#12 Instagram Aesthetic Trends for School Marketers - DIY Memes

This is the twelfth installment of a series on Instagram aesthetic trends for 2020. Here are the links to the previous posts in this series:

As Instagram has grown in popularity over the last decade, so too memes have become a popular way to spark conversation on social media.

In case you’re wondering about the back story of memes, the term was originally coined in 1974 by Richard Dawkins, author of “The Selfish Gene”, to describe how cultural information spreads. While that may be the original meaning of the term, in today’s online world a meme refers to an image with a bold caption written in white with a thin, black border using the Impact font.

Internet memes tend to be irreverent and funny and often include a famous person or celebrity. Sometimes memes are sarcastic or even profane. Since memes can be a form of user-generated content and shared on your page, remember to monitor your accounts and delete anything inappropriate.

There are whole social media accounts dedicated to memes. There is even a website called KnowYourMeme that actively tracks the popularity of memes. Besides being entertaining, memes help us understand current trends, new literacies, how people process crises and attempts to effect social change.

People like memes because they are equivalent to the internet’s “inside jokes”. They convey relevance, a feeling of familiarity and a sense of being a part of something. The secret ingredient of successful memes is the cultural knowledge you have gained (from reading books, watching movies and TV shows), making it possible for you to understand and enjoy the joke.

Successful memes become “viral”, meaning they will be shared many times over, which is usually the goal of the creator.

Here are 7 easy, creative ways to create DIY memes for your school marketing.

  1. Mematic

Mematic is a simple-to-use app that allows you to create new DIY memes or put a spin on an already-popular meme. It offers a wide variety of images you can add text to and also gives you the option to upload your own pictures. Mematic lets you arrange your text anywhere on your template, making it very flexible and creative.

  1. Imgflip Meme Generator

Imgflip is a resource for popular DIY memes in its own right, but it’s also an app for allowing you to build your own original memes. You can share your DIY memes straight to your social media accounts from within the app and you can save your memes to your Imgflip account for storage.

  1. Canva Meme Generator

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I love Canva, a graphic design platform that allows users to create stunning graphics using templates designed by professional designers. Canva offers a free meme generator that’s a lot of fun to use. You can either use one of their images or upload your own. You don’t even have to download the Canva app – you can login to your regular account and go to the DIY meme generator.

  1. Memeful

Memeful is a great meme tool because it offers so many meme options you can customize. There is a large meme library that includes “old” memes that are well-known. All you need to do is click on whichever blank image you want to use and then you can add text. This is a more traditional meme tool, so the text is already in the typical meme placement, so all you have to do is type your text in to create your own DIY memes.

  1. ILoveImg

ILoveImg is actually a photo-editing tool, but it has a great meme generator as well. One nice feature of this app is the ability to edit many images at once. The Meme Generator Tool lets you select a template from hundreds of memes as well as upload your own .jpg, .png or .gif images.

  1. Kapwing Meme Maker

Kapwing is known as a platform for creating videos, GIFs, images and memes. If you’re not familiar with Kapwing, you should check it out because it offers a lot of great, easy-to-use tools. The Kapwing Meme Maker is worth trying because it offers simple-to-use templates and meme collections for inspiration. It also offers a Trending section where you can make your own versions of trending memes.

  1. Adobe Spark Meme Maker

I’ve highlighted Adobe Spark before in an article titled “10 Visual Marketing Tools to Help Your Social Media Stand Out”. I really love the tool, but if you’re not a designer you might be a little intimidated by the Adobe programs in general. However, there’s no reason to be concerned when it comes to Adobe Spark’s Free Meme Maker. It’s a simple tool that anyone can use. Like most of the other DIY meme creators, you can choose different images, icons and add text. You can also share your DIY memes directly to your social media accounts. What could be easier?

DIY memes have taken the Instagram world by storm in recent years. The one thing a successful meme needs is to be shareable, and that means the graphic itself needs to be of good quality. The above DIY meme generator tools will help you do just that.

Since memes are often shared multiple times (hopefully), they tend to attract a ton of engagement – likes, comments, shares and saves. DIY memes can help your social media accounts stand out and engage your audience in a timely, relatable way. So get started with a great idea and explore the above tools to find out which software you enjoy using the most. And remember to have fun!

Have you created original memes for your school marketing? I’d love to see what you came up with! Please tag me in any of your meme posts. My Instagram handle is @schneiderb.

About the author 

Brendan Schneider

Hey, I’m Brendan, and this is my blog. After 28 years working in private, independent schools in mostly admissions, enrollment, marketing, communications, and fundraising roles, I decided to make SchneiderB Media my full-time job, where I help schools get more inquiries through my Fractional Digital Marketer program. I also started the MarCom Society, a membership created expressly to help, support, and train marketing and communications professionals at schools.


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