While capturing your target audience’s attention online is becoming increasingly difficult, the power of emoji’s in marketing will never go amiss.
With Emojipedia announcing that there will be 230 new emojis including a yawning face, pinching hand, guide dog, a diving mask and much more coming to mobile phones this March, we’re taking a closer look at the power of emoji’s in marketing.
The Birth Of Emoji
Emojis started as emoticons which, at the time, were simply facial expressions made from different punctuation including the colon, bracket and the apostrophe. The first ever emoji as we know them today, however, was created in 1998 by Shigetaka Kurita who, at the time, worked at NTT Docomo. As an engineer, Kurita worked on new ways for customers to communicate using icons and eventually he created a set of 176 images which he named ‘emoji’. The word ‘emoji’ is made up of two Japanese words: “e” = picture and “moji” = character.
However, it was only after Apple released its very own set of emojis in 2011 that the phenomenon really took off. Today, the emoji is the world’s fastest-growing language with 92% of online consumers using them to express their feelings and with almost 3,000 emojis available to choose from, it’s no surprise that the emoji is impacting the way brands market their products and services and target their audiences.
How Brands Can Use Emoji’s In Marketing
Emoji’s can be used across the marketing sphere including on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, in your email marketing campaigns to increase your email open rate and even on your website to make complex topics easier to understand. Brands can also use emoji’s in their marketing campaigns to:
While emojis are not exactly ‘new’, an increasing number of brands are using the icons to stand out on social media and to give their email marketing campaigns with an edge. Domino’s Pizza is just one brand that is using emojis to transform the way in which people associate with their brand, allowing people to simply text a pizza emoji and a destination for their regular order to be delivered.
Simple messages can easily be ignored, which is where emojis step in. With more than 2,823 emojis to choose from, brands can choose from the most extravagant emojis, to a simple smiley face to simplify complicated subjects.
Tell A Story
Some of the most successful marketing campaigns have used emojis, one of the most recognisable being McDonald’s emoji campaign that was designed to tell short stories.
While the idea behind the campaign is simple, it encouraged people that the ‘good times’ can be found in McDonald’s. Not only did it help to boost brand awareness, but it provided people with a sense of positivity.
Appeal To Millennials
As user’s attention spans continue to decline, marketers are having to come up with creative ways to target millennials through social media and more. According to Adweek, Facebook users spend an average of 1.7 seconds looking at any piece of content on mobile, compared to 2.5 seconds on desktop. Emoji’s are a great way to do this as they make posts more fun and visually appealing.
Enhance Email Marketing Campaigns
More than 20% of users have more than 21,000 emails sitting in their inbox at any given time making it increasingly difficult for businesses to stand out against spam. However, subject lines containing emojis often generate more attention than those without and can help to create a sense of friendliness.
The Most Used Emojis In 2018
With the likes of Facebook and Twitter making the latest emojis compatible with their platforms, some of the most popular emojis used in 2018 included the Face With Tears of Joy emoji, Smiling Face With Heart-Eyes emoji and the Birthday Cake emoji. Some of the less popular emojis included the Juggling emoji and Mouse Face emoji.
The top emojis by country are:
Tips For Emoji Marketing In 2019
While emoji’s can help to increase your email open rate, they can also put the fun back into social media marketing. But, how do you use emojis for the ultimate success?
There have been several failed emoji marketing campaigns including House of Fraser’s ‘Emojinal Takeover’ in February 2016.
While the campaign incorporated the relevant emojis, it was not relevant to the brand or the hashtag ‘Emojinal’ which House of Fraser used to promote the post. It left many people confused as to whether the brands Twitter account had been hacked and some even called it a ‘PR stunt’. So, while it generated a lot of traction, it didn’t benefit the brand and failed in reaching a new younger audience.
For your emoji marketing campaign to be a success, you must understand which emojis connect with your target audience and know what they mean. While House of Fraser knew the appeal of emojis, the campaign was simply based off a report by Bangor University which disclosed that 72% of people aged 18-25 found it more convenient to express their feelings using emojis.
In addition to understanding the true meaning of each emoticon, it’s vital to understand how they can be used effectively. The first rule is to not go overboard with the number of emojis that you use within a post or image as this can confuse your message. Instead, think carefully about which emojis will help you get your message across without destroying the message you are trying to convey. For example, if you are holding an offer over Valentine’s weekend, consider using the red heart, rose and chocolate emojis.
Your social media posts or email marketing campaigns should always encourage two-way communication too. A simple smiley face emoji or thumbs up can make all the difference when it comes to prolonging a conversation with a customer to boost engagement. When used correctly, emoji’s can also help to build your following and online community.
What Else Is New?
As part of the Unicode update coming, we can also expect to see gender inclusive couples and mixed skin tones. From the updates release date, March 5th, users will also be able to utilise a new mix of colours consisting of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, black and now, brown.
Other emojis include a chair, a stethoscope, an adhesive bandage, ballet shoes, shorts, a kite, a yo-yo and a drop of blood which was a part of a campaign set up by Plan International and Give Blood to represent the importance of giving blood.
The Future Of Emojis
In recent years the emoji has seriously taken off with more and more brands jumping on board with the trend to attract new audiences. With a new set of emojis expected to be released in March this year, we can expect to see yet another overhaul in the way businesses market their products and services.
Despite many businesses being afraid to implement emojis into their marketing campaigns, with the ability to encourage real-time engagement, boost open rates and click through rates by building curiosity, emoticons are here to stay. If you haven’t already started using emojis within your social media and email marketing campaigns, consider using them in your next social media post or blog. Which new emoji are you looking forward to using the most?
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