Using Memes In Your Digital Marketing

black man laughing at phone

Using Memes In Your Digital Marketing

Memes have become such a vital part of our digital lives that brands are trying to capitalise on their potential as a tool to reach audiences. In this article we’re going to look at the pros and cons of using them in your digital marketing strategy.

Across industries, more marketers are using memes to build community, relate to their audience and stick in their followers’ memories. While most marketers understand the potential of memes, using them while maintaining your brand integrity can be tricky.  

Because memes can be offensive or have multiple conflicting connotations, marketers that experiment with meme marketing must tread carefully. You’ll need to brush up on the latest memes and how they are being used. The aim is to appear genuine and to set your firm apart from generic commercial competition. Posting some ‘edgier’ material shows that your brand isn’t too ‘corporate’ but going too far could be a PR disaster.  

The Pros Of Using Memes In Digital Marketing

The main goal of employing memes in digital marketing is to get peoples’ attention. Memes are short-form communication, so they don’t have to keep viewers’ attention for very long to get their message across. Ideally, your target audience will already be familiar with the meme you are using. This makes it easier for you to communicate an idea quickly.  

Marketing with comedy and familiar media can help to engage hard-to-reach consumers at a time when many consumers avoid advertisements whenever possible. Meme marketing is also a low-cost option, as you do not need to spend time and resources creating original images and video.  

Because the target audience for memes is typically young people, businesses with a young target audience will benefit from memes more. Older audiences resonate with memes too, but often not the same memes. Your target audience will help you choose which memes to use.  

Because memes already exist, and many have templates that can be easily edited, there is less of a need to create new visual content for your social media marketing strategy.  

By definition, memes are supposed to be shared. Ideally the content will be reposted and re-memed across the internet to reach an even wider audience. When people send the meme to a friend, they express allegiance to and advocate for your brand.  

The Cons Of Using Memes In Digital Marketing

Memes are instantly recognisable and have strong connotations for audiences. Their relevance is, however, fleeting and they have a short shelf life. Because new memes are created every day, older memes quickly fall out of fashion.  

Because memes are often related to current events, and there is a risk that over time, the humour may not be received as intended. They can be easily misinterpreted by users who are not familiar with the context of the meme. This could have a negative impact on your brand rather than a positive one. 

There are also some industries for which meme-based marketing is probably not suitable. Medical professionals, lawyers, etc are probably best-off avoiding memes and humour altogether in their marketing.  

How To Use Memes Effectively In Your Digital Marketing  

  • Memes can be solid opener to get peoples’ attention, but they should be combined with more in-depth marketing content. No one will buy a product just because they liked a meme.
  • You don’t need amazing Photoshop skills, or even any extra software to make your own memes. There are several meme generator sites like imgflip which you can use to make memes from existing templates.
  • Think carefully about the age and interests of your target audience when choosing which memes to use. Make sure memes are linked to a topic the audience is likely to recognise or identify with, like a popular television show they would be familiar with.
  • Popular memes exist on almost all social media channels, but different memes will resonate with different audiences. Some of the funniest memes on Twitter would be incomprehensible to the average Facebook user.
  • Some memes can be incredibly layered and self-referential, requiring audiences to unpack several layers of irony to understand them. These probably aren’t the right ones to use for your marketing unless you are sure your audience will get them. In general, you should keep your memes simple. The purpose of a meme is to convey a message fast and efficiently, which necessitates your meme be simple to understand for your target audience.
  • Keep an eye on how your audience reacts to your memes. If a meme receives a lot of likes and shares, make more memes along the same vein. If the response is bad, consider why that particular meme did not resonate with your audience. Consider different topics/subjects for your next meme.
  • Make sure that you fully understand the memes you are using. Some memes have connotations that you may not be aware of. Have a team member who is an active social media user and who understands and enjoys memes be the one to choose or make memes for you.
  • If there is no one in your team that suited to the task, it’s time to call in a professional digital marketing company like Carden Digital. Our social media management services can help with every aspect of creating a social media marketing plan. 

It seems like memes are here to stay, whether you’re a fan of them or not. Ignoring them is just handing an advantage to your competitors. If you want to know what else you could use in your digital marketing strategy, Carden Digital are ready to help. Speak to our team today to learn more.

Dave King

Dave King

Dave King is the Co-Founder and Director of Carden Digital and the wider Carden IT Group. Dave’s background is in IT services, but he has experience across the online space. His love of all things digital lead him to create a digital marketing branch of the business, with a focus on paid advertising, SEO, web development, social media, graphic design and content writing.