If you’ve been online at all within the past five years, you’ve probably seen one of the most popular pieces of content: the meme. A meme shows a humorous image with bolded, capitalized text and is virally shared across social networking platforms. They are meant to be funny or satirical and often reference something current in popular culture.
Memes are a great way to engage with customers, but as a business, you have to walk a fine line. How can your marketing use memes effectively? Today, we’re going to discuss some ideas to get started.
Identify your audience.
The first step in adding memes to your marketing strategy is deciding whether or not they have a place in your business. If your customer base isn’t adept in the internet world, adding memes into your marketing strategy may go completely over their heads and end up having a negative impact. However, if your consumer targets are internet-savvy, then your meme marketing may resonate. The last thing you want is to isolate potential customers, so be careful in considering who you want to reach in your marketing strategy.
Outline your goals.
Next, define what you want to achieve by using marketing memes. Maybe you want to draw more social media users to follow your business on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Maybe you want to attract users from social media to your website. Also, consider the type of humor you want associated with your business. If you’re trying to reach a younger generation, pick a goofier, more surreal meme. Or if you’re trying to change up your image, choose a meme aligned with your rebranding goals.
Be careful with humor.
The most important thing when using memes—be careful with humor. Used correctly, humor can boost your brand and engage more customers. Used incorrectly, humor can confuse and even hurt your business. Before doing anything with memes, seriously ask yourself: Are you really that funny? Memes are often sarcastic or satirical, and produce immediate reactions—both good and bad. Comedy proves one of the best ways for consumers to let their guards down with your business, but can sometimes come off as inappropriate or insensitive.
Make your own meme.
You can consider creating your own memes. First, find a funny image of an employee, product or service. Next, add text to the top and/or bottom of the image. Several online sites allow you to make memes for free, but will add their own watermark to the bottom of the image. If your business has a designer or Photoshop available, you can also make your own meme without a watermark. Meme Generator, Imgflip and Make A Meme are all websites where you can create your own memes.
Or go for memejacking.
If your business doesn’t want to spend the time making your own meme, you can also try memejacking. Memejacking is when brands use previously created memes within their own marketing strategy. This often means taking a well-known image and adding your own twist on the caption. Popular images are not copyrighted, so don’t worry about grabbing an image from online and adding your own text.
Using a well-recognized meme increases your chances of grabbing viewers’ attention and is a safe use of humor. Most importantly, whether you make your own meme or jack a popular one, make sure your meme is easy to consume, relates to your audience and can be shared.
If your small business wants to get in on current marketing trends, try adding in a few memes to spice things up and show your humorous side. When used appropriately, memes add a fun new layer to your marketing strategy and help consumers relate and engage better with your brand. Give them a try, and see the impact on your marketing efforts.