Every single marketer knows that at its core, marketing is about telling a story. A well-crafted story can make even the most mundane product come alive, by connecting with its target audience and creating emotional connections that turn prospects into customers. The rise of the digital age, with its social media platforms and myriad channels for consumers to go to get news, information, and to otherwise be entertained has transformed the way we as marketers tell stories, making the process both more challenging and when done successfully, incredibly rewarding.
Once upon a time, it was enough to rely solely on traditional channels such as print ads, billboards, and TV commercials to communicate your brand message. Marketing has since evolved, as the rise and spread of digital media and shorter consumer attention spans have needed new and innovative approaches to storytelling.
ENTER THE MEME
A seemingly innocuous, often hilarious, and sometimes absurd image or video that can spread like wildfire across the internet.
Memes, while seemingly trivial, have revolutionized the way we communicate and engage with one another online. They’re bite-sized, easily digestible, and inherently shareable, making them the perfect vehicle for brand messaging in the digital age. Here are some tips to harness the power of memes and elevate your brand storytelling:
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
One of the most critical factors for meme success is knowing who you’re speaking to. A meme that resonates with millennials might not make sense to baby boomers, and vice versa. Before you start creating memes, spend some time researching your target demographic and understanding their preferences, interests, and sense of humor.
LEVERAGE POP CULTURE
Memes often tap into the zeitgeist, touching on current events, pop culture, and trending topics within a myriad of different circles. As a marketer, we use this to our advantage by creating memes that relate to your brand while also capitalizing on the buzz surrounding a particular event or trend. This will not only make your content more relatable but also increase the likelihood of it being shared widely. And being shared, especially on a social network is a primary part to building up your page’s algorithmic muscle to start going viral.
While it’s essential to customize your content to your audience, it’s equally important to stay true to your brand identity. Don’t force your brand into a meme that doesn’t fit or adopt a tone that feels disingenuous. Authenticity is key in the digital age, and consumers can smell insincerity a mile away.
MONITOR MEME TRENDS
Memes come and go seemingly daily, and what’s popular today most likely won’t be tomorrow. To stay relevant and keep your finger on the pulse of what’s trending, be sure to monitor popular meme channels, such as Reddit and Twitter, and follow influencers in your industry.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO BE BOLD
Memes are, by nature, cheeky, irreverent, and often polarizing. Embrace this spirit and don’t shy away from creating content that pushes the envelope. Taking a risk with your messaging might just pay off but remember to strike a balance between edgy and offensive.
TEST AND ITERATE
Like any marketing effort, it’s important to test the effectiveness of your meme-based campaigns. Analyze metrics such as engagement, shares, and conversions to see what’s working and what isn’t. Use this data to fine-tune your approach and continually improve your meme marketing game.
Modern storytelling in the marketing world requires creativity, adaptability, and a clear understanding of your audience. It’s amazing how much engagement a small kitten hanging from a branch with that ever-so-popular, “Hang in there!” inspo-quote can generate! And engagement not only tells you that your content is popular, it tells the platforms’ algorithm that you’re popular too!