If you scroll through your personal feed on Instagram or your messages on WhatsApp, you’ll find one type of image over and over again: memes. The small and creative, mostly funny meme content has become an integral part of the Internet. This not only applies to private fun – companies are also increasingly jumping on the meme train.
In the following article you will see how meme marketing, used successfully, can give your social media channels a boost.
What is a meme?
Memes are images, videos and texts composed of various elements that are distributed via social media. The small media content is usually satirical and humorous and is considered part of the net culture. They are mainly created by combining an image or video with a short text and then go viral.
What is meme marketing?
As part of content marketing, meme marketing focuses on the creation of corporate memes, through which the target groups addressed can identify with a corporate brand. Companies rely on the humorous examination of their brands and benefit from the high virality of memes.
Loosen up your social media presence with memes
Memes have become an integral part of digital communication – not only between private individuals, but also for companies. In addition to the high level of interaction with meme content, the small images and videos offer other advantages for your company’s appearance, which are more than just increased reach on social media.
Many companies use quite standardized posts on social media, for example content that often consists of pure text or images and reports on what is happening around the company and its employees. This content usually has a low reach and low engagement rates – users usually do not like, share or comment on these posts.
Above all, if your target group is rather young and modern, the use of memes is almost inevitable from a purely statistical point of view: according to YPulse, people between the ages of 13 and 35 particularly like to press the share button; 55 percent send memes every week, a whopping 30 percent even every day.
Another advantage, especially with images: they work equally well on almost all platforms on which you interact with your potential customers. Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram – or via e-mail and messenger services such as WhatsApp or Signal.
It is important to meet the current zeitgeist and not to become unauthentic to your own brand and target group. You should understand the humor of your target group, not overdo it and be creative. There is no patent recipe for a successful corporate meme, but there are a few rules of thumb that you can use as a guide:
The content should be relevant to current affairs and/or the brand and/or the product. Try to pick up on the trends that your target audience is concerned with.
The humor of the target group addressed must be met. With sarcastic memes, you always have to consider how much irony the target audience understands.
The copyrights of the images used must be known.
Successful meme marketing requires creative minds who understand the pulse of the times and the target group. Need some inspiration? We present three companies with their corporate memes.
What makes a good meme?
A successful meme consists of an image or video that conveys a clear message, which is then either confirmed or sarcastically contradicted by the text or context.
Because humor always arises from the release of tension, such as a joke or mismatched images and text, memes are inextricably linked to the person or company posting them. So, for a good meme, combine humor, your corporate identity, and a graphic with subtext.
Successful meme marketing examples
From international and globally known companies to German medium-sized companies: There is no industry or company size in which meme marketing categorically makes no sense. The right mix of current events, insider potential, mostly humor and target group leads to success.
Sixt: German pioneer
The listed company Sixt from Germany shows how smart meme marketing can be successfully implemented at the cutting edge. The car rental company always takes up current events and combines them with funny, satirical and ironic sayings in corporate memes, which always have the same structure. Sixt’s “meme department” does not use well-known images and videos, but instead generates completely independent postings.
The German company is particularly fond of political events. In this post, for example, Sixt takes up the famous selfie of the exploratory talks after the 2021 federal election and thus attaches itself to this current affair in a humorous and brand-related way.
Tinder: Perfect match
As early as 2017, the dating platform Tinder demonstrated how a product, a well-known image as a basis and your own brand can be combined into a viral corporate meme in just a few minutes of production time. On Twitter, the platform published an image of an iceberg that shows which unsaid sentences can resonate in a dialogue.
In comparison to Sixt, Tinder picks up an existing ball with this meme and plays it back onto the Internet and back to its target group in the form of its own product.
HubSpot: In-house meme marketing
Meme marketing is not only possible and often useful in the B2C area to loosen up your own social media presence, corporate memes are also becoming increasingly popular in B2B online marketing – including with us. In the HubSpot instructions on meme marketing we created a bunch of HubSpot memes straight away, including one featuring Kermit the Frog:
As in the Tinder example, the basis of this posting is an existing inside joke that is picked up and modified in thousands of different memes. He plays with the ideas of a product, a company or, as in the Kermit example, a job.
In a humorous way, the meme shows what prejudices certain groups have about the job of a sales manager. The statement is exaggerated and so funny that a smile remains when you discover the post in your own feed.
In this way, HubSpot connects ideas that every user can understand and thus addresses exactly those who use the services and software: employees from sales and marketing.
Conclusion: Approach advertising differently with memes
With meme marketing you bring fresh impetus to your marketing activities. The Internet is not only buzzing with perceived memes, but also statistically proven, and increasingly so with corporate memes. For companies, the small images and videos are inexpensive to produce.
Only the question of copyrights has to be clarified – then there are no limits to creativity. In tune with the times and addressed to the right target group with the right content, meme marketing can give your profiles on social media a boost in terms of reach and engagement.