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The so-called “creator economy” encompasses a wildly diverse field of products such as dance videos on TikTok, crochet doilies on Etsy, and dazzling memes on iFunny. It becomes a formidable force. The creative economy hit a record in 2021 alone $1.3 billion in financing, underlining the investment community’s confidence in its future. Fast forward to 2022, and memes are clearly no longer just for laughs.
Industry pioneers — behemoths like Meta and more specialized entertainment technology players like FunCorpwhich I had the privilege of joining the team in 2021 – was fortunate enough to be at the forefront of many industry changes, including the explosion of pop culture memes.
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Innovative players across industries are harnessing their power to build communities and inspire strong sentiment around their brand to the benefit of the company. Here are some exciting new ways that memes can help you achieve your strategic goals, both for your customers and your teams:
- Reach a younger audience. Memes don’t have a target age, but if you’re looking to grab a larger portion of the younger audience, they may be the most effective medium for short communication. According to GlobalWebIndex, approximately 54% of Gen-Zs, 41% of Millennials, and 21% of Gen-Xers search for new memes every day datawhile 75% of users aged 13-36 regularly share memes. Given these stats, it seems like a good idea to use memes to help your business messaging reach younger customers and potential partners.
- Set up a low-cost marketing campaign. When done right, a meme that requires a limited budget can harness the power of social media to go viral, meaning your meme marketing campaign has the potential to go viral as well. Companies in various industries, from grocery delivery companies to luxury retailers, are already using this to their advantage, with Gucci’s meme-based ad campaign “#TFWGucci” (“That Feeling When Gucci”) representing one of the company’s advertising campaigns. most engaging ad campaign, with over 21,000 comments and 2 million likes. Apps like Yepp have built-in editing tools that simplify meme making even for a novice, bringing the art of meme making to the mainstream.
- Increase engagement with your social media page. If you like memes, you know that the internet is awash with clever take on trending news. You can follow popular memes and share the ones that are current and fit well with your company image to fuel greater engagement with your audience online. A recent research report highlighted the benefits of this strategy, revealing that while millennials generally shun commercial and sponsored content, 84% of them are influenced by user-generated content, including memes on corporate pages.
- Help your brand stand out. Given the short nature of meme content and the snappy post style and imagery, memes can stay in your memory long after you click on them. There is a way to take advantage of this by incorporating memes into your branding, which makes for better brand recall than other communication formats. It’s a busy space and memes help break the wall of indifference and grab the consumer’s attention. One company that makes this happen is Barkbox, a company that sells subscription boxes for dog toys. Barkbox has amassed an impressive 1.8 million followers on its Instagram page by almost exclusively sharing memes. It now surpasses the number of followers of the country’s largest pet store – PetSmart – by as many as 1 million people.
- Building Brand Loyalty. While traditional marketing may alienate some consumers by being overly ambitious (think beachside ads, rolls for the latest nutritional supplements), memes tend to unite people by reminding them that they are not alone in their thoughts and feelings. By doing this, memes become a powerful community-building tool, fostering a sense of belonging among consumers, which translates into brand loyalty.
- Align your onboarding with your workplace culture. Starting a new job can be a daunting experience and it can be difficult to decipher the work culture in your new office. If you pride yourself on nurturing a unique work environment far from the cramped, hierarchical offices of the past, using memes to welcome new hires might be a good way to emphasize this. Memes, if chosen appropriately, can help your new team members better understand and easily fit into the new workplace.
- Encourage team building. Memes have the power to arouse strong feelings, which is often caused by laughable content. While memes are most often used for external marketing in business, corporate culture gurus are now also turning to memes, looking for more ways to unite and inspire employees. Creating work channels for sharing your favorite memes or holding corporate competitions for the best meme created by employees on a particular relevant topic can be an unusual and fun way to encourage team building. And they can certainly help brighten up a presentation if used effectively.
- Boost internal communication. By using a mix of topical memes in internal communications, you can bring home your main points and add some fun to even the driest topics. It’s great to hear audiences bursting into laughter during an internal presentation of a new product or a weekly team meeting, and memes are a quick and easy way to accomplish this and add a little fun to the everyday. Thinking beyond internal communications, corporate presentations, and investor presentations can also benefit from memes in the same way.
- Help break through monotonous tasks. Not every job can be equally exciting, as monotonous tasks are often a necessary part of a job and cannot be avoided. At the same time, the sense of involvement is an important part of employee satisfaction and retention. Consider making small changes for big impact, such as inserting a “meme of the day” into your team’s workflow or even ask the team to suggest their own appropriate memes for a bit of fun and social interactions to break the monotony of some tedious tasks that cannot be cut from the work routine.
Related: Using Memes to Transform Your Marketing Strategy