Marketing 101: Using Emojis

By on September 5, 2019

 Image courtesy of Needpix

For years, we’ve been taking advantage of the visual benefits of using emojis in direct messaging. While tone can often be difficult to decipher over a text message, emojis have made it significantly easier to interpret the emotions behind our digital conversations.

However, just as personal conversations benefit from clearer communication through emojis, your marketing efforts can as well. Let’s dive into the many benefits of using emojis in your marketing campaigns, and the strategies that will help you communicate more clearly with your customers.

What are emojis?

In case you’re new to the trend, emojis are small images and icons that are created using the Unicode Standard. They originated in Japan, and are ideograms and smileys often used in digital messaging and on websites. Their primary purpose is to emote a certain feeling, thing or place, and can take various forms including facial expressions, objects, places, weather and animals.

What are the benefits of using emojis in marketing?

There are a number of reasons to include in your next marketing campaign.

  1. Showcase your personality

If your brand has a humorous, light or witty voice, emojis are the perfect tool for translating this personality to the digital space. Emojis can help add emotion to your writing and communication with customers, and in turn, help them understand the relationship you’re trying to build with them.

A cardinal rule for building a brand personality is thinking of your brand as a human being. Once you approach it  this way, you will know exactly who your brand is, the kind of language it would use and how it would respond to situations. Think of emojis as a medium to make this personality even clearer to your customers, so they can truly feel connected to you.

  1. Convey what words cannot 

Ending a message with an emoji conveys a lot more than ending a message with simple punctuation does. Social media is a largely visual medium, with some platforms like Instagram being better suited to visual communication, instead of written. While a paragraph of important writing might easily go missed on such a platform, emojis can help your words stand out and emphasize your message.

  1. Increase engagement 

There are a number of different statistics that have shown that the use of emojis has increased open rates, click-through rates, and engagement levels. Hubspot found that using emojis in a tweet can increase engagement by 25.4% and the number of likes and comments on a Facebook post by 57% and 33% respectively.

6 tips for using emojis in marketing

  1. Choose a few emojis that identify best with your brand 

Before you start adding emojis to your message, you should look for a few emojis that best resonate with your brand. Five is a good number to go for. You should then make sure these emojis are used regularly in your posts. This does not mean you should use all five emojis on every single post – you need to consider them with a bit of thought. However, by having five emojis that represent you well, you can make sure your brand is more consistent. This will ensure you do not make the mistake of misusing more obscure emojis too.

  1. Remember, all emojis do not have universal appeal

Be mindful when choosing your standard emojis. Steer clear from anything that could potentially be problematic in the context of your brand, or controversial in general – for example, the bomb emoji or the gun emoji. It’s best to avoid these and stick with safer options.

Also consider the translation of different emojis across devices. Some emojis appear differently depending on the device they’re viewed on, so keep this in mind before committing to your 5 emojis. The dog face emoji is a great example. It can appear differently on different platforms, i.e. from Apple to Twitter to Facebook to Google.

  1. Don’t let emojis confuse your message

While emojis can add a playful and fun element to your message, it is vital to remember that emojis are not a replacement for the message itself. Important words should not be replaced with emojis. If you do this, you will typically find that they just convolute the message you’re trying to convey.

  1. Know your audience

While emojis are generally a good idea for marketing, there are some businesses that would be better off not using them at all. For example, as a law firm, you might find that your clients aren’t taking your emails seriously when you’re using too many smiley face emojis.

To find out whether emojis are the right option for your business, get to know your audience thoroughly. Consider conducting market research or surveys to better understand the state of mind of your target customer and the types of problems they might be approaching your business for. This doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour – it could be as simple as using a form builder to create a survey and distributing it with automated emails.

  1. Don’t use an emoji if you don’t know what it means

When we’re messaging our friends, we may send random emojis just for the sake of it. However, you definitely cannot take this approach when it comes to your marketing campaign. You need to think of emojis like visual slang. If you use an emoji without having a full understanding of what it means, you could end up offending people.

  1. Make sure you do not overuse them 

One of the biggest mistakes people make with emojis is that they get carried away. Putting five emojis at the end of a message is not effective. Too many emojis can feel forced and downright irritating. Plus, it will make your message confusing. One emoji is straight to the point and effective. Only use multiple emojis if your text is longer than 3 sentences, in which case, the emoji should be used to break the sentences and make them more digestible.

  1. Track your efforts

Last but not least, you are never going to know if your use of emojis is effective if you do not track your efforts. This is imperative as you need to have an understanding of how emojis are impacting the performance of your marketing campaigns.

About Vrinda Singh

Vrinda Singh is a marketing specialist with expertise in content, CRO and SEO and over 7 years of experience in creating powerful data-driven campaigns. While this may have resulted in permanently compromised eyesight from staring at computer screens all day, there's nothing she enjoys more than the experimental nature of her work. She has been fortunate enough to build campaigns, content and strategy for companies like LinkedIn, Finder, Schneider Electric & Leona Edmiston in the past. Currently, she’s working in the Growth team at Paperform.
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