4 Tips to Help Brand Marketers Embrace Memes

The jury may be out on the effectiveness of meme marketing, but that hasn’t stopped brands from Starbucks to “Futurama” from embracing it in all of its glory. Memes aren’t right for every brand, but if you think they might bring some extra attention to your brand’s social presence, here are some things to keep in mind before going meme crazy.

Find the right meme style for your brand

From Sean Bean to cats to the snide, sarcastic one-liners on the someecards posts, there are a variety of memes to choose from and it’s important to choose one that matches the tone and personality of your brand. Many current memes walk a fine line between funny and offensive, so it’s crucial that the meme you choose be inoffensive. Inoffensive content means no negative comments by fans and commenters later on (and no fallout to deal with). Coupon code king (or queen, as the case may be) RetailMeNot is an excellent example of a brand finding the right style of meme for their purposes. The message, tone and subject matter have all been adjusted to match RetailMeNot’s function and its audience — deal-seeking young women and mothers.

Ride the wave of a meme’s popularity

If a meme is new, it’ll automatically ¬†garner some attention, so keeping an eye on Facebook, Twitter and sites like KnowYourMeme.com will really help you find inspiration. Of course, many web users are quick to point out when a meme has run its course, so the fresher the content, the better. The Laugh Factory Chicago is pretty good at embracing the popularity of a meme to help engage its audience and recently took it to a new level by combining two very popular memes into a unique meme monster. The Laugh Factory’s social presence focuses on promoting upcoming shows and entertaining followers — and the image below is certainly entertaining.

Tailor the meme to your brand or campaign

If you find an excellent meme base photo, don’t be afraid to tailor it to your needs. Sites like MemeGenerator.net and photo-editing software like Photoshop make it very easy to personalize memes according to your brand, your campaign or anything you want to promote. We recently sponsored the Small Business Challenge and helped promote it, and one of the fun ways we promoted it was by using a customized meme. Our take on the Business Cat was cute, grabbed followers’ attention and also contained the essential information for those interested in learning more about the challenge.

Embrace memes for your online content

Okay, we admit it, we can’t help embracing a good meme when we see one, especially when it can help promote and garner attention for our blog posts (content marketing, anyone?). We’ve used them to accompany some of our articles, and because of the visual nature of Facebook, they’ve made some notable and entertaining appearances on our Timeline, too. We think Boromir approves.

Have you used a meme to help market your brand or a past campaign?