So you want to be a meme?
Memes are everywhere. My best friendships are just Instagram DMs consisting of various memes. They have no idea how much I appreciate them.
Consumers don’t want just to be sold products on Instagram. They’re looking for brands to cure their boredom. Memes hold the most weight with younger audiences in the age range of 13- to 35-year-olds. This group makes up 55% of people sending memes every week.
There are pros and cons to having your brand become a viral meme. It’s essential to understand how to manage the aftermath.
Benefits of meme-marketing
Free marketing?? Um, sign us up, please! You don’t have to pay to create memes–there are a million online websites that can generate memes for you. If we had to recommend one, it would be the most famous one: memegenerator.net. You’ll be able to create any kind of meme your little heart desires, according to your business nature and needs.
As easy as pie
Creating memes using online generators could not be simpler; just search for an image you want to use or upload your own image. Then just add text and click on the generate button, and BAM! — you now have a sharable meme.
The only requirement here is a sense of humor and familiarity with meme culture. But, seriously– Social media virgin Dave in accounting might not be the best choice to go with.
When you establish a connection with your audience, it’s much easier for you to go viral. Meme culture has developed its own unique language and synchronicities. Understanding how to create a good meme makes your brand feel modern and relatable, encouraging engagement from your consumers. It’s the digital version of voting for a politician ’cause they “look like someone you can sit down and have a beer with.” Memes make brands approachable.
Case Study: Slim Jims
Slim Jims became a meme and capitalized on it.
Before going viral, the Slim Jim Instagram account was a fucking snoozefest. They were attempting to sell their dried sausage sticks with even drier, shitty content. Yuck. Even more cringe-worthy: The marketing team was clearly trying to be funny and draw attention to the brand. No surprise, it completely missed the mark. Interviews with consumers revealed that they felt like all the marketing was contrived, unwanted crap in their social feeds.
It makes us shiver just thinking about it. In the fall of 2018, the Slim Jim Instagram account had only 5,000 followers.
However, there was another account on Instagram, @SlimJimsDoingThings. Run by a teenager, that account managed to acquire 15,000 followers. Slim Jim staffers took notice.
The “fan account” targeted Slim Jim using meme culture to get the conversation going. Looking closer at it, Slim Jim employees noticed that the content was really funny and connected with fans, causing lots of engagement with the fake account.
Then the account posted a meme that had the text, “Me realizing I have more followers than the actual Slim Jim page, and they still won’t hire me as director of marketing.”
Slim Jim then hired the owner of that account and transitioned from overly corporate posts with little interaction to an account with over 500,000 followers within a year. Now the account currently has 1.3 Million followers and, most importantly, reaches millions of people daily simply by embracing meme culture.
Rinse and repeat…without being too repetitive
Once you have a meme format that has gained transaction and gone viral, stick with it. People will begin to expect similar content to what drew them to your accounts in the first place. However, doing it the same way every time you post will quickly get old and cause boredom.
Take a look at what made the meme successful. Was it the tone it was written in? Was the joke format just that good? Were you irreverent, self-aware, and poking fun at yourself or someone else?
These are the traits you are going to want to mimic in your future content. In addition, having an established sense of humor and style encourages people to follow your account and stay active on your page.
Be prepared to scale for additional sales
Going viral means a lot of new attention is drawn to your brand. Nothing hurts a company more than having an explosion of consumers. But, instead of taking their time to produce a quality product, they rush and end up sending out subpar items to their new audience. To keep the momentum, make sure your manufacturing and distribution systems are ready to scale production.
It’ll be extremely difficult to retain loyal customers if your product is not up to the standard they expected when they first gained interest in your company.
Don’t be afraid to sell out. First of all, letting people know that you have sold out one of your products just increases the feeling of FOMO. Fans will begin following and interacting with your page just for the chance to get ahead of the restock.
Warning: It’s out of your hands now
Once a meme is released into the wild, it belongs to everyone, so it’s essential to be prepared with a solid PR plan and make sure the entire business is ready for this kind of attention.
Photoshop can be a blessing and a curse. Consumers can take your meme, twist the meaning, or perhaps change a few words and post it offensively. These posts fly under the radar most of the time, and a business will not have to acknowledge them. Occasionally though, a twist on the meme can equal lousy press for your brand.
Arguably, of course, all press is good press. But this is only true if the company effectively manages the press.
The CEO wants a viral campaign, stat!
It is impossible to know whether or not your content will go viral; you have to be careful that your content doesn’t come across as forced or out-of-touch.
When you’re ready to scale, and viral marketing is your preferred channel, we’re prepared for you.
Nowadays is a modern creative agency that specializes in blowing shit up. And by blowing shit up, we mean blowing up your brand in the best way by increasing followers and engagement and controlling the social conversation around the brand.
We design and execute campaigns that allow your brand to dominate your social space.
Ready to rock? Give us a shout.