Sharing memes is how millennials communicate with each other and that makes meme marketing the bedrock of easily shareable brand-amplifying content. A 2022 Wavemaker report claims that 55% of 13-to-35-year-olds send memes every week, and 30% send them every day. When millennials and Gen Z occupy 40% of the consumer population, marketers are bound to capitalize on memes in their viral content strategies. Let’s find out how to tap the power of memes in an era of byte-sized marketing content.
What is Meme Marketing?
Memes are graphical representations of ideas, behaviors, and events that are spreading through social media networks. Meme marketing refers to the set of meme processes and strategies used to promote a specific product, brand, or brand narrative using humor as a primary mode of engagement. Due to their high shareable quotient, low effort, and cost-effectiveness, meme marketing is an indispensable tool in the digital marketer’s arsenal.
Best Meme Marketing Examples by Popular Brands
Let’s find out how some famous brands leverage memes to generate user engagement:
Netflix has been way ahead of its competitors in terms of creating content with humorous engagement. Over the years, Netflix memes have translated from user-friendly content that boast about sharing account passwords—even if it hurts Netflix’s sales—to engaging with the audience through hilarious tweets and comments.
This meme mocks the traditional idea of jealousy in relationships and extends it to different thematic nuances. Even literary giants such as publishing house Penguin Random House have incorporated humor into their marketing strategies. Moreover, without stopping for original meme templates, they keep recycling older ones.
This meme template is versatile and applicable across industries. Yappy intelligently harnesses the current trends of owning or adopting more pets to poke fun at its core audience.
Originality often takes a backseat in meme marketing to inspire easy relatability. Take this example of luxury brand Gucci recreating the classic Arthur’s Fist meme to highlight its brand authenticity.
The rapper Drake meme has been doing the social media rounds for years now, becoming one of the most highly engaging meme artifacts. Diamond Travels used it to identify a crucial pain point for travelers—the hustle of planning and booking.
What is a Meme Marketing Strategy?
A meme marketing strategy refers to the systematic application of humorous entertainment with specific marketing objectives in mind. Meme strategies can deliver content that ranges from being informative to extremely funny—aiming to inject a light-hearted tone into the overall marketing strategy. Over the years, marketers have successfully tailored their brand storytelling to cater to hard-to-reach audiences. Today, meme marketing lies at the heart of byte-sized content marketing strategies.
How are Memes Used in Marketing
A 2023 Omnicore study claims that 80% of people will watch a video while only 20% will read text on a page, highlighting the importance of visual storytelling in social media. At a time when users are overwhelmed by ads with direct CTAs, creative visual content helps audiences connect with the human aspects of your brand.
It is a consistent marketing effort that spices up your social media and builds an online community that pays attention to your content. Once users start connecting any specific emotion with your content, you can freely mold that space to advertise your products.
Memes attract user attention with a simple picture, GIF, or short video. Marked with specific marketing goals, they fit well with blog posts, product launches, and email marketing, or even as simple stand-alone social media posts.
How do I Create a Marketing Meme Strategy
Step 1: Identify Your Brand Voice
A well-crafted brand voice can speak to a multitude of audiences and develop a consistent tone that accurately reflects your brand image, identity, and personality. Thus, the first crucial step is to build comprehensive brand-meme compatibility guidelines to optimize your meme marketing efficiency.
Step 2: Identify Your Audience
Memes attract and engage specific segments of the market with relatable content. Once the brand voice is ascertained, decide who the meme is for. Market segmentation, analysis, and research on consumer demands help you find the right set of meme templates appropriate for a specific demographic.
Step 3: Simplicity and Personalization
Meme marketing success lies in enhancing a simple concept and personalizing it according to your target audience. Hitting the right note between promotion and engagement is a sure-fire way to create lasting brand impressions. An abundance of content on the Internet means lesser engagement behind every post.
Step 4: Follow Meme Rules
Here are some rules of the meme world that highlight the importance of being crisp, swift, and trending:
- Large and easy-to-read texts bring the highest engagement
- Use pre-existing memes but do not change their original meaning to avoid confusion
- Extreme customization of recycled templates can adversely affect your brand voice
- Insert CTA messages subtly
Step 5: Keep Everything Viral
While it is not always important to come up with hyper-personalized original content, finding innovative ways to reuse old templates of viral memes gives you a competitive edge in content strategy.
Meme Marketing Tips
These essential meme marketing tips can boost user engagement if you follow them consistently:
- Meme relatability often proves more important than finding original content
- Successful memes always cater to strictly defined buyer personas
- Timing is everything in meme marketing strategies, especially if you are just starting out
- Because memes thrive on trends, twisting them to your favor proves more effective in drawing traction
- Being offensive is a strict no-no
- The buyer persona and brand voice should always align with the themes and subjects of memes
Is Meme Marketing Good?
A 2022 Wavemaker report mentions that an average millennial comes across 20 to 30 memes a day. Another 2022 Amra & Elma study observed that the Click-Through Rate (CTR) of a meme campaign is 14% higher than that of email marketing, making it the most effective tactic to boost return on investment. All these statistics point toward the efficiency of memes as a distinguishing marketing tool.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Meme Marketing?
Here are the benefits of expressing your brand narrative with memes:
- Memes are inexpensive
- They boost post reach in a short span of time
- They’re the most effective way to do brand recalls
- Higher user engagement
- Communicate with different audiences simultaneously
- Memes are easy to create and require no former technical expertise
Like every other marketing strategy, meme marketing has its own set of cons:
- Memes are short-lived
- There is always a chance of competitors faring more efficiently on similar meme templates and adversely affecting your brand voice
- It require heavy research to tailor memes to specific user personas
- Memes can be misleading if not created with caution
- High chance of being offensive to varied user segments
Learning Marketing with Emeritus
Harnessing the power of memes is an incredible opportunity in this age of abundant visual content. If you want to know about and master the latest devices necessary for holistic brand advertising, join Emeritus’ sales and marketing courses created in association with world-renowned universities and industry experts.
By Bishwadeep Mitra
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