All the noise and competition going on in Social Media can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unheard. Now more than ever, you want to capture your audience’s attention and keep them interested with quality content, and this means video. Funny videos can be a fantastic way to capture that attention. Appealing to human emotion isn’t something new, but we get so bogged down in day-to-day tasks that we often forget about it (until you see a commercial that makes you literally laugh-out-loud). Humor, however, comes with certain risks.
In order to avoid these risks, here are the 3 questions you need to ask yourself before sharing or creating a funny video:

1) Is it Audience Appropriate?

The video is supposed to attract your audience, so make sure the kind of humor you use attracts them. A funny commercial might be great for selling shoes, but not so much for selling a new blood pressure medication. Would your audience “get it”? Would it offend them? Do a little research and find out as much as you can about your audience’s sense of humor, and then make sure the video is audience appropriate.

2) Is it Brand Consistent?

Is the funny video consistent with your brand image? Does it reinforce your company’s mission and focus? If it doesn’t, think long and hard before using it. Sometimes it’s ok to go off the beaten path (like posting a cat video just because it’s Thursday), but you don’t want the video to take away from your goals. Once your audience identifies that video with your brand, you want it to be true to your company’s purpose and consistent with your brand.

3) Is it Controversial?

According to “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” author Jonah Berger, controversial topics do two things:

  • It make things more interesting to talk about
  • It generates discomfort

His research shows that some controversy boosts buzz, while too much reduces it; the key seems to be finding a healthy middle. Are you poking fun at a hot topic? Could this bring about negative press to your company? Making fun of or playing off of controversial events can definitely get attention, but it might not be the kind of attention you are looking for. Be mindful of the affect this might have on your company’s image. Is it too controversial for your readers or is it something your audience will appreciate?

If answering these questions reinforces your wish to retweet or create a funny video in your business communications, great! You’re well on your way to capture your audience’s attention and stand out. If not, take a step back and consider another video that still stands out, but better addresses your company’s purpose. Use these 3 questions as your criteria in deciding if you should use a funny video when the next viral video hits the web (who knows, it could be your own!).
QUESTION: What’s your favorite funny video? Share it with us in a comment!