By Taaran Chanana

In today’s internet-connected world, memes have become a decentralized source of cultural currency that can be found on nearly every social media platform. People often ignore ads whenever they can, but using humor and well-known media in marketing can grab the attention of hard-to-reach people. Memes are meant to foster interaction and bring people together through the dissemination of a universally understood message.

The world’s most successful companies, from Netflix to Gucci, use clever and creative memes to instantly engage their audiences and acquire new customers. Today’s online networks are perfect vehicles for spreading these ingrained cultural norms. When a message is well received, it can go viral and eventually reach all corners of the globe. The right kind of viral memes can be used to increase brand recognition, attract new customers, and even break into new markets.

Successful memes are able to encapsulate a unique moment, idea, or feeling into a simple graphic that can then be spread across the internet. However, it is essential to remember that memes should be used to engage your consumers and not to sell your products.

So, for starters, what exactly is a meme?

To explain the transmission of ideas through imitation and modification, evolutionary scientist Richard Dawkins coined the term “meme” in 1976. Over time, memes have spread widely and serve to bring people together through shared experience. of humor. Memes are items of online content that are widely shared on social networking sites; they usually take the form of a GIF or static graphic that mimics a trending idea, term, or phenomenon, and they sometimes contain text overlaid on or over the image. With the right kind of attention-grabbing memes, you can build brand loyalty, expand your customer base, and even break into other markets to achieve similar goals.

Modern online communities are ideal vehicles for spreading these inherited cultural traits. If a message is particularly well received, it can quickly spread around the world. The most popular memes are those that successfully capture a specific event, idea, or emotion in an easily shareable graphic. The best ones create a sense of camaraderie among the audience, because everyone likes to feel part of a joke. Additionally, various communities appropriate memes and modify them to make them their own in unique ways. Expert storytellers such as digital marketers, entrepreneurs, artists, and creative professionals can use meme marketing as a low-cost strategy to produce content that grabs attention and gets shared.

What is meme marketing?

Marketers of all stripes are increasingly turning to memes in an effort to foster a sense of community among their followers, deepen their connection with them, and cement their brands in their minds. Meme marketing is the practice of promoting a product or service through the distribution of memes. It’s a lightweight method of interacting with your consumers and expanding your brand’s reach. The virality and popularity of memes give marketers a significant advantage in online communication with their target audiences.

Target demographic: When creating your memes, it’s crucial to keep your target demographic in mind. Trying to please everyone will result in a lackluster response. Most people seem to believe that meme marketing will be successful exclusively for brands targeting the Millennial and Gen Z generations, who are the most active internet users. Memes, however, are not just for young people, according to statistics. Memes are shared by around 75% of people aged 13-36, with 55% doing so weekly and 30% doing so daily. Accordingly, it is essential that the content of memes be both intellectual and humorous.

Brand reminder: One of the main benefits of using memes is the increased reach that can be achieved. Most people can relate to memes, and when hashtags are used well, they can spread quickly and widely. Meme content, in particular, is much more shareable than ads and can therefore help you extend your brand reach. Memes have a significant impact on memory recall because people tend to retain information only if it is really important or particularly interesting.

Social Media Tracking: A good meme can inspire you to put your phone down and give it your full attention. Posts shared by friends or that make us laugh out loud are more likely to stick in our minds. Even if not all users who like your memes end up being customers, they will still think of your brand and check out what you have to offer. Plus, memes are a great way to increase your social media following as well as engagement (likes, shares, comments, and brand recall). If a service or product is sometimes linked to a meme, users may not care. Keeping a cool head is essential.

Why should you avoid using memes to sell products?

Consumers in the digital age tend to avoid advertising and promotional content, as evidenced by the dramatic drop in click-through rates and conversion rates in digital advertising. Marketers struggle to get their messages seen by customers. Previous studies have shown that consumers typically ignore ads by clicking or skipping them altogether. Although millennials are known to avoid commercial and sponsored material, 84% of them are influenced by user-generated content, such as memes posted on company websites. To promote a concept or message through the use of humor, sarcasm, and quiddity, an item may take the form of an internet meme and be delivered in a variety of ways (including animation, GIF, tag, image , text or video).

However, even though memes are all the rage right now and can help businesses reach their target audience, there are some caveats to keep in mind. First and foremost, don’t force it; focus instead on your authenticity. It’s important to strike a balance between looking cool and looking like you’re doing too much for your audience. Be sure to incorporate trending memes to increase your chances of going viral. Using memes that have peaked in popularity will make your brand look dated and uninformed, which can have a catastrophic effect on your business. Additionally, forced memes or direct product ad memes do not inspire tagging or sharing among audiences and are often ignored. There’s a fine line between being relevant to your business and pushing too hard. If your content doesn’t match your consumers’ existing knowledge and your brand’s expectations, you may even lose followers.

Memes are all about making your brand unforgettable so your audience remembers you, engages with your content, and ultimately keeps track of your social media. If you sell your product directly through this medium, you will never develop a sense of community among your target audience. Audiences simply won’t care enough to buy or engage with your brand because it won’t interest them, and your brand will be like any other advertisement. Therefore, it is important to use memes effectively.

The author is MD and co-founder of MemeChat. The opinions expressed are personal.

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