4 content marketing lessons from ‘The Simpsons’

The denizens of Springfield have plenty to teach us about newsjacking, giving people a reason to care, balancing snark and not overstaying your welcome.

Those might be the last things you’d expect from the animated series, but the show offers 618 (and counting) episodes’ worth of communications genius.

Let’s examine four content marketing-centric lessons all communicators can glean from Homer, Marge, Comic Book Guy and the show itself.

1. Temper snark with heart.

People love “The Simpsons”—and not just because it’s hilarious. Plenty of shows are funny yet not beloved.

Take “Family Guy,” for instance. It seems to go strictly for laughs—with minimal effort to uplift anyone or anything.

By contrast, “The Simpsons” tempers its snark with redemptive content. Homer is a buffoon, but he’s often tender with Lisa and Marge. Ned Flanders is an annoying zealot, but his compassion for Homer is admirable. Even the nefarious Montgomery Burns displays a softer, human side from time to time.

The takeaway here for communicators is not to steer clear of snark. Just be judicious, and make sure to balance sarcasm with compassion. Mean-spiritedness is not a sustainable communications strategy. Humor is great; mockery is dangerous.

Just ask Rev. Lovejoy what happens to those who sit in the company of mockers.

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