Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From Comedians

man pulling funny face. comedians
What lessons can we learn from comedians? Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

Comedians always look as if they are just having fun on stage and don’t take life seriously. However, research has shown that for comedians, a significant proportion of them suffer from depression and other mental diseases. This was highlighted when Robin Williams, the actor who starred in great films like Jumanji, Mrs Doubtfire and Good Morning Vietnam, took his own life. Other comedians like Stephen Fry have admitted that they have battled depression.

This portrays a serious aspect of their entertaining job. At a basic level, marketing and comedy are similar – both are attempting to engage the audience and achieve an emotional response. The thing is; comedians do it so much better. That is why marketers need to study comedians and learn some of the hard lessons they have endured over the years.

1. Relativity Is The Key To Success

One of my favourite comedy sketches is by Michael McIntyre when he talks about the man drawer: the one location in the house where someone can place all the useless, unwanted rubbish that really has little chance of seeing the light of day again. What makes me laugh so much when watching this sketch from one of his live performances is that it is very true; I have one of these drawers and it is filled with old mobile phones, chargers that probably don’t work and there is probably some out of date currency in there as well.


Likewise, businesses need to communicate with their audience about problems and situations that are true to both. There is no point is talking about topics the audience has neither experienced nor believes is realistic as they will not respond and are unlikely to believe the company is an expert.

2. Going Off-Topic Is Great

Watching some comedians is great because one conversation can often lead to others which aren’t related to the first. Yet, every conversation brings a lot of laughter. This is an important lesson for those that stick to rigidly to the same tried and tested formula. Although some content topics have worked for you in the past, it doesn’t mean that audiences won’t tire of them soon and then avoid reading your published content in the future.

Instead, try to think outside of the box and discuss issues that will be affecting your audience as well. For instance, if you are an accounting firm, talk about other business related topics like recruitment, marketing, sales or productivity. There are specific benefits to this which can boost traffic to your site and encourage visitors to return. This is really important as 87% of purchases happen after a customer has visited your site three times or more.

3. Comedians Don’t Tell Jokes To An Empty Room

Have you ever seen a comedian get a reaction from an empty room? Of course they can’t, their talent would be wasted. This is why businesses looking to deliver engaging pieces to audiences should concentrate on developing content that will first attract audiences and then entertain them.

In the first few steps of blogging, it is important to create a high authority blog page that will improve your SEO. Then you can move onto other topics and engaging topics in the second phase of your blog creation. This way you can improve traffic and engagement and speed up results.

4. Keep Lines Short And Sweet

The best jokes from comedians, with a few exceptions, are short and sweet. For example, Tim Vine’s joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014: “I’ve decided to sell my Hoover… well, it was just collecting dust”.

The same can be said for your content. Don’t spend 500 words describing what can be said in 100: limit the content and you make it easier, more memorable and meaningful to your audience.


Comedians have a hard task – entertaining the public with good jokes is not as easy as it seems. Yet, their continuous service to entertainment can provide learning points for marketers because at the end of the day, both comedians and markets are trying to do the same thing: engage their audience.

Consider the advice in this article when you are creating an online marketing campaign and see if you can improve your results.