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You are kidding, right? You have written a whole newsletter just to talk about memes?

Yes. And it’s not (only) about them being funny.

Come with me.

Breaking the Formality

My journey with communication (nearly 20 years ago – and now I feel old 😅) has always been less about formality and more about making real connections.

It took me WAY longer than “normal” to get used to formal meetings, “getting dressed properly”, and learning how to write a bUsiNesS e-MaiL.

Can we adopt this as the standard? 😄 

So long before “meme” became a buzzword, my style was already there – direct, funny, and honest – I’m obviously not saying that’s the right one, but it was right for me.

Fast forward to my work within the Web3 space, this natural inclination toward a more relaxed communication style helped me fit into different communities, speaking their language and vibing with their culture.

I remember when memes were just internet humor you’d usually see on a chat group, or on a blog. They were VERY far from being the cultural forces they are today.

Despite what many people think, I truly believe there’s a unique power in memes.

They’re concise, catchy, and resonate deeply. In the fast-paced environment of Web3 – and the current world as a whole, where attention is a scarce commodity, memes are gold.

They might have started as a fun way to communicate online, but for me, they became a tool for connection and understanding. They’re a testament to the power of simplicity in an information-overloaded world.

A Story of Evolution and Influence:
From niche to mainstream culture

There are many different stories about the origin of memes. From Godwin’s Law, to a Richard Dawkins’ book from 1976 comparing ideas to genes, to “Kilroy was here”.

As an official “non-researcher-on-the-origin-of-memes”, I’ll stick to their role in communication.

For a long time, they were basically about inside jokes, shared in small online circles for a quick laugh. But as the digital world grew, so did their reach.

(Not so) Suddenly, these once-obscure jokes became viral hits, turning into the internet’s universal language.

Memes became the digital shorthand for expressing everything from light-hearted humor to sharp social commentary.

As platforms like Facebook and Twitter took off, memes became more than just jokes. They turned into a way to capture the vibe of the moment, often becoming the main way we talk about the world around us. Memes evolved into a powerful blend of humor and insight, shaping how we see and discuss everything from pop culture to politics.

Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The real game-changer for memes was their leap into the mainstream.

They started showing up everywhere, from marketing campaigns to news articles. Even official government profiles on social media started using memes as a communication tool to talk about what’s happening in a way that’s quick, catchy, and on-point – and easily shareable.

So, to sum it up:

Historical roots: Memes can be traced back to a time before the internet was even a thing.

Rapid virality: Their ability to quickly go viral has made memes an integral part of internet culture, often dictating online trends and dialogues.

Universal language: Over time, memes have become a digital lingua franca, easily understood and shared across different cultures and demographics.

Amplification through social media: Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have further propelled the reach of memes, making them a staple of digital communication.

Marketing powerhouse: Recognizing their influence, brands are increasingly incorporating memes into their marketing strategies, engaging audiences with content that’s both entertaining and relatable – and we’ll explore this aspect later on.

But when it comes to Web3… You can’t dive into any space without stumbling upon a meme within minutes. Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., you name it.

Memes in Web3 are a main tool for communication, shaping the very essence of this environment.

Memes: The unofficial language of Web3 communities

That’s me talking to CEOs

The main language of community building and brand communication. That’s how I see the role of Memes in Web3.

Yes, you have metrics, KPIs, cool charts, and so on. But Memes are the secret sauce that makes Web3 tick, a language that’s both universal and deeply personal.

From creating an instant bond among strangers to becoming a currency of social capital, memes in Web3 aren’t just for laughs – they’re a powerful tool for connection.

In many ocasions, memes become the banner under which communities rally, whether it’s around a big brand joining the space, or a new collection being launched.

And here’s the deal with Web3 that I always talk about on podcast and events: it’s not just about technology; it’s about community. That’s where memes come in, bridging the gap between complex tech talk and everyday conversation.

So here are my top 5 highlights for Memes in Web3:

💻️ Marketing reinvented: Memes have reshaped marketing strategies in Web3, offering a new model that is organic, viral, and deeply rooted in the community ethos.

💻️ Cultural barometers: They serve as cultural indicators, reflecting the evolving sentiments, trends, and ideologies within the Web3 space.

💻️ Engagement catalysts: Their viral nature makes memes excellent tools for sparking conversation, engagement, and sharing within the community.

💻️ Narrative amplifiers: Memes rapidly disseminate narratives, influencing the perception and discussion of projects and technologies in the Web3 world.

💻️ Community glue: As shared cultural artifacts, memes foster a sense of community, connecting individuals across diverse backgrounds and geographies.

Adapt & Evolve:
Brands harnessing the Power of Memes

In today’s marketing playbooks, memes have become the not-so-secret weapon for brands looking to connect with their audience on a deeper level.

And as you can imagine, that’s not only in the Web3 space, but across all digital platforms. I see it as a clever move, blending humor with relatability to create memorable, shareable content.

I know many of you reading this work in marketing and branding, so here are 3 interesting stats*:

✏️ 55% of 13-35 year-olds exchange memes weekly, with 30% doing so daily.

✏️ 38% follow meme accounts on social media (56% of 18-20-year-olds reporting the same).

✏️ 74% send memes to make people smile or laugh – and 53% send them to react to something.

*sauce: ypulse

So yeah, memes are fun and all, but we know that at the of the day, when top brands launch a new ad or campaign, they want to increase their reach and get those huge “impressions” so they can show it off on their PPT during the next meeting.

And if you ever worked with KPIs, you know that some of the numbers above are really hard to reach through traditional actions.

But, considering the more “human” side of things, memes definitely help translate often complex Web3 concepts to the everyday internet user. Brands leveraging meme marketing in this space have found a unique way to demystify and humanize their offerings.

Memes distill intricate ideas into bite-sized, relatable content, making terms like Metaverse, NFTs, USDT, Blockchain, Ethereum, and many others more accessible and engaging.

So, if you are a marketer looking for ways (or reasons) to implement Memes into your company’s playbook, here are a few tips:

→ Cultural crossovers: Many brands use memes to transcend traditional marketing, tapping into the cultural zeitgeist to remain relevant and relatable.

→ Viral visibility: They offer a high shareability factor, boosting brand visibility and engagement across social platforms.

→ Simplifying the complex: Particularly in Web3, memes break down complex concepts, making them digestible and engaging for a broader audience.

→ Community building: Memes foster a sense of community, creating a shared language that resonates with the brand’s audience.

→ Brand humanization: By using memes, brands present a more approachable and relatable persona, fostering a deeper connection with consumers.

The genius of meme marketing lies in its simplicity and universality. Brands that effectively leverage this trend aren’t just selling products or services, but rather embedding themselves into the very fabric of digital culture.

Afterall, if you want to talk to an specific audience you need to speak their language.

Do you agree?

Actionable guide: Brands x Memes

“Yeah, Diego. But I’m not buying into the idea of using memes as part of an actual brand strategy”.

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As usual it depends on each brand’s strategy, their positioning, objectives, etc. But for many brands – and specially smaller projects – memes may bring a fresh, affordable channel to talk to your existing audience, while reaching new ones:

→ Easy peasy meme squeezy: Just a little twist on a popular meme, and bam – you’ve got content that’s viral-worthy.

→ Catch the wave: Tap into what’s hot right now, and your brand becomes part of the conversation.

→ Pocket-friendly: You don’t need to break the bank for meme marketing. A sprinkle of creativity, a dash of humor, and you’re set.

→ Fans to the front: When your memes hit home, your fans become your best marketers. They’re out there, creating, sharing, and putting your brand in the spotlight.

→ Trendy translators: Memes are your ticket to staying relevant.***

***On that last item, I have a VERY important addition: MAKE F*CKING SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING so you don’t “sound” like that guy in the second picture.

Or in other words, avoid sounding “fake”. If you product/brand/project doesn’t fit a certain “thing” (like Memes), it’s ok NOT to use it.

Are you this old?

Ok, Mr. Pink Beanie… You’ve convinced me. How do I actually use memes?”

Well, there’s no foolproof guide, but here are my recommendations:

 → Know your crowd: Who are you memeing for? Study/Hang out with your audience to make sure your memes hit the mark. Again: you don’t want to be the guy from that GIF, right? RIGHT?

→ Real talk: Keep it genuine, keep it relatable. Authentic memes (and communication in general) stick in people’s minds.
So, if you ever see me using “Best regards”-ish stuff here, please let me know because that means my account got hacked 😅.

→ Funnel fun: Memes can be more than just laughs. Use them to guide your audience from curious eyes to happy members of your community (or “buyers”, if you will).

→ Meme metrics: Keep an eye on how your memes are doing. Conversions and repeat customers? Your boss will love that.

And to give you some extra inspiration, I’ve picked up some interesting examples:

Like any other industry, Web3 has its own “influencers”. Some talk about Web3 Gaming, others about NFTs, or maybe crypto.

And today, I want to share a cool story about one character that really matches the “meme vibes” we are going with.

PROFILE: Punk 6529

Have you seen him on Twitter/X?

In Web3, where memes are as such a powerful tool, one figure stands out for his innovative approach: Punk6529.

This OG has harnessed the power of memes to create a distinct voice and a community in the digital asset space, particularly around NFTs.

Ones of his projects, “The Memes” is a call for everyone who believes in the power of an open metaverse. It’s all about making a statement in the most relatable way possible – through memes!

It was launched in mid-2022, and it’s a wild mix of humor, creativity, and a big nod to everything Web3 stands for – which goes much further than collecting cool jpgs.

But more than the project itself, I want to focus on how Punk 6529 managed to hit right at the heart of Web3 culture. We’re talking about stuff that goes beyond the surface, memes that spark conversations about freedom, identity, and shaking up the digital status quo.

In essence, Punk 6529 is doing something extraordinary with “The Memes”. He’s using the universal language of humor to connect, to make a stand, and to bring people together in the Web3 space.

For clarity: I have no ties with him – never met the guy. But we are here to talk about cool stuff, right?

Share your stories – or your Memes!

And since we’ve talked about “going viral” and “speaking your audience’s language”, a company that has been doing this perfectly is beehiiv – yes the platform we use to craft “The Wild West of Web3

Besides their great product, they managed to position themselves in a great spot when it comes to marketing their stuff – thanks to a well-crafted direct, honest, and “fun” communication.

All this to say: Got a passion? Share it.

Start your own newsletter. Trust me, everyone has a story, knowledge, or insights – OR MEMES that others would subscribe for.

Don’t underestimate the power of your own voice.

Real talk: I’m not sponsored by Beehiiv at all. In fact, I’m a paying customer. Some folks told me they started their own newsletter after reading this one, which is awesome!

By the way, here’s my referral link so you can start telling your own story today. Sure, joining Beehiiv through this link benefits me, but I’d recommend them regardless.

WALKING THE TALK

Walking the talk” is section in the Wild West of Web3 I will dedicate to projects I am directly involved with or to share things I actually apply on my life, and not just talk about.

No bullsh*t, no sugar coating. Real talk.

My real-world Web3 approach

AI managed to recreate my home office 😁 

Ok, so you’ve been hearing me rave about the power of memes, the beauty of straightforward talk, and the magic of keeping it real for nearly 2500 words (DAMN!).

But I’m not just here preaching. I live this stuff, every single day. It’s not just my brand → it’s my lifestyle.

From my LinkedIn posts to every speech I give at events, I’m all about being direct, genuine, and yeah, a little bit fun too.

Memes? I see them as a way of connecting. Whether I’m cracking a joke, or dropping a truth bomb, I’m doing it in a way that’s authentically me.

So my suggestion (that nobody asked for) is to not just slap a meme and call it a day – although this may work. It’s about making sure that on every “funny” post, the audience feels its authenticity. It’s about showing that you can be professional without being a robot, that you can be serious without being dull.

This approach, this blend of humor and honesty, tends to draw people in. It makes them listen, engage, and remember.

And trust me, it’s not an act. This is me, walking the talk, showing you how being yourself – your real self – can be your biggest strength in this wild world of Web3.

Are you doing yours?

That’s a wrap, folks! Thanks for rolling with me on this edition.

Until next time!

#LFGrow
Diego Borgo

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