See how a series of custom-written, branded memes grew this SaaS brand’s following by 889% and dramatically increased brand awareness.
Instagram memes as top-of-the-funnel content
If you want to attract relevant prospects, you have to go where “your people” are already hanging out. That belief inspired the following project: an Instagram-based campaign of custom-written, branded memes that delivered astounding organic results. Yep, that’s right: we’re talking FREE.
Here’s a breakdown…
A SaaS platform for photography business owners, ShootProof offers client galleries, online contracts, easy-pay invoices, and email marketing tools for pro photographers. ShootProof’s products solve numerous pain points encountered by professional photographers—paint points that could easily be surfaced within the meme format.
Audience: Photography business owners
To get started, I analyzed ShootProof’s target demographic—age, gender identity, location, career field—and began developing a series of custom-written memes aimed specifically at professional photographers in the wedding and portrait photography spheres.
Though I can’t reveal ShootProof’s precise statistics, publicly-available data reveals that this photography workforce is predominantly comprised of women, ages 25-45.
Objectives and KPIs
My primary objective was to increase brand awareness among photographers by developing and priming a relevant audience whose needs aligned with ShootProof’s solutions.
To measure the success of this first-phase objective, I kept my KPIs simple:
- Earn a substantial following of qualified prospects
- Evoke brand loyalty from a community of engaged, connected followers
- Generate social proof with shareable, branded content
Developing ShootProof’s brand voice for Instagram
Social media is a moving target. That’s what makes it so fun, so intriguing, and so incredibly exasperating at times! To achieve the best ROI, I established a set of guiding principles to inform my writing process.
- Use “meme speak.” For me, this meant crafting copy that mimicked the style and cadence of the most popular meme content being consumed at the time.
- Never talk down to our audience. Professional photographers are a scrappy lot—I know because I was one. “Solopreneurship” is NOT for the faint of heart, which made ShootProof’s followers the perfect audience to embrace snarky commentary and inspirational wisdom.
- Be solution-oriented. This meant that every meme had to be balanced with links to our educational articles, quick tips in the post descriptions, and ongoing engagement with every comment and DM.
- Prove our values. Publicly stating the brand’s values would help ensure a following of “ideal customers.”
ShootProof’s phenomenal design team created a series of simple, branded templates in Figma, which allowed me to write each meme directly in a design template. This format significantly streamlined the process from script to publication.
These colorful memes were published in a pattern that transformed ShootProof’s feed from aimless and mismatched, to crisp, clean, and relatable.
- Figma (design templates)
- Iconosquare (scheduling and reporting)
- Instagram app (direct engagement)
- Asana (theme planning and approvals)
- LinkInProfile (links from social content to ShootProof’s marketing website and blog)
The familiar “meme” format allowed us to surface relatable topics that earned likes, shares, comments, and click-throughs. This approach helped to grow ShootProof’s Instagram following from approximately 4,500 followers to over 40,500 engaged fans with an annual reach of 20M.
The compliment received most often in the comments? “ShootProof gets me.”
Our most-viewed/liked/commented/saved/shared posts? The memes.
Why is this awesome? Because:
By the time I started passively introducing product announcements into ShootProof’s feed, the audience was happy to slow their scroll and read.
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