Everything you need to know about marketing with memes
Friday, March 17, 2017
Joe Biden recently announced his favorite of the Biden-Obama bromance memes that really took off last fall. Biden's daughter, Ashley, told Moneyish her dad laughed "for an hour" when she told him about the viral memes.
"See? Doesn't this feel right?"— Ol' QWERTY Bastard (@TheDiLLon1) October 17, 2016
"Joe I'm not leaving my wife for you."
"You said we'd be together forev-"
"8 years. I said 8 years." pic.twitter.com/C2PoAXCD00
And really, that's what memes are all about. They're funny. They're nonsensical. And best of all, they're supereasy to replicate, so there's a never-ending stream of content.
To be specific, memes are usually a funny image, GIF or video paired with a formulaic caption. More often than not, they start on social media or social news sites, like Reddit. From there, they just explode. They're shared quickly, and soon you'll see that meme everywhere you look.
When they're popular, memes are supertimely, humorous and recognizable. So, should your brand be using them in your marketing materials?
To meme or not to meme ...
We've already touched on why meme marketing can work. This tactic is timely, popular, funny and cheap to create. So, why aren't all brands sharing memes on their social sites and in their marketing materials?
Well, memes definitely have a younger audience. Millennials and usually Gen Xers will generally know memes, but from there, it can be a tossup. And if your audience is varied in age or skews older rather than younger, memes may not resonate — even worse, they could flop.
Also, for memes to work in your marketing, it's better to stick with timely, recent memes. Because of their quick rise to fame (and subsequent fade into obscurity), your brand can look out of touch if you use memes past their prime.
And because of their short shelf life, using memes in digital communications, rather than printed, is a better bet. With the long turnaround on printed materials, those specific memes may peak by the time they reach your audience.
If you're on the fence about marketing with memes and think they could work, test and learn! Memes are free to create, so generate your own. Or simply share one that made you laugh and is on message for your brand.
How to create your own meme in 5 steps
1. Before you sit down and create a meme, decide which one you'll choose. You need to know the meme's origin, how it spread and its overall message. This will help make sure you pick a meme that's appropriate for your business. Plus, it will ensure you know the best way to parody it. Know Your Meme will fill you in on everything!
2. Go to a meme generator, like Meme Dad, where you can create memes for free and without watermarks.
3. Find the meme you're looking for. Or if you're browsing, browse the popular or trending sections. Again, before randomly picking a meme, research it!
4. Then follow the meme's specific formula to write the caption, which ideally should be split into a top and bottom line.
5. Before you click download, read it one more time. Double (or triple) check that this is error-free and that it does the original meme justice. Once all is good, download and share away!
- 8 exercises for strengthening your business writing
- Writing the letter that gets you more referrals
- 101 bad business buzzwords — and why you should avoid them
- 9 steps to more concise business writing
- Impressive new smartphone apps in health and medicine
- Privacy tips to help teachers avoid a social media scandal
- The 16 best lines in marketing
- 7 critical trade show mistakes you’re making and don’t know it
- AR-15 ‘overpenetration’ only exists if you do this wrong
- More big brands join the war on plastic
- Why I started reading storybooks to my older students
- Is there a market solution to the feral hog problem?
- A long road ahead for Heathrow expansion, despite optimism
See your work in future editions
Your content, Your Expertise,
Your Industry Needs YOUR Expert Voice & We've got the platform you needFind Out How