Hey, welcome to the web—a chilly, unforgiving place the place the dank memes are retweeted with glee, and the cringeworthy panderers are downvoted into submission.
We’ve seen loads of hype recently from the viral content material advertising varieties about hopping on the recent traits and their efficacy for manufacturers’ advertising efforts—articles like this New York Occasions story about TikTok procuring, and this Hubspot weblog, and this Forbes piece about meme content material. And truthfully, we simply don’t purchase into it.
To be abundantly clear—we aren’t saying memes can’t be utilized in advertising efforts. Heck, we’ve created total meme codecs and constructed unique content material meme-marketing campaigns for manufacturers (they usually’ve been decently profitable, at that).
And we additionally aren’t saying that partaking with traits on sizzling platforms like TikTok and Reddit are nugatory advertising efforts. Come on, we’re a digital advertising company, we love TikTok.
However we are saying that any sort of viral content material advertising effort that focuses extra on the platform and the pattern than the model and the content material is lacking the purpose. And in a world the place a Snapchat advert runs for a cool $75,000 (conservatively), that’s a reasonably costly mistake to make.
So, earlier than you drop your total advertising price range behind replicating and selling your video of the subsequent Milk Crate Problem, listed below are three pulse-checks to think about:
- What are your objectives?
To not be pedantic right here—however, significantly, what are your objectives? Executives are typically fairly good at remembering the desk stakes and constructing initiatives that deal with the duty at hand, however for some motive with regards to hopping on a sizzling social media pattern, all technique appears to leap out the window. What’s the cope with that? Our hunch is that as a result of the social media panorama modifications so quickly, how and when to have interaction with it nonetheless appears like an unknown. And the unknown is horrifying. Executives and managers are so nervous about staying “on pattern” and searching “related” they usually depart widespread sense on the door and rush out to the leap on the “Subsequent Large Factor,” for concern of getting left behind.
- Will this content material resonate along with your viewers?
Now, there are some actually key noun selections within the sentence above. First: will this have an effect on your viewers? Not simply the final populace, however your particular purchaser. For those who go semi-viral on Snapchat since you made a idiot of your self, that’s all nicely and good—all press is sweet press, proper? But when within the course of you’ve alienated the individuals who will really purchase your product in change for a bunch of recent followers who see you purely as a supply of leisure…nicely, let’s simply say social likes and some chuckles don’t pay the payments almost in addition to gross sales do.
Secondly: will this content material resonate? Not “this pattern,” however particularly you, the model, replicating or taking part in it. We’ve written earlier than at Converse Digital about how digital audiences “bullshit meter” is at an all-time excessive. Model’s who hop on a pattern, and both don’t commit, don’t match the tone, or (worst of all) don’t really perceive the joke instantly come off as overly-salesy, inauthentic, and pandering. Possibly there’s such a factor as dangerous press…
- The place is your viewers?
At its core, meme advertising depends on the identical primary basis as another type of advertising with a view to succeed—relevancy. Particularly, relevancy of the content material itself to the individuals to whom it’s directed (viewers) on the platform the place it’s posted. Particular person, Place, Factor. Which begs the query: is your viewers enthusiastic about seeing your content material on this platform? The reply would possibly in truth be sure—if you’re a retail model cleverly partaking with a Reddit pattern as a solution to spotlight your product to your Gen Z viewers, then congratulations, you’ve handed the take a look at. We might not suggest that very same model attempt to market their product on LinkedIn. Conversely, we don’t see a lot worth in insurance coverage brokers hopping on TikTok to attempt to drive B2B gross sales, until you occur to know for a proven fact that your hottest lead-scored prospect is an enormous fan of corn ribs.
In abstract: innovate, don’t iterate
Social media might be a particularly highly effective device on your digital advertising campaigns. It must be taken very significantly as a technique value partaking, and social channels each previous and new must be critically evaluated for his or her potential (ummm… cough, Google+). It might very nicely be that hopping on the bandwagon of a sure platform or content material pattern is precisely the transfer your model must make proper now. However earlier than you make that decision, simply be sure to’ve thought-about whether or not the juice is well worth the squeeze.