Life has been a lot more casual since the whole 2020 situation. Sweatpants are outfit-appropriate, every office video meeting has at least one floof guest appearance, and memes are everywhere.
55% of 13-35 year-olds send memes every week, and 30% send memes every day. They’re certainly here to stay, and they’re good for more than just a laugh (or ten).
As memes grow in popularity, they’re becoming a hot format for native advertising. And thus, the rise of meme marketing. Incorporating video memes into your marketing strategy makes your brand appear more relatable, approachable, and fun.
Here’s what you’ll learn about memes in this article
What sets memes apart from other types of marketing?
Let’s start with the basics. If you’ve been living under a rock (or more accurately, if you still use a flip phone) memes are sharable pieces of digital media that communicate relatable feelings.
The term meme was actually coined by Richard Dawkins back in 1976 — he defined a meme as any highly shared cultural artifact. This definition is definitely still applicable today. Memes have morphed into a language for responding to current events.
Social media marketing is a tricky game, as you probably already know. Marketers want to sell products, but nobody wants to see boring branded content in their feed. For social media marketing to work, marketers have to create content that users naturally engage with.
Memes are perfect for this. Normal photos and videos work for this, but memes are special. For one, they’re instantly recognizable. You can make memes that relate to your industry and brand in meme formats that people see all the time. It’s like making an on-trend TikToks. People recognize the trend, and that’s enough to catch attention.
Memes are entertaining, relatable, and most importantly — they can spread like wildfire.
Why video memes?
Video memes can be videos with descriptive text or videos that get so viral and are referenced so often that they become an inside joke within internet communities. To be considered a video meme, videos just have to make the same cultural references, tropes, or jokes that memes do.
Lucky for you, that means creating numerous memes from one video is perfectly acceptable. All you have to do is find a recognizable trend, joke, trope, etc. that aligns with your video clip and intended effect. The internet is filled with a never ending supply of viral, meme-able videos, too.
When your content calendar is running a little dry, creating a video meme is the perfect way to fill the gaps and drive engagement at the same time. Memes result in 55% more engagement than traditional marketing graphics. Meme campaigns also get 14% click-through rates than email marketing campaigns, which is saying a lot.
Meme videos are a triple-edged sword: they grab attention, raise engagement, and build trust.
How to make a meme video
It’s actually pretty easy to make a video meme! There are plenty of meme generators online that simplify the process of making meme images, GIFs, and video memes with fun fonts.
Here’s the generic how-to:
- Step 1: Pick a video meme maker.
- Step 2: Select the video you want to meme.
- Step 3: Customize your video by trimming, adding text, and editing the font. Keep text to a minimum. Remember: memes are short and sweet!
- Step 4: Download your meme video and share it on social media.
These steps will vary slightly depending on the meme marker you use. Some video meme makers even have meme templates to make the process even easier.
3 popular online meme makers to try
Wave.video is a cloud-based meme generator. This means you can simply log into your account and create a project — no need to download software to your computer.
- Step 1: Log into Wave.video and create a project.
- Step 2: Upload your video or choose from the built-in stock library.
- Step 3: Pick your format. You can make your meme videos square, vertical, or story size.
- Step 4: Add text. You can use the classic meme font “Impact” or customize it to your liking.
- Step 5: Download and share. Wave.video has built-in social share options, but you can also download and share your meme video manually.
Movavi is a bit more advanced than Wave.video. If you know a bit about video editing software, this might be your best bet. The only downside — you’ll have to download the software to your computer to use it.
- Step 1: Install Movavi Video Editor Plus to your computer and open the app.
- Step 2: Add your video by clicking the “File Import” tab on the top left corner, then select “Add Files” to upload your video content. Your videos will appear in the timeline at the bottom of the screen.
- Step 3: Add text by clicking the “Titles” tab, selecting “Basic”, then clicking “Simple Text”. Once you’ve typed your text, drag it into the timeline with your video files. Customize the text by editing its position, color, and size. This is also where you’ll trim if you’re dealing with multiple video clips.
- Step 4: Click “Export” to download your video.
Want to make meme videos on your phone? Get the Inshot app. Here’s how to use it:
- Step 1: Select “Video” and upload your video clips to the app from your camera roll.
- Step 2: Pick a meme background — this can be a solid color, a blur, or a gradient.
- Step 3: Add text. Just like with most other meme generators, you can add text and customize the font type, size, and color.
- Step 4: Save the video. Voila! A perfect video meme.
How do I make a meme GIF?
Creating a meme GIF is pretty simple. All you have to do is create a GIF and add text. You can create GIFs with Vimeo from any video.
(Pro-tip: Live Photos can also be made into GIFs, and your Live Photos can also be used to make video wallpapers for your phone.)
But if you want to use an online meme maker, you’ll need to upload your GIF first (you can’t make the GIF in the meme maker. Once you’ve uploaded your GIF, customize it with text just like you would a meme video.
Best practices for making memes to use in your marketing
Meme marketing might seem like all fun and games, but even the simplest games require a bit of strategy. Keep these best practices in mind for a successful meme marketing strategy:
Know your audience
Memes instantly recognizable to Call of Duty: Warzone players probably won’t pop off when shown to an audience full of die-hard Gossip Girl fans.
Knowing the interests, wants, needs, and behaviors of your target audience is especially important for meme marketing. Memes are pieces of media that reflect culture. For your memes to hit home, you need to understand what cultural references and current events resonate with your target audience.
Need meme ideas? Try memejacking
Memejacking is taking an already viral meme and adding a branded message to it. With memejacking, you’re finding a meme that your audience already recognizes and tweaking it so that it relates to your brand. The viral meme is enough to snag your customers’ attention. Once you have it, you can convey whatever message you want — as long as it’s concise, fits the meme, and isn’t overtly salesy.
Stay on brand
Your memes shouldn’t be wildly outside the realm of what you’d normally post. When you post content that isn’t on-brand, your followers might perceive it as inauthentic. The last reaction you want when you’re trying to connect with your audience is to be perceived as trying too hard, but missing the mark.
The meme itself also has a brand. Make sure you’re posting big, easy to read text. Your message shouldn’t be wordy, and your meme should ultimately be recognizable as part of the overall trend.
Stay on trend
The meme world moves fast. Taking advantage of the viral nature of memes requires marketers to keep up with the latest trends and act fast. Post the meme while it’s having its moment. Otherwise, you’ll come off as late to the party, and that’s never a good look.
Classic meme formats you should know about
You can source inspo from a few of the classics. These examples aren’t video exclusively, but remember: pretty much anything can become a meme video. The fun part of marketing with memes is that you can take any GIF, video, or still image and transform it into a video meme with some simple text.
Distracted boyfriend is busted by girlfriend while eyeing another girl. Your audience would be the guy, your brand would be the attractive girl, and lesser impressive brands take the place of the girlfriend. Sorry, girlfriend.
Extremely angry woman yells at a seemingly disinterested cat. Use this to show an argument where one side is super engaged, and the other is just there.
A meme for when you’re in denial of a serious problem.
The meme for all life’s “what the…fork” moments.
Man sits behind a sign with a quote that sparks controversy.
A meme for showing off your wins (and your customers’ wins, too).
A meme for showing how excited you are about a fantastic product.
A meme for when life is getting a bit out of control.
A meme for when you’re out of luck.
Viral meme trends worth watching
These memes that are having their moment right now:
This one shows the happy side and sad side of life. The point should be steering your audience toward the happy side, where your products should be.
Write a quote your brand doesn’t agree with followed by many, many red flag emojis.
A sequence of events where your audience realizes something they thought to be positive might end up a disaster.
Memes are a content format where you can have a lot of fun. Memes are a reaction to current Internet culture, and joining in on relevant trends will help you connect with your audience in ways regular photos and videos just can’t manage.
When you post a meme, you’re showing your audience you understand the moment. Even if that’s something as simple and silly as a red flag emoji, just knowing your brand “gets it” will go along way with your audience.