Brands and content users alike have understood the power of viral video for years. “Numa Numa”, considered by many to be the first viral video, just celebrated its 12th anniversary. But, over the last year, viral video has evolved to include video memes. Video memes have transitioned from a social media novelty to a leading content source. For proof, look to the immensely popular Facebook pages of influencers like Tai Lopez and Gary Vaynerchuk as well as online magazine UNILAD.
UNILAD, which posts a wide range of content from documentaries and live reports to breaking news, racks up millions of views with its video memes. The “You Laugh You Lose Challenge” is a 5-minute video meme with more than 2 million views. Vaynerchuk’s “The Greatest Strategy For Life” amassed 222,000 views while Tai Lopez’s video meme about raising money for disabled vets has 41,000 views. Clearly, video memes are resonating with social media users. But why?
What Are Video Memes?
Video memes are essentially videos with descriptive text above or underneath. Their purpose ranges from comic entertainment to product marketing. The focus, and resulting popularity, of the video meme depends on the maker’s creativity. If you’re unsure about using video memes for your company or personal brand, consider the following four points.
1: Control the Viewer’s Context
With most videos, the viewer is left to their own devices. It’s up to them to decide if a video was funny, heartbreaking, or inspirational. Though this instills confidence in the viewer, there’s no guarantee they’ll walk away with your intended meaning. Video memes eliminate the ambiguity. The text above and below provides context for the video before a viewer sees the first frame.
Take for instance UNILAD’s “You Laugh You Lose Challenge” video meme. The top of the screen reads “You laugh, you lose”. The bottom reads, “challenge is hilarious”. Before the video’s subjects enter the frame, the viewer already knows something funny is in store. Framing the video for viewers allows the creator to easily influence them, whether it’s as simple as just making them laugh or introducing them to a groundbreaking new product.
“People like humor that seems tailored directly to them, and memes, while they may appeal widely, have the appearance of an inside joke that everyone is sharing,” Know Your Meme’s Ari Spool tells VICE.
2: Breaks Through the Noise
There’s a lot of video out there. Facebook users watch roughly 100 million hours of video each day, as per TechCrunch. Total video posts on the network have increased 94% year over year. When you launch a video, you need a way to stand out from the crowd. Video memes pull users in with a unique combination of video and text, and viewers know exactly what they’re getting before they click ‘play’.
3: Sound Turned Off? No Problem
Mediakix reports that 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound. It’s a startling figure that illuminates a huge issue for video creators—how do you make content that engages users without sound? Studies show that adding captions can increase watch time by 12%. Thus, video memes are designed to pull in views in a digital environment where sound is obsolete.
4: Use the Same Video Multiple Times
Video production costs can add up quickly—especially when you’re creating a funnel of content for your social media pages. A basic 3-minute testimonial can cost $1,600 while more expansive shoots can push costs closer to $8,000. Video memes allow you to extract different meanings from your videos and use them multiple times. All you need to do is change the text. Over time, you can reuse the same video and continue to attract new viewers.
On the surface, video memes seem like a fun way to pass the time on social media. But they’re actually the most effective way to reach a larger audience and leave a lasting impression. Start creating your video memes today with Veme.ly.