~ Quoted by Steve Martin and adopted as a vision by the Memetics industry.
It is inevitable to get caught by a wave of memes on this new social media era where visual content is flowing uncontrollably. Memes look complex, but with time the more memes you consume the more you understand them.
Just like the above one, memes are used to reflect real-life events in a visual way. Soon after the boom of social media, people spotted a huge potential in converting them commercially by running pages and groups posting dozens of memes on various life events per day. Guess what they got called soon — MEMERS. Memers are millennials who emerged as a new skill segment in digital marketing with ability to connect users with one low-quality funny image- a meme.
Memesters (A person who success in the craft of meme making.) have their own brains that reflect diverse perspectives and their hearts pumping out loud with humour and sarcasm, making everyone think at least twice before they befriend them.
HOW ARE COMPANIES USING MEME MARKETING FOR GROWTH HACKING?
When we come across the word ‘meme’, we often bemuse it or associate it with fun and comic, however, in reality, it is not always the case. The comic is definitely one of the genres of memes and fun is one of the major by-products of the meme industry, but it is not the only one so far and the purpose is not always entertainment.
The field of digital marketing was going quite smooth before the inception of the meme as one of the tools for creating awareness. Digital marketing and meme had to cross paths at some stage because their intentions and purpose somewhere aligned with each other and content was a major connecting point. Meme industry had to seek the help of digital platforms to showcase its talent to the world and this undoubtedly worked for both. Therefore, when looked into the inception story, any form of digital content is associated with digital marketing and soon memes turned out to be the major content force of the decade. Memes are still not considered into the active marketing department but are passive chunks of content that are released out in the market, with a specific purpose and goal. The lifespan of memes is dependent on their quality and simplicity.
Few examples of how companies are using them:
BRAND INTEGRATION INTO MEME INITIATION
There are brands who have recognised the importance of meme marketing and are adopting it gradually. The brands use memes for showcasing the good qualities of their products as well as presenting the comparison between competitors. This is done in a sarcastic but smart way without harming the brand image of the competitor in front of the customers.
For instance, Pepsi and Coca-Cola, the two brands which are on on-going debate sessions and constantly outgrow profits against each other, come up with innovative meme campaigns. Both the brands have common colours in their logo schemes and this is the major tool of fun and sarcasm for the brands to use against each other. Both the brands launch the meme campaigns simultaneously every quarter and compete for higher attention from the user base.
The above first two memes show how Pepsi, as a brand, has an employee base who are fond of Coke. This is created by Coca-Cola to showcase (last pic) the preference of coke over Pepsi. The meme is created in a light way which does not affect the brand image of Pepsi and just shows a healthy competition between the two.
Memes are used as a medium to highlight several critical issues of the society in a subtle and easy-going way, that creates an impact on the minds of the readers as well as keep the mood waves in an unattended flowing way.
Again, like us, they often make the mistake of choosing the wrong path and end up not trusting the power of logic, which on the later stage, is learned by a heavy heart. They are surely concise and to the point in their way but never direct and straight. Metaphors are their best friends and ignore simile in the most impressive way. They are supposed to be this way and they are!
PROS for choosing meme marketing
Meme marketing is not the direct way of marketing and this is the reason the advantages are not seen directly on papers. However, this does have a huge impact on the brand in the long run if done correctly, but a direct lead generation cannot be expected.
For brands at present, meme marketing would work as a trump card for conquering competitive edge over other brands as the field is still emerging in the market. Another major point to note on, is no copyright and language issues are associated with meme creation and circulation, as it is considered as a comic medium to represent reality. The target audience can be reached easily if innovation and creativity are taken care of. The reaction and viral rate of the meme are enough to track the progress of the meme in the market and no extra cost is involved for tracking purpose.
CONS OF SELECTING A ROAD LESS TRAVELLED
The road is less travelled because it involves risk and insecurities. The road of memes is risky at a point because a single misinterpretation can break the image of the brand in the eyes of the audience. The results are not claimable as well as trackable to get a hold on in case of legal issues, which can continue the loss for a longer time. Another disadvantage associated is that the single product does not serve the entire target audience. Multiple memes are to be created for different target groups to achieve the best results. Thus, increasing the invention cost highly.
The above meme is a clear indication to the work of the National Security Agency, questioning their work, duties and integrity. This can break the trust of the countrymen for the agency and the agency has to suffer through serious degradation of brand image. The fun can take a serious turn at times and can create huge complications.
The above meme showcases how one single mistake of pronunciation by the user can take a toll on the brand image of Pepsi. The vulgar meaning of Bepis is associated with the brand and memes are created in return of it. This one meme went viral and created a significant impact on the brand image of Pepsi.
If you have noticed, memes are never high-quality designer graphics but high humour which can connect with the reader. That makes meme creation the easiest job to do using available online tools.
How to create memes online?
There is a list of tools available which are free and paid to create memes. You can even browse the templates on their websites too.
The ones I frequently use with templates are:
If you want to create a meme entirely from scratch you can use Canva for online and Adobe Photoshop for offline.