We all have that one social media addict friend who bombards your DM with memes and reels. Memes have become a part of our daily lives now. They grab your attention, you can share them with just a click, and it’s super relatable. What initially began as only a means to entertain people and make them laugh, is now a powerful marketing tool.

From marketers to content creators, everyone has now begun adopting the ‘meme content creation strategy‘ to up their content game. This industry has seen explosive growth over the past few years, evolving from a niche internet subculture to a mainstream marketing powerhouse. Memes have become a significant tool for brands and creators alike to engage their audiences.

The Number Game

Let’s delve into the dynamics of the meme industry, and the unique challenges and opportunities in this burgeoning field. Memes are the internet speak of millennials. Over three billion people use social media, and at least 60% of them use it for content that’s funny. College students trade memes like kids used to trade Pokemon cards. Check out these stats, courtesy of Persuasion Nation’s research report.

meme content creation industry content creator agency memer stats

Also Read: VidCon 2024: A HotSpot For Creators, Brands, And More

Memer To Content Creator

How and why does a memer turn into a meme content creator? Let’s ask Keshav Maloo a.k.a sarcaaster who has amassed an impressive following of over 2 Million across social media. In 2017, Keshav began making memes that quickly gained popularity. When reels started to trend, he smartly adapted to the new medium by posting his memes as reels, significantly expanding his audience.

Keshav’s innovative approach and engaging content led him to be featured on Playground Season 2. He has also collaborated with major brands like Redbull, Netflix, Amazon, and many more. His ability to blend humour with relatable content has captivated millions, making him stand out in the content creation world.

We explored Keshav’s journey from meme-making to becoming a top content creator. Read on to know his insights on adapting to new trends, creating engaging content, and working with big brands:

When were you introduced to memes? How and when did you start creating meme content?

I was introduced to memes around 2014, with popular ones like Baba Ji Ka Thulu and Kanyadaan memes on Alok Nath. However, I began my meme journey in 2017, inspired by creators like Bhuvan Bam and Zakir Khan. I didn’t have the right phone or the confidence to make TikTok videos, so I chose to create memes instead.

What made you shift to creating memes on reels?

Many famous creators were copying my memes and turning them into reels, gaining face value and money. I decided to try reels myself because I didn’t want others to reap the benefits of my hard work. Reels offered a new platform to showcase my creativity and reach a wider audience. I realized that by embracing this format, I could maintain control over my content and directly engage with my followers.

What difference did you notice in terms of reception since you shifted to reels?

meme content creation industry keshav maloo sarcaaster content creator memer

Brands Turning To Meme Marketing

Meme marketing has been helpful for brands such as Nescafe, Shaadi.com, Mumbai Police, and Tinder India, amongst many others now. These brands have mastered the art of meme marketing. They use memes to garner laughs, yes, but also to promote their brand’s agenda – it could be creating awareness, dispelling myths or just making people think. GameStop‘s stock price skyrocketing due to an online meme stock rally fueled by social media is a great example of meme marketing done right.

Memes have become a popular form of marketing for businesses in recent years, which means brand awareness for potential customers and, ultimately, more sales. However, it is important to note that not all businesses may benefit from using memes in their marketing. Considering the brand’s image, target audience, and cultural sensitivities before incorporating memes into a marketing campaign is crucial.

Enter Meme Marketing Agencies

Pushing content through memes has become a much bigger phenomenon now. It has birthed meme marketing agencies! WLDD Pvt. Ltd. (Wubba Lubba Dub Dub) happens to be one of the best meme marketing agencies in the industry. What was just an idea 6 years ago, is now a million-dollar company.

Regional and experimental campaigns, social amplification, multi-platform activation, and influencer marketing are just some of the things WLDD does in the meme-verse. Their impressive clientele includes Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, Spotify, Jio Cinema, ITC, Durex, and BGMI, amongst other noteworthy brands.

meme marketing content creation industry agency wubba lubba dub dub wldd

We had the most insightful conversation with Manthan Gada, the COO of WLDD. It was a deep dive into the world of memes, content, its evolution, and branded partnerships. Read on:

According to you, why does meme marketing work for promoting brands/ web shows/ movies?

When I say Bhool Bhulaiya, automatically part 1 pops up in your mind as opposed to the sequel. The answer is memes. Meme marketing works because it’s like having a 2-way conversation with your audience using relatability and humour. Memes are quick, catchy, and easily shareable, making them perfect for grabbing attention in a world where people scroll fast.

When a meme clicks, it’s not just content; it’s a shared joke. That’s powerful for building brand affinity and driving engagement. For instance, a movie’s success in our minds and even our decision to purchase tickets if the ‘pre buzz’ is seen on my vertical scroll. A movie with a humble cast but pop culture marketing done right can do wonders at the box office. Munjya is a key example of the same.

This above nuance breaks the chains and bounds of what range and categories of brand ecosystems can be positively impacted by meme marketing.

What is your metric to evaluate the success of a campaign? Is it virality, views, or shares?

We look at engagement as the top metric – likes, comments, and shares. Virality and views are great, but if people are actively engaging with the content, that’s a win. Even if you can create magic with one template and it gets mutated by millions, that is a metric of success. It shows that the meme not only caught their eye but also resonated with them enough to interact.

We also check brand recall and sentiment post-campaign to see if the message stuck and how people felt about it. These few things determine whether a branded meme, reel or carousel was accepted by the audiences well or the admin was called out for ‘eating paneer’ for dinner.

I often tell my clients that the meme audience is really passionate and forthcoming but it is equally unforgiving when they smell the branding from a distance. So cook your paneer well or enable your agency to cook.

meme marketing content creation industry agency manthan gada coo wubba lubba dub dub wldd

In your experience, which industries are willing to invest in meme marketing?

Pretty much every industry is jumping on the meme marketing bandwagon now. Entertainment and media were the pioneers, but now we see consumer goods, fashion, tech, and even finance getting into it too.

In our clientele surprisingly we have seen an equal ratio of”
a) Assumed to be ‘boring businesses’ like finance, insurance, health and
b) Tech brands, automobile brands, FMCG brands, as well as
c) Internet-first brands and OTT brands

So while the change will not be visible in digital award nights, the meme marketing case studies are rapidly stacking up in almost every brand manager’s folders.

In fact, brands like Netflix and Zomato have set the bar high in building magnetic storytelling and format championing, Swiggy Instamart and Ajio have aced their comment game which is practically free marketing. Duolingo didn’t choose the meme game, the meme game chose them. They show that humour and relatability can drive serious engagement.

Do you still pitch brands or is this industry big enough now for brands to come to you?

It’s a mix of both. We still pitch because staying proactive helps us showcase our creativity and results.
But yes, the industry has grown, and many brands come to us after recognising the impact of meme marketing.

It’s a good place to be – balancing between pitching innovative ideas and fielding inquiries from brands who see the value in what we do. One thing we discuss in our founders’ office is “We are not new players in the digital marketing ecosystem, we are our own industry and it is our responsibility to make the pie bigger!

How To Monetize Through Memes?

This has got to be one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to meme marketing or content in general. Being good at meme-making is one thing but being able to monetize it is essential as well. So, when can you start monetizing meme content? Manthan Gada, COO, WLDD says you’ve got to build a decent following, typically around 5k-10k followers.

“Brands look for engagement and realism both more than just numbers, so if your audience loves your content, you’re golden. You can get into brand partnerships, sponsored posts, or even sell your own merch if you see the success trajectory of some of the global meme veterans. The key is to keep your content authentic and engaging so your followers stay loyal and active,” he added.

Another insight that can affect how soon you can make money is whether you post less but quality memes in a ‘niche’ category or you post volume and generalist memes for a ‘wide’ category. Both can yield good and assuring results.

From a creator’s lens, you can start monetizing once you build an organic audience. Keshav Maloo a.k.a sarcaaster says, “There’s no specific number; it’s about engaging and growing your following. Consistency and creativity are key. As your audience grows, brands will start to notice your influence and may reach out for partnerships. It’s important to stay authentic and true to your style, as this is what attracts and retains followers.

meme content creation industry memer

The Scope Of Meme Marketing

With content creation emerging as a whole industry in itself, the scope of meme marketing is huge and only getting bigger. “As content creation becomes central to marketing, memes are right there in the mix because they’re so shareable and engaging. We’ll likely see more data-driven approaches behind the meme distribution science as more and more brand managers start considering meme marketing as an integral part of their marketing mix.

Staying ahead means being adaptable and always looking for the next big thing to keep audiences hooked. “It’s important for brands to know that meme marketing is not a burst game. If you want audiences to truly consider you a pop culture or relevant brand, you have to stay consistent. Similar to how meme buddies or streaks are built by consistently sending and reacting to sent memes and not as a one day wonder,” added Gada.

Keshav Maloo says, “Meme marketing keeps brands up-to-date with current trends, which attracts people. It’s a powerful tool in the evolving content creation industry. The scope is vast, with endless possibilities for creativity and engagement. As more brands recognize the value of memes, the demand for skilled meme creators will continue to rise. This offers significant opportunities for those who can stay ahead of trends and deliver compelling content.”

Here’s some advice from the COO of WLDD to keep in mind for all the aspiring memers out there:

  • Perfect is the enemy of good. Start a page if you thought of starting a page.
  • Your meme page is a living organism.
  • The stats, and the engagement will change daily. Listen to your page. Listen to your community.
  • The audience is your best friend. Your comment section is a reflection of success.
  • There is no formula. You are the formula.
  • Be unhinged but responsible. We are here to make the internet cooler one meme at a time.

The meme content creation industry in India is at a pivotal moment, offering vast opportunities for both individual creators and professional agencies. As brands increasingly recognize the value of memes in marketing strategies, the industry is poised for further growth. However, creators and agencies must navigate the challenges of originality, engagement, and authenticity to sustain their success. With the right approach, the meme industry can continue to be a powerful tool for storytelling, engagement, and cultural commentary in India’s digital landscape!