Internet Culture Breakdown

Marketing With Memes

Eliot Miller

Community Management

Jasmine Kwan

Marketing Communications

No one needs to see another, "Now more than ever," message on their news feed. Prove that you're not just hearing your customers, you're listening to them.

Marketing Reality Check

Memes are your Friend

The world and especially the internet somehow seem more chaotic than ever before, so how do you as a marketer navigate the chaos without being another “now more than ever” brand?

With memes! 

Or at least using the theory behind memes and virality to build a compelling brand story that your audience actually wants to hear.

To understand how to utilize memes for marketing purposes without coming across as tone deaf, we first have to understand what a meme is.  

To put it simply, a meme is a format that can easily be replicated that communicates an idea.  It can be an image, text, sound, or video that utilizes pop culture references as a resource for structure.

The beauty of the meme format is that it can easily be remixed to your (or your community’s)  mutual experiences. These are few examples of popular meme formats that you’ve probably seen circulated around the internet:

Drake meme thing you should do thing you should not do
photo of meme

So why are memes a successful way to generate interest in your brand?

It’s less about making a funny thing for the internet and more about creating content people actually want to interact and engage with. These are three reasons why you should be using them.

Audience Participation

By engaging in this way with your audience, you will establish deeper connections and encourage them to join in the fun. In creating content that is highly relatable to your customer, you are in a way establishing an inside joke between your brand and your customer. Doing this creates more meaning for people to share your content and boost your brand.

this is fine dog meme zoom ruckus
A relatable sentiment

Authentic human connection

It’s easy to connect with your audience on a real, authentic and human level.

By being in tune with what the trending topics of conversation are on the internet, you’ll have a better understanding of what your customers’ wants, needs and interests are.

No one needs to see another, “Now more than ever,” message on their news feed.

You can prove that you’re not just hearing your customers, you’re listening to them. 

Address Serious Issues Authentically

We all know that we’re living in “uncertain times” and with it, important conversations are being amplified. Being a brand marketer, it’s your responsibility to respond in a productive way.

No, we’re not saying that all you have to do is post a “success kid” meme and call it a day. Use the meme format to contribute to the conversation in a way that is meaningful.

Not all memes are funny

While Memes are a fantastic way to connect with your audience, be warned. It is very, very easy for a meme to fall flat and fail miserably. 

The key to using memes for marketing is to optimize shareability. If you can confidently answer the following questions, then go ahead and share that meme. 

  • Is this content worth engaging with?
  • Is this content worth sharing?
  • Will it peak the interest of your target audience?
  • Does it reflect the values of your brand and your customers?

The lifespan of a meme

It’s safe to say that by the time you have seen a meme, it’s already dead.

To stay on top of the latest happenings in meme culture and to avoid coming off as “out of touch” here’s a list of subreddits you should monitor. Yes, Reddit is the source of most if not all original memes. 

#just_memes

Here at JUST, we all appreciate a good meme.

So much so in fact, that our Community Management and Marketing Communication teams put together a workshop for employees. After a presentation around the history and uses-cases of memes, we showed folks the tools to create their own “JUST” branded memes.

The results were pretty hilarious. Team members produced meme content on anything from agency culture and specific team mates to client relations and our company’s core capabilities. 

Here’s a sampling of the submissions we continue to receive through our “#just_memes” Slack channel:

If you want to dive deeper into understanding the origins of the meme, we highly suggest checking out some of these resources. 

  • Leighton Gray, co-creator of the hit game “Dream Daddy” discussing using memes for marketing and the huge success of her game in this video. 
  • The YouTube channel “Lessons in Meme Culture” produces educational videos that explore the trends in meme culture.
  • Know Your Meme is a site that documents internet memes with explanations of verified memes

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Ah gee, I don’t have time to keep up with all this stuff,” why don’t you check out our Community Management services?

Contact JUST for more insight on how you can level up your brand to fit this decade.

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