Nowadays on the internet, memes reign supreme.
New memes are created every day from celebrities’ quotes, politicians’ mistakes, or even idiotic catchphrases from viral videos.
Facebook averages roughly 1.2 billion active users per day, and Twitter has over 300 million active users per month. With the constant usage of these social media sites, new memes spread like wildfire, reaching more people than ever.
The popularity of memes has led many businesses to contemplate whether or not they should partake in meme marketing.
There are both pros and cons to meme marketing. Read on to learn more about them and to see if this type of marketing strategy could be the right fit for you.
What Exactly Is Meme Marketing?
Before we get into the marketing side of things, let’s first clearly define what a “meme” is.
The term “meme” was first coined in 1976 by the famous evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in his book, The Selfish Gene. Its origin is Greek, and it most simply means “to imitate.”
Since that time, though, the word “meme” has taken on a much larger, more expansive meaning. It essentially describes any type of idea, phrase, image, or other type of media that is shared online between people.
In a way, memes have become the common, universal language of the Internet. That is why so many businesses are interested in using memes to market their products: there is essentially a built-in audience that will recognize the marketing of your brand.
With meme marketing, relatively new businesses can use existing memes to advertise their products and gain customers.
Meanwhile, more well-known and well-established companies can create their own memes and try to make them go viral.
There are a lot of clear positives when it comes to using memes in your marketing strategy.
First and foremost, discovering and utilizing the right type of meme makes your brand become more identifiable. Potential customers will notice and appreciate the familiarity of the meme you are using. It’s a way to instantly relate to them.
Using memes can also help businesses connect with a younger audience if they’re struggling with reaching out to them. Memes project a fun, lighthearted image that’s appealing to young adults. Plus, they are instantly shareable on all social media platforms.
While social media has become more widely adopted by people of all ages, young consumers still use it the most out of any age group. Plus, they have used social media for a longer and more consistent period of time than older adults have.
With all of those positives, though, come some potential negatives when businesses try implementing memes into their marketing.
The first and most important thing that all businesses can do is know and understand the meme they want to post before they actually post it. Using a meme incorrectly can backfire and damage your brand’s reputation.
Another possible issue could be the timing of your posts.
Some memes have very long life spans that last for years. Other ones burn out in just a couple of weeks or even a few days.
With each meme you use, you are taking a risk.
Some posts could become evergreen marketing if the meme lasts long enough. But others could be huge misfires if you mistime the posting of the meme.
Lastly, be sure that the meme you are using is appropriate.
In the past, other organizations have faced harsh criticism from people who were offended by the meme they chose to use.
Whatever publicity you get from using an inappropriate meme won’t be worth the cost of destroying your reputation with loyal customers.
Do your research. Consult other professionals.
Make sure the meme is the right fit for your business and your customers before you use it.
So what’s the verdict? Should you include memes in your future marketing plan?
Honestly, it could be a different answer for each business.
But, overall, memes have proven to be an effective form of marketing when used responsibly. Plus, memes open your business up to the widest consumer base possible.
Keep yourself informed and updated on the newest trends. Understand that there are major benefits to utilizing memes correctly in your online marketing plan.
But also remember that you are taking a risk each time you jump on the meme bandwagon. Discretion is key. Pick the right ones.
Have you tried this type of marketing before? If so, what was your experience with it like?
Interested in exploring meme marketing or other types of marketing strategies? Contact us so we can help!