by Amos Struck
“How are memes and marketing related to each other, and can I use the term meme marketing?”
A friend asked this question a few days back during our discussion on marketing trends.
I had heard about meme marketing but never taken a dive into the topic. So I decided to do some research to see what it’s all about. And since I love to blog, I had to put my thoughts in writing.
You have probably come across some hilarious and exciting memes. Often, when I go through my news feed on Facebook, it is flooded with them. So, what exactly, is a meme?
What is a Meme?
Firstly, let’s understand what a meme is?”
In 1976, far before the invention of internet Richard Dawkins coined the term “meme.” In simple words, a meme is an element of a culture passed from one individual to another by non-genetic means.
Well, in today’s era, we can say, “passed by the internet.”
Nowadays, memes have a definite meaning in our digital environment. They can be funny images and videos that describe our feelings when we don’t want to say much.
They have become a phenomenon that gives a good laugh. From middle-age moms, public figures, to millennials, everyone loves them.
Memes & Marketing
Due to increasing competition, modern-day marketers face many challenges, and it can be tough to grow small businesses. You have to be smarter about the content you publish on social media, and it needs to be tailored in a way that best suits your audience and platform.
Since, on average, each person spends 2 hours on social media, it makes sense for brands to include memes as their marketing strategy. They can give an authentic voice to a brand by adding humor to it.
I was surprised to find out that, according to Google Trends, the search term “memes” is as popular as the search term “Jesus.”
On Social media, where we are bombarded with advertisements daily, the visual depiction of entertaining content like memes can catch the attention.
I don’t know about you, but I am one of those people who has to share a funny meme, whenever I come across one. Memes play a role in triggering our emotions. One person shares it, and then their friends share it, then the list goes on. In a matter of minutes, it goes viral.
Visual content with humor can increase engagement, association, and awareness of your brand. Memes are fantastic if you want to generate fast branded content and entertainingly reach your audience. But keep in mind that while you can find plenty of places to get free stock images, it can be difficult to find relevant funny images to generate new memes.
Chipotle Mexican grills conducted research regarding memes. The results of the study showed that they reached 2 million more people than regular content.
A meme is the new language of marketing, and you can certainly use them to spice up your marketing campaigns.
Why Use Memes in your Marketing Strategy?
Life, as we know, can be quite challenging at times. Modern-day work routines can be stressful as you need to manage a lot of things.
Moments that make us smile or laugh are invaluable, and memes do help. Linking them to marketing simply gets more smiles, shares, and, eventually, more clients. Large brands are taking advantage of the meme culture as they connect to the feeling of happiness.
Let’s look at some of the advantages of using memes for marketing.
They can go Instantly Viral
Memes are unique and funny, so they are highly shareable content on the internet. When you post a meme, it’s highly likely that it gets viral in a few hours.
Remember that memes are generic. They should be designed to focus on the feelings of the audience in general.
This is a funny meme about how Monday feels. Indeed there would be an audience who would not agree to it, but the maximum viewers would be able to relate to this feeling. As memes are generic, they can’t be copyrighted. Anyone can modify and share any meme.
The funny images with texts give instant humor to the meme. Often, we read a joke but don’t find it that funny, but with visual representation, the text can bring an instant smile.
Ask yourself, what do you share the most on social media? The posts that you agree on or the relatable ones. Memes are the tailored humor that is relatable. This is why people create and share them.
Social media often brings in low engagement feeds that sometimes irritate the viewers. In this case, memes can be highly successful. They serve as a means for providing entertaining content.
If I ask myself, would I rather see an exciting meme first or the product details of a brand? Without a second thought, the answer is clear.
How Are Brands Using Memes as Their Marketing Strategy?
If you are thinking of using memes in marketing, then let me tell you that you are not alone. Many brands have already considered using memes as marketing strategies. I’m going to list some of the best memes by brands.
This is a meme by Barkbox, which is a subscription for dog services. They wanted to increase their social presence, so they came up with animal-related memes. The memes are humorous and shareable (regardless of brand users)
During the 2013 Super Bowl, it became quite dark after all the lights went out. Oreo was quick to generate the above tweet, and it went viral within minutes. When you use a meme, it provides nothing but engagement for your audience.
Disney not only focuses on children but also on adults. However, considering the Generation Z on social media, Disney has taken meme sharing seriously. They create memes according to the specific audience by region. They make memes out of their own shows and mix them up with trending ones. It makes the content relatable and shareable.
Fenty Beauty; Rihanna’s own beauty line also relies on memes. Fenty Beauty is the brand deeply rooted in the Instagram culture. Occasionally, memes are shared on their social media platforms. They promote their new products via memes for maximum viewer engagement.
Should You Use Meme Marketing?
In the online era, the primary thing any business has to do is create an online presence. But social media can be risky for brands. When we talk about a meme, if companies show their comical side, then it can drive in higher client engagement.
In my opinion, you should use memes for marketing purposes. They would definitely help in drawing attention towards your brand, and at the same time, you are entertaining people. With the right use of humor, you can help increase your brand recognition.
Due to immense competition, creating a brand or business is a big challenge. You have to design your website, market your brand, and work on sales. It takes a lot of time and effort.
If you have just entered the marketing world, then it is good to use memes as a marketing strategy. They are highly engaging content to develop your brand. But remember that you don’t need to use memes excessively, and you must ensure it matches the voice of your brand.
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Amos Struck is a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. He is a recurrent speaker at Photokina Official Stage and an industry consultant at StockPhotoInsight. Amos has created several software solutions in stock photography like WordPress plugins. Amos is passionate about technology, marketing, and visual imagery. He holds a keen interest in WordPress related news and articles and loves food :)