Relate to Your Customers with Humor and an Amiable Tone

By on October 15, 2012

Quick – what’s the most important outcome of your marketing campaign? Facebook likes? Retweets? A letter from your grandmother delivered in the mail congratulating you on your remarkable advertising efforts accompanied by cookies? No. As comforting and as delicious as the cookies may be, the primary purpose of your marketing is conversion. Have your efforts resulted in actual, traceable sales or traffic? Have you reached out and connected with your audience? Have you drawn their attention to your product or service? Do the cookies contain chocolate?

Accessibility Equals Rates of Return

Wait, we’re getting off track again, but there’s a point to all this confectionery conversation. It’s about accessibility. The best way to create effective marketing is to relate emotionally to whomever you’re addressing. Sure, you want to propose practical solutions and life-enhancing products and services. But to direct the attention of an audience, you’ll need to take them on a small, emotional journey. One of the best ways to connect with people’s emotions is by infusing some humor into your content.

The Best Man’s Speech

Hey, what a night. Everybody looks tremendous. The groom has even shaved for the event. And boy, it wasn’t easy getting the electric razor through his back hair. Hold for laughter. One, two, three. But seriously, folks.

Consider the best man giving a speech at his brother’s wedding, an event filled with emotion and positive energy. He’ll usually follow speech-giving protocol and open with a joke, hopefully better than the one provided above. Why? Public speaking carries with it some serious tension, both for the speaker and the audience. Humor acts as a release valve for this tension and prepares everyone to go forward on an emotional journey unconstrained. Likewise, your marketing should ease into itself and open up your readers with wit.

The Approachable Expert

You want to be the friendly professional. You take what you do seriously and offer serious solutions. That doesn’t mean you’re an automaton that is programmed to sell, sell, sell. You can have a deeply serious point that is framed by an amusing and welcoming perimeter. If you come across as strictly business all the time, you may find it increasingly difficult to capture anybody’s attention. The approachable expert is happy to help. The approachable expert relates to people by being himself.

Personality Goes a Long Way

You don’t have to turn your marketing into a stand-up comedy routine to obtain the benefits of humor. A little bit of entertainment goes a long way. A short, funny personal anecdote, even self-deprecating, will go a long way toward humanizing yourself to your audience. If you do have a hilarious idea that still conveys your message, go for it! Think about the most popular television commercials you’ve seen. Chances are they were full of humor and extremely memorable. That’s because laughter and joy are powerful emotions that help to stamp a major impression onto your brain.

Separate yourself from the crowd by spinning a yarn. Engage your readers or viewers by firing their humor receptors and getting them in the mood to feel. Then you can take them on the appropriate emotional journey that ends in your proposal.

Thanks for coming out, folks, and don’t forget to tip your waiters.

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Matthew Toren

About Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.