“Memes are the internet speak of millennials. Over three billion people use social media, and at least 60% of them use it for content that’s funny.” Anushk Mittal, founder of Memeois.
With Gen Z and Millennials spending the majority of time surfing the internet, they’re undoubtedly surrounded by endless streams of memes and entertaining videos. The problem being, the users no longer acknowledge basic brand marketing due to their boring stereotypical nature. Today’s generations need their attentions captured immediately, and memes are easily the best way to do it. You have to think about what you look for at home and not at work, would you prefer to share a meme or a long haul article? You would pick the entertainment element 9 times out of 10, and your audience would do the same.
So, why are they so beneficial for your marketing strategy?
Memes are generally free unless a creator trademarks it. This creates a simplistic format to engage your audience, mainly due to not needing to create the image yourself. Instead take a spin on a catchy caption that associates with your brand and audience.
Shares and engagement
They’re made to be shared. When users find relatable content on various social media platforms, their initial instinct is to share the post if they find it relatable or funny. This creates a chain of events that can lead to thousands of interactions on your post, showcasing your relevance as a brand to a wider community.
Creating or sharing memes showcases your brand as relevant in the modern era of social marketing. It is also important to ensure the meme being posted reflects your brand’s tone of voice and not one of the community managers. This could impact the outlook of your brand.
Keep up to date with the latest trends and make sure your meme isn’t recycled from months prior. Reddit and Instagram are easily the largest platforms for trending memes due to the thousands of pages specifically dedicated to them.
Create your own to stand out
Obviously memes are made to be recycled with various captions relating to different images or clips. But there will often be the opportunity to recreate the image in your brand’s style thus creating a completely new meme. Creating a meme should take time and not be rushed as the audience will notice when brands are trying hard to jump on a trend.
The big problem
Trademarking and copyright
Although it is unlikely that the creator of the meme will take legal action, there is still the possibility that it could happen. A recent example of trademarking in social is Kylie Jenner and ‘Rise and Shine’. The uploaded clip of Kylie singing to her daughter Stormi led to over 1 billion views in under a week on TikTok and resulted in an application to trademark the 3 words.
To avoid the potential problem, the obvious approach is to create your own. Creating a meme when produced effectively can become a very successful form of marketing. However, if produced quickly and carelessly, the meme can seem forced, like a cry for relevance from the brand.
Who’s doing it well?
If you’re looking for a brand that executes a meme marketing strategy, this is it. Chipotle’s Instagram feed is a gold mine of memes that targets cultural moments and relatable Chipotle’s consumer stories.
Memes are effectively used on Fenty Instagram account through relatable situations regarding their discounts and products. They are only occasionally used in their marketing strategy, meaning they don’t seem forced. They align with genuine reactions from their audience, creating excitement for their customers. And… who doesn’t love a sale?
Their Instagram feed delivers meme styled content relating to upcoming or newly released shows and movies. With Netflix original programming, they have the benefit of being able to produce their own memes out of their endless amount of content. Lucky.
Memes aren’t for everyone
For the most part, memes are highly relatable to the majority of brands’ audiences. The downside is that memes may not resonate with all audiences. For example, popular culture references are more likely to receive responses from younger audiences. It is also highly important to consider your brand voice when delving into the realm of memes. If your brand is typically more serious, memes could affect your credibility and completely change the perception of your brand. Not good.
It is essential to consider all aspects of your brand when debating the inclusion of memes within your marketing strategy. Memes may create more shares but could create a negative impact on the overall outcome of your objective if overused. Therefore it is crucial to have a clear balance between professional content and entertaining humour in order to achieve the highest rate of success. So if there’s one thing you can takeaway… don’t just do it for the memes.