One day I sat in front of my computer sipping coffee and thinking about how to increase the audience of our educational investing game app with content. It was my job, I had a content plan that was working, but slowly. Too slow for my appetite. I wanted quick results, but I needed more ideas.
I browsed through financial news and market charts as I did every morning and then it hit me. I needed to make Batman. The Facebook graph just gave me that wonderful idea. So I did and that Batman became the most engaging post in our feed so far. Our audience loved it and shared it with their friends giving me what I needed: a quick increase in users.
Batman helped me, and I spent just 5 seconds getting him to work for me. It was so quick because it was a meme with a short headline “We know who Batman is now”.
Yes, a simple meme created in no time helped me to reach my goals instantly. Since then I've used meme marketing all the time depending on the client or case.
Make your own Batman
Working with memes as part of your content marketing or lead-generation strategies is common, but at the same time tricky. You need to know how to do it right not to go over the top or simply pour tons of bad jokes on the audience with no profit for both sides from it.
Let’s start with the basics of why and when you can use memes in business.
Learn the marketing benefits of memes
Simply put, meme marketing helps you to promote your brand and products with a sense of humor in a photo, GIF, or video formats.
The trick is to make memes relevant to your business, not just post some random funny things.
Why go for memes:
- Refreshing strategy for brands that don’t want to be conservative, but don’t know how to step out of their shells;
- Relatable to the audience on the very basic level of emotions. Generally, the audience prefers memes over complex infographics because of this exact reason;
- Easy to consume by anybody, because they are short, simple, and hard to forget;
- Memes have an ENORMOUS opportunity to go viral with little effort from your side;
- It’s a great field for your creativity to blossom;
- Memes increase audience engagement, especially on social networks where people tend to relax.
- Humor is the best way to make a first impression and attract new customers because your brand will be associated with positivity and coolness. The fact is, 74% of millennials send memes to make people smile;
- Memes are free and easy to create. Everybody on your team can do it;
- A meme can become proof of your company being human, not just some money-making machine. When people see the real you, can laugh with your company, and be supportive of how you occasionally laugh at yourself, you’re doing it right. Memes are a great addition to a build-in-public approach.
There is no formula for succeeding in meme marketing, but you need to have a great deal of knowledge about pop culture references and existing memes to hop in.
Find out how to create the ultimate meme
Creating a good meme for a brand takes a little more than a generally good sense of humor and knowledge of all the popular references. Here is when your marketing skills will come in handy.
Know your target audience
Starting marketing with memes is no different from a general marketing approach. You need to find out who your target audience is first to address them with a meme properly.
If you’re, for example, in the finance industry and you’re targeting Zoomers, you’ll need to know that they’re usually pretty financially savvy and tend to learn aggressively about investments online.
When you’ll research their habits and the people/podcasts they follow more, you’ll be able to find your meme strategy.
At the same time, if you target your audience with a meme that is not relatable to them, you’ll get no impact.
Engage instead of selling
Memes are not ads, direct selling using them won’t work. It’s better to find a balance between promotion and engagement. To do so, you must think about what makes your product or service unique, what connects you with your customers, and what you can joke about for them to relate.
Try to integrate your brand into the meme without speaking about it directly or selling bluntly. It will make the meme and your company way more memorable.
Use popular meme templates with a twist
Simply showing the popular meme on your page won’t work either. You need to find an original twist to the existing meme or create a new one.
Don’t go for overused memes, people won’t react great if they’re tired of the idea already. However, if the trend is new, try making your own version of the meme and uploading it online.
Make it work while it’s hot. The right time and topic are the key ingredients for memes to go viral.
Put out memes that work
As you know already, there is no formula to create a decent meme, but there are some unofficial rules to follow not to go cringy:
- Keep it short and easy to read;
- Use large fonts;
- Don’t try to change the meaning of the meme that is well-known; double-check with Google if you’re not sure;
- Avoid marketing language and CTA’s on the meme;
- Don’t be offensive, mean, or too aggressive;
- Adjust memes to your brand, not the other way around.
The last tip is crucial to understanding that not all memes are good for any business. While trying to stand out you still need to stick to your style, personality, and brand identity, or you won’t be promoting anything at all. So be selective and stay on brand.
A meme is a powerful tool to give your brand a fresh look and to attract new customers fast with an effort close to 0. To master meme marketing you need to be familiar with the current trends and understand how exactly your company can enrich online resources with humor.
Still, don’t forget to stick to the brand and use memes for the sake of achieving your company’s goals, not simply laughing with a general crowd online.
Such an approach will give you access to your own winning “Batman”.
Written by Alena Lysiakova.