Humor is a great form of content that will give people a reason to link to your content and help it spread virally.
The strategy could include all kinds of humor, including cartoons, animations, videos, jokes, confessions, or even things overheard. Think of all the funny or embarrassing things overheard in offices, stores, streets, and public places. Do a search and you'll find a collection of sites devoted to this topic. Be forewarned, though: some things published on these sites can be offensive.
The challenge for most sites is coming up with something funny. For companies with marketing budgets, there's no shortage of comedians, comics, satirists, cartoonists, and animators seeking work.
Here are some ideas that can be used by everyone, regardless of the size of your marketing budget. It all depends on how resources are allocated and a little creativity.
Empower your staff to develop the humorous content. Have customer service people keep a notepad near the phone to write down comical things customers say, or even hilarious thoughts they have while speaking with customers.
These notes will provide great inspiration for the content. Plus, it will surely provide some lively lunchtime conversation. It might even turn into a great team-building activity.
Have the staff get together once a week to brainstorm what to publish the following week. This is a great team-building event that's perfect for Fridays, when people tend to be less productive.
Let the staff fine-tune and vote on people's ideas. Consider offering a prize to the winning idea.
Get your customers involved for even better results. Who better to poke fun at an industry or product than the people who use it? Have a weekly, or monthly, contest for customers to submit material. This could be everything from videos, to cartoons, to written jokes.
Better yet, hire a cartoonist and have customers submit the captions. Then allow the public to vote.
Need a real world example of this in action? Check out how The New Yorker handles cartoon caption submissions and voting. Learn from them and keep it simple.
The New Yorker's approach of having people register is also a clever way to collect information on potential new customers. From a marketing standpoint, you could use that data to find people of influence to help promote the humor section of your site to a much larger audience. Simply add in an input field for site, blog, or social profile.
Enable it to Spread Virally
Viralize your content. Make sure the content is set up to go viral. That way your campaign will achieve the maximum results.
The easiest way to do this is to have your developer provide copy and paste code with each piece of humor. This will allow people to easily republish it on their site, blog, or social media page. That way you get a link and it reaches a wider audience. Plus you may acquire new customers in the process.
When trying to find ways to outsmart your competition for online marketing, humor is always a good choice. Just don't reinvent the wheel. Study successful campaigns and keep it simple.
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