What is Meme Marketing?
Memes have grown into the social media speech of today.
Memes are a great way to use humor in your content marketing. You only need to follow a few meme pages to stay up to date on what's going on around the world. From politics, to Bitcoin, entertainment, shareable content, trolling, opinions, news – scanning memes helps keep you hip to what's happening on the internet. But using memes comes with warning; Just as GIF humor needs to be tasteful, meme marketing should be classy – especially if you're using them in a business context.
Meme Marketing: Should You Take Advantage of this Trend?
In the context of culture, a meme is an object that can be imitated indefinitely. But when we talk about an online meme, we're talking about a funny image or video with a specific style and premise that becomes viral on the internet. The image's style and belief remain the same, but the copy changes.
Successful meme marketing distills an otherwise complex message into a simple idea on social media.
The three main components to a meme are:
- A nod to popular culture
- A lighthearted slant
Because memes are simple, people understand and relate to them better than other types of content. Plus, our brains are hardwired for visual content: Studies show that our brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than the written word (are you still even reading this?) Here's a photo so you can retain this better:
Memes provide a sarcastic reality check of our experiences. Most memes are honest, simple representations of reality (hilariously expressed!)
And Sometimes Memes Are Deep
Richard Dawkins conceived of memes as the cultural parallel to biological genes and considered them, in a manner similar to “selfish” genes, as being in control of their own reproduction and thus serving their own ends. Side note: I talked with world-renowned marketer Seth Godin about how memes are genes in Episode 40 of my podcast, the Art of Humanity).
We are perpetuating one meme or another (whether we realize it or not) with our thoughts, actions and words. Memes open the space for saying what's often unsaid.
But back to the gist of this article:
How Do You Use Memes in Your Marketing?
An effective marketer takes advantage of trends. And the “trend” of memes is not going away anytime soon. Memes are essential as they result in more impressions, page likes, website visitors, etc.
Meme Marketing works due to the widening gap between how brands want to speak to their customers and how people like to converse. For example, brands want to:
- Focus more on what they want to say and not on what/how the audience desire to hear.
- Cram advertising down people's throats under the pretense of ‘retargeting,' and people want to push the ‘SKIP ADS' button pronto.
- Stay professional. Yet customers want brands to communicate with them in the most informal way.
- To throw their money at influencers, TV Ads, Radio Ads. Yet people disregard all those platforms and devour Memes.
Why are Memes Popular with Marketers?
The upshot of the internet is that it makes us laugh and feel connected. Brands who use meme culture on social media increase the value of their marketing and create exciting stuff that people want to share. This strategy often leads to going viral (when done right).
What is the role of memes in your content strategy?
Meme marketing is an effective way to connect with your customers on social media; memes are witty reflections of the ordinary experiences all around you. But it's important to note that memes are typically only effective at the beginning of the sales funnel.
And finally, don't underestimate the importance of context when meme sharing.