Memes are an important element of Internet culture and an effective way to communicate with your customers. Memes have thus gained popularity as a tool for marketers trying to connect with their target audience. Including funny meme(s) in your digital marketing strategy may help you establish a connection with your audience in a fun and relatable way, especially if you are trying to attract Millennials or Gen Z. The secret is to employ your best memes carefully and strategically in your marketing strategy to avoid appearing insincere or insensitive, in addition to providing appropriate entertainment.

Table of Contents –

  • History of the word “meme”
  •  What is a Meme Marketing Strategy?
  •  How to use memes for marketing?
  1.  Ensure that your memes match your brand’s voice
  2.  Know your memes
  3.  Use relevant memes
  4.  Make your own memes
  5.  Be a part of meme challenges and contests
  6.  Repurpose memes created by users
  7.  Avoid overdoing it
  8.  Experiment and Learn

History of the word “meme”

Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist, originally used the term “meme” in his 1976 book “The Selfish Gene.” Dawkins used the term to refer to cultural beliefs and practices that, like genes, spread from one person to the next. The name “meme” was created by combining the Greek word “mimeme,” which means anything mimicked, with the word “gene.”

Memes are “our ideas, ideals, cultures, and customs that replicate themselves,” in Dawkins’ words. They spread from person to person by imitation, sharing, and repetition—almost like a virus.” Since then, this concept has been extensively used and enhanced, which has facilitated the development and spread of online memes in the digital era.

What is a Meme Marketing Strategy?

Meme marketing is taking any form of meme and changing it to align with your brand, products, or services, then advertising it across the internet. A meme marketing strategy is the systematic application of funny entertaining content/ memes with particular marketing objectives in mind. Meme strategies offer content that ranges from being informational to extremely funny— injecting a light-hearted tone into the overall marketing strategy. Marketers have effectively adapted their brand narrative throughout time to target populations that are difficult to reach. Zomato’s clever use of memes and relatable content on social media, especially Instagram, is one of the examples of meme marketing strategy that has resonated well with the audience.

How to use memes for marketing?

Let’s dive into the world where viral meets your brand – here are some tips on how to use memes for marketing and make your brand famous:

1. Ensure that your memes match your brand’s voice

Just like any other type of content you create, memes have to ideally adhere to the brand voice you’ve established. Even if you might instinctively know about the kinds of memes that will resonate with your audience, it’s a good idea to clearly define exactly what type of memes you’ll publish and the nature of your humor to ensure brand consistency. Memes have become popular and to promote their products, companies of all shapes and sizes occasionally use them. However, memes may range from being bizarre to being edgy and harsh, so it’s critical to know where your brand sits on that scale.

The easiest way to do this is just to recognize your brand voice and create memes that are in line with it. However, how can one recognize their brand voice? That is based upon the sentiments your brand wants to convey as well as the age range of your target market. For instance, if your company sells sportswear, you might want to have a lively, powerful voice. A calm, easygoing tone might not be as effective. If, however, you’re selling pillows or beanbags, you might want to use a more casual tone.

To identify your target market, all you have to do is sketch out your ideal client. Make sure to be as detailed as you can. As a result, you will be able to recognize them as a genuine person with needs, wants, and emotions. Establishing a connection with your target client will also help you in creating content that’s perfectly suited to them.

2. Know your memes

Memes do seem simple to make, but they are not. You will have to properly understand the particular memes, the formats they are in, and what the memes are for.

Therefore, it’s important that you’re either a native meme-speaker, or you hire someone who is. Your viewers will surely know about any errors in the content that you create, no matter how little it is. Then, your brand will appear as if it’s trying too hard to look cool, which is never a good thing.

3. Use relevant memes

The only sad thing about memes on the internet is that they eventually die. Later, they are replaced by new, fresh memes. Each meme has a lifespan, and as a meme marketer, you’ll have to respect that. Using old memes will make you seem out of touch, even if your audience finds it hilarious.

Memes often become popular for a very short time, sometimes just a couple of days, before a new trend replaces them. That’s why having someone who keeps up with the latest memes, a meme-speaker, is crucial. Even a slight delay in catching onto new memes can make a big difference in how up-to-date and relevant your content appears. Staying timely in the world of memes is a bit like telling a joke that everyone can relate to in the present moment.

4. Make your own memes

You should also create your own, original meme content. If you’re able to take a specific “meme-able” picture of your product, you can use it to make your own memes. This will increase the chances of your content being shared by your audience.

However, when you make your own memes, there is a lot that you will have to keep in mind. Apart from the source material, you’ll have to decide on a format as well as some relatable memes for it. Whether you’re going to use a picture, a GIF, or a video? What kind of fonts are you going to use? This is probably going to take a lil bit more time, energy, and creativity than what you would need when you use existing templates. However, this can be worth the effort.

The pet industry can be a great example of this. Almost everyone loves animal memes, especially cat memes – and if you are in this industry, you can take advantage of this and create lots of original content. These kinds of memes never go out of style, although sometimes you’ll be coming up with very topical memes. When creating such kinds of memes, make sure the topic that you choose is trending; even your original memes have to be relevant.

5. Be a part of meme challenges and contests

You may occasionally come across meme-inspired social media challenges. These have the potential to spread quickly, so if your brand can capitalize on this and use it to market itself, you’ll be able to draw a lot of attention to itself.

One such example of a popular challenge is the “Ten Year Challenge”. In that, people simply showed pictures of their transformation – from how they looked ten years ago to how they look in the present. Kaya Skin Clinic did this for their challenge. Although it was a clever approach for them to promote their business, Zomato gave it a spin by creating a 10-minute challenge. Keep an eye out for possibilities such as this, and don’t forget to bring your unique perspective to these tasks.

6. Repurpose memes created by users

Memes by their very nature are designed to be shared. This gives your brand a lot of chances to share relevant memes created by other meme makers. It won’t be difficult to locate people who don’t mind if you share their content; some may openly promote it, and others may even ask you to do so. If you’re going to share a meme on your feed, it’s generally best to ask for permission from the meme’s creator as a matter of caution.

Try to add your tag or caption to other people’s jokes when you share their memes on your feed. Your audience will value the effort you made to enhance the original humor with additional elements. Memes can, however, be reposted exactly as they are as long as the original author is given credit.

You could even hold contests for creating memes if that’s possible. After posting a particularly meme-worthy image, invite your followers to create memes based on it. Try to include your brand in the image in some way, but be warned that doing so may lead to jokes being made about your company. Later on, you can re-post your favorites on your profile. This is a fantastic way to increase brand engagement.

7. Avoid overdoing it

Keep in mind that memes are simply meant to be an addition to other kinds of content you are producing; they shouldn’t be your primary focus. To increase brand engagement, you’ll need to create original content for your channels and occasionally use memes.

You won’t be including calls to action or sending viewers to a landing page when you create memes. It’s also unlikely to succeed if your meme is overly salesy, which is why finding the correct balance between memes and other content is important.

8. Experiment and Learn:

Lastly, embrace experimentation because it is crucial in navigating the evolving landscape of internet culture. This involves trying out various meme formats, humor styles, and templates to discern what resonates most effectively with your target audience.

While experimenting, it’s crucial to stay true to your brand. The iterative process involves continuously improving based on both successful and unsuccessful meme campaigns. This refining process helps make your approach better for connecting with your audience. As a meme marketer, being agile is essential in the digital space, where what’s popular today might not be tomorrow.

Encouraging creativity in your marketing team is also important. A collaborative and innovative environment helps generate new ideas for meme content. Having a learning mindset is crucial, acknowledging that the online world is vast and always changing, allowing for growth and adaptation in marketing with memes.

With memes dominating the internet by storm, it’s time to take memes seriously. To avoid coming out as overly effortful or out of touch, it’s crucial that you do it right. Hopefully, this blog’s advice will help you to effectively utilize memes to market your business.

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