Pop culture is currently taking over the digital marketing space as most tech-savvy people are the Millennials and Gen-Z.
Therefore, marketers are utilizing as many trends as possible, including meme marketing (the focus of this article) to drive leads and sales for their businesses.
Table of Contents
What is Meme Marketing?
Meme marketing involves using funny GIFs, images, videos, and texts to convey a brand’s message.
How Effective are Memes?
1. Memes Generates 10X Engagement
Since memes are easy to share and understand, they typically drive higher engagement.
Netflix US shares 2-3 memes weekly using scenes from their shows, and they even got 10,000+ likes and 2,000+ retweets for their “invention of brunch” meme.
Meme Popularity Statistics
2. 55% of 13-35-year-olds send memes every week
Most people who share memes online fall under the Gen-Z and Millennial age groups. So, 55% of the memes you see online are shared by 13-35-year-olds.
When next you share a meme, remember that more than half of the people that would share it are teens and young-older adults.
3. 38% follow meme accounts on social media
38% of the 55% of Gen-Zers and Millennials who share memes follow meme accounts.
The fun thing about meme accounts is that they never run out of quality and funny content.
4. 74% send memes to make people smile or laugh
Memes are used for different purposes, but most people share memes for comic purposes.
74% of the people that share memes aim to make others smile or laugh. And most memes have humour in them.
5. 73% of mobile phone users share memes on social media
Individuals use social media for many reasons, including creating personal brands.
However, 73% of mobile phone owners dedicate their time to sharing memes. It doesn’t stop them from sharing other content, though.
6. Meme is the Second Most Likely Shared Social Media Content
People share a lot of content on social media but the second most shared is memes, after videos. Users on YouTube spend one billion hours watching videos daily.
Memes are the only kind of content that gets close to that kind of traction. And honestly, it’s not a surprise since people love and find them funny and easy to share.
7. 60% of the 3 million social media users share funny content
Memes are so popular that 1.8 million people create and share their funny content.
This form of content is concise, and even non-marketers deploy them for their pages. Individuals with the highest engagement on social media are typically meme sharers.
8. The CTR of a meme campaign is 14% higher than email marketing
Email marketing was a staple amongst marketers. Some brands like Coursera and Copy.ai still use this form of marketing.
Most emails go to the spam or stay unopened. Memes get 14% higher CTRs than email marketing.
9. On average, a millennial shares 20 to 30 memes in a single day
If you plan on using meme marketing, your ideal audience would be Gen-Zers and Millennials.
According to research by YPulse, 55% of 13-35-year-olds share memes weekly on social media, while 30% share memes daily.
So chances are, if your memes are relatable enough, they’d be amongst the ones shared online.
Impact of Memes on Internet Users
Every time you open any social media platform, you will find memes about different topics and trends flying around.
Since they are concise and easy to create and share, it’s no surprise. Plus, they go viral quickly.
Marketers are now adopting memes’ popularity and including them in their campaigns.
Memes can help you spark an emotional connection in your readers by communicating your brand’s message in simple words.
As technology evolves, people are spending less time reading long-form posts.
There are character limits for every thread if you are conversant with Twitter. Long posts that are distributed in threads get more engagement.
What’s the phenomenon behind this concept? People have many things they need to catch up on, and spending time analyzing long-form content just won’t cut it.
Since memes are usually short, sometimes devoid of texts, they resonate longer with your audience and spark significant engagement.
Furthermore, consumers are moving beyond direct-response ads and seeing through the many white lies.
So if you approach them with a direct advert, they are likely to engage less with it or completely ignore it.
Memes, however, are a subtle way to advertise your brand. Relating graphics, humor, entertainment, hot takes, or trends to your brand’s message may increase engagement as people would view and easily share them as memes.
Heinz, a famous ketchup brand, recently leveraged memes to increase engagement on their social media platforms.
Ketchup is a staple food, but how many people would engage in a tomato sauce direct-response copy?
They leveraged memes intending to get one million impressions across social media platforms.
They deployed original meme content using the “fruit vs. vegetable” as bait. It reeled in four million impressions (4x their target).
This social experiment by Heinz shows that any type of brand can get increased engagement with the right meme marketing strategy.
A 2018 study by Brainrules says that we are more likely to retain at least 65% of information if we see it in pictures.
However, we are likely to retain only 10% if it’s in text format. So by using relatable memes, you’ll be able to help your consumers and prospects remember your brand’s message.
Finally, memes can help you support causes. You can craft short messages, videos or sounds and share them to show support for causes.
It can be a great way to show people that your brand can relate to societal issues.
How Many Memes are Shared a Day?
In 2020, Instagram revealed that its users share one million memes daily.
Also, 79% of 13-17-year-olds share memes daily on social media. So we can be looking at millions of memes shared daily on social media.
Social Media Marketing Memes
According to research, memes are the second most shared content online. And 74% of social media users follow meme accounts.
These statistics show that internet users are interested in this form of content, and it would be wise to leverage it.
A few brands have leveraged the power of social media meme marketing, and we will highlight a few, using them as case studies.
In 2017, Gucci, the popular fashion brand, started a campaign called #TFWGucci. They collaborated with various artists worldwide to create relatable memes ranging from absurd to hilarious.
The #TFWGucci campaign aimed to promote their new watch collection and meant That Feeling When. They also had an explainer video on the campaign’s website, which talked about the history of memes.
The campaign amounted to 4% of Gucci mentions between March 17th-21st 2017.
Additionally, the memes garnered 2 million likes and over 21,000 comments on social media.
Each meme got at least 67,000 likes and 768 comments. After the campaign, Gucci recorded 46.6% year-on-year sales by the first quarter of 2018.
In essence, Gucci’s meme marketing strategy was a success.
Another brand that had a successful meme marketing strategy was Seamless.
The popular food delivery service created a meme strategy in 2004, around the time of the Academy Awards Nominations. Firstly, they coined the #OscarNomNom on Twitter.
Then, they created and shared memes about the Oscar nominees by sharing puns and funny content. For example, “The Wolf of Wall Street” became “The Wolf of Waffle Street.”
Seamless’ campaign followed a trend, an essential move in social media marketing. They were able to position themselves as a brand that could make their clients laugh.
Tips for Social Media Meme Marketing
Now that you have seen the effectiveness of social media marketing, here are some lessons to learn and tips to start your meme marketing strategy:
1. Understand your audience
Knowing your target audience is a crucial aspect of marketing. The knowledge helps you to create content that would spark an emotional response.
So before you start creating and sharing memes, ensure that your audience can relate.
2. Include authenticity in your memes
Authenticity is scarce online as many brands just keep doing copy and paste campaigns. You can, however, change that trend and make original memes. Include your brand’s message in every meme you share, and with time, people will recognize your company just by seeing your content.
3. Follow trends
If you want your memes to resonate with your audience, it’s best to follow recent trends.
First off, people are already talking about the trendy topic, so it would be easy for your posts to go viral. Plus, you don’t have to brainstorm how to start new topics that would interest people.
Trends are an easy way to gain traction on social media.
Memes Turned NFTs Sold for Big Bucks
NFTs are making all the raves in the crypto space for various reasons. One of the reasons is that NFTs provide an avenue for artists to market their arts.
Also, memes are marketing themselves in the space, as some popular ones have gone viral. Here are a few memes that have been sold as NFTs at high prices:
1. Bad Luck Brian
Do you remember the red-headed kid with braces? The creator of that meme and the face’s owner sold it for around $35,000 in ETH. If you still think the meme is bad luck, think again.
2. Disaster Girl
While Zoe Roth eyed a camera as a house burnt, people viewed it as a meme, and little did they know that it would be worth $500,000 in ETH.
Yes, it was the most expensive meme NFT when it debuted. So even though a house was allegedly burned, Zoe got $500,000 for auctioning her image.
Dogecoin received a lot of traction, especially when Elon Musk tweeted about it.
However, the coin wasn’t the only thing people loved, as the Doge meme sold for $4 million. The highest in the history of memes selling as NFTs.
4. Charlie Bit My Finger
When you hear the phrase, “Ouch, Charlie,” you have no choice but to unleash your inner English personality and read it in Harry Davis-Carrs British accent.
The clip went viral on YouTube in 2007 when Charlie bit Harry’s finger. In 2021, the clip sold for $790,000 and was taken off YouTube forever.
If meme marketing is a thing, then it has come to stay. Anyway, you don’t need to be so excited about meme marketing as it is something we have been doing even before the term.
A meme is also a type of content. Hence, meme marketing is under content marketing.
Rather than worrying about whether meme marketing is a thing or not, why not get started with creating your creating and sharing your first meme?