For a while now, memes have been considered a new and fun way of marketing. It fulfills the goal of the advertisement without boring the recipient. Most of the reactions this marketing method got were good.
Some would even say that nothing can go wrong with a meme ad, but unfortunately, that is not true. Using memes in ads, just like any other method, is not entirely positive; there is a negative side, which can also equal the positive. Everything has advantages and disadvantages, and memes marketing is no different.
Advantages of using memes in online marketing:
1. They are easy to create
Anyone with a phone nowadays can create a meme. There are tons of blank meme templates to use and websites offering to teach the know-how.
2. They are cheap to make
What is a cheaper way to make an ad than to use a joke already there, waiting to be picked up?
3. The options are limitless
Inspiration for memes is literally all over the internet and in real life. People are making memes out of burritos and getting tons of interactions from them.
4. They are fast to spread
Memes spread on the internet as wildfire. Once people like a meme, they will not stop sharing it.
5. They ensure a wide reach
Millions of people will see a meme when shared all over the internet. Even the ones who are not interested in the meme genre will see it; all this spread will surely widen the circle of potential customers.
6. They take the smallest amount of creativity
All needed to make a meme is someone with a good sense of humor and a fast reflex.
7. They can humanize the brand
If people laugh at a meme made by a brand, they will start thinking of it as a living being, not a cold thing like a traditional ad.
8. They generate instant feedback
People are so fast when reacting to memes that the brand will soon know the public’s opinion of its product.
9. They are visually appealing
Memes do not come alone, and they are usually accompanied by a funny video, image, or text. Things that look good, funny, and repulsive will get stuck in people’s minds and be shared in the widest range.
Disadvantages of using memes in online marketing
1. They can be misleading
Sometimes brands use memes that have nothing to do with the brand’s content, which can generate a bad outcome.
2. They are not easy to put into context
Yes, memes could be easy to come up with, but that’s the case for someone who knows the whole meme context. However, when it comes to the audience, they might not have sufficient knowledge needed to get the meme correctly,
3. They can easily get offensive
If people designing memes go too far and are not cautious, they may end up offending certain groups in society; especially knowing the wide reach a meme can get, it is almost unavoidable. So the brand must be extra cautious not to lose public support.
4. Anyone can make them
Someone not representative of the brand can make a meme that will ruin the brand’s reputation. If that meme caught on, it would leave the brand in a very hard situation.
5. It may give the unwanted feeling of unprofessionalism
Excessive use of memes can give a reversed effect to the one the brand is trying to achieve. Too many memes will make the customers think of the brand as unprofessional and drive them away.
6. Memes are easy to get carried away
When that happens, the brand will lose its original voice and character, repelling its audience.
7. They have an expiration time
The marketers responsible for creating memes must always be on their A-game. They must work day and night, always keeping an eye and an ear open for memes that are dying and the ones that are being born; so the brand does not end up looking out of touch.
Before getting into the trend of using memes as advertisements:
- Make sure it is the right thing for the brand.
- Make some test rounds to see how well the targeted audience will take it.
- Hire the right kind of people for the job.
- Make sure never to lose touch with the original identity of the brand.
- If it is decided that memes are a good way that does great advertising for the brand, make sure not to lose control and start over-using them.
- Take it seriously.