Marketing with memes is an entertaining way to enhance visual content, with exception for some professional and conservative brands.

Using a meme is a great way for a business to take advantage of trending content at a low-cost with the least effort, and without plagiarism or copyright issues.

However, there are several things to consider before you start sharing all those fun memes.

What exactly is a meme

You’ve probably seen some clever quotes on a photo of a familiar face if you are on any social media platform or reading a blog or a newsletter. That’s a meme.

By definition according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a meme is

  1. “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.”
  2. “an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or genre of items that is spread widely online especially through social media.”

The latter definition is what we are talking about in marketing. Now that you know what a meme is, read on for tips to consider using a meme or more.

Using memes in your marketing

First, you want to think of whether to create your own meme or use an existing meme.

When content is relatable, your audience will often tag friends in comments instead of just clicking like or scrolling past your post.

Adding your brand to an existing meme could make that engagement quicker and easier. That is very necessary given the short life cycle of some memes.

On the other hand, designing your own meme could mean risking lack of recognition. Yet, it could show you desire a better connection to your target market.

Create a meme that adds value

To create a meme, simply choose an image, GIF or video then write a witty, clever or funny caption to describe the content.

Before you create a meme, here are few things to consider for your successful marketing efforts through the use of memes:

  • what things are truly of interest to your audience,
  • select the most popular meme at the right time,
  • think of ways to align with your branding, and
  • find balance between promotion and engagement.

There are plenty of online meme generators, so no need to worry about graphic design skills. Here are a few to consider:

Once you have created a meme, share it on social media or in a blog with inbound links to increase traffic on your website. You can even consider using a meme in printed materials.

Avoid over using of memes

Too much of a fun thing can be tricky. Using the same type of content such as quotes over and over in marketing can create the opposite results to what you want to achieve, which is engagement. Your audience may respond at first, but their interest would drop off over time.

So as a note of caution, be careful to

  • use memes sparingly; you’ll appear desperate for attention if you use too many.
  • avoid call-to-action textg., “buy” or “subscribe”; overly promotional content can put off your audience.
  • check for permission; re-sharing from some social media platforms e.g., Instagram could put your account at risk of terms violation.
  • gauge audience reactions; the intention, tone and timing need to align to avoid being offensive.

Conclusion: Meme Marketing Works

The use of memes is growing more popular to engage an audience. As posts with images always perform better, memes can keep your brand relevant to cultural trends. So act quickly to not miss each opportunity.

Hint: Holidays are the perfect time to use a meme or two in your marketing.

This article is a revised version from the original article “To Meme or Not to Meme” published in our November 2019 e-newsletter.

Meme Sources for Feature Image: