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Meme Marketing: What Businesses Need To Know

Memes often place a well-known motif with a brief text in a satirical context. Not only private social media users take advantage of this – more and more companies are including memes in their marketing mix. For good meme marketing to succeed, however, you should follow a few rules.

What Is A Meme?

Memes are usually images combined with some text. You take up a (current) topic and deal with it ironically or humorously. Properly implemented, memes quickly go viral. H. they are often shared on Facebook and Co. and spread almost by themselves. If a short video with text is created similarly, it is a GIF.

What Makes A Good Meme?

Good memes have high virality. This is achieved when the image and text fit together exactly, and a clear message can be grasped immediately – keyword: snackable content. In terms of content, a successful meme should, on the one hand, pick up on current affairs or trends and, on the other hand, hit the humor of the target group. Young people, in particular between the ages of 15 and 30, consume and send memes weekly, a third of them even daily.

Meme Marketing For business

With this knowledge, companies should consider memes in their content marketing, for example, as part of storytelling. Meme marketing primarily plays a role in B2C communication, i.e., in marketing for your consumers. However, it can also work on a B2B level – i.e., in communication from one company to another.

With a well-made meme, companies can advertise their products or services and, above all, make their brand known and get (new) customers to engage with it. The pictures have an extremely high interaction rate – they are shared and commented on a lot. As a result, in the best-case scenario, companies hardly have to worry about spreading their (advertising) message – the customers do that for them. In addition, memes can be produced quickly and cheaply.

Important Rules For Good Meme Marketing

For your company to be successful with meme marketing, it is important to hit the right note. Specifically, this means:

  1. You need to know your target group’s humor, nail it, and assess how much irony and sarcasm are still understood. Important: The result does not necessarily have to match your sense of humor.
  2. Pick up on current trends and events – for this, too, you need to know your target group on the one hand and identify the potential for good stories on the other (preferably before the competition does).
  3. The meme must fit your brand and product. Like influencer marketing, customers quickly notice when a statement or tonality does not match the brand. Authenticity is extremely important in meme marketing.
  4. A rule of a more practical nature: make sure that you only use images for which the copyright has been cleared and, if necessary, refer to them. Never pass off media and ideas as your own if you don’t – it comes out quickly on social media and can cause a shitstorm or worse.

If you don’t trust yourself to use memes to communicate humorously and appropriately for your target group, seek professional support in the form of content creators or social media specialists. They can also take over the community management and contact users if a meme does not ignite as hoped.

Examples Of Successful Meme Marketing

There are already isolated examples of functioning meme marketing. The one from Sixt deserves special mention. Even before the term “meme” even existed, the car rental company used current, mostly political events for its purposes – to this day, at a level hardly reached by the German competition. In 2013, the brand took advantage of Merkel’s statement, “The Internet is new territory for all of us”.In September 2021, the new coalition had to believe in it. A selfie from the coalition negotiations became part of another Sixt meme hit.

There is (still) hardly any other brand in Germany that relies on memes as stringent as Sixt. Private individuals and companies use well-known motifs and are always placed in a new context. Stock photos have also proven to have great meme potential in the past. You’ve probably seen the distracted friend or the irrepressibly smiling elderly gentleman on social media more than once.

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