If you are on social media platforms or use social messaging apps, chances are you know what memes are and love them. Memes have become the single most entertaining and engaging group of content online these days.
Brands have to be on their feet to embrace whatever is trending to stay on top of their game. Right now, it is meme marketing that brands are struggling to get right. Memes may intend to make you laugh but meme marketing is a very serious topic of discussion among digital marketers and branding experts.
What Are Memes?
Memes, in simple language, are texts, images, short videos, or a mix of all these that are humorous and get shared virally all over. Internet memes became very popular since the mid-1990s when more people started using online groups and forums.
Right now, it is difficult for you to scroll through any of your social media pages or messaging applications without finding funny, interactive, and engaging memes.
What is meme marketing?
Meme marketing is a type of viral marketing where brands make use of already existing and newly created memes to advertise their products and services and to improve brand engagement and brand reach. Meme marketing is also used by individuals who want to grow as influencers on social media platforms.
Let’s see that with an example. Do you know which is the most popular and liked photo on Instagram? It is not of a celebrity or something spectacular. Have a look.
This photo of a simple egg was intended to be a funny post created by someone appealing for followers to like the photo and create a world record by making this the most liked photo on Instagram. And that is what exactly happened!
As of now, there are about 54 million likes for the photo and 3 million comments. This is the power of something humorous on the internet! Meme marketing works the same way by giving people something to laugh about and engage positively.
The Benefits of Meme Marketing
- You can create and share a meme in a matter of minutes if you have a basic photo editing tool. The process is super quick.
- You can create and share a meme for zero cost! This is one of the top benefits of meme marketing. The basic idea for the content is mostly available for free all over the internet.
- You don’t have to worry too much about making your post engaging. When the topic has already gone viral, it is easy to connect with the masses quickly.
- When you create the perfect meme, you will get unbelievably high traffic and post engagement quickly and this, when used right, can directly convert into sales and brand recognition.
- When you keep posting and sharing funny memes, you get organic followers on all social media platforms who start voluntarily sharing your posts.
- Memes are very easy ways to tell what you want with minimal fuss.
Meme Marketing – The Rules You Must Follow
1. Research and analyze before you create and share memes
- If you want to succeed with meme marketing, then you will have to spend precious hours researching what works right for you. There are a few memes and topics that are absolutely funny but may not work well with the brand values that you have built. Stay away from these as they harm you more.
- Identify your target audience and then find out what trends amidst them. If you are a hedge fund, then most of your clients are adults with considerable lie experience. Creating memes about topics like pop music, social media banter, or trending celebrity issues may not make a huge mark. They may leave your clients confused.
- Use software like Google Trends and other apps and websites that notify you when something starts trending. Keep following these apps and websites and make use of the topics right away.
- Memes and trends die as quickly as they get popular. You need to be an early adopter.
2. Use natives to design and create memes
Natives are local people who understand what’s trending in that region better and with more authenticity. A beautiful and intelligent meme post created by someone in the United States for people in India for a hefty sum of money may not engage people as well as a simple and free meme post created by a local of the region. The difference lies in how well the latter understands the culture and the trends.
If you are a large brand with global marketing teams, make the effort to use native designers to create memes. These make sure your audience doesn’t find your posts fake.
Take up Brand Factory for instance. They are making use of meme marketing quite often these days and the kind of content they post and the topics vary with different states in India. They ensure they pick whatever natives relate to more and create memes with that to ensure people genuinely engage with the content. Look at how varied their memes are.
3. Think well before creating memes
A social media memer can get away with using random images and videos and just mentioning the source in the post. As a responsible and professional brand, you cannot do that.
Some images that are being shared virally may be copyrighted and you will have to pay to use these. Using random photos can end up causing legal issues that you are better off from.
There can be viral topics that are great to create a meme from but these may hurt the sentiments of some of your customers. You will have to weigh the pros and cons before choosing a topic. Ending up with the right topic to create or share a meme is half the work done for a brand. Get this right.
4. Do not overdo memes
Don’t keep sharing and posting tens of hundreds of memes. Your audience may get bored with memes then! Always pick the best ones to share with your people and the result will be dramatic.
5. Make memes simple
The minute you need to explain a joke, it is already dead. The same is true with memes. Make sure the idea is simply explained and does not require the audience to think too much.
6. Don’t intend to do branding with every meme you post
You don’t have to talk about your offers and services and the amazing products you have in every meme. Sometimes, funny memes are just meant to evoke laughter with your audience. Over pushing your branding is something you have to stop doing to get the right results from your meme marketing strategies.
How to Incorporate Memes in Your Social Media Content
Here are few smart steps on how to incorporate memes in your social media content.
- Start by identifying potential topics that you can create memes with that also match your brand values and image.
- Build a meme library. Have the raw files for all memes you create so that you can tweak them over time and create more similar memes.
- Have one or more members of the team who constantly follow the latest trends.
- Experiment with the font type, font size, and meme style regularly. This will help you identify what your audience prefers.
- Participate in meme challenges on social media platforms. These are places where you can find a newer audience pool for your content.
- It is not easy to always create fresh memes. You can always repost memes created by your followers or other non-competitive brands by giving them credit.
- Engage in social media banter. Respond to a tweet or a post with a meme. Tag friendly brands and celebrities, in fun and relevant memes. All these improve your brand recognition and engagement. Check how Netflix engages with its viewers using memes.
Meme Marketing Examples
Yashraj Mukhate is a social media influencer and a music producer who became very popular with his music memes. He picks up random conversations and converts them into viral song bits. Check out his YouTube channel to see some of his creations. He has 2 million Instagram followers and 4.56 million YouTube subscribers.
Pawri Ho Rhi Hai
If you follow popular memers, you must have seen hundreds of ‘Pawri ho rhi hai’ memes in the recent past. A particular Pakistani social influencer posted a video on her page saying ‘yeh humari car hai, yeh hum hain, au yeh humari pawry ho rahi hai’. This means ‘This is our car, this is us and there is a party happening here.
Netizens suddenly found this funny and even top brands like Amul have picked up the trend and have created memes around this! Have a look.
Work from home memes
Work from home memes have been trending everywhere since the beginning of 2020 and they are still popular! Check out these memes from brands and influencers who have gotten meme marketing just right.
When iPhone 12 was announced, people made so much fun of its price, its design, and its value for money and it was downright hilarious!
How To Make Your Own Memes For Advertising?
You might be a small brand or an individual trying to get big on social media. Either way, it is a good idea to learn the basics of good photo editing apps and software like PhotoShop. This way, it is very easy to add photos, text, and make relevant changes to an image quickly to convert it into an image meme.
Save the raw file and the final image separately and use the meme on your social pages. If you have created something really new, add watermarks to the image to prevent people from sharing it as their own.
If you want to make a mark with meme marketing, using the right images and smart ideas is important. You might be surprised but there are professional memers out there who know what works and what doesn’t in the meme world. Get in touch with a branding agency to do this right.
Meme marketing is here to stay and if you have not considered this seriously, you should. Memes are fun and hilarious. They help your audience get away from the stress and monotony of the day’s chores for a moment at least and this matters a lot.
If your brand value allows you to portray a fun image, definitely consider investing in a serious marketing strategy revolving around memes. Amul has done it successfully, Netflix is doing it as you read this and so can you.
Include meme marketing in your digital marketing processes and get known as a fun-loving and cool brand. Memes will help your audience engage with you with all their heart and this will create loyalty and brand reception like nothing else has done for you before. Give meme marketing a try, reach out to us to help you