Creating content on a frequent and consistent basis is central to inbound marketing, but all of us suffer from writer’s block at one time or another. When you’ve run out of ideas to develop material that will engage your target audience, comedy might not be the first concept you consider. After all, it may be considered unprofessional or crass to prospects you’re trying to impress as a thought leader in your industry. Plus, stepping out of the social voice you’ve taken some time to establish might interfere with your branding.

However, there’s a right time and right place for humor in your online content. The trick is to know where to draw the line, even if you tiptoe pretty close to it.

Comedy can work for almost any company. You don’t need a large marketing budget or have to hire special talent to add humor to your content. All you need is a sense of fun and no qualms about using it. Small and medium sized companies are at particular advantage in terms of flexibility when it comes to using comedy online. Unlike large corporations, there aren’t several hoops to jump through when you’re trying to get it off the ground.

It’s important to know when to hold back. Use a simple rule of thumb to make sure you don’t cross the line. If you’d refrain from certain comedy in social settings, such as around family or co-workers, stay away from it. Controversial topics can be fun, but they can also border on the inappropriate and should be avoided. Definitely steer clear of insults to politics, religion and ethnicity.

Make sure you use different voices for various social channels. It’s important to keep your message consistent for branding purposes, but keep your social voice separate when using comedy. You don’t want to confuse your target audience by tossing a joke in the middle of an educational podcast or product demonstration. Think of your comedic side as a separate person that only speaks in one microphone.

Try a few simple ways to utilize humor in marketing. Here are a few ways to introduce a comedic social voice as you get in the swing of things.

  • Have fun with data. Numbers can be particularly boring and it’s hard to insult them … which is why they’re perfect fodder for some humor.
  • Use crowd sourcing to get everyone involved. Get some input from your social media followers by giving them a task. Ask them to caption a funny photo or add a slogan for a new product your company is releasing.
  • Create cartoons. Serial cartoons have multiple advantages. They add images, which are preferable to text-only in your content; however, they’re cheaper to create than video. Plus, a series gives your target audience a reason to follow up for the next issue.

You can see that there are advantages to bringing humor to your online marketing, so don’t be afraid to interject a joke or add animation where it might add a little comedic punch. It’s wise to shake things up a bit, especially if you’re typically professional and reserved most of the time in your blog content, social media postings or other material. A little humor can make someone’s day when it’s relevant, timely and appropriate.