Being in the online marketing business means staying on top of what’s popular, trendy, and taking over your Twitter feed. The digital world is constantly changing and creating new ways to share and spread messages. So if you haven’t already been exposed to memes, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know in this post. Why? Because memes are great marketing tools that can quickly captivate your audience and deliver your message in a humorous manner.
You might be wondering, what is a meme?
A meme is simply a concept, behavior, or idea that spreads, usually via the Internet. Memes are typically visual in form, like a picture or video. However, memes can also be links, hashtags, a simple word or phrase (e.g. an intentional misspelling), or even an entire website. Successful memes spread like wildfire, making them perfect for marketing. Some of the more popular ones are LOLcats, Randall, The Honey Badger Animal Narrator, and Old Spice Man.
If you’re still not sure of what we’re referring to, take a look at some of the most popular memes of the last 15 years.
7 Reasons Why Memes Are Great Marketing Tools
Memes are often exploited, or reused, in marketing to convey a company’s message. A fun twist on a meme can be extremely powerful way to convey a message.
- They’re popular and the good ones spread quickly. Your ad spreads without any effort on your part.
- Memes give you a chance to convey a short message, with a powerful meaning. Not only do memes transmit your call-to-action, but they display your understanding of the digital world and that you want to entertain your audience, not just sell your product. This can validate your business to your potential customers.
- They’ve already gone viral. Rather than creating something brand new and crossing your fingers that it’ll be popular, memes have already proven that they can go viral. Rather than coming up with your own idea, you can simply reuse one with your own wording. It’s almost guaranteed to be a hit!
- They’re visual. Visual imagery is taking over the Internet because people don’t want to take the time to read through pages and pages of text. Memes are a short and sweet visual depiction of your message, that take little time to digest.
- They generate traffic and links. Since they’re easily shared on social media, memes can generate numerous inbound links and traffic to your website.
- They’re quick and easy to create. No more late-nights spent trying to think of your new marketing message. With Photoshop, or even Microsoft Paint, you can create a meme in minutes.
- They’re funny! As long as your audience is laughing with you, not at you, then you’ve done a good job. What could be a better way to gauge a successful ad than if it makes your audience laugh?
Take a look at what some of these companies have done with memes:
- Virgin Media used I Hate Sandcastles/Success Kid.
- Hipchat took advantage of Y U No Guy to make a hilarious billboard.
- Wonderful Pistachio used the Honey Badger meme for one of their commercials:
Before You Jump In, Be Sure To Ask: Should My Business Use Memes?
That depends. If you audience is not Internet savvy, this might not be the best marketing option for your business. If no one understands the meme you’re making, they’ll probably just look at you weirdly. Should you choose to make a meme, pick the proper format for your audience. Your consumers might be too busy to watch a whole video, so maybe a graphic posted via Facebook or an image on your website would be better. Lastly, be sure to use memes when they’re trending. All memes have a tipping point between when they’re spreading and when they’re old news. It’s best to use them before they get old, and before many people have exploited them for their own marketing campaigns.
Now that you’re all caught up on memes, it’s time to try one out for yourself! Memes can be terrific tools for conveying a call-to-action or talking about your company. Easily sharable, already popular, and guaranteed to make your audience laugh – what’s not to like? If you have an audience that’s on top of Internet culture, be sure to include a meme in your next marketing campaign.