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How humour can help SMEs achieve marketing cut-through
For small businesses with limited marketing budgets, there’s great pressure to use all available resources effectively. But there’s one tool at everybody’s disposal that can help them cut through to their audience – a sense of humour.

Has your head ever been turned by a witty slogan on a chalkboard outside a firm’s premises? If so, you’re far from alone, as research by American Express showed that 8 in 10 consumers have spotted humorous chalkboards appearing outside high street shops, restaurants, pubs and other establishments.

But crucially for marketers, two-thirds of those polled said they would be more likely to return to a small business if it managed to put a smile on their face. Meanwhile, a similar proportion said using humour in marketing is a clever means of attracting new customers.

Humour chimes with millennial consumers
The American Express study suggests a more irreverent approach is particularly effectively at engaging with younger people. Indeed, 54% of people aged between 18 and 34 revealed they’d be more likely to go into a shop if it had a funny sign outside. Furthermore, 38% said a witty sign would make them more likely to purchase an item.

Could a good joke go viral?
These days, the first instinct of many people who see anything vaguely amusing is to take a picture on their smartphone and share it on social media. As a result, a humorous sign could prove to be a very affordable way of building your online visibility on the likes of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

More than a third of people polled by American Express said that if they saw a chalkboard that made them laugh, they would post a picture online and mention or tag the business at the same time. In addition, 1 in 5 18 to 24-year-olds admitted that if they saw a picture of a witty sign on social media, they would go out of their way to visit the premises behind it.

By showing a sense of humour in this way, you’re turning people’s heads and getting them to notice you. You’re also giving them a reason to talk about you to their friends and family and let them know you exist. And you’re showing a distinctive personality that can add colour to your brand – all in a very cost-effective way.

Even in a B2B environment, such as a trade show, a humorous banner could be what draws people to you rather than a nearby competitor. Of course, a delicate line must be struck in order to make sure you’re using appropriate humour that reflects positively on your business and is industry-appropriate. But by showing some genuine wit and originality, you might find yourself able to stand head and shoulders above your rivals and generate a buzz around your brand both on and offline.

Sources / Further reading
Humour helping ahead of SBS push SME Web