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Meme Marketing: Importance, Applications, Tips and more

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Paawan Sunam
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With memevertising gaining prominence, Social Samosa gets in conversation with industry members to understand the importance of the concept with some meme marketing tips.

If your target audience was your crush, her father would be trends, her brother is client expectations and you are the crying Peter Parker. If a Millennial is the distracted guy, content is what they are looking at, while traditional advertising is the angry girlfriend. It is significant to understand the importance of memevertising. Time to speak about a few meme marketing tips too.

One may be able to buy 1000 likes for INR 150 on a post, but those likes will not drive conversations around your brand and neither will they be able sell the product. Doesn't matter how good the numbers look on the report.

Objective-driven campaigns that need a tailored strategy are often brain-teasers. Unless you want your client's expectations to turn into expectation v/s reality meme, you would need a campaign that is as good as the success kid. And the last few years have seen Memevertising rise as a desirable solution.

Why Memevertising?

S. S. Rajamouli, the director of Bahubali in an episode of Koffee with Karan had mentioned that he hadn't realized the growing popularity of Bahubali until he saw the flood of memes on the internet.

Memes have evolved as a mode of communication, a benchmark of virality, and the means to connect with like-minded or relevant audiences. Saksham Jadon, Founder, Youngun India - a Meme Marketing Agency shares, "Memes are the Pillar to everything that goes viral, be it #RahulBoseMovement or #Area51Raid".

As the younger generations steadily gain purchasing power, marketing strategies also observe tectonic shifts. Meme Marketing marks one of such movements. Jadon believes that any B2C brand with youth as their principal target might not be able to persist, as this domain is too big to ignore.

The wordplay and the context that you can bring out and where you can highlight the promotional aspect is where the creativity lies, although it has to be relatable and humorous. Saurabh Mankhand, VP - Strategy & Client Services, Indigo Consulting ponders "The Gen-Z target group is progressively showing enough signs that they don’t trust advertisements that promote directly, therefore, memes become an effective medium".

As sharing memes has evolved to become almost like second nature to social media dwellers, it becomes almost pivotal for brands to adapt to this new form of communication.

The success of memevertising in movie marketing has been particularly noteworthy.

Shahid Javed Ansari, Founder & CEO, RVCJ thinks it will be risky not no use Meme marketing. He adds, "Meme Marketing plays a significant role in delivering a brand's message. It is difficult for brands to capture the attention of online audience using banner ads or clickbait articles which makes Meme Marketing the best option."

The most recent example is Mission Mangal; as soon as its trailer released it generated a mob of memes, adding to the popularity of the movie.

Sacred Games is the foremost role model of memes adding to the popularity of a web series. The show had spawned a stream of user-generated content. If the meme pages that you follow didn't post them, your friends would. And if your friends didn't share them, then it would show up in 'Suggested for You'.

Along with the users' contribution, Netflix India surfed on the wave of memes too.

Saurabh Mankhand, Vice President - Strategy & Client Services, Indigo shares Gen-Z comprises 32% of the global population and this number is only going to increase along with their purchasing power. He adds, "I firmly believe the use of memes is likely to continue to play a key role in marketing especially as the younger generation is less moved by direct marketing and is more responsive to engaging content that challenges and entertains."

The speed at which memes move is another perk. Along with UGC, a brand-triggered campaign works wonders too. In May 2017, All India Bakchod in association with Irfan Khan came up with the campaign, ‘Dank Irfan Memes’ for the promotion of his film Hindi Medium.

AIB through their social media handles distributed the internet’s most famous meme templates recreated by featuring Irfan.

Also Read: Meme – the new marketing language!

Memevertising – Answering, the how

Ayush Rathod - Account Lead, Schbang believes to create conversions, the main selling points need to be showcased to consumers,  including marquee features, key benefits & price point. He shares, "A meme allows one to showcase all these factors in isolation, hence as a standalone, it may not really lead to conversion. However constant efforts towards meme marketing can allow one to communicate a host of properties about a product/brand over a period of time, which can ultimately contribute to a purchase."

Ansari reckons memes inherently don't have a selling value, nor can we claim that it will certainly provide us a spike in sales. He adds, "But the latest trends are telling different stories. Take the example of Mature Bag, the sales broke records for the brand just because of memes".

Fundamental tips for Memevertising

The experts share memevertising tips for brands and agencies.

Trends

You need to stay updated with the latest trends and use hashtags that are trending, as memes have a limited life span and doing the old ones is not an option.

Brand Connect

Along with the meme being funny, it should also be related to the brand. The brand communication should seamlessly fit into the meme, at the same time it shouldn't be overtly promotional. Commercializing the meme kill it's vibes and comes off as forced.

Force Fit

Trying to be too cool for school or picking an irrelevant template might not work. Don't do it if it's a forced fit or doesn't match your brand tonality.

Template Aesthetics

The viewer should be able to instantly relate to your post. Therefore, the format should be simple and easy to understand.

And while you shouldn't deviate too much from the family of memes being shared, you should add some originality to it. Memes can also be produced in various forms such as creatives and a campaign can also incorporate meme-making challenges.

Having insights about the meme culture will help you find the right balance.

Distribution

Distribution is one of the significant pillars of a meme marketing campaign. You need to make sure the end-product goes live while the topic is trending and high-chatter periods. The amplification should be swift and should last for a short period.

You can also use meme pages the same way use influencers to reach an audience beyond your followers.

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