Updated: Nov 23
Trapped at home for about two years? Meme your frustration out!
Upset about a potential return to work from the office? Post a meme about it!
Too eager to critique a movie but too lazy to write a review? Just meme it!
Today, memes are everywhere. But they aren’t just for nonchalant venting. They can be a very powerful marketing tool to drive engagement on digital channels. According to a latest survey, about 79% of 13-17 year-olds and 75% of 13-36 year-olds share memes. This explains why meme marketing is something that businesses these days take seriously as a branding tool. Let us explain more.
The ‘M’eme in your ‘M’arketing
A meme is about making a connection as much as it is about humour. It can assist in engaging the audience, creating a sense of association and even encouraging brand loyalty. Added to this, memes are inherently catchy. You can get anyone easily interested in a topic when you share a meme about it. Say, for instance, even the self-deprecating edgy memes on mental health have actually attracted Gen Z into taking their mental health seriously and has normalized therapies. Long story short, when you make a meme on something, you practically make it more interesting - no matter the topic. Well, mostly. But there are more reasons why creating and sharing memes is a popular marketing campaign choice. Let us discuss some of these:
Sharing a good meme can garner better impressions, reach, retweets and other forms of online engagement. Brands can interact with their customers without coming off as too ‘salesy’. And you don't have to get too close to your brand's purpose either. Even a meme that's not remotely related to your business can easily get your word out. Remember these first impressions are important. Potential customers will be impressed with some good old-fashioned humour.
Utilize the casual tone that comes with memes. Make your brand impression less robotic and more human so that customers understand that you don’t represent just an entity but something much more lively. But be careful with your messaging!
At the end of the day, your brand wants to forge stronger connections with the audiences, not alienate them.
Ease of execution
Anyone can make a meme! You don’t need pro-photo-editing skills. Remember that we want to sound funny and relatable - not lame. A social media specialist who understands the pulse of the market or maybe a content writer with a good sense of humour can get the job done. Anyone who keeps up with the popular trends and is familiar with social media marketing can churn out decent memes.
Going viral is the holy grail of online marketing. And a good meme can help your brand spread like wildfire and travel from screen to screen. While most would prefer creating and sharing content directly related to their product, brands like Zomato, Bewakoof, MOM, etc., have made more shareable memes a symbol of their brand for days to come.
How to Get Meme Marketing Right?
Yes, there is actually a method to this madness!
1. The right strategy: Do you know that 74% of Americans feel uncomfortable leaving their phone at home? Imagine how much content they consume! KFC for instance took shots at its competitors at the perfect time with the perfect tweet that got more than 155,700 retweets and 705,000 likes.
2. Focus on your audience: The right audience should be targeted with the right type of content. Sharma ji ka ladka will work wonders with the millennial demographic but might get you looks of disapproval from the younger or elder populace.
3. Relatability, creativity, and indirectness: The most popular memes are relatable and creative. But the third and main ingredient of this recipe is being indirect. It helps make your marketing campaigns NOT seem like a lazy attempt at marketing.
4. Align with your identity: Your content needs to support your online identity if you want to get more long-term results from your meme marketing efforts. For example, Zomato has built an entire persona around 'talking to' its customers. Their push notifications look like a text from a friend or a colleague, and their Instagram handle is basically a meme page.
5. Don’t be desperate: As a marketer, you must know that forced humour is the worst. Now you may feel compelled to get involved in a popular trend, but if your meme makes no sense, let it slide.
Wrapping it Up
Being in tune with the current content culture is a prerequisite for marketers. Check what’s trending, create a timely meme and don’t be too promotional. Maybe you will strike gold one meme at a time. The possibilities are endless.