The millennial market is always one that causes marketers to scratch their heads. Brands must know how to attract millennials into their circle without pushing them away, which can be difficult due to the sensitive nature of this age group.
However, there are tried and proper methods for marketing toward millennials with memes. Memes are playing a greater role in content marketing worldwide, but mainstream brands still seem hesitant about using memes to spread brand awareness. Diving into the ‘why’ behind this hesitation is vital because it allows us to understand what makes memes so appealing and why they are integral to everyday conversation. After all, you probably wouldn’t want to advertise your product or service if it didn’t fit into everyday conversation, would you?
Why are memes popular?
The first reason memes are so popular is that they catch on quickly. When something becomes a meme, it spreads like wildfire across the internet via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms (and eventually into real-life conversation). There’s also something very satisfying about “getting” a joke. People like to be in the loop of Internet culture; they want to understand why everyone is talking about this particular meme or what people say about it. This applies to both millennials and brands who use memes as part of their marketing strategy. You might think this causes companies to miss out on an opportunity to build brand awareness because people talk amongst themselves rather than listen to what the company has to say. However, memes allow your brand to join in on the conversation.
The entire purpose of memes is to spread a brand’s message quickly and efficiently, which can be difficult for other marketing vehicles because they take time away from people’s routines. If you want to reach millennials, you have to think outside the box and find ways to get them interested without feeling like they’re being bombarded by heavy-handed sales talk. Refer to Meme Scout for ideas.
This leads to another reason that marketers are using memes more frequently: it feels natural. When something becomes a meme, it feels organic – it just naturally happened! Brands are undoubtedly helpful when spreading content around the internet, but if brands get too involved in what seems “natural” or “organic,” consumers can pick up on this, which can be seen as fake or forced. Branded memes are perfect for allowing information to spread super-fast with little backlash (this is also called viral marketing).
At The End
Brands have some protection when using branded memes because they are not explicitly saying, ‘Our product or service is great!’ The meme takes on a life of its own, but the brand still has the opportunity to reference itself without being too pushy about sales. As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to joining in on this strategy if your brand wants to reach out and grab millennials. You have to find your niche within Internet culture first!
For example, one of the most effective memes for this purpose is an ‘Expectation vs. Reality’ meme because it’s a setup/punchline joke with concise text, so it doesn’t take up much space when shared on social media. This is good for millennials who are generally always connected to the internet and prefer short-form content that can be consumed quickly.
Another type described in the article is called “Promo vs. Reality,” which contains advertising in an unexpected format (often dated looking, with poor image quality). It ends up showing off the brand.