When you think of Internet memes, your first instinct may be to roll your eyes — and with good reason, too. Memes are hilarious pieces of content that can go viral in an instant, and when they do, people have the tendency to abuse them or use them incorrectly. Have you ever thought about using memes to generate new sales for your business? They take just a few seconds to create, and the right one can go viral in an instant. Here are a few ways that you can use memes in your marketing plan.
Piggyback on a Popular Meme or Situation
This requires you to be in tune with what’s popular online, because there’s a very small window to piggyback on a meme. When a meme rises to popularity, such as Doge, quickly and creatively think of a way that you can mimic that meme and come up with something of your own. For instance, if you work for a tech company, you can share an image of an upcoming product and use certain adjectives similar to the doge meme, such as “Such tech. Many fast. Wow.” If you strike while the iron is hot, your followers will share it and you’ll get some easy and free promotion. If it fails, go a different route.
The great thing about memes is that they’re so easy to create. Whether you’re on an S5 smartphone or a tablet, you can create things quick and easily. Oreo is a great example of this. During Super Bowl XLVII, the power went out for about 30 minutes. During that half hour, Oreo tweeted “You can still dunk in the dark”, which was both original and took advantage of the blackout; it had everyone already talking. The tweet was an instant hit and had more than 10,000 retweets.
Only Use What’s Relevant to Your Audience
Memes only work in certain circles. Certain memes, such as the Harlem Shake or Doge, work well because they went mainstream. If you decide to use a meme that has no relevance to your audience, you’re wasting your time. Remember, you want content that can be shared across all devices, so if you’re creating things that don’t click with your audience, they won’t share it. Under no circumstance should you spend an exorbitant amount of advertising dollars on memes. They should be used sparingly, and if they don’t catch on, don’t keep trying.
Distribute Them Across All Channels
Once something goes live, it needs to go live across all of your social channels, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and others. If you want to show everyone and not just people who follow your social media accounts, try a site like Digg or Reddit. Be mindful of what section you post it in, though. This could give you a good indicator of how the public views your meme.
When you add the meme to your blog or website, be sure to include social network sharing buttons. By including social network sharing buttons and removing the extra step of the user actually having to visit the site and update their status themselves, you’re going to get seven times the amount of mentions.
You don’t always have to piggyback on popular memes. Get your company’s greatest minds together and think of something completely new and original. For example, Dos Equis boosted actor Jonathan Goldsmith to infamy when it came up with the “most interesting man in the world” meme. The meme appealed to all sorts of audiences, and to this day, it’s still used.
Creating a unique and sharable meme can be quite the challenge. Whether you decide to piggyback on a popular meme or take advantage of a situation, creating a meme can bring a lot of new business into your company. How do you plan to integrate memes into your marketing plan? If you already have, what were the results? Leave a comment below and let us know!