If you have listened to any advice about email and social media marketing lately, you have heard about the importance of using visual content. Images can grab readers’ attention, highlight a brand’s personality, illustrate a point, or motivate followers to engage with content. In fact, composing a Twitter post that contains a photo URL can boost retweets as much as 35%.
However, not all images are created equal. Photo quality, composition, and relevance to the accompanying text are all factors to consider. Combine an image with some text and you create a piece of content that is not only visually appealing, but also carries your message and branding as it is shared and viewed. One item of visual content commonly referenced today is a meme.
Dictionary.com defines a meme as: “a cultural item in the form of an image, phrase, video, etc. that is spread via the Internet and often altered in a creative or humorous way.” Memes are found all over social media and are a commonly shared item of visual content. So, how do you capitalize on this trend and make your own meme?
Start with a relevant, good quality photo. Whether you choose a picture you’ve taken yourself or an image from a stock image site, ensure it portrays the mood or effect you’re trying to portray. For instance, if you’re making a funny meme, choose a picture that has an element of surprise or humor. For inspirational images, use a photo that emits warmth or light.
Choose a photo with elements that are situated correctly. Keeping in mind the placement and amount of text you plan to add to the meme, select a background image that won’t compete. In the image on the right, notice how the text covers some of John Candy's forehead. Some of the impact is lost when the eye is distracted in such a way.
Use a font type that fits the theme of the meme. Depending on what type of photo editor or app you use to create the meme, many different font types are available for you to choose from. Select one that both stands out against the background and is relevant to the tone of the message. For instance, if your meme is a somber tribute to our nation’s veterans, a childlike handwriting font may contradict the message.
Make adjustments to properly balance out the image. If the background is too bright or strong, reduce its opacity or apply filters to lighten its appearance. If the font appears to disappear into the background, either add a shadow or a colored background to help it to stand out, like in the image of the cookies on the left.
Don’t forget to add your branding! If the completed meme is shared across social media, you certainly want your branding to go with it and increase your brand’s visibility. For more on how to add your branding, visit this blog post.
With these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating great memes that can be used for your social media and email marketing efforts!
April Keating, a military spouse entrepreneur and mom of two young boys, is the owner & founder of social media and email marketing firm Cre8ve Content Co. April is an expert with Constant Contact products and holds a Master Certification as a Solution Partner. She also is a member of the Washington, DC metro area Constant Contact Authorized Local Experts team. Click here to subscribe to April's monthly Cre8ve Chronicles newsletter.
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