Meme Marketing 101
Updated: Feb 1
Meme marketing is a unique form of digital content marketing that takes advantage of popular internet culture and trends. By creating clever, humorous, and sometimes controversial content, businesses can generate more interest in their products and services.
A short History of 'Memes'
But before we dive into meme marketing, and how you can leverage it for your business, let's define what we mean by "meme".
The term “meme” was first used in 1976 by biologist Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene. He defined it as a “unit of cultural transmission”, or something that spreads from one person to another and is then shared and adapted.
The first known internet meme was created in 1993 by Mike Godwin, an American lawyer and Internet activist. He created the “Godwin’s Law” meme, which stated that as an online debate goes on, the probability of a comparison being made to Hitler or Nazis increases.
Later, the first viral meme was the “Hamburger Helper” meme, which was created in 2002. It featured a hand with a hamburger-helper glove on it and quickly spread across the internet. In 2006, the first meme generator was created by a website called “Meme Generator”. This allowed users to easily create and share their own memes. Since the creation of the first meme generator, memes have only grown in popularity. Even today, the Meme Generator website is one of the most popular sites for creating quick memes according to pre-existing formats and seeing trending memes.
Today, memes are everywhere on the internet, from Reddit, Twitter Facebook to Instagram. People use memes to express their thoughts, feelings, and opinions in a humorous and often sarcastic way. Memes are also used to spread important messages and bring attention to important issues.
Memes have come a long way since their humble beginnings, and they’re only becoming more popular as time goes on. They’re a powerful tool for expressing ideas, spreading messages, and having a laugh at the same time.
Getting started with Meme Marketing
While meme marketing may seem like a relatively new concept, it has actually been around since the early days of the internet. Meme marketing is a great way to engage with your target audience and reach potential customers in a new and creative way. It’s also an effective way to go viral and can be used to promote your brand, services, and products. But, there are a few basics of meme marketing that you should be aware of before you get started.
First, it’s important to understand what makes a good meme. A successful meme should be relevant to your target audience, funny, and timely. It should also have the ability to be shared and go viral. You should also make sure that your memes are original and authentic. Depending on the situation, copying someone else’s meme or using one that has already gone viral can hurt your reputation. That isn't the same as however, using a pre-existing meme character or a template that is going viral as the basis for new memes, but blatantly stealing from other creators could potentially land you in hot water, especially if they notice (often happens) and complain.
Second, you need to find the right platform to share your meme. Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are the most popular platform for meme marketing, but you can also use other online outlets such as forums, blogs, and websites. Keep in mind that each platform has its own rules and regulations and you should always follow them. Forums like 4chan and Reddit have been especially popular for crypto and stocks, with projects like Chainlink utilising the /biz/ board on 4chan with astounding success in their meme marketing campaigns.
Finally, it’s important to track and measure your meme’s success. This will allow you to make adjustments to your strategy and continue to improve the results. Keep track of the number of shares and likes your meme receives, and also take note of any comments and feedback from your audience. Meme marketing can be an effective way to engage with your target audience and generate more interest in your product or service. If you get a lot of negative feedback, you need to make the tough judgement call of deleting the post, OR keeping it up, because in some cases having a tonne of responses and activity in the comments sections even if mostly negative can be later utilised to great effect. Such techniques of using controversy to generate attention should only be used with guidance of meme marketing experts and clearly thought about and planned in advance.
With the right strategy, you can create engaging content that will go viral and help you reach a larger audience.
Important Facts on Meme Marketing for 2023
Need more justification to jump into your next Meme Marketing campaign? Look no further with these important facts on Meme Marketing.
1. Meme marketing is a growing trend, with 73% of marketers using it to engage customers (Source: Sprout Social).
2. Memes are shared 1,200 times more than other forms of content, making them an effective marketing tool (Source: Sprout Social).
3. Over 75% of brands have used memes in their marketing campaigns (Source: CMO Council).
4. Memes are the most shared type of content, with an average of 3.2 shares per post (Source: Sprout Social).
5. Memes increase brand engagement by up to 10 times (Source: Wordstream).
6. Meme marketing has the potential to increase brand awareness by up to 44% (Source: Wordstream).
7. Over 60% of marketers say they have seen an increase in engagement when using meme marketing (Source: Adweek).
8. Over 77% of millennials are more likely to engage with brands through memes (Source: Adweek).
9. Memes are 6 times more likely to be shared than other forms of content (Source: Sprout Social).
Popular Questions on Meme Marketing:
We've had a lot of questions at the Meme Studio over the years on Meme Marketing and how it helps your business and next digital campaign, so we've compiled a list of the frequently asked questions with answers.
Q. What strategies should I use for successful meme marketing?
A. Keeping it simple, start with these steps: 1. Identify your audience, and research your 'meme market' according to the target customer. This means looking at existing trending and viral meme formats that are popular amongst your niche audience. Don't try and make memes that appeal to everyone. 2. Hire professionals and don't try stealing memes. Getting young experts who understand meme culture and paying expert meme artists is the key to winning in your meme marketing campaign. Simply stealing existing memes or running meme prize competitions won't work in the long term, and it's a major turn off for audiences. 3. After your content creation, have a distribution plan in place, including methods to be across multiple social media platforms and lining up influencers to share your content or setting up ad campaigns to boost the views of the memes.
Q. How can I increase meme-related engagement on my social media platforms?
A. If you are lacking engagement on memes, it's not always down to the meme itself though of course if the quality and audience is mismatched, this needs to be addressed. Other factors could include wrong time of posting (line up with your audiences peak timezone), wrong place (Reddit vs 4chan or Facebook vs Twitter as an example) and lack of shares and distribution (posting on a new account with no likes or followers is very difficult) so you might need the help of influencers or run an ad campaign to boost views.
Q. What are the best resources for creating effective memes?
A. You can use meme generators but unless you hire professional meme creators you are taking a large risk and could be wasting a lot of time. Talk to us at the Meme Studio today for a free consultation and we'll help you get your next campaign off the ground.
Q. How can I maintain brand consistency while using memes?
A. Putting your brand front and centre of memes is not as important as you might think. The most important priority when running a meme campaign is getting attention, and not placing your logo everywhere as this is a big turn-off for many. It's better to not compromise and focus on getting viral.
Q. How can I use memes to target my intended audience?
A. If you find your target audience's social media platforms/forums of choice and know what memes are popular already amongst that audience, you can design a meme campaign with precision and ease.
Q. How can I measure the effectiveness of my meme marketing campaigns?
A. Trying to find analytics tools and expensive software on metrics is a pointless exercise. The most important numbers to look at are simply going to be the likes, shares/retweets and total views, and you will certainly know those straight away. The more important and subjective aspects to measure are feedback which can be gathered from comments and inferred from other people when they share the meme.
Q. Is meme marketing an effective way to spread cryptocurrency awareness?
A. For Crypto, NFT projects, Metaverse and Gaming projects, memes and meme marketing is an absolutely essential part of the marketing mix. Especially if you plan to reach mass adoption. Memes and crypto are now so greatly intertwined we have projects like Dogecoin that reached top 10 market cap status as a pure 'meme coin'. Go figure!
Q. How can I leverage memes on various social media platforms?
A. If you're not starting off already with a large audience following you'll need to leverage your memes with gamification incentives (win a prize for sharing our meme etc), working with influencers to share your content or paying for advertising to boost the number of views (facebook boost as an example). Memes are leveraged best when the ideas go viral and the projects behind them don't try to push their product too hard within the memes. Brand recognition and conversion will always follow fame and influence. But if you're looking for a simple way to leverage the audience in the short-term, a click-through link is a great way harness the views into sales. Through video format (an animation for example) or as the placeholder image for an ad you can have a click-through link taking viewers to a webpage where they can later be directed to opt-in with contact details or up-sold into a product/service.
At The Meme Studio our agency team and artists can help you with your next meme marketing campaign with digital experience and expertise like no others!
Written by Radomir Kobryn-Coletti