How to Make the Next Internet Meme
A growing online phenomenon is the Internet meme, which is a clever play on words or situational irony of the image and the context. A good meme often travels through the Web with hundreds, maybe thousands, of iterations and interpretations. But what makes this viral content so intriguing?
The classic Internet meme consists of image and text, but it can also include video, music and sounds. Let’s discuss the three parts of the classic Internet meme: image, text and community.
1. Every meme starts with an image. More often than not, the image is of a person or animal displaying an obvious emotion, whether it is anger, distress or jubilation. The image is instantly recognizable to the target audience. It serves as the catalyst for sharing. It is the tangible part of the meme that makes it unique and hard to duplicate with other images.
2. The overlaying text describes a situation or resolution that is humorous or ironic based on the scene in the image. Some memes use two-part text, above and below the image, to set up a joke and punch line. The text could stand on its own, but with the addition of the image, the irony and punch line are amplified. Together, the image and text make the meme more memorable.
3. The meme must speak to a specific mindset, but still be easily understood for those who may not share that mindset. The target community is what kicks off the meme’s viral nature, and is what gives the meme the momentum to continue moving to a wider sphere. If crafted correctly, the meme will become a self-perpetuating trend, but it all begins with a select group of people.
Somecards is a great platform for generating a specific style of meme with all the necessary elements. Take for instance the cocktail lady from someecards. She's been used to describe everything from the anxious wait for a Friday, to the “healthy” consumption of grapes (in the form of wine, of course). In any case, both wine-lovers AND cubicle workers have used the same cocktail lady to express their immediate wants and situations.
So how do you create the next meme? It starts with a precise audience. Who will be the primary driver in the use of this meme? The narrower the target the better, perhaps Gen Y science nerds, or Baby Boomer males from the Midwest? Choose an image that your target will recognize or relate to. Choose a message or series of messages that will help that audience express its wants, needs, situations and emotions. Once you have your audience, your image and text, put the meme in a place they will discover it. The Internet may be vast, but by taking advantage of its nooks AND outskirts, your meme can be discovered and shared.
I am a passionate marketing, strategy and beer geek. As a serial entrepreneur, I have built multiple companies in a variety of industries including tourism, nightlife, video, business networking and marketing. You'll find me in the mix enjoying good beer and wearing the funky socks. Cheers!
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