Using Humor In Your Marketing … Even In B2B Marketing

Learn a bit about being funny from Cisco? Yep. Cisco!

by Jason Falls |

Think of the most memorable advertisements or even social media campaigns you’ve seen. Now think of how many of them are anchored in humor. A lot, right? When it’s funny, it gets shared. When it gets shared, it drives eyeballs, awareness and perhaps even conversions. But there’s a big challenge with using humor in your content. Humor is subjective. What’s funny to me may not be funny to you. Humor is also dangerous. There’s a fine line between funny and offensive, depending upon the subject matter.

Tim Washer is a comedy writer. His credits include The Late Show With David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien and The Onion Sports Network. His current role, however, is senior manager of social media for Cisco Systems … a B2B technology company focused on enterprise sales of servers, routers and the like. Yet, he’s still using humor in his job.

The combination of B2B social media and executing outside the box led me to ask Washer to speak at Explore Orange County and Explore Portland. You should come — both events are going to rock and partially because Tim is going to wow us with the knowledge. But I thought it appropriate to get some free advice from Tim before hand. So I caught up with him last week to chat about using humor, making the mundane interesting and more.

You won’t want to miss the business insights Washer has to give at Explore Orange County presented by Linked Orange County. He’ll be speaking there, along with an all-star lineup that includes SME Digital’s Nichole Kelly, R/GA business transformation lead Peter Kim, Kred CEO Andrew Grill, Smart Business, Social Business author Michael Brito, allen+gerritsen strategist Tamsen Webster, former Facebook executive Joseph Heinl, Edison Research’s Tom Webster and more. Yes, I’ll also be speaking, as well as hosting along with Linked Orange County’s Bryan Elliott. The event will also feature a number of excellent software providers and companies to help you navigate the waters of digital marketing. They’ll bring their knowledge to share as well as their products. This is a must-attend event, so register now!

The two-day event, incredible content, breakfast, lunch and a cocktail reception is $450, but if you’re a member of a professional organization (IABC, PRSA, AMA or similar), ask if they have a discount code for you and save big! (Or you could watch the video which features a little discount code pass along!) Learn more about the speakers, their topics and more at the Explore Orange County registration page!

Or register here:

Explore is a five-city conference event series from Social Media Explorer and presented by Expion and Raven Internet Marketing Tools. Learn more and sign up for email updates for the city nearest you at

Note: Video music from “M.I.A.” by Digby. Used with permission. Find Digby’s “Falling Up” CD at iTunes.

About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).