Hey there, savvy marketers and meme enthusiasts, let’s buckle up as we enter into the world of meme marketing, one of the most talked about digital marketing tactics!
It’s likely that you might be one of those aged between 13 to 35, or part of the 40% of millennials and Gen Z who send memes weekly. (1) But did you know that these seemingly simple images hold immense potential for marketing? Welcome to “The Ultimate Guide to Meme Marketing. Together” where we will explore various benefits of meme marketing and how to leverage it!
Table of Contents
What Exactly Are Memes?
In the digital marketing realm, memes are a lot more than just funny pictures with catchy phrases. They’re ideas, behaviors, or styles that people share within a culture. They often take the form of images overlaid with text that convey relatable situations, emotions, or humor.
Understanding the Psychology of Memes:
For meme marketing mastery, it’s essential to understand the psychology behind them. Over 60% of people are more likely to buy from a company that uses memes in their marketing. (2) But why? Memes work because they tap into shared experiences and emotions. They’re relatable, often highlighting common frustrations, joys, and observations. The reason why meme marketing is becoming one of the most important digital marketing trends is because memes create a sense of community among individuals who identify with the meme.
When using memes for marketing, aim to evoke emotions that align with your brand. Whether it’s humor, nostalgia, or empathy, your meme should resonate with your target audience. Remember, there are various pros and cons of memes but memes are all about authenticity – forcing a meme that doesn’t align with your brand’s personality can backfire.
Meme Formats: From Classic to Trending
Memes come in various formats, each with its own style and context. Understanding these formats is crucial for effective meme marketing.
- Classic Memes: These are timeless memes that continue to be relevant. Examples include the “Distracted Boyfriend” meme, featuring a man checking out another woman while his girlfriend looks on disapprovingly. This was used by Netflix to highlight how people are tempted by new TV shows and movies while ignoring what they were originally watching. This humorous connection resonated with Netflix users. Classic memes are a safe bet and can add a touch of familiarity to your marketing campaigns.
- Trending Memes: These are the ones you often see making the rounds on social media. They’re usually tied to current events, pop culture references, or viral sensations. Such memes can give your brand a real-time relevance boost. Remember the viral Indian meme called “Hello Fraands, Chai Peelo?” A popular shopping brand altered it to “Hello Fraands, Shopping Karlo.” But be careful – trends change quickly so you need to keep up with new trends.
- Custom Memes: These are memes created specifically for your brand. While they might not have the instant recognition of classics or trends, they can be tailored to fit your brand’s message perfectly. You will be amazed to know that Netflix has created an Instagram page called ‘Netflix is a joke’ which is entirely devoted to posting the meme content. They also seek the opinions of its customers to generate shareable memes.
Effective Usage of Memes in B2B Marketing:
If you think, meme marketing is only for B2C brands, it’s time to reconsider! Today, B2B brands are harnessing it too for humanizing their brand, increasing engagement, and most importantly for breaking through the noise.
Salesforce is one of the most notable examples that utilizes memes to communicate ideas related to growth, productivity, and innovation.
Since B2B audiences may have different expectations and sensitivities compared to consumer audiences, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Find the right balance between humor and professionalism.
- The memes should be relevant to your business/ industry.
- Stay away from anything sensitive or controversial.
- Memes should not oversimplify or trivialize your products/ services.
- Align your memes with your brand’s identity and messaging.
- Don’t use too much of them.
- This may sound overly cautious, but ensure that your meme content complies with industry/ legal regulations.
Integrating Memes into Your Marketing Strategy:
Now you must be wondering how memes aid marketing? Let’s quickly see how to integrate them into your marketing strategy effectively:
- Know Your Audience: As with any marketing endeavor or any kind of digital marketing plan, understanding your audience is the key. So, do research their preferences, humor, and interests to create memes that resonate.
- Align it with Your Brand Voice: Your memes should reflect your brand’s personality and values. If your brand is known for being witty, go for clever wordplay. If it’s more serious, consider memes that offer insightful commentary.
- Stay Relevant: Jump on trending memes only if they align with your brand and message. Being part of a trend for the sake of it can come across as inauthentic.
- Originality Counts: While using popular meme formats works well, putting a unique spin on them can make your brand stand out. Create original content that maintains the essence of the meme culture.
- Timing Is Everything: Memes have a short shelf life due to their association with current trends. Plan your meme campaigns carefully and be prepared to pivot if a meme becomes stale.
- Platform Proficiency: Different social media platforms have different meme cultures. What works on Reddit might not work on Instagram. Tailor your memes to fit the platform you’re using.
- Engage with Your Audience: Encourage user-generated content by asking your audience to create their memes related to your brand. This fosters engagement and builds a sense of community.
Considerate Approach to Meme Marketing: Respecting Emotions and Sensitivities:
Considering people’s emotions and sensitivities is paramount in any form of marketing, including meme marketing. While humor and relatability can be effective tools, they should never come at the expense of offending or hurting individuals or groups. Here are some meme marketing tips to keep in mind for being considerate of people’s emotions:
- Avoid Controversial Topics: Steer clear of topics that are sensitive or controversial, such as politics, religion, race, and any sensitive social issues. Using memes related to such topics can easily offend and alienate a portion of your audience.
- Respect Cultural Sensitivities: Different cultures have varying norms and sensitivities. What might be humorous or acceptable in one culture could be offensive in another. Do thorough research to ensure your memes are culturally appropriate and inclusive.
- Don’t Mock or Ridicule: Memes should never be used to mock or ridicule individuals, groups, or situations. Humor should uplift and entertain, not belittle or demean.
- Be Mindful of Tragedies: Avoid making light of tragic events, disasters, or human suffering. Attempting to capitalize on such events for marketing purposes can come across as insensitive and tasteless.
- Use Humor Carefully: Humor is subjective and can be easily misinterpreted. Test your meme content with a diverse group of individuals to gauge reactions and ensure it’s well-received.
- Respect Privacy and Consent: If you’re featuring individuals in your memes, ensure you have their consent. Don’t use personal images or information without permission.
- Monitor Comments and Feedback: The majority of your marketing challenges will resolve when you start paying attention to how your audience responds to your content. If you notice negative feedback or offense around your memes, be prepared to respond thoughtfully and make necessary adjustments.
When using meme marketing for brand promotion, think of it as using internet humor to show off your brand’s personality. You can use a simplified AI meme generator (3) for creating interesting memes.
When incorporating meme marketing into your social media strategy, just make sure that you craft memes that align with your brand’s tone and the preferences of your audience. This is because meme marketing isn’t just about making people laugh; it’s about making your brand relatable and shareable. If people start joining in and making their own memes about your brand, that’s a great sign you’re connecting with them. Lastly, monitor your audience’s responses, adapt to trends, and prioritize quality over quantity. With these content marketing tips in mind, we’re sure your meme marketing efforts will help you reach new heights!
Looking for digital marketing services in India to help you soar online? The content, creative and digital marketing experts at Channel Technologies are here to elevate your brand with a 360 degree approach!
On the surface, they're just funny images. But they're actually a way for people to express a whole range of emotions. And they're relatable and shareable too. According to The NYU Dispatch, traditional marketing graphics have 5% engagement while memes can yield 60% organic engagement with ten times higher reach.
Meme marketing is important because it helps brands connect with their target audience more personally and emotionally. By using humor and pop culture references, meme marketing creates a sense of relatability and inclusiveness. These factors foster a positive image of the brand and increase customer loyalty.
Meme marketing began in 1996 when people started to share witty short clips between them. Although, most of them were not aware of it until Facebook and Instagram came into existence, and people started interacting with each other through social media.
As per Section 54 (1) of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957, fair use concept is defined as 'fair dealing with any work. ' A meme shared on any social media platform is deemed as derivative work and only the owner of the copyright has the legal authority to create one or authorize others to reproduce their work.