The Power of Humor in Marketing

According to a 2019 study by the Journal of Marketing, ads that made people laugh were 30% more likely to be remembered than serious ads. The top ads ran during the big football game for the past four years all implement humor. From babies to animals, ads that make us laugh are ads that are memorable. They drive engagement, shares, and continued buzz for the brand. Humor is powerful, but how can advertisers and marketers determine what is funny and if it will work for their brand?

Know Your Audience

Using humor in marketing can be a powerful tool to grab the attention of your audience, make your brand more relatable, and create a positive emotional connection with potential customers. However, it’s important to ensure that the humor is appropriate for your target audience and aligns with your brand values and messaging. When done correctly, humor can differentiate your brand from competitors and leave a lasting impression on consumers.

The textbook rental service Chegg conducted a marketing study which found that nearly 80% of college-age individuals remember advertisements that are humorous. That number is huge for a marketer. 

Humor can be subjective and what one person finds funny may not be as amusing to another. It’s important to consider your audience and tailor your humor to their preferences and sensibilities. This can help ensure that your humor is well received and doesn’t offend or alienate anyone.

Is The Humor Relatable?

The field of psychology provides evidence that supports humor working in a marketer’s favor. Studies have shown that laughter can help people become more receptive to new ideas and different perspectives. It can also help to reduce tension and create a more positive atmosphere for communication.

Determining what is funny and whether it will work for a brand involves researching and understanding the target audience’s sense of humor, cultural context, and brand personality. Advertisers and marketers can conduct focus groups or surveys to gather this information and test their humor-based campaigns before launching them. It’s also important to consider potential risks and ensure the humor aligns with the brand’s values and messaging.

Making a joke within advertising has to come from a relatable experience from the viewer. Think about everyday occurrences in life. Cooking messes that need a specific cleaning product. A car issue that needs to be taken care of by a certain insurance professional. Chips that make you feel a certain way. Just random thoughts of everyday things that happen in life that can be looked at as funny and relatable. 

Bonus tip – poking fun at your own brand may help make your brand even more relatable to your customers. Toilet paper companies love to do this!

Tread Lightly with Humor in the Beginning

Humor can help to break the tension and make people feel more comfortable in social situations. It can be a great tool for building connections and easing communication barriers. Jokes can be subjective and what one person finds funny, another may not. 

It’s important to be mindful of our audience and use humor appropriately. Being edgy and pushing the boundaries of out of the box humor and marketing can be great, but it can also fail miserably. Being authentic to your brand and audience can create an ultimate win-win for everyone involved.

The Bottom Line

It is important to know your audience when using humor, and adjusting your approach to fit their preferences and values. Humor isn’t a one size fits all approach. Think about your favorite comedian. Their jokes may not be your buddy’s cup of tea, but guaranteed there is a comedian that he or she likes that you don’t. We are allowed to have our own opinions which is also why there are so many brands pushing similar items! 

Humor is a universal and powerful way to connect with others and improve our overall well-being. So go ahead and give humor in your marketing a try and see what happens! You might just be surprised.

10 Tips for Writing Strong Call to Actions

A Call To Action (CTA) is a marketing tool used to prompt an immediate response or encourage a sale. It can take many forms, such as a button on a website or a statement at the end of an advertisement. Basically, this strategy encourages the audience to move forward in whatever the scenario put forth is.

By choosing the right words and phrases, you can create a sense of urgency and excitement that motivates people to click, sign up, or buy. Consider using action-oriented verbs, clear and concise language, and personalized messaging to make your CTA more impactful. A CTA needs to be both attention-grabbing and convincing in order to effectively engage an audience. Without these qualities, people are likely to overlook it and move on.

Write an Effective Call-to-Action

The effectiveness of a CTA is measured by its ability to keep potential customers engaged on a website or compelled to complete an action. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing a strong CTA:

  1. Use action-oriented language to encourage the user to take a specific action
  2. Make it clear what the user will get or achieve by clicking the CTA
  3. Keep it short and sweet, ideally no more than 5 words
  4. Use contrasting colors or bold typography to make the CTA stand out
  5. Place the CTA in a prominent location on the page, such as above the fold or at the end of a blog or social media post
  6. Use urgency to create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out)
  7. Personalize the CTA to the user’s needs or interests
  8. Test different variants of the CTA to see what works best for your audience
  9. Use A/B testing to optimize your CTA performance
  10. Don’t forget to track and analyze your CTA’s performance to continuously improve.

The effectiveness of a call to action can vary depending on a variety of factors such as the audience, the context, and the clarity of the message. However, well-designed and strategically placed calls to action can significantly increase the likelihood of user engagement and conversion.

Graphics and visuals can be important with CTA statements as they can help to draw attention and communicate the message more effectively. However, the most important aspect of a CTA is the language used and how compelling it is in motivating the user to take action.

The Bottom Line

It’s not necessary to include a CTA in every social media post or blog, but it can be a helpful way to encourage engagement and drive specific actions from your audience. Printed pieces fall into this same boat. It ultimately depends on your goals and the content of your marketing piece. If you want your audience to take a specific action, like clicking a link, making a purchase or commenting on the post, including a CTA can be effective. However, if your post is simply meant to provide information or entertainment, a CTA may not be necessary. 

Additionally, another thing to always remember is when you are asking for your reader to do something for you, you should also do something in return. An example of this is if you are asking a social media follower to comment on your post, you should always reply to their comment. Reciprocating actions helps to grow trust in the brand and that is the biggest part of obtaining loyal customers.

Call to actions can get stale over time if they are not updated and refreshed. It’s important to regularly evaluate and test the effectiveness of your call to actions and make necessary adjustments to keep them relevant and engaging to your audience.

Are Marketing Visuals Really Worth a Thousand Words?

Let’s think back to our elementary school days when our teachers would show us pictures of whatever we were learning about. We would then have a discussion about that image. Or the teacher would ask the students to draw a picture of something and then use words to describe the picture. Students would then tell the class about their picture. Brands do the same thing with visuals. Take a look around wherever you are. Find a product and take a look at the packaging. Does the package have an image on it that is trying to tell a story? Is there some kind of visual that shows what is inside? Visual communication is a leader in the way a business sells. It is a way for potential and current customers to engage and it is a way to strike up conversation between internal and external constituents. So why are visuals so important and how can your business benefit from kicking those up a notch?

Pictures are Worth A Thousand Words

Words and pictures work in tandem but also apart in our brains. People digest information in different ways so it is important to disseminate information in a myriad of communication channels. Whether it is blogs, social media posts, short TikTok videos, longer YouTube videos, infographics, music, what have you, we all experience different ways to learn about brands and certain things catch our attention more than others. 

Pictures (visuals) are effective because the human brain processes visual information much faster than text. Our brains are wired to recognize patterns and images, making it easier for us to remember and understand information presented in a visual format. Additionally, pictures can evoke emotions and create a more engaging experience for the viewer, which can enhance the overall learning and understanding process.

Visual data is processed more efficiently by the human brain compared to other types of data. The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and visual information accounts for 90% of the information transmitted to the brain.

That is why adding pictures to your branding communication can help the brain process and retain information better. It can also make messages more engaging and memorable for your audience.

Our Attention Spans Are Shrinking

One study from Dr. Gloria Mark titled Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity states that people can only pay attention to a screen for about 47 seconds. If you have reached at least this far in this blog and not checked your phone, email, or looked at another part of your screen, you have a better attention span than most. Our attention spans for reading text are also shrinking because visuals are growing. Truthfully, it is due to the amount of information that is presented to you throughout the day. We are bombarded with words, pictures, sounds, colors and so much more throughout the day. Think of how hard your brain is working to comprehend all of this information so that it makes sense! 

With the help of technology, people are able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously without having to physically move around. This has increased efficiency and productivity for many individuals, but has also decreased our attention spans. 

So when there is an image to be seen, our brains start to dissect that image and it becomes literally a thousand words in our brain. We can then verbally tell someone else what the image is that we see. That doesn’t mean someone else won’t have a different thought process of what they see, but that is why images are tied to thousands of words!

Prioritizing Visuals

There is zero question that brands are pushing more visual content now more than ever. Think of the top social media platforms that are used on a daily basis. In no certain order, our top four would be Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok. All super visual platforms. Twitter fell off the list because it is text driven. Short bursts of text, but still text driven. 

Maybe the script is being flipped. Maybe the visuals are coming before the words now, where in the past, it was maybe the words before the pictures. Totally depends on what industry you are in, but if you think about it, creating a visually appealing campaign first and then creating words to go around it may seem a lot easier in the long run.

Be careful though. It is all in the eye of the beholder. Not aesthetically pleasing to one person may be absolutely pleasing to another. Images should tell a story on their own which leads the viewer down the sales path for your brand.

The Bottom Line

According to, the average person responds far better to visual information compared to just plain ol’ text. Research has shown that visual stimulation, such as using images, graphs, or charts, can help the brain process information more easily than just reading text. This can be helpful in various situations, from learning new material to making informed purchasing decisions.

If all information was presented in text form, it could be challenging to differentiate between important and less important material. This is why different mediums, such as images, videos, and audio are also used to convey information. They can provide additional context and help prioritize what is essential.

Visual content can be a powerful tool to help your audience remember your message. Consider upping your use of images, videos, infographics, or other types of visual aids to enhance your communication and engage your audience.

Content Ideas for Social Media and Blogs When Writer’s Block Happens

Writer’s block is a real thing. It happens to a lot of content creators when the idea juices just aren’t flowing. Or maybe they have spent a lot of time writing lately and just need a mental break from putting words onto the screen. It is not an excuse. Sometimes those fingers just won’t type and the brain cells can’t put a sentence together. Luckily people in this industry tend to understand. We really do get it! But let’s be real. There is a job to do and content still needs to be pumped out. To help get those creative juices flowing, we were inspired by PracticalEcommerce’s recent blog about content ideas for February. So stemming off of their ideas and adding our own, here are some content ideas for the next time writer’s block happens.

How To Lists

No matter the time of the year, there are always going to be great topics to cover with how to lists. DIY shows and magazines have inspired many to try their hand at whatever it is they would like, but knowing how to do it is many times a block in the road for people. This is also true with marketing and social media. Think about all of those times that even you were thinking, “How do I do…” Social media is always changing so if there is something that has been updated, write a blog on “How to Navigate _____ Change” and list the changes and processes dealing with it. Don’t forget to also post about it on social media so that your followers are aware. If there is a special holiday coming up, like MLK Jr. Day, a post could be about “How To Appropriately Post About MLK Jr. Day” and the author could list ways to appropriately post and speak about this holiday.

Post About Popular Events

Since we are on the topic of holidays, let’s jump to events. Events sometimes outweigh social media posts over holidays. Sometimes! Especially with businesses as some need to tread lightly over holidays. We are speaking about the NFL’s “Big Game” is in February. The Sundance Film Festival is another big event that a lot of people know about. Mardi Gras, the Masters Golf Tournament, The Boston Marathon, college bowl games for football, any sports playoffs or finals really…but you get the point. These aren’t necessarily holidays, but if your followers enjoy these events, then it might be worthwhile posting something that relates to them.

As far as relatable things, there are a myriad of ideas! From recipes, to how to plan for a get together for the event. Are you a company that deals with sports equipment? Share a story of an athlete that is in the event. Are you a plumber? Talk about what it takes to handle an event like these. So many options, but the best part is using the hashtags that revolve around the events. Use these to your advantage! You can also see if there are particular events that are hosting anything on social media that you can join up with. So many content options!

Are There Holidays This Month?

This is similar to posting about popular events, but instead it is holidays. There are so many random holidays each month. From National Cat Day to National Ask a Stupid Question Day (September 28th, or whichever Friday or Monday is closer if it falls on a weekend). These are always fun things to post about on social media and can really drum up some good engagement and conversation.

And of course there are the typical holidays. Valentine’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and so on. Be sensitive to your audience and know exactly what you want to post about each holiday. If you aren’t sure if you should post anything, it is likely better to just not post at all.

What is Trending?

Twitter is a good place to start to see what is trending. Sometimes they are off the wall, but other times, it is whatever is happening in the world. At the time of writing this blog, talk of the Mega Millions is trending. A quick topic that comes to mind that can relate to that is about luck and how lucky we are to work with such awesome clients. I could then go into how we have helped these clients reach their goals, but also how they have helped us (remember that it isn’t just about YOU. Don’t be braggy, but get to the point.)

Hitting up news outlets and search engine homepages are sometimes other good places to see what is trending. And of course, other social media networks like TikTok if you are in the mood to see what the latest dance craze is or some bonkers challenge!

Share What You’re Reading, Eating, Watching…

People love to relate to each other. And even though you might be a “business”, there are still humans working behind the scenes to make it operate. I love to read about what CEOs, Directors, Managers, even the front line workers are doing because they put both legs in their pants just like I do everyday! And maybe they have some awesome insight or opinion about whatever they are doing that might inspire others. 

The Bottom Line

If there is something going on that you think is interesting or important to share, then it is likely that others will too. Even the simplest content is refreshing because it might be short, sweet and to the point. The fluff and extra text just sometimes aren’t worth it and you can generate better responses without it. Don’t forget to get as much reach out of all of your content that you create. Blogs can become podcasts, social media posts, videos, and so much more! And as always, if you need content creators or a marketing brainstorm session, reach out to us!

Is Marketing Getting Lost In The Shuffle? Here’s How To Find It Again

A professor once said that marketing is fixing the problem with connecting the customer to the business. There is always a need, a want, a desire, and/or a problem. If you can figure out reasons for the customer to need your business, then you can easily market it to them. This seems like common sense, but getting back to the basics of marketing might be getting lost in the shuffle. Think about how many advertisements you see in a day. Whether you are watching TV, listening to the radio or a podcast, looking at something on the internet and so on…advertising is everywhere. So how can your marketing be found in the flood of advertising? 

What’s In It For The Customer?

The market is saturated with similar products and services. It can be very competitive depending on what your business is. The best thing to always remember when marketing is how does it help the customer? Constantly talking about the product or service can just get boring. But saying how it helps the customer right off the bat can encourage the potential customer to keep reading to learn more about it. Here is a great example from ContentFirst Marketing.

Is Marketing Getting Lost In The Shuffle? Here’s How To Find It Again

A great test to see if advertisements made their mark is with Super Bowl ads. Customers will remember the commercials, but will they actually remember what product was being pushed? Some brands have iconic imagery (Budweiser horses and frogs, Geico gecko, etc.) and others may have really great visuals, but the actual product just gets lost. Was the money worth the effort? 

Think about those old school infomercials. The ovens that cook turkeys in less time than others, the knives that can cut anything, or the ladder that extends higher than competitors but stores in smaller spaces. These always stood out because they were fixing a common problem customers could have. Potential customers saw value in the products. Stick to this way of thinking, and it will be a great way to build upon a campaign.

Stand Out Where Your Customers Are

Talk to any marketing professional and you will hear a different opinion of where your business should advertise or what platforms you should be present on. This also can depend on where you live and in what part of the world as some areas utilize mediums other areas just don’t. Think city fold versus country folk and how to market to people in each. It is different! It seems like everyday a new social platform is born. It is nearly impossible to be present on all of them with a marketing strategy. And of course there are thousands of ways to reach potential customers, but figuring out where your target audience obtains their information would be a great place to start.

According to Seth Matlins, Forbes Staff, 3 out of every 4 brands could disappear in an instant with no one noticing or caring. That is a lot! That means those brands are not meeting a need, want, desire or solving a problem for their customers or there are too many competitors in the market. Within the same article, Seth mentions that almost 8 of every 10 searches on Amazon are by category, not brand. Customers aren’t searching for Suzy’s Honey but instead are searching for honey. When that search happens, thousands upon thousands of results of honey show up and Suzy’s Honey gets pushed to page 6, which hardly anyone ever gets to.

Instead of running around trying to be everywhere all at once, focus on maybe a couple of different places and do your best on those to market your product instead of just doing minimal efforts on many.

Start With The Basics

Many business owners and marketers are confusing tactics with strategies and strategies with objectives. In marketing, while copying something a competitor has done is flattering, it likely may not wind up working for you. Just because we think that we can jump straight in and copy the tactics others are using we likely won’t get the same results. Why? Even if something worked for them does not mean it will work for you.

Start with the basics again, even if you’ve already had successful campaigns. Go back to the problems your potential customers have and understand why they are having those problems and how your business can help them. Decide which group you are going to really focus on. Doing this can help narrow down your marketing strategy and help determine which niche your products fits in for this particular campaign. And finally, take a look at how this group buys something. What is their buying pattern? From step 1 of having a problem to step 2 of where they go to research how to solve their problem and step 3 of actually buying can help when deciding what kind of marketing you should do. Do your potential customers like to read, listen or watch a video? Do they like reviews? Do they like to go to a store to make a purchase or buy it online (if it is a product)? Do they like to call and speak to someone on the phone about a service or would they rather set up a meeting and speak face to face? So many questions but these can help get back to the basics.

The Bottom Line

Fundamental marketing may seem super boring and it may seem like you are leaving a lot of potential customers on the table if you aren’t marketing everywhere. However, the power of finding the right target market and the ways they buy, can work. Even the greatest and most expensive tactics fail. It isn’t about the amount of money or the size of the target market. It is, and always will be, about finding the right product or service for your clients.