How to Use Memes: A Guide for Marketers

How to Use Memes: A Guide for Marketers

Memes are revolutionizing the way brands do marketing. Learn more about how to use remote work memes and the best tools to create them.

Marketing, in general, refers to all the activities a company makes to promote or sell its products/services to a specific audience. With the growth of social media and other digital platforms, marketing has been divided into different segments like content marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, among others. And what all of these have in common is their focus on understanding their audience and knowing how to engage with them effectively.

In the 21st century, engaging with an audience is no longer about creating the perfect pitch. Nowadays, the best way to attract potential users into converting to buyers is through meme marketing

leads, leads everywhere

Source: https://ichi.pro

What makes memes so especially is that you can increase engagement and build a strong community by communicating something that your audience will understand and relate to. With the pandemic, constant lockdowns, and uncertainty, remote work memes became the best way to laugh and feel connected to others that were going through the same situation as you. 

Find more remote work memes here to have a laugh once in a while.

laughing at corona memes like

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccabellan/2020/03/19/laughing-during-a-crisis-the-best-coronavirus-memes/

If, as a marketer, you’re able to create and spread memes that engage your audience, you could also create a sense of community and loyalty. 

What is a Meme?

Memes go way back before Twitter, Instagram, 9gag, or any other social media platform. Although we’re currently living in meme culture, archeologists have traced the beginning of the meme back to the year 3 B.C. The word meme was created by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in 1976 in this book The Selfish Gene. He used the word meme to describe the way a cultural trend spread. Here, he didn’t refer precisely to a humorous digital image as we all know memes to be, but the core concept stays the same.

Memes are a way in how ideas replicate and evolve. They carry a shared idea, trend, concept to engage a specific group. A perfect example of this is Squid Game, where many people started learning about the Korean series through memes as they were the fastest and most effective way to reach a wide global audience. 

funny squid game

Source: https://wlord.org/20-funny-squid-game-memes-that-deserve-to-win-that-45-6-billion-won-lw/

Are Remote Work Memes Good for Marketing? 

In a culture where readers don’t really read, they scroll, skips ads, and look for visual content; memes are the perfect solution for marketers who want to attract and engage with their audience. From small to recognized brands, memes are part of their social media marketing tactics. Why? Here are 5 reasons why remote work memes actually work: 

1. Increase Engagement

Everyone loves memes. They are easy to consume and share, and while you need to create them, users basically help you spread the word by sharing them without you having to do anything else. 

When people see ads, the first thing they want to do – unless it is an excellent ad – is to skip it. A survey of 1,015 adults by ORC International revealed that 90% of people often skip pre-roll video ads that appear ahead of online video content. 

Memes are a more natural way to advertise your brand. Especially if you follow up the trends and create memes with situations that people can relate to. With the pandemic, most brands are continually creating work from home memes: 

work from home memes

Source: https://thinkremote.com/remote-work-memes/

2. Create Inexpensive Content

Graphic design is always valuable for marketing. Creating visuals for your blog and social media platforms is always attractive for users. However, it requires skills, time, and money. And memes don’t require the same level of expertise. All you need is a little bit of time, creativity (which you get inspired by browsing on the web), and one or two tools (which we will discuss later), and that’s basically it.

You can save money while engaging your users by creating memes. 

3. Build a Sense of Community

When the pandemic started, we all felt a little lost. Even remote work dinosaurs who have been working from home for more than 10 years remotely felt confused. It was an exceptional circumstance that made us all change our habits and activities. We couldn’t go outside for some weeks (months in some cases), had to wear a mask, wash our hands, etc., and overall, it was difficult to see what was going on around the world.

However, remote work memes made it all a bit better. We connected with people on the other side of the world, who were also having a bad time. We could even laugh about the circumstances and make jokes about working from home.   

Memes are a great way to build a sense of community because they create a sense of belonging; everyone in your audience can relate to the same situations.   

4. Showcase Your Brand’s Personality

Social media helps businesses showcase their personality the way they want to. In some cases, companies want to look professional and serious, but in many others, they want to connect to their audience and even give them a voice. How? With memes.

Many companies use memes to show another version of the brand to help their customers connect and engage with it even more. An example of this is Jimmy John’s:

An example of Jimmy John's promotional methods to promote brand

Source: https://blog.markgrowth.com/5-under-utilized-promotional-methods-you-should-be-trying-now-f683d1e413b8

Meme marketing is popular because memes are most of the time related to current trends or events. Remote work memes, Squid Game, Brexit, climate change, politics, and other areas are constantly being showcased in memes. 

When companies keep up with trends through memes, it helps them seem more friendly and approachable. Additionally, keeping up with the world’s trends helps you gain a competitive edge, improve your business forecasts, and push you to innovate and adapt to what your audience wants. 

current meme trends

Source: https://ifunny.co/picture/when-you-re-behind-on-the-current-meme-trends-how-K12yVMbi4

Ways to Use Remote Work Memes Effectively

1. Know Your Audience

The first and most important thing you should take into account when creating memes is your audience. Just like any other marketing strategy, understanding your audience, what they like, disklike, what are the latest trends they are following, etc, will help you connect easily with them through memes.

Keep in mind that usually older generations don’t have the same appreciation and sense of humor for memes as millennials or Gen-Zers. Before creating memes, figure out if your audience will enjoy them or not. 

An example is Barkbox, a subscription service for dog treats and toys that has become popular due its funny memes: 

memes examples of brand

They create simple but funny memes like this one with things that people can easily relate to and make jokes about, like the fact of drinking wine in a mug on a Monday.

2. Don’t Try too Hard 

While meme marketing is a great strategy to engage with your audience, sometimes businesses try too hard and fail at it. Memes are not your only type of content. To be different from other companies you’ll also need to create original content for your channels and use memes occasionally and when it makes sense to use them (for example, with trends). 

Additionally, companies have failed with meme marketing because they sound too salesly. Try finding the right balance between funny and accurate memes and original content.

Here’s an example of a meme failure from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 

An example of a meme failure from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Source: https://says.com/my/news/us-government-use-doge-meme-to-promote-obamacare-healthcare

The meme screams "wrong" in my ways; even the comments show they were trying too hard to create a meme with healthcare benefits. In some cases, it's better to create memes that showcase real-life situations rather than a meme showing how great a company's service is or its benefits.

3. Get Creative 

Creating memes is all about having fun. Of course, there are great popular memes that you can use if they make sense with your brand, but companies that have aced meme marketing have focused on developing their own brand personality. 

Whether it's adding a nostalgia factor to memes, or using sarcasm or satire, memes are all about creativity. 

Chipotle is an example of creative and simple meme marketing:

Meme marketing is about taking advantage of the opportunities that come up with the latest trends. Timeliness is a crucial factor when it comes to marketing with memes. When the pandemic started last year, companies took advantage of the work from home situation and started with remote work memes. 

Same thing happens with popular TV shows, events, news, etc, where marketers need to stay on top of what’s going on. When Disney+ released The Mandalorian Series, baby yoda memes took the internet. The Beard Club, followed the trend and had great results:

Source: https://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/how-memes-stormed-the-marketing-world-02434403

In the same vein as staying on top of trends is using popular memes. However, always try to add your own voice and personality to them, that way you can stand out from the competition. While creating your memes is a great strategy, using the ones that are already viral with your own touch will also help you gain visibility.

A great example of this is Ruffles: 

Ruffles example of memes


How to Create Remote Work Memes?

Creating remote work memes, or any other type of meme, is easy, especially with the right tools. There are many tools online that can help you get started with your meme creations. These are some of the most popular ones:

  • Canva: Has its own category to create memes called ‘’Meme generator’’ 
  • AdobeSpark: Enables you to make customized memes in a matter of seconds. 
  • Imgur: Has a Meme Generator that allows you to upload your own images or select a default meme. 
  • Livememe: Is one of the easies meme creator tools. It has thousands of popular memes that you can easily customize. 

Ready, Set, and Meme! 

From engaging your audience to creating a sense of community, using memes for your marketing strategies is a great idea. When done right, it can become an easy, cheap, and fun solution to your marketing plan.

Gabriela is a journalist and the copy editor of Think Remote. She has been writing for online magazines and blogs for more than four years and has discovered her passion for remote work and the digital nomad lifestyle.

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