Meme Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide

Memes are a common language used across social media platforms to communicate an attitude or message.

Written by
Monique Lorette
June 13, 2023

Memes are a common language used across social media platforms to communicate an attitude or message. The content is entertaining, funny, and easy to understand, often featuring an image, video, or GIF, with overlying text. Chances are, if you have spent some time scrolling through Facebook or browsing the internet, you have consumed a meme.

How To Use Memes in Marketing

But how can we use memes in marketing? Memes provide brands with an opportunity to engage and relate with their audience. When done correctly, they add value to a brand's personality through entertainment. There are many benefits to incorporating memes into your social media strategy; however, they must be developed carefully. Here are some advantages to meme marketing and tips to get started.

Advantages of Meme Marketing
Mcdonalds Meme

1.) Memes are engagingMarketing on social media often has low engagement because let's be honest, who wants their feed to be flooded with promotional and branded content? The goal of memes is to promote the brand indirectly. By posting memes that resonate with the target audience through humor, brands will see higher interaction or engagement through likes, comments, and brand recall. In addition, consumers are more likely to share memes than ads, which can help increase your media reach. McDonald's incorporates memes in its social media strategy to connect with the target audience. In addition, these memes are easy to distribute through platforms such as Instagram and Facebook and are a subtle way to increase brand awareness without appearing too "salesy."Image via Instagram

2.) Memes are cost-effective

There are so many memes on the internet because anyone can make one. Whereas Facebook and Google Ad campaigns can be costly, meme marketing is free. Various meme generators will do the job for you– all you have to do is add text to the pre-built templates. As a result, memes can be an integral, cost-effective part of your digital marketing strategy.

Boyfriend Meme

Meme Creator is one of many free online tools that generate memes. Browse through many existing memes or upload your own image and add your text. In addition to these meme generators, you can use any photo editing software to incorporate text into photos and videos.Image via Meme Creator

3.) Memes make your brand relatable

Memes bring personality to your brand and often utilize a casual tone. When executed correctly, memes will create a connection between the audience and your business. While consumers tend to overlook promotional content, memes leave a lasting impression. Rather than promoting sales, meme marketing relates to the consumer and makes the brand appear more human.

Bark Box Meme

Images via Instagram

A well-executed social media marketing strategy is BarkBox, a monthly subscription box for dogs. BarkBox utilizes its target audience's love for dogs and the simplicity of meme marketing to generate social content that relates to consumers. Their followers engage with the posts by liking, commenting, or sharing, resulting in more media presence and brand awareness at no cost.

Tips for Meme Marketing

1.) Understand your audience

Like all marketing strategies, meme marketing works best when personalized and delivered to the correct audience. To develop a relatable meme, you must know your target audience and cater to their interests and values. For example, a meme suited for a Gen Z audience might be understood differently by a Gen X audience. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the age of the audience, their cultural backgrounds, and other factors that affect how one might perceive a meme.

2.) Timing is key

Timeliness is a critical factor of meme marketing. Before creating a meme, you should understand the current patterns across various media platforms. By keeping up to date on the latest trends, challenges, and pop culture, you are more likely to produce a meme that will attract your target audience. In addition, while some memes have maintained popularity over the years, others' meanings change over time and can unintentionally offend the audience.

3.) Be creative and relatable

Everyone that uses social media has seen and probably shared a meme. In order to stand out, your meme has to be creative, original, and relatable. There are plenty of popular memes you can capitalize on, but you should understand what they imply and try to relate them to your brand indirectly. Your content should be thoughtful and easy to understand from an outside perspective.