Mastering Meme Marketing: Tips and Tricks for Success

If you’ve ever ventured into the vast expanse of the internet, chances are you’ve encountered a meme or two. Perhaps on your journey to this blog, you even found yourself chuckling at a couple. While the term “meme” typically brings to mind images adorned with clever captions, its significance extends far beyond that. Coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976, a meme refers to any swiftly disseminated idea, concept, or cultural element, often resulting in replication. Even back in 1976, memes spread rapidly.

Fast forward to 2016, where memes commonly refer to humorous images, videos, hashtags, or catchphrases circulating online, often adhering to specific formats as they are shared repeatedly. However, these modern-day memes tend to have short lifespans, as their constant resharing often leads to rapid saturation, causing them to lose their comedic appeal quickly.

So, how can businesses incorporate memes into their marketing efforts, and why should they bother? Given the prevalence of memes in online spaces, integrating them into digital marketing strategies presents an opportunity to engage new audiences and reaffirm relevance with existing ones.

Marketing with Memes:

In many ways, integrating memes into your marketing strategy is not vastly different from traditional content marketing. After all, memes are internet content created by others that you can meaningfully leverage. Thanks to convenient tools like meme generators and reference sites such as Know Your Meme, anyone, including marketers, can participate in meme creation.

However, it’s essential to remember the responsibility that comes with this power. Let’s delve into crafting your marketing meme strategy.

Understanding Your Audience:

Before bombarding your corporate page with images of “Bad Luck Brian” or “Socially Awkward Penguin,” it’s crucial to understand your audience. Just because you are familiar with a meme doesn’t mean your audience shares the same sentiment.

So, how do you determine what resonates with your customers? Immerse yourself in their online communities, whether it’s a specific subreddit, an industry-focused LinkedIn group, or a Facebook forum bustling with discussions. Pay attention to their language, hashtags, and even niche image macros. If your customer base has a fondness for particular memes, consider it a stroke of luck.

Most importantly, pay attention to the pain points humorously shared as memes. Understanding the issues your audience finds amusing can guide your prioritization.

Not Everything is a Meme:

After understanding the types of online messaging that resonate with your audience, it’s crucial to acknowledge that not everything qualifies as a meme. Therefore, exercise caution before flooding your platforms with various content. Remember, merely overlaying text on an image does not create a meme. Imitation is a fundamental aspect of memes, so leverage existing ones rather than trying to create new ones.

Viral is Not the Goal:

It’s worth repeating: going viral should not be the primary objective. Centering your social strategy around memes with hopes of achieving virality sets unrealistic expectations. Like all content marketing endeavors, aim for leads, impressions, and engagement. Memes won’t magically propel your company to the top of Twitter’s trending topics. Moreover, when meme-based campaigns do trend, it’s often for less than desirable reasons.

Achieving virality is a daunting task, often happening by chance. If there’s pressure to orchestrate a viral meme strategy, adjust your expectations. However, if your campaign organically goes viral for the right reasons, consider it a success worth celebrating.


One of the most challenging aspects of using memes in marketing is perhaps the most crucial: timing. Being timely and topical is essential to the humor embedded in many memes. They strike the right chord precisely when needed.

Industry news and pop culture phenomena can be repurposed into relevant content through memes. However, remember their fleeting nature. Avoid outdated memes and act swiftly based on thorough research to ensure resonance with your audience.

Bringing it Together:

Now that you’re prepared, armed with an understanding of your audience’s language and meme preferences, it’s time to take action. Align image macros, videos, and phrases with appropriate mediums.

Break down your strategy:

Social Media: While social media is an obvious choice for marketing memes, it poses challenges. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are saturated with individual users and meme-sharing pages. Choose your memes carefully and resist the urge to jump on every trend. Consider sharing tasteful memes on LinkedIn, where such content is less common but gaining traction. This is likely where your customers spend their time. Show them you can embrace humor.

Website Content: Infuse vitality into your web content by using Vine, Boomerang, or other video creators to craft memes. Digestible video content like this enhances website engagement. Ensure the original content remains relevant when hosted on your site.

Email Marketing: Incorporate “internet speak” into your email subject lines to increase open rates. Consider nurturing campaigns centered on memes your customers use, demonstrating an understanding of their concerns in a language they understand.

Advertisements: Have fun incorporating your customers’ vernacular into compelling calls to action in ads. Using familiar phrases commonly heard in office settings increases engagement.

Always remember to engage your customers in conversation. Professionalism doesn’t require stiffness. Embrace the lighter side, as fun is becoming increasingly acceptable in professional settings.

Remember: This is the Internet:

So, why memes? Because you’re online. Act accordingly.

Your customers have interests beyond their professional duties. Market to them in a way they’ll appreciate, whether during office hours or downtime. Memes offer you the chance to create shareable content that resonates with a broader audience, potentially attracting valuable leads who see you as approachable.