Don’t Just Meme It, Make It
Memes are one of the fastest ways to get a specific point across in a satirical fashion. In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with that, but with great popularity comes an avalanche of repetitiveness.
I’ve used memes myself on more than one occasion. And I’m not the only one. Much of the user-aggregated content you find on Reddit is expressed through one funny image or another.
While there’s certainly merit with the Success Kid, Good Guy Greg, and Office Space’s Bill Lumberg, the over-abundance of memes leads us online folks down a slippery slope.
In short, popularity often produces saturation.
Let’s face facts: images are the industry standard for grabbing attention. Online marketers, SEO people, web developers, and small business owners use images to say “hey, take a look at this content.”
In that way, memes do their job well. But images alone are not what make people pick up the phone to call you, hit a buy button, or make an appointment. It’s the message that accomplishes that mission. Image-based marketing simply opens the door. It’s up to the text to get prospects to take a walk with you.
How do you overcome this hurdle?
Originality, creativity, and all the other ingredients that constitute smart and innovative marketing techniques. To take my point to a more direct level, I’ll boil the thesis down to these 3 ideas…
Create your own damn content.
Put your individual stamp on your marketing.
Don’t do what other people are doing.
And here’s why: even if content illuminates real brilliance, it gets lost in the SEO/market shuffle when it’s overused.
I must admit: memes are fun. I laugh at them all the time, but they epitomize template content. And Google hates that.
Even Facebook has gotten on the anti-meme bandwagon. Zuckerberg and company will punish recycled content with decreased visibility. Perhaps that is the primary reason that Facebook usage has dwindled.
Truth is, every week that passes, the fewer times I look at Facebook. It’s not necessarily that I view the king of social media platforms as a time-suck or even an ineffective marketing tool.
My indifference to Facebook comes from the rehashed, recycled, reused, and regurgitated content that permeates my newsfeed.
In other words, people just post other people’s crap. And I’m hungry for new content. Sheep are cute, but I don’t want to be one of them.
Here’s the big question: how do you curb the repetitive content trend and blaze your own meme trail? It boils down to reaching deep into your expertise repertoire, and creating something completely different.
Not necessarily wacky or off-the-wall. Just different.
So since I feel compelled to put up or shut up, here are a few meme ideas that might just keep this trend fresh.
Good People Parents:
So many memes focus on parents as ignorant, extremist, or otherwise mean. The Good People Parents meme will showcase what happens when mom and dad treat their children well, teach them to be kind and respectful human beings, and instill both open-mindedness and personal values.
The kicker: this duo is by no means perfect, but they certainly try to be.
Grumpy cat’s a good one, but how about a mouse? Not a grumpy mouse, or a happy one. Instead this meme will be a helmet-wearing, sword-carrying gladiator (who loves cheese).
I’d click on that link.
Cats rule the Internet. And I’ve mentioned before that content creation success hinges in part of how you express it and re-invent it. In 2014, we should develop hippy cat. He’s eyes are half-closed, his tail has gone slack, and he sits lounging around the windowsill. Perhaps he had a bit too much catnip.
His message centers on slacktivism, instead of donating money, time, or energy to a charitable or social cause.
The man has the voice of an ice sculpture angel. Enough said.
Truth be told: I really don’t think memes are going anywhere within the near future. But if they are here to stay, I’d like to see a little innovation and fun.
When it comes to web images as a whole (not just memes), I think it’s important to know how they function–that is, to captivate interest. It really doesn’t matter if your website is educational, eCommerce, or service-based, it’s the images’ job to keep people reading and digesting your content.
Got meme ideas? Thoughts on the function of web-based images? Losing interest in Facebook? Let me know what you think in the comments below.