Creating and producing funny videos is one of the best ways to make money online. The field is called ‘humour branding’ and it works by associating your brand or product with jokes and comedy scenes.
The concept is simple. People love a good laugh and they will often purchase goods or services just because they think it’s funny to do so. This is also called ‘brand humour’.
For example, if you sell bedsheets, you might want to consider producing a video in which two men are trying on different bedsheets, with one saying ‘this is the best one yet’ — only to discover that the bedsheet he has chosen is the most expensive one in the store.
“I would rather see my brand in a scene where somebody is doing something funny than seeing a dull, serious video about my brand,” says Jordan Harper, owner of a digital marketing agency called Future Inc. “A lot of companies try to be serious and professional, but we all know that computers crash, and the phones don’t always work. So, in those videos, you can see the tech behind the brand fail.”
Harper’s point is that even when the technology behind a brand or product works perfectly, it will still be funny for the audience to witness that fact.
Consider this video of Honda, where an over-enthusiastic salesperson enthusiastically demonstrates the new Civic to a group of onlookers: “Look at all these buttons! Press this one to make the screen brighter! This is so cool! This is like having a mini-TV in your car!”
Even though the technology in the video perfectly reflects that of a real-life Civic, the enthusiastic nature and awkward attempts at technical instructions bring a smile to the viewer’s face.
“If I’m explaining technology to someone, I would rather show it through a comedy sketch than a step-by-step explanation,” says Steve Spill, founder of a company called Vidyard, which creates video content for brands. “It’s not so much about showing the mechanics of something but rather using comedy to show how someone might use the product or service.”
This could be anything from a sales video to a demonstration of a smartphone feature or operating system to a review or explainer video for a product or service.
If you have a specific product or service to review, you can choose a topic that is relevant to your niche. The closer you are to the subject matter, the easier it will be to find humorous or interesting scenarios that relate to your product or service.
However, just because something is relevant to your niche, this does not mean that it will automatically make you money. You still need to find a way to connect it with a joke or funny incident.
Finding The Funny
The best way to generate revenue from a humorous product or service review is to find an angle or ‘joke-pitch’ that can be used to connect the video with your brand or product. Brand humour can be quite subtle, so you must be careful not to go too far with your humour or it could seem tacky or immature.
For example, a pizza delivery service could show a funny scene in which a person fails to receive a pizza because the person who ordered it isn’t at home. Or a car-share service could show how awkward it is to get stuck with a stranger in your car. Or a hotel booking app could show how incompetent the customer service is.
When choosing which jokes to use, it’s important to keep in mind that not all will make you money. You must find the ones that are relevant to your niche and that can be used to directly connect your product or service with. If you can’t think of any at the moment, simply follow the rule of three: listen, listen, and listen.
In order to find the funny, you need to step back and observe the world around you. Look at other successful businesses that operate in your niche and see how they use humour to make money. Consider the resources available to you such as social media channels, blogs, and forums.
Creating The Video
After you’ve found the funny, it’s time to create your video. The first step is to consider the purpose of the video and what you want the viewer to do or learn. This will determine the type of content you need to include in the video.
For example, if you’re making a sales video or an explainer video for a product, you will likely want to include footage of the product in use. You can also add testimonials from customers who are using the product or service. If possible, you should interview the customers and learn more about their experiences.
However, if you’re making a fun video for entertainment purposes, you might not need to include as much explanatory or instructional content. Instead, you could try including funny anecdotes about the product or service, situations that are likely to make the viewer laugh.
Additionally, you want to add value to the video. Do you have anything new or funny to say about the subject matter? If so, you could consider creating a tutorial or written guide about it, which you could then embed in the video.
After you’ve filled your video with content, it’s time to edit it. The first step is to title the video. Bear in mind that the titles of videos that go viral are usually quite simple and easy to understand. Remember: people will often laugh or smile because the content is relatable to them. Be sure to pick a title that will make the viewer want to watch the video.
After the title, you should add the description. This is a short, concise description of the video that will help the viewer find it when they search for videos on their computer or mobile device. It should include the following:
- Keywords (or hashtags) that will help the viewer find the video
- The name and website of the channel or platform the video is being viewed on
- The date the video was originally published
- An image or thumbnail of the video
- Contact details including a phone number and email address
- A brief motivation for why the viewer should watch the video
To find these words, simply enter the video in the search bar of your favorite search engine. If you’re using YouTube to find videos to curate, consider searching for relevant keywords within the ‘tags’ associated with the video.
After the description, you should add one or two more shots of the product or service. These are called ‘caricatures’ and they are used to further establish the link between your brand or product and the joke or humour in the video. In some cases, you might not even need to add a caricature to the video. But it’s always a good idea.
Once you’ve completed your video, it’s time to distribute it. The first step is to upload the video to YouTube.
This is the digital home for most people. It’s the second most popular search engine behind Google, and it offers a variety of adverts, from ‘brand safety’ blocks to sponsored posts, which means you can make money online through YouTube without having to build a following.
As a general rule, you want to keep your video on the smaller end of the spectrum when it comes to the resolution. This will make the video look better and ensure that it doesn’t suffer from any pixelation when viewed on mobile devices. The closer the resolution is to being ‘letterboxed’, the more the video stream will appear pixelated. In some cases, this can be alleviated with an HDTV set or a projector in a darkened room, but it’s still preferable to keep the resolution low.
Next, you will need to decide whether you will make money from the video or not. There are three main ways to make money from a video:
- Advertorial: In some cases, you can sign up to become an ‘advertiser’ on YouTube. When an advertiser pays attention to a video, they will watch it and either watch a quick video ad or click on a link to be taken to an online store.
- Affiliate Marketing: With affiliate marketing, you effectively ‘earn’ a commission when someone clicks a monetised link or buys a product that’s promoted on your behalf.
- Comedy Partnerhips: Some content creators will work with brands to provide comedic value in exchange for payment. For example, a toy company might pay a YouTuber to help them promote their product.