Meme Marketing: How to Go Viral (+ 10 Killer Examples)

Brody Hall
Jul 1, 2024

Hand off the toughest tasks in SEO, PPC, and content without compromising quality

Explore Services
Quick navigation

Once niche elements of internet culture that were reserved for pre-social media websites like Cheezburger Network and FunnyJunk, memes grew up and landed jobs in marketing.

Credit where credit’s due—they’ve taken well to professional life. Virality and engagement are all part of a day’s work for a timely meme.

Ready to inject some personality into your marketing? Let’s talk memetic marketing.

Using Memes for Marketing: Socials, Ads, and Email Campaigns

Memes have broken free from the dank corners of the internet and are now making their mark in the mainstream marketing world. And for good reason: these bite-sized nuggets of humor resonate with audiences across demographics and platforms.

Social media platforms like Instagram, X, and TikTok are prime real estate for meme marketing. Brands can create shareable content that spreads like wildfire, organically reaching a vast audience.

But social media isn’t the only place where memes shine. Paid advertising campaigns will also benefit from a touch of humor. Injecting memes into ads instantly grabs attention, makes a brand more memorable, and even increases click-through rates.

Email marketing is also the perfect breeding ground for memes. A well-placed meme in the email body can increase open rates and click-throughs, add a touch of personality, and make a brand more approachable.

Memes and Their SEO Impact: A Match Made in Viral Heaven

Memes will spice up your SEO content, too. A well-placed meme in a blog post or article can break up walls of text, injecting humor and personality into otherwise dry topics.

Social Signals That Google Actually Cares About

Memes are engineered for virality, spreading across platforms and sparking conversations. That kind of organic reach can significantly boost a brand’s visibility and drive organic traffic to a website.

What proof do we have of this? Remember those metrics in Google’s leaked API documents, like UgcScore and TopicClicks? Both metrics track user engagement—likes, shares, and comments—the very things memes excel at generating.

In other words, a well-executed meme campaign can do more than just entertain. It’ll drive traffic, boost brand awareness, and even influence your position in search results. Nice!

Go Viral, Get Backlinks

The real magic happens when your meme escapes the confines of what’s considered traditional social media platforms, like IG or X.

Think Reddit, where a well-placed meme in the right subreddit can get you a flood of traffic and a valuable dofollow backlink if it hits the front page. Or Tumblr, where reblogs (essentially shares) automatically generate dofollow backlinks to your content, turning every share into an SEO boost.

And while links from Reddit or Tumblr might not be the highest quality, consider Google’s leaked freshdocs metric. This little nugget of information suggests that Google places more value on links from newer pages, potentially giving those Tumblr reblogs more weight than you might expect.

Crafting Your Meme Marketing Strategy

There’s a science behind the success of a good meme. It’s not as simple as slapping a funny caption on a trending image. To truly harness the power of memes, you need a well-thought-out plan that aligns with your overall marketing goals.

1. Know Your Audience (Like, Really Know Them)

This is where those buyer personas you meticulously crafted come into play.

Don’t just skim the surface. Know your target audience’s online behavior intimately. What type of humor do they enjoy? What are they most likely to appreciate and share? What references do they get (and which ones will go over their heads)?

Tailor your memes to their specific sense of humor and interests. A meme that works for Gen Z might fall flat with Gen X, so speak their language. Use words and phrases they understand.

2. Create Memes That Stick (Not Just to the Fridge)

A good meme is like a well-delivered joke—it needs to be timely, relevant, and have a strong punchline. But there’s more to it than just squeezing out a LOL. Your memes should also align with your brand’s voice and values, subtly reinforcing your messaging without being overly promotional. Promotional memes won’t fly on sites like Reddit. Your brand will get roasted to the ground.

To avoid “more harm than good” scenarios, start by choosing the right format. Are you going for a classic image macro, a GIF, or maybe even a short video? Once you’ve landed on the format, craft a caption that’s witty, attention-grabbing, and relevant to your target audience. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and see what resonates best.

3. Strategize for Success

Posting a meme here and there won’t cut it. You need a strategic approach that maximizes your reach and impact. Consider the following:

  • When is your audience most active online? Schedule your memes for maximum visibility.
  • Where does your audience hang out? Choose the platforms that align with your target demographics.
  • How often should you post memes? Find a balance between staying top-of-mind and overwhelming your audience.

And remember, meme marketing is an ongoing experiment. Test different approaches, analyze your results, and refine your strategy as you go. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it. After all, memes are all about bringing a little joy into your ICP’s lives, breaking up the influx of social media doom and gloom.

Meme Marketing in Action: 10 Examples

Marketing memes that serve as great examples (and hopefully draw a laugh).

1. The Accidental SEO Genius

This meme perfectly captures the feeling of bewilderment and slight panic when your website traffic suddenly spikes, and you have no clue what you did to cause it. A hilarious and relatable experience for anyone who’s dabbled in SEO, highlighting the fact that sometimes success can be a happy accident.

The meme’s humor lies in the wide-eyed, “deer in the headlights” expression, which perfectly encapsulates that “Wait, what just happened?” moment. It’s a great example of how memes tap into shared experiences and add a lighthearted touch to a complex topic. Perfect for building trust with your clientele.

2. The Unbearable Weight of a Massive Marketing Fail

This meme hilariously captures the awkward tension between developers and marketers. It references the iconic scene from “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” where Nick Cage and Pedro Pascal’s characters experience vastly different experiences. In this case, it’s the shared struggle of understanding each other’s worlds.

The developer, blissfully unaware of marketing jargon and strategies, is contrasted with the marketer who struggles to grasp the intricacies of code. The humor lies in the relatable frustration of inter-departmental communication breakdowns and the feeling of being the only one who truly “gets it.”

3. When Client Expectations Meet Reality

This meme illustrates the age-old struggle faced by agencies and freelancers when dealing with mismatched client expectations and budgets.

The top image showcases the sleek and luxurious Jaguar, representing the grand vision clients often have for their projects. In stark contrast, the bottom image features a humble Fiat Panda adorned with our best friend, the humble yet loyal dog.

The humor stems from the relatable experience of trying to deliver high-end results with limited resources, a challenge many marketers and creatives will empathize with.

4. When Retargeting Ads Go Full Liam Neeson

This meme hilariously equates retargeting ads with Liam Neeson’s relentless pursuit of his daughter’s kidnappers in Taken.

Just like Bryan Mills, those ads will find you no matter where you hide on the internet. It’s a funny take on how persistent (and sometimes creepy) retargeting can feel, especially when you’re constantly reminded of that product you almost bought (but didn’t).

5. Where it Started vs. Where it Ended Up

This meme perfectly captures the journey of a marketer. The bright-eyed, bushy-tailed Vixey from The Fox and the Hound embodies the naive optimism of a fresh-faced marketer eager to take on the world. Fast forward a few years, and we get the weary, slightly deranged-looking fox, a reflection of the burnout and disillusionment that can set in after countless campaigns and algorithm shifts.

It’s a hilarious and relatable reminder that marketing can be a wild ride and that a newbie’s wide-eyed optimism often gives way to a more jaded yet wiser perspective. It’s a perfect example of how memes capture the unspoken truths of our professions.

Conclusion and Next Steps

Memes offer a unique way to connect with your audience, boost engagement, and even improve your SEO. But remember, just like any marketing tool, memes require a thoughtful approach. Choose wisely, use them strategically, and always keep your brand’s voice and values in mind.

Ready to up your marketing game?

Our team of expert content marketers will help you create content that resonates with your ideal audience and drive real results.

🚀 Explore our range of content marketing services, and let’s make your brand the next viral sensation! 🚀

Hand off the toughest tasks in SEO, PPC, and content without compromising quality

Explore Services

Written by Brody Hall on July 1, 2024

Content Marketer and Writer at Loganix. Deeply passionate about creating and curating content that truly resonates with our audience. Always striving to deliver powerful insights that both empower and educate. Flying the Loganix flag high from Down Under on the Sunshine Coast, Australia.