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How to Use Humor for Better Engagement

How to use humor for an unforgettable user experience

Effective marketing comes in all shapes and sides, and using humor has proven reliable for hundreds of years.

Let me ask you something: Have you taken a moment to revisit older articles on your blog? Even if they’re generally engaging, do you feel there’s just something missing?

The answer may revolve around a lack of light humor. And while not every industry is meant for constant tongue-in-cheek content, there’s always a way to lightly sprinkle some ha-ha moments naturally and effectively.

Today, let’s look at how to use humor in your articles for increased engagement and overall success.

First Thing’s First…

Be conversational whenever possible. It’s nearly impossible to go from “cold human being” to “Kevin Hart” in an instant – otherwise your attempt simply feels disjointed.

Butter up your content with a light, conversational approach that just about everyone can resonate with. You might want to “write the way you speak” or insert the occasional LOL or OMG or smiley face to help achieve this.

All in all, professionalism and informal content can co-exist at times.

Use Sarcasm

So, I have a confession to make: I occasionally go on Tinder, just like everyone else in the United States.

I gradually started to notice that the average person describes him/herself as witty or sarcastic in their profile. Otherwise, they blatantly ask that you have one of those two traits.

Just when it started to feel like everyone was very samey, then I remembered why they include this detail: Because it makes them edgy and relatable. Perhaps in a twisted sort of way… but it works.

Sarcasm can be downright offensive if not done right, but the right combination of insult and wit can ultimately win you a lot of points with readers. This is especially useful when speaking to a younger demographic.

Leverage Viral Themes

viralI was a bit hesitant to suggest this. Oftentimes, anything that’s viral can come and go in an instant. Not to mention it could go from ha-ha funny to plain annoying really fast (think Harlem Shake, here).

So, should you add this time-sensitive tactic to your evergreen content? That question will be for you to answer. In my opinion, though? Go for it. Here are a few reasons why:

Your articles should be date-stamped, which means that a reader coming across it in the future won’t blame you for using a meme that’s now outdated.

Many things stay around for a while, as witnessed by the things your friends are still posting on Facebook even several years later.

Even if something is no longer popular, any reader with an average IQ should know not to focus solely on that. Whatever you add is clearly meant to complement your content, not to define it.

Point Out Your Faults (On Occasion)

While you shouldn’t make a habit of putting yourself down (seriously, don’t do this) there’s nothing wrong with occasionally acknowledging your faults.

Have you noticed how comedians practice this marketing tactic all the time? To this day they remain popular and profitable, and it’s all thanks to this “trick’s” timeless ability to relate to the audience.

Even copywriters use this to some extent; it’s not uncommon to read in a salespage: “I used to be the biggest idiot. I tried countless make-money-online products but never learned a thing. But then, I tried this product…”

This often goes hand in hand with sarcasm, and most importantly, it suddenly makes you seem more human.

Poke Fun at Your Industry or Demographic

It’s no secret that BuzzFeed uses plenty of humor, which has helped them make millions of dollars over time. Aside from this, their success also comes from relating to – or even poking fun – at certain audiences or generations.

I’m sure you have seen articles titled, “22 Things Only Introverts Understand,” for example. These pieces have some relatively “offensive” bits, but every introvert eats them up because they can actually relate – even when the article blatantly states that “they will die alone.”

Think of clichés, misconceptions, stereotypes, or anything else you could apply (lightly and reasonably) to your own blogging niche.

how to use humor in articlesNo Humor? No Problem

Ah, thank Jack Bauer for Fair Use…

You don’t have to be a comic genius to keep audiences at the edge of their seats. Remember there’s a ton of GIFs, quotes, videos, and images just waiting for you to add them to your content. Simply make sure you follow the rules as specified by the items or media in question.

I also covered other ways to make your content more fun in this article, which touches lightly on humor among other great tactics.Your Turn

Besides relying on substantial information, how are you keeping audiences engaged? Are you leveraging humor whenever possible? How have your readers reacted over time?

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