Lauren Kutzner
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Do Emojis Have a Place in Your Marketing Materials?

With World Emoji Day taking place on July 17th, there’s no better time to consider the use of these fun icons and images in your business’s marketing campaigns (if you aren’t already).

A brief history

Emojis were created in Japan back in 1998. The origins of the word stems from the Japanese characters for ‘e’ meaning picture and ‘moji’ meaning character. World Emoji Day is an annual celebration of all emojis and fun facts, the chosen date honours the famously displayed date on the actual calendar emoji . As internet technology has advanced, so too have emojis. They were added to the Apple iPhone in 2008 and are now inbuilt into most smartphones.

The popularity of emojis

Humans used to communicate with images prior to the development of alphabetic languages, and we have now come full circle in the 21st century. These modern-day hieroglyphics are one of the most rapidly growing languages in the world. Let’s be real – who here hasn’t either sent or received just one emoji in the last day? These letter-sized images are used globally and are an essential part of our expression when chatting to friends online or sending a text. In fact, on any given day more than 60 million emojis are sent on Facebook and a staggering 5 billion via Messenger.

Using emojis in marketing

One of the biggest gaffes a brand can make is using emojis incorrectly. With over 3,000 to choose from it’s super important to research exactly what they mean and use the ones that best align with your brand personality. Ultimately, emoji’s are supposed to complement a message so if they don’t make sense then they aren’t adding any value.

It’s also worth noting that emojis work better for some industries than others. They are fantastic for the fashion, beauty, music and sporting industries. However, you could really miss the mark if your business has a more serious offering, such as funeral, legal or financial services. From facial expressions to animals and nature, food and drink, travel and places there’s an emoji to suit almost any scenario. A few of the most popular emojis include:

  • 😂 Laughing face is most commonly used to communicate humour or comedy.
  • 😍 Heart eyes is used when people like what they see. It can convey enthusiastic feelings of adoration, love or infatuation.
  • 😭 Loudly crying face has multiple meanings. Depending on the context it can be used to portray intense feelings, to uncontrollable laughter or overwhelming joy.
  • ❤️ The heart is used to express love and affection. It comes in various colours and shapes but red is by far the most popular.

Emojis in social media

These days social content is all about the visuals, so without a doubt emojis have a place in your posts. Even four years ago in 2015 half of all comments on Instagram included an Emoji. It might seem like a small thing but yes, a smiley face in the right place can increase audience engagement. Using emojis for social media success is all about using them appropriately and in a way that is consistent to your branding and tone of voice. From Facebook posts and comments, to Instagram captions and Tweets, emojis add emotional nuance which can help you to engage directly with your audience, as well as encourage them to take an action. Emojis have been shown to increase the number of likes on a Facebook post by 57% and the number of shares and comments by 33%, according to Hubspot.

The best brands though are the ones that really get creative with their use of emojis. One example is Dominoes innovative emoji-based ordering system which enables customers to place an order on Twitter in seconds by using the pizza emoji. The company saw a massive increase in engagement and conversion as a result.

Emojis in email marketing

Emojis can make emails more personal and engaging. Using a few of the characters in your email copy is a really good way to highlight any key points or phrases, as well as focus the attention of your subscribers on your call-to-action.

Emojis are also an effective way to make the subject line of your emails more expressive. They add a pop of colour to your recipients’ otherwise dull and crowded email inbox, which can spark interest, and increase open and click-through rates. Research suggests subject lines with an emoji included have open rates 56% higher than text only versions.

As with any type of marketing communications, there are some best practices to follow. One of the most crucial being don’t overdo it. Using more than a few emojis in your emails makes them more likely to be recognised as spam. To avoid rendering issues, it’s a good idea to test your emails before sending your campaign to ensure the emojis display properly across different mobile devices and email providers. Split testing can also help you determine how well your audience responds to emoji use.

The future of emojis in marketing

Emojis are a timely, topical and relevant addition to social media marketing efforts and emails. Not only can these pictorial expressions help you to tell stories in an informal and creative way, they are an excellent opportunity to connect with consumers on a deeper level by incorporating more emotion into your communications and humanising your brand.

It’s clear that emojis have an evolving place in marketing. They have well and truly infiltrated both personal and professional online communications and more recently expanded into domain names.

Emojis have become the new way to express our thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions in the virtual world. It is likely that they are here for good so you can’t really afford to not be integrating emojis into your marketing materials.

Get creative with your marketing

Ready to try something new in your marketing campaigns? WME have a team of creative marketing experts who can help you refresh your brand or add flair with emojis. Contact our consultants on 1300 663 995 for personalised advice on your brand.

By Lauren Kutzner


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