No really, it’s ok…Your content can be fun

February 3, 2012

Social media

If a blender company like can make its content fun, any company can. Search Blendtec on YouTube for more (Image credit:


Why do so many companies hate having fun? I just don’t get it. Makes no sense to me. I mean, I’m sure these companies aren’t full of boring people.

I bet when the employees from these companies go to networking events, they don’t just talk about their key messages. I bet they, perish the thought, actually talk about other things. Life things. Things like sports, movies, current events. Things that make people smile, or even laugh.

When I was at the KC/IABC Business Communicators Summit (BCS) today, I actually talked to several if these people. A few of the conversations were about business. But more of them revolved around life things. Some smiling and laughing was involved. So that said, why do the people who work at these companies who like to talk, laugh and have fun in person all of a sudden become stodgy, boring and drab when it comes to creating content to tell their company stories?

One of my biggest takeaways from BCS came from MarketingProfs Ann Handley. Ann covered many of the premises in her popular book Content Rules, one of them being that it really is ok to have fun with the content your company creates. It doesn’t have to be rigid, corporate or “good enough.” Because as Ann pointed out to all of us, after a while good enough sucks. And one thing we know for sure about “good enough” is that it doesn’t stand out from all the other “good enough” content other brands that hate fun are creating.

I recently wrote a post about usability testing your campaigns before launching them. That same premise totally applies to content. When you’re creating content, ask yourself if you would find it fun. Because we talk about fun content. We share fun content on social media. We like fun content because when everyone else colors between the lines, fun content breaks the rules. It stands out.

Of course, some companies are going to keep on hating fun. And you know what people are going to say about them after a while? The same thing they’ve been saying about those companies all along — nothing.

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annhandley 13 pts

Hey Justin -- Thanks so much for penning this post, I appreciate the shout! Sometimes companies find that "fun" might be a tall order... so it helps to take it down a notch for some. As in... asking yourself, "Is my content *enjoyable*?" Great meeting you in KC and thanks for your excellent introduction!! : )

JGoldsborough 250 pts moderator

annhandley Good thought. Fun sometimes sounds too quirky and it is about the way you position it as well. I like enjoyable. Differentiate and memorable are other words that came to mind. Great meeting you and really enjoyed your presentation and what not :).

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@JGoldsborough "Will it blend?" has changed the way I see the world. I often find myself wondering that very question. #pr20chat


@NoMeatballs Yes indeed. And the crazy guy in the lab coat made those videos :). #pr20chat


@jgoldsborough @NoMeatballs Subject matter expert in lab coat who didn't think it would take off agreed to be spokesperson. #pr20chat


marketingprofs I've always thought that no matter how your products are perceived, you can use content to manifest the desired perception