Meme Marketing and why brands are attracted towards it

Meme Marketing and why brands are attracted towards it?

Memes have now become the poster boy of content marketing on social media. What took a few hundred words of written updates are now conveyed through Memes that have 10 words at most.

What are memes and what is meme marketing?

Memes don many roles. Not just for updates, it is also used as conversation starters, showing satire, for humour and much more. So what exactly is a meme. A meme is a joke, pun, catchphrase which takes reference from trending and popular culture.

So bloopers, iconic dialogues or scenes from entertainment, cricket or practically anywhere becomes content for memes. It is used to show a range of emotions from anger, to humour to satire.

What are the benefits of memes?

But why are memes so popular these days? And why are most brands gravitating towards using memes as a part of their marketing plan? The answer is the impact a meme makes. Like I said earlier, in 10 words or less, with relevant imagery you are able to express how you feel and react to a situation vs trying to express it in words. And the reason they are so impactful is because they are relatable. Situations from daily lives of people.

Also they are easy to make and cheap. You need not spend a whole lot of your marketing budget in creating these.

Memes have helped thousands of brands become more relatable, their content being shared actively and of course, some of them have gone viral as well.

How do I know meme marketing is for me/my brand?

You have to consider a few things before you start putting meme content on your channels.

  1. What type of product/service do you sell — Usually it’s easy for food, entertainment, travel, lifestyle products/services to get into memes. Now imagine a bank making memes on low rates of FDs, it scares people, right?
  2. Your brand voice and tonality — This is extremely important as memes have a fun and conversational tonality. When your brand has a serious voice + messaging memes might not work for your audience
  3. B2B vs B2C — usually, consumer products are more responsive towards memes and trending content. Businesses stay wary of it, but again take the first 2 points in consideration.
  4. Legality/compliance — A few industries/brands are bound by the legality of their business and cannot use content/context/images from other existing places without necessary disclaimers.

Of course with all of this you must remember, following all of these points might not be the sure shot way to succeed in the meme game. It will take time and practice to put out content that can easily be absorbed by your audience.

How do I start with Memes?

  • Figure out your brand personality — In the previous section we discussed what types of brand voice and personality can use memes. If you are not sure, you can get experts to identify your voice and tonality. That will be the first step in determining if this can work for you.
  • Relevance (the meme has to be in sync with a current happening) — How relevant is the meme to your audience and also how current/recent is it. Mind you, it will be funny only if people remember the context. If you use a meme from a lost cricket match in 2000, you might not make a great impact.
  • Understand personas of the consumers of memes — along with the first step, you should try and understand the audience consuming the memes as well. It might work on millennials/gen Z audience but maybe not if the audience is primarily above 60.
  • Personalize your memes for the audience — Once you understand the type of audience, personalize it for them. Memes can take different shapes. It can be for fun, it can be for teasing people, it can be for sarcasm, but obviously something that your audience likes.
  • Leverage trending content — Movies, cricket, entertainment usually are the channels constantly providing us with fresh content for memes. Track them and use them in your strategy.
  • Own the meme — There is nothing worse than copying a trend or a meme that is absolute dud. People cannot understand it or relate it to your brand. When you post a meme you should be confident, complement it with great captions!

What are the channels where you can use Memes?

  • Social Media — The first choice obviously is social media, where there is highest visibility plus highest engagement. You can directly use memes, use it related to your brand or customize it .
  • Emails — emails can get lengthy and boring. How about adding a couple of memes, to make a point and make your emails interesting and impactful.
  • Blogs — Blogs like these where you literally have to convince people the benefits of memes. Apart from that, whenever you need to make a point.
  • Whatsapp Marketing — If you use Whatsapp to engage with your customers, you can add it as a part of your conversation. Pointing it here again, only if it works for your business and audience.

How do I make my own memes for marketing?

Anything that you browse and find interesting can be modified to create memes to make a point. Or use an existing meme and change the text. Here are a few channels that you can use to create memes quickly and you can get reference ideas as well.

  1. Buzzfeed — For Meme references and collection
  2. Canva — For creating/designing memes
  3. Invideo.io — Not just creating memes but also get ideas

What are the general dos and don’ts of making memes

Memes like all forms of marketing come with a few guidelines. These are in place to help us make useful content without going off track.

  1. Avoid creating memes that are dark/sarcastic if your user base is not relevant
  2. Stay away from any form of isms — Sexism, casteism, racism (hurting other people/communities’ sentiments might not be the best way to grow
  3. Do not be over the top or tacky — memes are subtle, it won’t be of use if you say we are a brand that will make memes on trending content. Do, don’t tell.

Now the most important question — Where do I get the relevant content and where can I create the memes?

Social Media sites are usually the best way to get and track memes. You can follow the trending sections of some channels or follow hashtags which will help you pick and curate your content.

The most effective channels for getting content would be:

Reddit

Twitter

Instagram

Conclusion

Memes are a great visual tool to tell your story, brand narrative or share your perspective. If done well, it can make your brand worth remembering. Getting the correct memes comes with time and practice but you should start nevertheless.

It can also help an individual or a brand become more memorable or reinvent themselves to a more fun and conversational brand.

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Aditi Chakraborty

A freelance Web designer. I help people start profitable side-hustles by offering key marketing skills — Social media management, web design, copywriting & more