Pretty much since the dawn of the internet age, memes of all shapes and sizes have been flooding social feeds.
From the early days of MySpace to the hallowed halls of Facebook, meme feeds are now the highest growing accounts on Instagram. So, how do brands partner with meme accounts in an authentic way, that doesn’t feel like your dad trying to be funny on Facebook? We recently hosted an event with iconic Instagram meme account @Spicey, and this is what we learnt:
1. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to gain mass reach
Generally speaking, meme accounts are cheap to partner with; by way of comparison, for a persona-focused influencer with 1 million followers, you could be paying 10k for a social campaign post, and for 1 million followers on a meme account you’d likely be paying somewhere between £200-£500. This huge gap in fees is mostly down to content having to be entirely authentic to their feed and comedy/relatability bracket for it to work – so there’s usually no professional shoot, hair or make-up involved, it’s just Adobe software magic which the brand creates and shares.
2. Be aware of engagement rates, but focus on Cost-Per-Enagement
Just as you would with any other social campaign, it’s imperative that you set out the KPIs in advance of content distribution, to properly understand what success looks like. Brand partnerships with traditional influencers will usually generate an engagement rate of around 3.2%, whilst the saturation of content produced by meme accounts means their engagement rates sit at a much lower average of 1.7%. That being said, based on the going rates for meme accounts – the cost-per-engagement will be considerably less. We’re seeing an average CPE at a mere £0.001, compared to a traditional influencer marketing campaign average of industry average of £0.25.
3. Meme accounts can post up to 50 times per day
Yup, you read that right – 50 times per day! This may seem like a daunting spam attack on your perfectly curated feed, but you have to remember that most meme accounts are “private”, so people actually have to follow them in order to view the content. Oversaturation of content for viewers isn’t necessarily the problem here, but as a brand, you want to stand out – and if it’s low cost to partner with meme accounts, it’s likely they’ll be partnering with multiple brand or businesses in just one day. Our top tip? Ask the account your partnering with to not post for X amount of time after your post is live – known to meme account handlers as “no in-front”.
4. Captions are very last year…
Most businesses go through multiple rounds of amendments when it comes to captions and copywriting for their social feeds, but for meme accounts, the perfectly curated caption is very much old news. Meme accounts management is far more about getting the visual content to work within their grid, by ensuring solid imagery or graphics.
5. Video killed the still-frame star
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again for the people in the back: Your business isn’t creating enough video content! Successful meme accounts are churning out video content at a rate of 60% – as a worst-case scenario – compared to all other content, and this is where we’re seeing IGTV come into its own too. When meme accounts post videos to their IGTV channels vs. posting natively to their grid, they’re seeing a whopping 2.5x more engagement.
6. (Video) Content is king, but outreach is queen
If you want to work with meme accounts it’s got to be about give and take, if the account promotes your brands, you should also have a seeding plan as part of the distribution plan which the meme handlers can support you with. However, Meme accounts can’t just keep taking content and not engage back, that term is known as “leeching”.
7. Sunday fun-day!
It’s a well-known fact that Sunday is the highest day for engagement on most forms of content, but especially for meme accounts – so free up your brand’s social schedule for some light-hearted, meme orientated Sunday fun. Followers will likely be tired or hungover, glued to their phones and probably dual-screening… meaning they’re looking to tag and share funny, easy-going content. Meme accounts tend to see an average of 3x higher engagement on a Sunday, compared to any other day of the week!
8. Choose your hashtags wisely
Hashtags have been a bit cringe for a while now, so using fewer and more specific hashtags to lure in a more niche following is definitely the way to go. Do not, under any circumstances, overdo it on the hashtags – just don’t. Focus on what you want to be known for and the unique type of content you’ll be creating.
People running meme accounts are likely to be extremely busy and will probably receive an insane number of DMs a day. So, if you’re approaching them on Instagram, keep it simple: don’t butter them up with up-beat fluff, just a simple “Promo prices?” will suffice for getting your hands on their rate cards. Lots of meme accounts also use the instant messaging app Kik for fee negotiation and posting rates. That being said, much like all influencers, if you think longer-term rather than a one-off post, even with meme accounts you’re likely to get better rates and a more hassle-free service. If you’re nervous about jumping in the meme-end, you could ask for a “test post” rate to make sure your audience are receptive of that specific humour and meme account.
The best way to understand a new form of marketing, is by recognizing which brands/channels are already doing it well, so here are some examples of brands we think are hitting the meme nail on the head. First up, you have Hinge, and online/app-based dating platform. They take the stories of their existing audience and turn them into relatable memes to raise awareness of the app and to normilise “Hinge” as an everyday element of conversation for everyone. Pro-tip: add a dog to your meme and ER will soar… see Exhibit A below!
Another example of excellent meme-brand content comes from e-com fashion retailer FashionNova; they’ve been busy working the same meme accounts for a while now, drawing on familiar content that appeals to their audience in a really authentic way. For further examples of tip-top meme content, see our latest campaign featuring meme accounts @thearchbish0pofbanterbury and @greatbritish.memes here – we followed the rules and overall reach was significantly high, surpassing reach KPIs three times over.
For a helping hand in creating group-chat worthy memes that fit your business or brand’s aesthetic, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to chat.