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How to Create Memes for Your Social Media [+21 Free Templates]

Memes are a significant part of our lives, especially in online communications. They entertain us and define how we experience the pop culture, political moments, and everyday struggles. The occasional jokes reduce stress and improve the emotional connection between friends, colleagues, and even random Internet users.

Today, memes are widely used in advertising, on social media, in brand communication. They make a low-cost way to create content that gets shared widely, which is a great tactic to promote your brand and products.

Memes make a low-cost way to create content that gets shared widely, which is a great tactic to promote your brand and products.

But how to create your own memes and use them for your marketing strategy? Let’s dive in.

How memes can benefit your marketing strategy

According to the Sprout Social study, people are more likely to buy from brands that are honest, friendly and helpful. On top of it, 72% of consumers expect brands to be funny on social media. 

Meme stats

If used properly, memes can become a highly effective marketing tool for multiple reasons:

  1. Making memes is cheap. In most cases you just need to add your caption to an existing image.
  2. Memes lead to a higher engagement from your audience because people like to share funny content. 
  3. Memes can make your brand sound more human and make it more relatable, as memes feature casual and authentic voice. 
  4. Memes increase the recognition of your brand. People will remember your brand when they see the meme elsewhere.

Make hilarious memes

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How brands use memes in marketing

Many brands capitalize on meme culture to sell things. Let’s consider several examples of how brands include humor in their marketing.

1. Memes by Spotify

Spotify meme

In 2019 Spotify lead a global campaign with the tagline “Music for every mood” which was inspired by memes, and wittily suggested playlists for various emotional states.

Spotify inspired template

If you are afraid that memes can damage your brand’s visual aesthetics, take a look at the Spotify example. They used a simple and stylish design for the campaign which looks nothing like an internet ugly-styled meme.

The artwork has all the necessary details: setup, punchline, and strong recognizable branding. 

You can make your own joke using this Spotify-inspired template. Customize it with your brand colors and fonts. 

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2. Creative memes by Brandfire

Brandfire creative agency uses meme creation to attract new clients. They entertain their followers, as well as show off the sense of creativity and style they can offer to their clients.

Brandfire meme

Brandfire creative agency Instagram

Brandfire inspired template

Like Brandfire, many brands post images that look like screenshots of occasional jokes on Twitter.

Twitter made it easy to add GIFs in the tweet box, which made tweet-like memes extremely popular on many other platforms. These memes have a white background, the setup of the joke and the punchline image. 

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3. Ironic memes by Denny’s diners

Denny’s diners have their personal style in jokes and images. They mix and match everyday life objects with their products. The brand uses different styles and keeps its ironic and pushy brand voice throughout social media.

Dennys meme

Denny’s diners Instagram

Denny’s diners inspired template

We see how Denny’s diners experiment a lot with their content and create professionally ‘photoshopped’ images.

But once in a while, they use more common meme templates, like ‘demotivator’.

The ‘Demotivator’ meme style has been extremely popular for many years, but they are so easy to reproduce that we still can see some funny pictures of this style.

It usually has an all-cap title written in white, and in some cases, a tagline written in a smaller font. 

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4. Adorable memes by BarkBox

Another outstanding meme-rich account is the one by Barkbox. Barkbox takes full advantage of this meme-able dog theme to promote their dog products. They post fun and engaging memes instead of professional cute-dog pictures.

Barkbox memes

Barkbox Instagram

BarkBox inspired template

Barkbox often makes the image big and adds some text on a semi-transparent background. Use this template if you want to make your image as big as possible.

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5. Legendary memes by Netflix

Netflix is a meme-marketing ninja, as they make memes out of their own shows.

This humor is based on actors’ charisma, on the mix of imaginary and real-world situations, and even on the mix of different shows. 

Netflix memes

Netflix Instagram

Netflix inspired template

Netflix usually uses scenes of different shows with real captions. To recreate this kind of layout you can use collages with the simple bold font at the bottom of each part of the story.

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How to make your content funny

So, we got it –  creating memes that resonate with a lot of people is extremely valuable today. But how to create them?

Let’s take a look at key techniques to follow to make funny content. 

1. Stay on trends

First of all, keep an eye on what’s popular. All efforts can be wasted if a meme is too old or overused. Follow the relevant channels, check Google trends and ‘Know Your Meme’.

Knowyourmeme.com is like Wikipedia for memes. Here you can get information on any meme – from its origin to examples of how it is being shared on different social media platforms. Here you can also find what’s trending right now and get some inspiration.

Know your meme

2. Use funny pictures

The easiest way to create a meme is to use a visual that is funny as it is. And you can make it funnier with an appropriate caption:

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3. Appeal to the human nature

Laziness, procrastination, unhealthy habits, a failed daily schedule — doesn’t sound so positive, but we all experience these things and just don’t say it out loud. Memes that reveal our insecurities and imperfections make us more human. 

For example, the ‘Me, Also me’ meme is pretty simple and allows for a full range of creative freedom: from the sleek and stylish Spotify ad campaign, we mentioned before, to minimalistic Twitter-like annotated images.

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4. Make fun of everyday life and special occasions

Jokes about food, Fridays, and holidays provide numerous ways to make fun of ourselves.

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Customize this template

5.  Make memes about annoying facts and the Murphy’s law

We use humor as a tool to fight things we barely can control. People feel relief knowing they are not the only ones who experience struggle and failures. 

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Customize this template

6. Leverage the side-by-side visual contrast 

Another way to make fun is to use unexpected contrasting visuals.

In the following examples, the joke comes out of the contrast in images. The everyday life situations make these jokes relatable, and the exaggeration makes them hilarious.

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Customize this template

7. Make observational jokes

Observational humor is based on aspects of everyday life. It is being vastly used in stand-up comedy and usually represented by things that are rarely noticed or talked about but happening constantly.

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Customize this template

 

Customize this template

8. Unleash the surreal comedy, absurd and wordplay

Here, we comprised several approaches to making jokes as they all can be described as violating causal reasoning.

They subvert audience expectations so that the amusement bases on unpredictability and ridiculousness.

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Customize this template

 

Customize this template

How to create meme images

Meme images are probably the most popular form of memes. They are easy to make and to share. You can create it in a couple of clicks and then share it across many platforms.

With Wave.video, you have a choice to you can customize a template, create your own artwork from stock images or your own picture, add your witty caption. Then you can pick any frame of your project and export it as a .JPG or .PNG image:

How to export meme image

How to create GIF memes 

GIFs are short silent animated clips that are usually looped. When you pick a clip or its part to turn it into a GIF meme you should bear in mind these two things:

  1. The idea should be clear enough with no sound
  2. The action is supposed to be repeated endlessly

For this example we chose the video part with the actor’s mimics that is fun to be repeated. Sound is not essential for this joke as the actor’s charisma and the message are self-explanatory.

Meme_GIF_sample

In Wave.video editor you can export any part of your project as an animated GIF. The final GIF clip can be up to 15 seconds long.

Click Publish and then proceed to the GIF export settings:

How to export meme GIF

How to create video memes

Video memes can be used pretty much anywhere. Unlike GIF, video memes usually have sound. It can be some meme song, original sound, or even sound from some other meme video.

The other difference from GIFs is a significantly higher visual quality. Sometimes it makes sense to export your short silent clip as video instead of GIF just to preserve the visual quality when posted on social.

One of the top platforms for videos memes these days — Tik Tok. The lockdown gave it a huge boost. Many people who have to stay at home use their creativity to express themselves under the new frustrating circumstances.

One of the possible ways to create a Tik Tok video is to describe a situation in different shots with some trending music.

Customize this template

Wave.video editor allows you to upload your own video and audio content or to use the stock library and various templates.

Once you finish editing just go and publish your video:

How to export meme videos

5 tips for meme-marketing

  1. Keep your authenticity. Develop a strategy on how much humor you want to include in your marketing communication. 
  2. Know your audience. Make sure your target audience will get the joke without explanation.
  3. Follow the current trends of modern culture. Using a viral meme with your own funny twist can increase engagement rates
  4. Check the rights on an image or a video. When in doubts, consider the alternatives: you can use your own imagery, or pick from stock libraries. Wave.video editor has a built-in 300+ million stock library of royalty-free photos and videos
  5. Avoid sensitive or controversial topics.

Conclusion

Memes may not be right for every brand identity, and it’s ok. But if you feel that they fit your brand then you should definitely give this content type a try. Have fun!

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