Marketing with Memes Part 04: Best Practices
This post is the fourth in our ongoing series about using memes in content marketing strategies. With the average consumer spending a minimum of an hour and a half on social media every day, memes serve as an excellent source of outreach and engagement. When used appropriately, that is.
We’ve already discussed the ways this strategy can go wrong, so now, let’s get down to brass tacks.
How can you integrate memes into your marketing campaign—successfully?
1. Know Your Audience
Today’s memes tend to find their greatest popularity with millennial and Gen Z audiences. If your business targets B2B peers or older consumers, this may not be the right approach for your content marketing campaign. Where younger audiences find these images relatable and funny, older generations will find them unprofessional and confusing.
Remember also that your content should apply to the products you’re selling. Think about the SparkNotes campaign mentioned in the second post of this series. SparkNotes’ social media team actively utilizes Twitter to share literary-adjacent memes with its followers. Because SparkNotes’ product – literary guides – is tailored toward students, this is almost guaranteed to garner positive reactions.
2. Use the Frame to Build Your Own Work
Likewise, the aforementioned SparkNotes campaign uses the framework of existing memes to create original content. For example, consider the “Me Explaining To My Mom” meme. To make this meme original, SparkNotes’ media team re-captioned the macro image in reference to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Darcy: “You must
allow me to tell you
how ardently I admire
and love you.” Elizabeth: pic.twitter.com/QHFojA9Ot4
— SparkNotes (@SparkNotes) June 13, 2019
3. Stay Diligent and Aware
Part three of this series highlighted a business’ need to remain socially aware when utilizing memes. The last thing you want to do is alienate the audience you were looking to woo by using a meme that’s been misappropriated.
Do your research ahead of time on platforms such as Tumblr, Reddit, and Twitter. Make sure that before you use a meme, the audience you’re looking to reach is a) familiar with the trend, and b) utilizing the meme to punch up as opposed to punching down.
4. Match Memes to Your Tone
Memes are inherent – to a discerning audience – funny. If you want your online presence to be interpreted in this way, then feel free to use memes to your heart’s content.
However, don’t try to utilize memes on social media if you’re not creating content that matches the same humor levels. Make sure, as you start adding unique content to existing meme formats, that you’re prepared to commit to this tone.
5. Don’t Overuse the Angle
While memes can bring people to your platform, content should always serve as the core of your marketing campaigns. Think of it this way: if the content is a dinner entrée, then memes are appetizers. You can use their humor and internet credibility to gather consumer leads. Once you have consumers’ attention, though, it’s time to hone in on what they’re really interested in: your business.
Memes offer your business a creative and relevant way to connect with specific demographics. They also represent a complicated internet culture, and you’ll need to do your research to ensure that you’re using them properly. Once you have, though, your campaigns will connect with consumers on a level that more straightforward ads don’t.
Image attribution: escapejaja – stock.adobe.com