Digital Communication


Digital Communication

Marketing meme: how it works for businesses


Memes depict an often known subject with a short text satirically. Private users of social networks are not the only ones to benefit from this: more and more companies are also integrating memes into their marketing mix. To set up an effective meme marketing (or meme marketing in French) you need to follow a few rules.

What is a meme?

Memes are usually images combined with some text. Thematically, they take up a (current) topic and approach it in a ironic or humorous. Done well, memes quickly become viral, that is, they are often shared on Facebook and the like, and spread on their own. If a short video with text is created in a similar way, it is a GIF.

What makes a good meme?

As we already mentioned in the previous paragraph, good memes have high virality. This is possible when the image and text match perfectly and the message transmitted is clear and immediately understood. The point is to create snackable content. As far as content is concerned, a successful meme must on the one hand take up current events or current trendsand on the other hand match thetarget group humor. It is mainly young people between 15 and 30 who consume and send memes every week, a third of them even daily.

Meme Marketing for Business

Knowing this, companies should absolutely consider memes in their storytelling or content marketing. Meme marketing primarily plays a role in B2C communication, i.e. marketing to consumers. But it can also work at the B2B level, in other words in the communication from one company to another.

With a well-made meme, companies can not only sell their products or services, but above all promote their brand and encourage (new) customers to take an interest in their products. The images indeed show a extremely high interaction rate because they are not only shared, but also willingly commented on. In the best of cases, companies therefore hardly have to worry about the dissemination of their (advertising) message: the customers take care of it for them. Also, memes are products quickly and cheaper.

Important rules for good meme marketing

In order for meme marketing to be effective for your business, you need to find the right tone. Concretely, this means that:

  • You must know exactly the humor of your target group, touch and assess the extent to which irony and/or sarcasm will be perceived. Important: the result does not have to match your humor.
  • Resume current trends and events. For this, you need to know your target group and identify the potential for good stories (at best before the competition does).
  • The meme must match your brand and your product. Similar to influencer marketing, customers quickly notice if a statement or tone is off-brand. L’authenticity is extremely important in meme marketing.
  • A rather logical rule: be sure to use only images whose Copyright are clearly established. If so, refer to it. Never pass off images and ideas as your own if this is not the case. This is always known very quickly on social networks and risks causing a shitstorm, or even worse.

If you don’t have the courage to create memes that are humorous and in line with your target group yourself, seek professional support in the form of content creators or social media specialists. If necessary, they can also take over the management of the community and contact users when a meme is not as effective as expected.

Examples of successful meme marketing

The young start-up Yomoni offers the possibility of managing one’s wealth and savings online. In order to promote their service, the company has developed very effective meme marketing which has notably been displayed in the Paris metros. Yomoni highlights its difference with the competitors, in particular by its simplicity of access and its “clear and understandable” speech. The use of memes has enabled an innovative and fun advertising campaign here, which will have a positive impact on the popularity and influence of the young start-up.

Yomoni ad using a viral chat meme
Yomoni uses humor in its advertising campaign. / source:

The most suitable motives always depend on the topicality, the context and the target group. Thus, during the inauguration of Joe Biden, the American senator Bernie Sanders fascinated with his clothing choices and posture. The image and the moment went viral: Bernie was then transported to beaches, in TV scenes and in countless other places and served as the model for a vast majority of memes.

Bernie Sanders meme staged on the moon next to the American flag
Bernie Sanders’ photo at Joe Biden’s inauguration has become a social media meme. / source:

In the past, image banks have also shown their great potential for creating memes. You have probably already seen thedistracted friend or theelderly man with an unwavering smile on social networks.

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