Memes made their debut in the early 2000’s and were quickly spread with the rising popularity of Facebook, which allowed people to easily share them with their social networks. Once memes started to gain traction, free meme generators began to pop up, making it easy for anyone to create a meme without any sort of photo editing software or design skillset required. The rest was history. Now businesses make memes to market their products, gain brand awareness, and drive traffic to their sites.
So why do we love memes so much and what can your business learn from their widespread popularity? There are 3 very important takeaways:
Memes are decidedly short! They consist of a recognizable image and a short bit of text – that’s it! Because they aren’t lengthy, there’s no room for fluff or filler. Your communications should follow the same pattern of eliminating anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. Keep your content short and sweet and people will be more likely to read it, understand it, and share it.
Memes tend to also plug into our existing knowledge of something by using an image of a celebrity or a well-known fictional character. By incorporating something that many people are already familiar with, it creates an instant “aha!” moment that people can relate to and appreciate.
The lesson you can learn here is that by using what people already know, you can build on their schema and educate them about why you do it better. This is the key to winning them over as followers and customers.
The whole point of a meme is to create something funny – something that people will like. If you like it, you’ll share it and it may go viral. This is the ultimate win for a meme creator and should be your goal as a marketer as well. Creating likeable content can make people like your company as a whole – establishing your company as trustworthy, personable, and fun. Likeable content can also persuade consumers to choose your products/services over your competitors’ offerings.
The urge to share a good meme is irresistible. You can’t help but click the button to pass it along to your best friend, significant other, or every person you’ve ever met since High School.
Good web content is just as shareable – it teaches you something and compels you to want to tell others about it. Make sure that you embed social share buttons on your web content to make it easy for people to Tweet, Like, +1, and email your content to spread its reach.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!