What is meme marketing?

Two people with lightbuld shaped heads, brainstorming

Using relatabilty to make connections

The purpose of any marketing activity is relatability. All marketing content thus hits home with your followers if they have recall value. When visuals and humor come together to form relatable content, you have yourself a meme.

The origin of the word "meme" can be traced back to the book "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins in 1976. It represents an element or behavior that travels from one individual to another by non-genetic means such as imitation.

In this all-pervasive age of social media, memes stand for visual content such as images or videos presented with creative text. Scientific evidence proves that our brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than plain text! Memes thus stoke its audiences because they often offer a humorous perspective on a given issue that is fresh and straightforward and a representation of pop culture.

Thus, in the world of marketing, brands big and small are getting on to the meme bandwagon because it is a fun and entertaining language that their customers often relate to. Meme marketing is thus the hottest trend in marketing on social media platforms and is expected to gain further traction in the days ahead. Therefore, forward-thinking brands extensively leverage meme marketing to appeal to younger audiences with uppity and even goofy content.

Man sitting on a hill overlooking a city

Marketing memes. Do they work?

Now, why are marketing experts across the globe so keen on meme marketing? Two words to explain it all. Social media! An average person spends an average of two and a half hours across social media platforms every day. Light-hearted content makes them smile and share a laugh or two on an otherwise ordinary day!

Memes provide such entertainment, and it is indeed a goldmine for marketing personnel as they can drive engagement with very little work to be done. And most importantly, it's free and is available at multiple sources! All you have to do is dig out the right kind of videos, gifs, or an easily recognizable image to effectively convey your message. It would thus be no exaggeration to call memes a useful marketing tool. Here's why.

The simplest memes can take less than a minute to create. Good memes can convey your message in a smart gif, video, or image that would have otherwise taken you a hundred or more words.

Memes are the most effective means of communication as they are easily understandable across your target audience, and instantly connect with a prospective customer as it humanizes your brand.

Instant connects over time also creates brand loyalty as your loyal customers will get the "inside jokes", thus making sense of belonging. Therefore, brand recall and brand loyalty can go through the roof for your business with minimal effort to produce the right kind of content.

Meme generators

What Marketers Should Know About Memes

As marketing personnel, the first thing that is probably running on your mind is how or why they are popular. To understand that, we will scratch the surface of human psychology. All humans want to be accepted. Think about this. A colleague you meet at the water cooler almost every day to work may not be able to converse with you, but if you were to crack a silly inside joke, you could strike up a conversation almost immediately! Such is the power of humor!

In the virtual world, it is not much different. Memes have gained popularity because they are a humorous means of sharing relatable experiences with people you have not met! As a marketer, you know that you have to walk on eggshells when it comes to creating an effective communication strategy digitally.

Getting the most from your images

Many images or videos available on the internet are copyrighted. Therefore, unless you are entirely sure about the rights of sharing, don't share without legal advice or a nod from the compliance team. All the memes you'll find here are yours to do with as you please. Use them as is, or edit them and add your brand using the range of meme generators below.

I've chosen inspiration for the theme of this post. It's a safe bet when trying to connect with your audience. You'll find then all, courtesy of pixabay and free of watermarks, at the bottom of the page. Click on one to use it in your design.

Keep them fresh

The other thing about memes is that they tend to have a short lifespan. What may be hilarious to your audience today may completely lose its relevance in a week from now. Thus, if you are too concentrated on meme marketing, you may be moving away from your core branding strategy. Furthermore, in a pursuit to catch fleeting trends, you may end up confusing your customers.

Woman hovering over a valley

How to use memes for social media marketing

By now, we have established that memes are edgy and funny; they can still be a risky proposition for your social media marketing strategy if not done right. Not only would you end up missing the mark, but you may also even end up offending someone or even a whole community. Consider the following do's and don'ts if you think of embedding meme marketing in your social media marketing strategy.

  • DO ensure that the memes you choose are a right fit with your existing followers.
  • DO make sure you use the appropriate tone.
  • DON'T go overboard with humor
  • DON'T sound overly preachy or promotional
Man pushing a huge ball up an hill

How to use memes for your marketing campaigns-Digital

Before we delve into the "how to" of successful meme marketing, it is imperative to drive home the basics. Meme marketing is only meant for what is known as "top of the funnel marketing." This means you are trying to capture the attention of an audience who do not buy your products but may do so someday. For social media platforms like Twitter, it is an excellent means to build a community of fun-loving audiences.

It will help if you tread with caution. Incorporating memes as a part of your digital marketing initiatives requires a well-thought-out strategy. Here are some tips that may come in handy.

How To Make Viral Marketing Memes For Your Campaign?

Relatable and recognizable Relatable and recognizable- The first rule of making a meme is to make it relatable. Cultural artifacts from across domains such as politics, movies, and vintage ads will work so long as easily recognizable. When visual content becomes a symbol shared and re-shared many times in the virtual world, it becomes pop culture and sticks with your audience.

Humor at the heart of a meme Memes without the spirit is what they say is meh! A joke that is a jab at yourself or well-meaning satire is at the heart of a good meme. You don't have to be LOL funny. All you need is a chuckle. Don't try to be forcefully amusing, for that can fall flat or not land at all!

Remain relevant While meme marketing may be all about grabbing eyeballs using humor as a tool, you cannot lose sight of the fact that it is still a promotional activity at the end of the day. Thus, your memes must be relevant to your brand without being overly promotional. A great meme may be lost upon your audience if it has nothing to do with your products. The one thing to remember with meme marketing is that the goal is not to sell but to promote indirectly

Meme generators

Is meme marketing going to be the next trend in advertising?

4 pairs of ladders reaching up to the clouds

We are already witnessing a global phenomenon where brands are widely using easily recognizable memes to connect with their target audience. Anecdotal evidence proves that while memes are funny, the return on meme marketing investments is no laughing matter! As more and more consumers get online to escape from the dry and dull content, memes provide much-needed comic relief.

Thus, to say that meme marketing is here to stay may not be a long shot. However, if you are gung-ho about using meme marketing as part of your digital engagement strategy, we suggest you tread with caution. Test the waters with your audiences and use engagement analytics extensively to find whether you are creating the desired effect. If your audience does not like your memes, you will get an indication upfront. In that case, do not dwell upon it. Move on to Plan B and revisit meme marketing in a while.

Meme marketing thoughn it is a promotion and digital strategy, dwe need to in mind that the heart should be in the right place, and the purpose of any meme is to put on smile on a face of someone who needs a laugh or needs to let off some steam bang in the middle of a crazy workday!

Meme generators