Memes have become an integral part of our social fabric. Irrespective of our age or background, memes have become a part of our conversations, be it with friends or colleagues. Witnessing their tremendous growth, they are often adopted and used for advertising campaigns, social media, and events by organizations of all levels.
Memes serve as a strong marketing tool because they connect with an audience and add a tinge of humor to the brand, making it seem more approachable. However, the grass is not all green. Just like any marketing approach, there are some cons to meme-based marketing.
Let us now thoroughly understand the pros and cons of this method of marketing.
Advantages of Using Memes in Brand Marketing
Memes are a part of viral marketing. They are created to reach out to a large audience. If you are a brand that is venturing into the digital space, a quick way to gain popularity would be by creating engaging memes regarding your products or services.
However, the memes should be produced with brand guidelines in mind. Memes are a great way to connect to your audience if your target audience comprises of teenagers and young adults. However, you should steer clear of this marketing tactic if your audience comprises of just middle-aged adults.
Familiarity and Empathy
As memes are based on pop-culture, they allow the brands to gain the empathy of their audiences. Memes connect brands with their audiences on a very personal level. They are a successful technique because they allow brands to be less in-your-face with their marketing and more like a sitcom or television show with characters that are familiar to the viewers.
Memes are catchy and funny, and they easily capture attention. This makes them go viral. The primary motive behind using memes in digital marketing is to grab the attention of the viewers.
Memes are trend-setting techniques as not many companies do it. So, if your organization does it, it automatically becomes a cooler alternative when compared to your competitors. Although, unless done cleverly, this form of marketing can categorize your brand as an imitator rather than trend-setter.
Memes are a form of quick communication. They do not hold viewers’ attention for long. However, if done correctly, they deliver their message to a large number of people with minimal efforts.
Memes get propagated easily because they are highly relatable. Friends and peers share it with each other, making them highly successful. Therefore, brands looking to reach out to a large audience within a short span can do so by delivering their marketing messages through memes.
Disadvantages of Using Memes in Brand Marketing
Memes are usually made using a snapshot or a video clip from a popular event. While they are usually considered as a tool for humor, brands venturing into this marketing technique should tread carefully. It is important to research the rights to all social memes before leveraging them into advertising or branding.
One wrong step could derail your entire ad campaign and cost your company a fortune. The hack here is to ensure fool-proof research before attempting this strategy.
Memes are short-lived. While they capture a large audience, a meme does not stay relevant or humorous for a long time. As it is, the life of any post on digital marketing platform is short, with Instagram posts staying relevant for only several hours before getting lost in the plethora of posts by other content creators.
Therefore, relying heavily on memes is probably a bad idea. If you are creating a brand marketing strategy, you should ensure that you have a balance between meme marketing and other forms of content. Furthermore, having a team that is updated with pop culture will also ensure that your memes are fresh and not copied from other brands or content creators.
Another point worth noting would be the placement of memes in your strategy. While their short-life is a bane, it can prove to be a boon in certain cases. For example, beginning a campaign with a catchy meme could kick start your campaign giving your brand the attention you desire.
As mentioned earlier, the sole reason for the popularity of memes is the humor behind it. However, humor is very subjective. What might be funny to you might not be funny to your viewers. It could even be offensive to them, and this may alienate or cause groups to ostracize the brand.
While planning memes into your strategy, you should ensure that the content is not controversial. In order to do so, it is always a better idea to interact with people outside of your team, as their opinions will be unbiased.
Meme Making Tools
There are several sites that allow you to make memes for free, but they add their own watermark at the bottom. While there are ways of getting rid of the watermarks, that is another tedious process in itself.
If you have a graphic designer or handy Photoshop skills, then you can make your own meme easily and even add your brand’s logo, this would be ideal for your branding. Furthermore, if you are planning to make a video-based meme, several free YouTube intro makers are also available online.
As mentioned above, memes of all forms are available on the internet, be it video-based or pictorial. Therefore, these are suitable for every platform. However, with a majority of younger audiences spending a significant amount of time on Instagram makes Instagram a popular platform for this form of marketing.
Instagram story ads have seen a surge in meme-based content as brands are trying to take advantage of the short-life of the ads as well as the memes.
Memes are essentially a clever and witty take of brands or individuals on the ongoing pop culture. Their sarcastic approach makes it a popular tool. Witnessing the increasing popularity of memes, brands now want to exploit this tool to their benefit.
However, there are lots of pros and cons to this form of marketing. But, if done carefully and after thorough research, this form can reap you benefits like no other.
Author Bio: I’m Jaylin: SEO Expert of Leelija Web Solutions. I am a content manager, and the author of freeopenbook.com and a full time blogger. Favourite things include my camera, travelling, caring my fitness, food and my fashion. Email id: [email protected]