinge.

Now I’m not saying you have to turn into an industry joker and get your clients laughing all the time BUT injecting some fun into your business content definitely makes you more likeable, memorable and a top choice for when someone wants to buy something.

Simply, people like doing business with people they like. People remember who made them laugh.

According to Hubspot, online followers love those brands which make them smile and entertain them.

In our copywriting world, I think no one does humour better than this copywriter and author of Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur. As a result, Kate has a large following both online and offline. She’s witty and so likeable that you can’t help but buy from her.

Twitter research shows that if a person sees something that makes them laugh, they’re likely to remember you when it comes time for purchase. This is a whopping 72% of people – now who wouldn’t want this type of statistic when it comes to sales?

How NOT to use humour in content

One thing to be careful of when using humour to write copy including social media posts is…you don’t want to try too hard.

Using humour wrongly in your business can be a double-edged sword and turn off your audience. Find out what people want to hear/read/see and what actually makes them laugh, not what you or your social media manager thinks is funny.

No one likes that guy who laughs at his own jokes – whether online or in real life. You want to be the cool gal or dude who gets called over by others in a party immediately when they see you so they can listen to you. Don’t be that person who’s forever looking to catch someone’s eye to share their latest (according to them hilarious) anecdote.

Yes I like Oreos…

Oreo cookies are famous for coming up with posts that people like and relate to. They are currently sitting at 846,000 followers on Twitter. This post made history when it was tweeted during the Super Bowl in 2013. I still remember it almost 4 years later.

What do you think of using humour in business copy? Has it worked for you in the past? I’d love to know in the comments. Or tweet me @rashidatayabali.