You’d be forgiven for thinking that memes are merely images that you share with friends to make them laugh. However, when done correctly meme marketing can be incredibly successful.
Memes, meaning “that which is imitated” in Greek, have been around for a long time. Coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 memes are defined as any shareable cultural artefact that spread through popular culture like wildfire. Think like this, is it easier and more common for you to share a meme or image or a 500-word blog post? It’s this shareability that makes memes so attractive in the world of digital marketing and content creation.
Therefore, if created effectively memes have the power to push your brand into the world of viral content, and who wouldn’t want that!
So, how does your brand delve into this new world of meme marketing?
1. Use Existing Memes
Memes are unpredictable as they can have a long or short shelf-life. If you’re going to replicate or adapt an already popular meme, ensure that you understand it. memes can also change meaning over time, so keep an eye on the trends to ensure that you don’t fall behind or become an important case study in the misuse of memes!
2. Create Your Own
If you’re going to create your own memes you must remember the following; it must be funny, and it must make sense. If you ignore these best case scenario you end up with a meme that no one shares, worst case your meme is manipulated reflecting your brand is a bad light worldwide.
Heinz is a great example of a company who understood how to create their own memes. The brand worked with memes.com to create a marketing campaign with the aim of increasing engagement. Heinz created a meme asking their audiences “If you had to decide right now if a tomato is a fruit or vegetable, which would you choose?”.
This campaign was incredibly successful with the debate gaining over four million impressions for the company!
3. Stay Up To Date
If you’re going to venture into this world ensure that you use the same language and have the same understanding of memes as the people who will share your content. Try sharing relevant memes from your brand to test the water. If you dive in without showing you’re a part of this culture beforehand your audience will immediately see that you’re trying too hard to be cool. This could seriously harm your brand’s image.
4. Choose your audience
If you’re creating a meme you have to understand that only a portion of your current audience will understand the meme or contents. However, this means that you can expand the reach of your brand to a new audience. So, don’t create a meme that’s going to suit all audience types. Know your target audience and cater to them.
5. Time Your Campaign Well
If you’re using an existing meme make sure it’s still relevant. But also, if you’re creating your own ensures that you keep up to date with current affairs and trends. Share your meme with people in the company to ensure it can’t be construed in the wrong way or touches on pop culture elements that you’re unaware of. If timed wrong you can come off as out of touch, which is not something any brand aspires to be.
So, once you’ve considered all of the above you’re ready to get started. Develop a campaign that you know will work, without being offensive or harming your brand reputation. You never know, this could be an area of marketing that excels your brand!