By now, it’s not news that the internet is an entire world unto itself, complete with its own communities and dark corners full of weird of wonderful things. One of the most popular things to spring out from the internet in recent years have been ‘memes’. Chances are, you have already encountered them, either while scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, or having been emailed one by one of your colleagues, titled with the overenthusiastic subject line, ‘HILARIOUS! MUST CHECK OUT’. They usually take the form of pictures with bold white text superimposed on top. But what you may not realise that these silly, seemingly nonsensical images may be a great to fill your content marketing schedule. Here are few tips why you should use them in your next marketing plan, and how.
1. Memes are ‘little packages of culture’
Richard Dawkins originally defined a meme as “an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means”, i.e. a little piece of easily consumable culture. We like to think of them as little inside jokes that only internet users will understand. While the images might look silly on the surface, each has its own unique meaning, and if utilised correctly, are things that internet users can relate to and find humorous.
2. They are easy to engage with
Memes are simple. They are read and understood within less than a second. They make the users laugh. It’s like a well delivered one liner…paired with an image. Whilst memes may not necessarily be entirely about your brand, it’s a good method to encourage people to engage with your brand in a light hearted way. Not only that, it actively encourages your fans to engage back, as it is content that is easily shared around and commented on.
3. They are current
Memes are often based on whatever is trending in the social media sphere, such as fashion trends, shows or movies. They’re a great barometer for social attitudes and interests. Keeping up to date with them will give you a good idea on what is new and interesting in the internet world. It is important to keep up with memes as often new ones will pop up overnight. A good way to keep up is by visiting internet humour sites such as 9gag.com or Reddit and kill some time by browsing through them (they’re good time fillers)!
4. They are accessible and easy to DIY
Creating a meme is extremely easy; there are many websites which will let you create a meme from any images in their database. However, that isn’t permission to go grab any image you fancy and plug it with a joke. Each meme stands for something different, and there is nothing more jarring than using a meme wrong. Websites such as Know Your Meme will explain to you how each meme should be used, and its history and popularity over time.
5. They are here to stay
Memes are not only part of geek culture anymore. Memes have become the lingua franca of the internet, and trends indicate that their popularity is growing. The correct usage of memes by any brand will separate the “in synced” ones from the rest of the pack, and establish the brand as one that is modern and has a sense of humour.