There’s no shortage of dry blog posts about marketing out there. Some of them are very informative, don’t get me wrong. My observation is that they read more like a Wikipedia article than a blog post. Whatever industry you’re in, my guess is the same thing rings true.

This is the digital, connected age. We’re supposed to be out in the trenches building relationships with the next people we want to do business with. We’re not going to do that by boring the pants off of them.

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve watched two Mel Brooks movies again. He’s probably my favorite comedic director, and I think there’s a lot that content marketers can learn from his writing style.

The first of the Mel Brooks movie I watched was Spaceballs. With characters like Pizza The Hut and Dark Helmut, the lesson to be learned here is not to take yourself too seriously.

I want to be clear here. Writing in a comedic style is one of the most difficult things you can do, and Mel Brooks is a genius at it. But his movies also have no shortage of personality. Your readers should get a sense of who you are and what you’re about whether you sell insurance, own a restaurant, or write a personal blog. Like I stated before, we’re out to connect with our audience.

You don’t do that by not putting any passion into your work.

The other Mel Brooks movie I watched the other day was one of my all time favorites, Blazing Saddles. In this classic, Brooks is able to shock his audience and make them feel a little uncomfortable by pushing the envelope on what’s funny.

For those of you unfamiliar, the movie involves heavy use of the “n” word, but Brooks makes pulling it off look easy in the context of the story he told.

The lesson here is to not underestimate your audience. Understand your audience, and don’t be afraid to push the envelope, if that’s what’s needed to get your point across. Remember, the goal is to create material they’ll want to share with their audience.

Funny, shocking, and personable are all qualities that can make you stand out from the competition. That’s a crowded news feed, and a competitive search results page. Make sure you’re offering something your audience won’t get anywhere else.

Matt Brennan is a Chicago-based marketing writer and copy editor