March 11, 2020
Mnemonics (think: learning the periodic table), listicles (think: BuzzFeed articles) and Stories (think: Snapchat), each one of them progenerated because Millennials understand things when offered in succinct packages.
So, right of the bat, we clarify: yes, unequivocally, memes are the way ahead.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s look at why.
A Bit of Meme History
The word meme has a Greek origin, and when translated, it means “that which is imitated.” Richard Dawkins coined the term in his book ‘The Selfish Gene’ long back in 1976. As per his definition, a meme is “any shareable cultural artifact that spreads through a culture like wildfire.”
Today, we see them as pivotal marketing tools that capture the attention of the ever-elusive 18 to 34 demographics.
Snippet from The Selfish Gene:
While the actual word may not have been in widespread use until recently, powers-that-be think that memes have been used for a very, very long time.
How long, you ask?
BBC feels these 🖣 were the first memes ever:
The Current Meme Scenario:
While we don’t care how memes began, we do know they are a much more popular search term than ‘blog.’
Creators, are you paying attention?
We’ll put it in words you’ll understand: making memes is one of the most lucrative professions for content creators, currently.
What do we base this conclusion on? Tech.com says that a meme page can earn anywhere between INR 10 Lakh to INR 6 Crore in a year. That’s some substantial moolah.
Why Is Meme Marketing So Mammoth?
On average, a person will spend about 120 minutes on social platforms per day. That’s sorta bad news packaged in a shiny, red bow for creators and brands. Think about it. The more time a user spends online, the more content they consume (the shiny bow).
But how do you ensure that what you create is part of that content and is retained in a mind that already has an information overload? (the bad news)
You use the age-old trick of evoking emotions. And that’s where memes slide slyly into the content stream.
With something as simple as an image with a few words tacked on, you get to make your audience laugh, cry or just feel ‘yes, I totally get this.’ Add to it the fact that memes are the shortest form of content a person can consume; lazy AF Millennials are happy as a clamp with them.
Getting why memes have become an integral part of not just social media marketing but marketing as a whole for brands? Let’s give you some examples to paint a clearer picture.
Bird Box Meme:
Netflix, the one company that has their finger on the pulse of Millennials, used memes to promote their original production Bird Box. They did it with some of the funniest memes to have ever gone viral:
Fenty Beauty Meme:
Queen Riri’s Fenty Beauty has been using memes to market cosmetics, to great success, for years:
Zomato + Uber Eats Meme:
The most amusing memes in recent times (and we’re basing this because they made the least funny person at DYT laugh) was when Zomato acquired Uber Eats, and the Twitterverse exploded:
What’s the Basic Rule of Meme Marketing?
You can run, you can hide, but you can’t escape memes. So, what do you do? You embrace them. For that, you need to follow one golden rule:
The voice of the meme has to match your persona (for creators) or voice (for brands).
Memes will not appeal to your followers or audience if they aren’t consistent with your day-to-day tone.
Side note: Any brands wondering how do you attain such a lofty goal, get an influencer on board. They are digital natives who know ‘meme-speak.’
Side, side note: Any creators wondering where the heck to source memes from, swing by Reddit and Imgur. Both platforms give you a sense of what’s trending.
Summing Up Meme Marketing
Memes have become mainstream because they give a clear, concrete message concisely. They expand the reach of the brand or creator, expressly if the audience is Gen Z or Gen Y. But don’t jump onto any random meme bandwagon to stay relevant. As they say, look before you leap.
Now, we can’t wait for Friday to arrive. So, do us a solid and share some commiserating memes!