Should you be using memes in your marketing?

Posted 16.03.2022

By Beth Oakes

Let’s face it, we all love a meme. (Pronounced “meem” not “me me”) 

Toy Story Meme

Whether it’s to send to your colleague in your slack channel during a meeting or to drop in the group chat at a perfect time, they’re easily the best thing to come out of the internet in the last 10 years. Yep, I said what I said. 

But what’s the best way to use memes in your marketing? How do you know which meme to use out of the hundreds that are swamping the internet?  Let’s take a look. 

Arrive on time to the party! 

Memes have an expiry date of days, jumping on the meme when it’s trending is the best way to be relevant. This might present a problem if your business is particularly bureaucratic, your creatives will need to be able to come up with the copy and post it within hours. Posting too late can look a little uncool and try hard to your ideal target audience and may reflect that your brand is also a little uncool. 

Understand the meme

This is so important. If you can’t explain the meme, don’t use it! It’s also applicable to hashtags, if you want to see a brand doing it badly take a look below at DiGiorno Pizza that didn’t understand a hashtag fully and ended up advertising their pizza in a hashtag meant to be used for survivors of domestic abuse. 

Tweet from DiGiorno Pizza

If you’re unsure if your brand is relevant to the meme or it feels like you’re trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, it’s probably not the time for you to be jumping on the trend. 

But don’t worry, the magic of the internet means there’ll be another one along in a minute! 

Understand your audience

Chances are if you’re marketing to gen-z or millennials with memes, they’ll get the joke. However, if you’re marketing towards an older audience, it might be the first time they see the meme and it could elicit confusion rather than laughter. And as everyone knows, if you have to explain the joke.. It’s probably not that funny!

Your memes aren’t adverts

Consider memes an inside joke between you and your audience. They’re a fantastic opportunity to narrow down who your brand is and show a bit of brand personality. 

Be original and creative

The internet moves fast, so if you’re struggling to keep up with the pace it’s worth bearing in mind that most copy and images can become their own meme with a bit of thought of humour. 

Be spontaneous

A meme is a joke, a wisecrack and just a moment in time. Spending hours crafting the perfect meme will likely result in your meme coming across as stale and forced. Memes shouldn’t be scheduled in, but appear spontaneously in your content calendar when inspiration strikes! 

Leonardo DiCaprio raising a glass

 

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