Internet memes have taken the web by storm. You can find countless memes spreading virally from one website to another. Originally, the term meme was conceived in 1976 by Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and ethologist. In normal usage, it refers to any idea, behavior, or style that circulates from person to person in a culture. Today, the Internet meme is one of the most popular means of viral dissemination of information.
Memes can begin with an image, a video, or even a simple catchphrase that easily grabs the attention of people. Most memes are funny photos that seize the collective Internet consciousness and spread like wildfire. They can be images of celebrities, national figures, comedians, popular TV show/movie characters, or even ordinary persons. As they pass on through millions of online surfers, they change captions, lines, and faces to fit different kinds of topics and situations.
MAKING USE OF MEMES TO MARKET YOUR OWN BUSINESS
Due to the widespread popularity of memes, numerous companies, both large and small, have sought to take advantage of this Internet craze. Can you also possibly take advantage of Internet memes for the benefit of your small business? Definitely, yes. Follow the eight crucial steps below to guide you in creating an effective meme that appeals to your target customers.
1. DEFINE CLEARLY WHO MAKES UP YOUR TARGET MARKET.
The first step is having a clear understanding of your customers and prospects. Sort through memes, and choose those that would relate to your audience. Your meme should ultimately be compelling yet socially friendly. It’s not enough to target a specific demographic. You need to study your audience, determine what they find useful, and give them something that they will see as interesting. Ask yourself: Why should they share your content? If they find it witty and unique, there’s a high chance that your content will get shared to a wider audience. Take a good look at your target market. Know that memes begin with individual persons who decide to share the content with others; thus, aim for them.
2. CHOOSE THE BEST PHOTO/VIDEO/CATCHPHRASE/IDEA THAT SUMS UP YOUR BRAND.
In this step, you have to decide whether you’d want to utilize existing memes or come up with your own unique idea. The former is usually easier since there are numerous new and popular memes that pop up in every corner of the web. If you opt to use existing Internet memes, go for those that are at their tipping point. The most successful occurrences of using memes for marketing are when they start to spread quickly and yet only a few marketers have grabbed them. Since memes can get old after some time, it’s important to take advantage of them as early as possible. Keep yourself updated of the most recent and trending Internet memes by browsing sites such as Reddit and StumbleUpon, which are popular spots to find new memes before they enter mainstream social media sites such as Facebook.
On the other hand, if you want to make your very own meme, then you’ll need to generate a creative, witty, memorable, relatable, and sharable idea. There’s no definite guarantee that your meme marketing campaign will be successful and go viral, but if you craft a fun and engaging meme, then there’s a good chance of making it appeal to your target audience.
3. UNDERSTAND THE MEME.
Before sharing your content, be sure that you’re fully knowledgeable of what exactly the meme means and implies. Ensure that the main idea behind the meme isn’t something that your audience may find offensive or confusing. It should be witty yet clear. Once your customers feel a connection to the meme, they will surely appreciate it and will want to spread it to their friends.
4. ENSURE THAT IT’S RELATABLE TO YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE.
Naturally, it should be completely related to your brand or industry. However, be careful of the message of your meme. What you want is for people to find the content interesting and sharable, not something that blandly promotes your product/service. Your goal is to perpetuate the idea and not just have thousands of people see your content. Most successful marketing memes are cleverly incorporated with a company’s brand.
5. FOCUS ON THE SOLUTION YOUR BRAND PROVIDES.
What is the particular problem that your brand solves? You may concentrate on this to come up with an entertaining idea that will provide value to your customers and compel them to check what you have to offer.
6. FOLLOW YOUR CONTENT.
Once you’ve created and shared your meme, follow it as it changes. Find out the response and reaction of your audience, be it good or bad. This feedback is important in helping you hone your marketing skills in using Internet memes.
7. MAKE SURE THAT YOUR OUTLETS ARE SHAREABLE.
Generating a solid idea is crucial to your marketing success, but where you put your content is equally important. Thus, be sure to place your content in niche sites such as Reddit and major social networking sites such as your Facebook company fan page and official Twitter account. This way, you can give people the ability to share the content and modify it along the way. Even if your meme undergoes certain changes as it gets passed from person to person, the use of it will still serve to promote your brand.
8. TWEAK YOUR CONTENT AS TIME GOES BY.
Inevitably, your meme will fade away over time. Memes come and go, and only time will tell how long your content will stay in the limelight. It’s up to you to keep the hype going by tweaking your content and adding fresh ideas to make it more appealing.
Coming up with an engaging meme can be tough, but it’s one of the most valuable online tools that you can add to your marketing techniques. Just follow the eight useful tips above, and you’ll be on your way to Internet meme marketing success.