Unless you’re living under a rock — and don’t troll YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter– you’ve probably noticed that memes are red hot.
Memes are wide ranging, and take the form of hyperlinks, videos, pictures, websites, hashtags, or just a word or phrase online that go viral at lightning speed. Often, they evolve into commetary memes and parodies.
One such controversial meme, Shit White Girls Say to … Black Girls, was so popular that it garnered 8.3 million hits recently on YouTube. It also earned its creator, Chescaleigh, an interview by CNN’s Andersen Cooper — and spawned countless competitors.
No matter what form they take, memes are all forms of visual content marketing, as this post by Christine Dunn explained on Content Marketing Institute. Mostly, memes going viral has largely been the work of college students on social media networks.
Now, corporate America is getting in on the trend. Eager for new and upstart ways to get their audience connected to products — without a hard sales pitch — this platform is increasing the spotlight on memes. The ante is now upped, because the visual content marketing methods in memes are now an ever important part of content marketing.
Companies are scrambling to reproduce them, as a result. But, as with things that go “viral,” sometimes there is no rhyme or reason. Try too hard and the secret sauce gets lost. But that isn’t stopping many companies from trying their hands at memes.
“If you think about it, these things are easy to make and yet elicit a personal, emotional reaction from people,” Gerry Praysman, “Buzz Marketer” at Brainshark, told Dunn. “It doesn’t take long to see what the picture means, but they get people to ask what’s interesting about it. If they’re witty and make sense, people will laugh at it for 15 minutes. People will sit and go from meme to meme.”
Mediums like Pinterest — an uber popular online visual pin-up board — and YouTube only increase their popularity — on any given day, you can find memes on both of these mediums. They can take sometimes complicated information and break it down into digestable visual bites.
What do you think about memes’ popularity? Will you use them in your content marketing?