Meme Marketing is basically the practice of using memes to promote or viral a product or business
But that doesn’t mean you need to sell something with every meme you post.
Before diving deep into meme marketing, let’s see some social media stats.
The average amount of time spent on social media by a person per day is 144 minutes, as of 2019. An average of 45% of the world’s population uses social media. This is the reason why brands and businesses are so much into social media marketing.
Why not? when your social media engagement is a factor in affecting your product sales. It is also the best way to create brand awareness.
There are many ways to grow a brand audience with social media marketing. Meme marketing is one of the best and fastest ways to build an audience.
So why memes? And how are they different from all other types of social media content that you post daily? Well, Who doesn’t loves memes? I love them. There is a 70% chance that you too love them (fake data to convince you).
Memes tell an entertaining story in the funniest way and in the fastest way possible. Memes spread like wildfire. (copied that line from somewhere).
Most of the millennials spend a lot of time reading memes and sharing them with their friends or family.
Do you know that as per a study, memes are the most shared material on the internet? Another reason why you should start meme marketing right now.
I would like to talk about one big social media myth that I have read from crazy egg blog that can change your perception of social media. “People Use Social Networks to Connect”.
That’s NOT TRUE! As per research, most people were using social media because they were bored. As a marketer, what you need to understand from this study is that people just want to get entertained, no matter what.
All About Memes
What is a Meme? In 1976, Richard Dawkins used the word meme in his book ‘The Selfish Gene’. He used it to explain the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. It has come from the Greek word mimema, meaning “imitated”.
Memes that are started for fun have become part of our internet culture. Most of the brands are using them to boost their social media growth.
A Meme is a perfect engagement medium and users interact with it for the content is funny and relatable. People love to follow memes on social media and meme posts get more social shares. So, why not include them in your marketing plan?
Memes are easy to create and they don’t need much design, unlike other branding or product posts. A text and an image to engage your audience. Simple right?
I’m a big fan of christian bale.
Now, coming to the point, it’s not about the design. The context should be funny and engaging, and you need to be creative enough to make it relatable to your niche audience.
A Meme should be either funny or engaging, and if you fail in it, it will result in a poor marketing strategy. Remember that Meme Marketing can viral a product or brand or personality or business in a day and can do the opposite if not done correctly.
Meme Marketing To Engage
Most companies are replacing their paid brand ads with Memes to get more engagement. Unlike brand or product ads, very few people skip memes.
Mittal, the founder of Memois said to Forbes, “Our researchers observed over 10 million meme interactions across a variety of topics, interests, and user demographics. We estimated that average millennial looks at 20-30 memes every day”.
In 2018, Big Bazar and RVCJ media collaborated for a meme based campaign to promote #PublicHolidaySale. That collaboration brought in stunning results. Those memes brought in a 21% engagement rate from Facebook from the total reach of 1.59M Views.
Neil Patel has written in his blog that posting only website or blog links won’t help in conversion. He suggests entertaining the audience with content.
Why entertain them?
Chris Do says, “Social Media is not a license to SPAM”.
Aggressive promotion of your brand or products doesn’t keep your audience hooked and it is not a way to build your audience. Engage your audience. Make their time valuable by posting something that might bring a 2-sec smile on their face.
Do you know? 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising as per Hubspot. God! Why am I so obsessed with quotes and stats?
Brands That Did Meme Marketing The Right Way
Many brands were already playing this meme game for years. And yes! there is already enough competition.
10 years challenge
This trend went viral on social media in 2019 and people started posting a pic of themselves in 2009 and one in 2019. Most of the companies participated in this trend and here are some of them.
Swiggy is an online food ordering and delivery platform in India.
Even Google participated in this trend.
Parle-G, a biscuit company has shown that nothing has changed in the last 10 years.
Rahul Bose And Pair Of Bananas
July 2019. Rahul Bose, an Indian actor was charged Rs 442 for a pair of bananas that he ordered when he stayed in a 5-star hotel. The actor was shocked at the price that they are charging for a pair of bananas.
The actor shared his views on it via twitter.
As soon as he posted the video on Twitter, it went viral and became a meme material. See how Pizza Hut and Amazon Prime Video turned that meme into marketing their products. Look at how Pizza Hut used the word “Bose”, instead of Boss.
This is one of the most popular meme trends of the decade. You might have seen memes based on this template many times if you are a regular social media user.
Ruffles turned that into a meme to promote their product. Another good example of meme marketing.
Some Other Brand Memes
Hostinger, a web hosting company uses gifs in their customer service emails after solving the customer issue. I received this gif from them after solving the issue that I had with my email.
These marketing techniques tell us how memes have evolved in the last few years. And they have become part of many brands’ marketing plans.
Meme Making Apps And Tools
Most meme pages create memes from mobile phones. Ther are many android and ios apps for this purpose. They do help in creating memes, but not always, especially if you are making your own brand memes.
Most of the apps have default templates and might not fit within your brand guidelines always. You can use photoshop to create your own designs or hire a designer if you aren’t happy with the results of these mobile apps.
You can make video memes for free with Filmora FREE Online Meme Maker without any watermark.
Now coming to the best part.
You can make memes from these websites for free. imgflip, meme-creator, Quick meme, Know your meme, memeful generator, meme generator, make a meme. You can also use Kawping meme maker, which is a paid one.
Tips For Meme Marketing The Right Way
1. Meme Trends
You need to stay updated on meme trends and should never post outdated or old memes. Follow as many meme pages as you can so that you’ll get to know what’s trending or what’s going viral. Use memesmonkey.com to find out more about the top memes.
Check trends with know your meme and their youtube channel. Use Google Trends if you want to know more about how a meme is trending based on time and location. With this, you’ll know when to post on social media.
Since Coronavirus is trending, I used the words, COVID, and Pandemic as the search terms. See how COVID is trending (blue line).
Making memes on a Global Outbreak isn’t suggested, especially for brands and businesses.
Check this meme on social distancing that we made when I was working in a vehicle rental startup. It might not be a great example of meme marketing, but still a good one. This meme also informs that the business is somehow related to cars = Brand Awareness.
2. Quality Over Quantity
It’s not about how many you post. You might be posting 2 or 3 memes in a week or month. It doesn’t matter. Memes are one of the top engaging material you can find on the internet. Concentrate on engaging your audience. The results will follow up!
- Don’t try to create memes on every trend that you jump on to.
- Don’t spam your followers posting memes every day, on everything that you see or like on the internet.
3. News Trends
Keep up with the latest news. Sometimes, well actually most of the time weird news becomes meme material. Like the Rahul Bose and the two bananas incident.
Top memers replicate meme templates when something goes viral. All you need to do is follow the template and make an engaging meme.
Remember that anyone with a mobile phone can create memes. Only your creativity can/should differentiate you from others and help you master meme marketing
4. Best Platform For Memes
You should post memes on all your brand’s social media platforms. But Instagram is the best platform for memes. Thanks to its hashtags algorithm.
Make sure you use all the 30 hashtags that Instagram allows. The tags should be as relatable as possible to the product (if you are promoting any), meme, and trend.
Sorav Jain says, “People think hashtags alone will do the magic. Basically hashtags work when your content is great and your audience is reacting to it”.
Don’t stuff too many hashtags (in twitter) while tweeting. You have 280 characters limit. Be creative. Keep it short.
5. Be The First One
Whenever there is a new trend, you should be the first one (before your competitor does it) to make a meme on it. Always stay up to date with what your brand competitors are doing.
Remember that you are still competing with your brand competitors and not with the top meme pages.
6. Make Them Relatable
Not all memes fit with all kinds of brands. No matter what kind of trends you target, in the end, it should be relatable to your business. So make memes that most of your audience can understand and relate to it.
Producing relatable content will bring more loyal customers.
Now check the meme below. If you have a Grocery store or online grocery business and you sell Avocados too, you can use this meme. You are not offering any discount here. But you are still providing value to customers by entertaining them.
Make your audience tag their friends or families, by using tag memes. “Tag someone who can do this”, “Tag that friend” etc. These kinds of posts will get more social shares and interactions. And all this for free!
In that way, your customers can be the agents that drive more traffic to your business by sharing your memes.
7. Own Template
Memes are basically text overlayed on a photo. When you are scrolling your social media feed, if you see the format of text overlayed on an image, you will stop scrolling and read that post every time (well, most of the time), because you guessed that it’s a meme even without reading the post completely. How? The meme aesthetic is instantly recognizable.
Design a theme so that your followers will know that you have posted it by your brand color theme or logo. But, do this only if you are making your own memes.
8. Standard Templates
There are some longlasting meme templates that you can use when there aren’t any trends that you can relate to your brand.
You should never change the text and image style of these standard templates, no matter what.
Like what Ruffles had one with the “Distracted Boy Friend” trend. It is one of the long-lasting trends and the font style used by Ruffles is the same as the standard template. Memes based on this template still come up every day on social media.
This process of using viral meme templates and converting them to something that is related to your niche is called memejacking.
Another great definition from me!
What Can Go Wrong In Meme Marketing?
It’s simple! Not every meme works.
Some memes end up in controversy. Doing memes on political or controversial topics will have a negative impact on your brand and might end up in legal issues.
Facebook will now keep track of memes based on political issues after Bloomberg’s paid memes issue that happened in Feb 2020. And remember that Facebook owns Instagram! Be careful about the meme topics that you choose.
Trolls are part of meme culture. But as a brand, although you can troll your competitors indirectly, sometimes this might backfire.
And the final downside I see is: Not everyone can relate to a meme. Just because you are following trends doesn’t mean that everyone stays updated. Nobody can please everyone. So try to make memes on more popular trends so that most of your audience feel connected.
Be creative, rely on quality rather than quantity, and stay up to date on trends. You’ll do fine in this powerful viral marketing strategy.