Yash Chawlani

Meme Marketing – The Next Frontier of Digital Marketing

What are Memes?

Memes (pronounced as meem) are typically images but can be videos or just texts, humorous, relatable and versatile, copied and edited by users of the internet and spread rapidly online.

Memes started as a form of entertainment but rapidly grew as a mainstream comic expression for the Millennials and Gen Z crowds.

There are various well known Meme templates that are used by various people online to create their own version of the meme.

The ‘Floor is’

What makes memes special is their versatility and relatability. One meme template can be used to create several relatable funny scenarios. Here’s an example:

This characteristic of Memes was what led to the rise in its popularity and mainstream adoption. Every user could create their own version and upload it online. The funnier and more relatable memes always go viral on social media.

Millennials and Gen Z are better at expressing things using memes than they are with words. Memes have become a medium of communication and information exchange for these younger generations.

What makes Memes even more valuable as an instrument of the online world is that many templates are well established and are known by name.

These can be edited or imitated indefinitely, the only limitation being the creativity of users. Users recognise, enjoy and propagate memes making them go viral.

So what is Meme Marketing?

Meme marketing is an up and coming type of marketing that employs appropriate memes from a vast variety of meme templates available as a primary instrument for marketing activities.

Marketers can use different memes to introduce products, emphasise USPs, respond to customers, engage with other brands and for other ancillary marketing activities.

Meme Marketing may not seem relevant to most senior Marketers as they did not grow up in the age of the internet but Memes have proven to be an effective way of engaging with future generations.

Though unconventional even by the modern standards of digital marketing, Meme marketing is more efficient, effective and very well received by Millenials and Gen Zs who’ll soon become the majority of consumers in the market.

No one would’ve thought that a casual form of online entertainment would find commercial application in the field of marketing. It was a pretty unlikely union whose success left everyone surprised. Marketers were caught off guard as they never expected memes to turn into a viable and super effective marketing instrument.

But here we are now, Meme Marketing is slowly gaining momentum and it won’t be long until Meme Marketing becomes a major genre of Digital Marketing unlike at present where it’s considered a part of viral marketing.

Meme Marketing has already found a place in the Social Media Strategy of Major World Brands and soon will be present in the content strategy of all online businesses.

Why should you opt for Meme Marketing?

Let’s say Meme Marketing is to Digital Marketing what the discovery of the New World was to Europe. Not one European in the 18th Century could’ve imagined that a small settlement across the Atlantic will one day drive the World Economy. The same can be said about Meme Marketing!

Still not convinced? Here are some reasons why you should opt for Meme Marketing:

 

  1. A healthier way of Marketing – Here are some things to consider, the younger generations are tech savvy and we’re no longer restricted to Television or Radio programs over which we had little control. Millennials and Gen Zers do not like to be shown ads, be those relevant or not and they even have a powerful tool known as AdBlock to save them from advertisements.

Image Source – Twitter

Whatever ads that still make it past the AdBlock are greeted by cold scrolls of ignorance from the younger generations. That’s where Memes come to the rescue of your marketing operations. The younger people like, appreciate and look forward to seeing memes in their feed.

Millennials and Gen Zers spend a lot of time online every day and most of it is spent watching and sharing memes. If marketing activities are channeled via Memes, chances are, your business won’t need to opt for paid ads and your posts won’t be ignored by younger customers. This is one big reason why Meme Marketing should be a part of social media strategy going forward.

  1. Making Memes is easy – Making good, relatable memes requires three things: a good sense of humour, basic photo editing skills and thorough knowledge about memes. Most businesses already have people who come with those skills by default – young interns!Millennials or Gen Zers would go crazy happy if they were getting paid to do something they enjoy and excel at – making memes. Meme marketing will make your young marketing interns happy and we all know that happy interns always bring good returns to a business. So with meme marketing, it’s a win-win situation for both the business and the employees.Imagine a digital marketing strategy that isn’t just easy to formulate and execute but is also loved by the people executing and the target audience. All that is possible with Meme Marketing.

  2. Cost Effective and Efficient – Meme Marketing is the smarter way of doing Marketing the right way. As mentioned above, Meme templates are free of cost and motivating marketing interns to make memes is effortless. A business can save on a lot of already limited resources and reallocate those towards other business activities such as R&D and product development.

  3. Meme Templates are Free – Here’s another good point about Memes, they’re absolutely free to use by anybody, be it for entertainment or commercial purposes. None of the Meme templates are copyrighted so you won’t need to license anything or be worried about being sued.

Image Courtesy – Google Images

  1. Time saver and Simple – Drafting, preparing and implementing a traditional marketing campaign requires a lot of investment in terms of time, knowledge and human efforts. Making memes is relatively simple and quick. A single intern can make dozens of memes each day.The marketing team can then sit and review those before publishing them. Unlike traditional marketing content whose impacts are difficult to speculate accurately, speculating a meme’s impact is easy as we all know that if a meme is relatable and humorous, it will go viral and produce positive results.

  2. Enhances brand value – What makes a brand value in the market are its demand, a loyal customer base and positive public perception. The easiest way to achieve all of that is to create a sense of understanding and belongingness in your customers towards your brand. Meme marketing does this better than any other marketing approach.

    Being in sync with what the younger generations prefer and like and making those trends a part of your business processes will help a brand gain a lot in terms of brand value.

    Meme Marketing makes it possible to make your Digital Marketing Strategy bring in more value at no additional costs.

We’re sure the above points have gotten you to understand the relevance and future scope of Meme Marketing. The Marketing world is changing and we’d like to invite you to be among the first to hop onto the bandwagon of Meme Marketing.

How could you use Memes for Marketing?

Follow Trends – Monolith and McDonalds

A mysterious Metal Monolith was discovered in the desert in Utah, USA. The Internet went abuzz with the news of the Monolith. People were speculating about every aspect of the Monolith and Conspiracy Theorists and Memers had a field day.

Image Courtesy – DailySabah.com

McDonald’s sensed an opportunity and posted this Meme on their twitter.

Image Courtesy – Twitter

They edited the monolith to look like their DriveThru booth with a witty caption trying to make the most of the mystery surrounding the origins of the monolith. Long story short, the meme went viral and garnered plenty of positive impressions for McDonald’s.

Partner with Meme Celebrities – Old Spice featuring @dudewithsign

@dudewithsign is a sensation in the world of internet memes. He came to prominence a few years ago and went viral mainstream. His popularity did not go unnoticed and businesses tried to take a shot at Meme Marketing with his help.

Old spice partnered with @dudewithsign for their #TheManYouCouldSmellLike campaign. Here are the two memes from the campaign.

Image Courtesy – Instagram

@dudewithsign was holding a sign with Old Spice’s iconic tagline ‘I’m on a horse’ while the Old Spice model Isaiah Mustafa holding a sign with a marketing slogan written in @dudewithsign’s iconic style.

Tuning Customer Experiences into relatable Memes – McDonald’s and McFlurry

Image Courtesy – Twitter

We’ve all at one point tried to use the McFlurry spoon as a straw and McDonald’s knows about it. The clever marketers at McDonald’s used this quite exceptionally and turned it into a marketing opportunity.

Image Source – Twitter

Turning Customer Expectations into Memes –

Sometimes, the customers just don’t understand how things work. It can be tough to deal with their unrealistic expectations but turning these moments into marketing memes is absolutely ingenious.

Here’s an example of what many SEO Experts will relate to.

Image Courtesy – heymerlin_

Turning Customer Expectations into Memes –

Let’s face it, no one checks the second page of Google Search. We’ll either find what we want on the first page or we usually change the search parameters.

Using memes to reflect such behavioural aspects is a good way to reach out and form a bond with others in the industry and engage properly with the audience. This allows you to have a better outreach which always helps in garnering a good reputation for your brand in the industry and the markets.

Image Courtesy – ​​heymerlin_

Conclusion

Every generation has their own preferred manner of communication. The Baby Boomers and Generation Jones had radios and magazines, Generation X and Xennials had Landline and Televisions, Millennials and Generation Z have the Internet and Smartphones.

The older generations loved televisions and landlines and hence we had TV adverts and Telemarketing. The present generations have the internet and social media so the adverts need to be on these platforms and in the form they prefer.

Memes are this very form. The younger generations love them and propagate good memes themselves.All the businesses have to do is adapt to this new manner of marketing.

Meme Marketing is not a short trend, it is the next big step in Marketing. There are plenty of advantages if opting for Meme Marketing for your next Marketing Campaign. If you’re still not sure about how to do Meme Marketing, Merlin is here to help you with everything.

So what Memes will you start your marketing with?

Author –  Yash Chawlani

Yash Chawlani is a Freelance Content Marketing Strategist who is known by his personal brand Merlin. He specializes in SEO and Social Media and helps B2B and SaaS companies out there with his top-notch content strategies. In his spare time, you can either find him in the gym or on the football field. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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