A good picture is worth a thousand words, and memes have proven that idiom to be quite true. They have taken social media by storm, generating many famous so-called “meme pages.”
But one meme-posting account stands out from the rest. Back in 2013, a 14-year-old in Kuwait found a way to gain thousands of followers on Instagram by posting memes. A few years later, and with the help of his older brother, the account transformed into a full-fledged advertising business accumulating over 16 million Instagram followers: Clips.
Providing valuable exposure for brands and dropshippers
@clips isn’t, by any means, the only meme page out there. But it’s unique in that it dominates many other similar accounts in terms of number of followers.
“We average 1.2 million views and we would assume that our reach is somewhere around 3 to 4 million,” Ahmad Elesawy, the older one of the founder duo, told Bullish.
Ahmad, who worked in marketing prior to launching Clips Media Agency, saw an opportunity to build a business with a huge number of followers.
“It’s very rare to find a meme page that quite literally has a business,” he said.
Clips Media Agency delivers “brand awareness” to its business clients through its influencer marketing and digital advertising services. The company accomplishes this by reaching out to influencers who then create content that matches @clips’ typical meme posts. The finished content is then shared on the @clips account and seen by millions.
The media agency’s content not only delivers humor to consumers, but also “the exposure you’ve been wanting,” as its website proudly states.
“[Ads] appears as funny content, but at the same time, [it’s] promoting something in that funny content,” Ahmad said. “We have seen that works perfectly well.”
In addition, Clips Media Agency promises brand awareness with competitive pricing. Clips Media Agency charges a price between $1,000 and $2,000. Ahmad said this is much less than that of influencers with strong personal brands (generally between $50,000 and $75,000, according to Ahmad).
“They pay us so little for so much attention,” Ahmad said.
Clips Media Agency has worked with multiple major brands across industries, such as Burger King and Crocs. It also works with individuals who want to dropship products. Through its brand and individual clients, Clips Media Agency brings in around $50,000 to $80,000 a month.
The challenge of privacy
Despite the large number of followers, @clips faces a few challenges. As with any Instagram account, it is vulnerable to any policy changes that Instagram may decide to implement.
“Our business, for now, it is still dependent on a single domain, being Instagram,” Ahmad said. “If Instagram puts out a policy tomorrow that says ‘hey, you’re not allowed to promote,’ that could kill our business overnight.”
Recognizing this problem, Ahmad says he is trying to stray away from relying on just one platform. Clips Media Agency provides Facebook advertisements for clients and is increasing its presence on TikTok as well. The @clips TikTok account has over 722,000 followers and 16 million likes to date.
@clips is also a private account on Instagram, which comes with both strengths and weaknesses.
“We’ve seen that being private allows us to grow a lot, like 10 times faster,” Ahmad said.
By keeping its posts private, people are incentivized to follow them to see their content, allowing the account to increase followers more rapidly. But because @clips is a private account, it doesn’t have access to the insights that Instagram provides for public business account users.
“We do plan on going public, for sure, but that’s when we hit 20 million followers,” Ahmad said. He expects to reach this goal by the end of 2020.
Clips Media Agency’s advice for aspiring marketers
Ahmad also shared some tips for those who want to go into marketing and advertising.
“First, know your target audience,” Ahmad said. Even a simple idea of the audience demographics based on analytics, such as age and gender, could help understand who you’re marketing to, he said.
Ahmad explained that he worked with many individuals who come to @clips to advertise, because the account has millions of followers and views. But he warns that “if we don’t have the right audience for you, that isn’t going to lead to anything.”
Another key factor for marketing is the content. Ahmad advises to “work with a small page” and check if the content resonates with the audience before working with accounts with millions of followers. Accounts with a larger number of followers would charge more, so he recommends testing the content with lower cost first.
“Test out the content, see if it works, see how people respond to it,” Ahmad said. “If it shows to somewhat work on your favor, then it would be smart to approach the big pages.”