In the 21st century where mobile phones and tablets have taken over, it’s highly likely that you have seen or at least heard of a meme. You can’t look through your Facebook feed without seeing some kind of meme pop up, but what is a meme? Before you can create your own incredible internet-stopping meme, you need to understand completely what a meme is.
What is a meme?
The Oxford Dictionary defines a meme as “an element of a culture or system of behavior passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means” or “an image, video, text typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by internet users”.
The most common types of memes on the internet tend me to images with funny captions or text over it. Often, they poke fun at people’s behavior, highlighting behaviors shared by many people. Other memes can be in the form of a joke or a video, most are fun and light-hearted, but some do reach more philosophical levels.
Memes seem to be most popular with millennials. This might be because this generation was brought up with social media and is an intrinsic part of their their lives. Some popular examples of a meme are The RickRoll and the double rainbow guy… just to name a few. There are literally thousands of memes floating around the internet.
What makes a good meme?
Memes are simple, fun and can be enjoyed by almost everyone. A good meme is something that people can relate to and laugh at. It gives people the freedom to laugh and not be too serious all the time. To create a meme that will win over the internet, you need to include the points below:
A good meme should be something that a lot of people can relate too. It could be some kind of stereotypical behavior, a political problem or issue, an inside-joke that a certain group of people would understand, or something that’s trending in the news that most people would know about. For instance, there are memes about problems women face in life and woman can relate to these. A meme gains power when someone relates to it and a group of people can discuss it together.
If it isn’t relatable people will not want to share it, and they probably won’t understand it. So, pick a topic that people would have heard about or your meme will get lost in the thousands of other memes circling the web.
The main point of a meme is to be funny and light heart, but some do have a deeper connection that links to people’s behaviors, the media or politics. If your meme isn’t funny, people most likely won’t enjoy it. Memes are a fun and easy way to have a laugh, to take a break from the serious day to day work and to laugh. Memes are an ironic form of humor. There are many stressful and crazy things going on in the world and memes are a way to react to the everyday issues we face.
When you make a meme, the image must relate to the text or the caption or this just confuse people. You can use an image that might not necessarily have anything to do with the scenario as long as it describes the situation perfectly without confusion.
If you are wanting to use memes for your business, then keep it relevant to your brand. Memes are enormously popular right now and if you want to jump on the meme bandwagon go for it! Just always remember to relate the meme to your brand so it makes sense. Using a meme for your business can be a great tool, it can help spread the name of your business can get stuck in peoples heads.
Do your research
When creating a good meme, you need to keep up to date on current trends. Do your research and see what type of memes are popular at the moment, how people are reacting to them and which ones people tend to be sharing the most.
You will also need to keep up to date on the news and what’s happening in the world. If a celebrity or political leader do something controversial, you will need to know. There is no point in making a meme about something that happened two years ago. One reason why people like memes so much is because it’s a light-hearted way to discuss the issues of the world and to get your opinions out in a joking manner.
Use high-quality images/videos
When people are looking at a meme, the image or video footage is the most important part. People will not want to look at a pixelated image or video or hurt their eyes trying to figure out what it is. Use high-quality images and videos within your memes, this will catch people’s attention better and be more effective.
Try taking the images or video footage yourself, if you don’t want to or don’t have the camera equipment then use a stock image. Don’t just take an image off google as you could face copyright issues, there are plenty of stock images websites you can take images off. Search from thousands of images related to your topic.
People love controversy, people on the internet love to troll. Creating a controversial meme is definitely a way to draw an audience to your meme. People will argue and debate over it and share it to cause more debates among their friends. Some people will love it, others won’t but it will defiantly make your meme popular.
Keep it simple
Keep your meme minimalistic. No-one wants to spend ages trying got figure out what the meme says and why it’s funny. Keep it simple and to the point or the joke will get lost. Memes are meant to be light, fun and a quick read. Don’t over complicate your meme, keep it simple.
Who is your meme targeted at? Meme’s that are very successful tend to be aimed at a certain group or community of people. For example, car memes, political memes, animal memes, football memes. All these memes have a common audience in mind when being created.
Don’t try to make a meme that everyone will like, it’s impossible. Not everyone will understand or appreciate the meme. Keep the target audience narrowed down to a specific circle of people for a more successful reaction.
Creating your meme
Now you know what you need to do to make a good meme, it’s time to actually create your meme. If you own software such as word or Photoshop then you could make your meme using that. If you don’t you can use one of the many meme generators available online, such as MemeCreator or QuickMeme.
Find the images you want to use, this could be your own image or a stock image on the internet. You could also use the template from another meme, just make sure to check the copyright first. Once you have your image it’s time to add text. The text is very important for the understanding of the meme.
Use a font that fits the theme of the picture, the text should flow with the image not overpower it. Make sure the text is a good size and readable. If people can’t easily read the text, then they won’t want to read the meme.
Share it with the world
Once you have finished creating your amazing meme it’s time to share it with the world. You can share your meme anywhere on the internet but there are some places that will drive more traffic than others. One of the biggest meme hosting sites is Imgur, post your meme and share it with the world. You can use sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. There are many groups on Facebook that are dedicated to sharing memes with their followers. Instagram is a good site to share your meme as you can use meme related hashtags to try to drive traffic to your meme.
Congratulations, you have successfully created a meme that will win over the internet. It really doesn’t take much to create a winning meme, you just have to think logically and follow the steps provided. Tap into the audience’s emotions to get a strong reaction but also do not forget to add the humor. When the world is crumbling apart people need to be reminded that it’s ok to laugh and be happy. Memes can help to release the stress of the real world and give you some relief through the use of humor.