A meme is NOT the lady from The Drew Carey Show
What is a meme?
According to Sprout Social, a social media management platform, the definition is “an image, video, phrase or some combination of a visual and bolded, capitalized text that is virally shared across social media networks and blogs.”
When done right, memes can serve a purpose in content marketing and digital strategy. From Taco Bell to the LA Kings, plenty of companies and organizations have gained tons of followers and added depth to their brand by crafting hilarious memes – does that sound like something you’d like to do, too?
Could memes help your digital strategy? Here’s what you need to know:
Where does the word “meme” come from? “Meme”, a term popularized by none other than Richard Dawkins, originally stood for an idea or notion that spreads from one human to the next, evolving and influencing culture. Nowadays, “meme” often refers to pictures of crying Michael Jordan Photoshopped onto basically anyone, ever.
Why are they so popular online? Memes consist of sharp one-liners with an added visual component – perfect for the extremely short attention spans of Internet users.
While anyone can create memes, they’re especially appealing for inbound marketers looking to add personality and relevancy to their brand. After all, it’s called social media for a reason – businesses want to make a real impact on their audiences, and using humour is a powerful way to do so.
Where can you create memes? Tools like Canva and WordSwag offer tons of user-friendly options for photo editing, while sites like Imgflip provide images of popular meme characters to which you can add your own text. And, of course, there’s always Photoshop.
What separates good memes from bad memes? There’s a fine line between funny and out-of-touch that you must navigate. Internet humour evolves constantly; a popular meme’s lifespan may only last a week before it becomes passé.
“In a social media crazed age, comedy has to be extremely timely,” Sprout Social advises.
Should you include memes in your blog? The main factor you need to consider is whether or not this kind of humour will appeal to your audience. Will they feel your memes are alienating and juvenile, or will they find them endearing and entertaining? If you understand your target audience, the answer should be clear.
Ultimately, memes are a great vehicle for online marketing – they’re engaging, timely and (hopefully) funny. By trying your hand at meme creation, you can keep your posts feeling fresh and fun for both you and your readers.
If you’d like to pick up more blogging tips, take a look at our blogging best practices presentation.
To learn more about popular online content, check out the strange and fascinating history of GIFs.