Since the first emoji was created in 1999, they have become a literal language of their own. Find out how to harness their power in your marketing messages.
Adding visual aids to our virtual conversations began long before the birth of emojis. In grade school you might remember typing “07734” on your calculator and turning it upside down (spoiler alert, it spells hello). On your flip phone you were likely texting friends things like :-)) :(( and the ever cryptic ;))
Today, there are over 2,823 emojis in existence. They help us share everything from our mood to what we’re eating for lunch. But beyond their inherent cuteness, there’s actually a science to the efficacy of using emojis within marketing messages. Not only are the findings surprising, they’re also hard to ignore.
Emoji marketing is the use of emoticons as a mood enhancing communication device that works to give your brand identity while connecting with your audience in a way that makes your textual information more memorable and easy to absorb.
92% of internet users use or have used emojis. If you’ve ever used them on your mobile device, then you’re familiar with the fact that your keyboard recognizes these icons as their very own language! So what does this mean for marketers?
Well, for starters, it’s impacted how consumers search for information. This has caused communication hubs and search engines to adjust accordingly. For example, Google’s gboard is now emoji search enabled. Some companies have even started soliciting feedback by encouraging customers to submit emojis instead of traditional numerical satisfaction ratings!
The question is, should you incorporate emoji into your latest marketing strategy?
One of the best ways to begin understanding why emojis are a valuable tool is to have a look at the impact they have on the consumer.
Though they may seem like more of an afterthought to your messaging, proactively seeking out opportunities to incorporate emojis into your marketing strategy can help you influence audience impressions.
Some big brands have taken the idea of emojis as a communication tool and run with it. While some of these use cases are extreme, they give you a good idea of what’s possible.
Dominos made pizza history as the first company to enable customers to order pizza by simply texting an emoji. All you have to do is opt in to their text program by adding your mobile number to a “Pizza Profile” on Domino’s website. After that, just text 🍕 to 374992.
The Smithsonian is a great example of an organization taking advantage of emojis even though they wouldn’t typically be considered “on-brand” for them. They tastefully rolled out their campaign on World Emoji Day by encouraging followers to tweet them an emoji, and they would respond with a link to view one of their exhibits that was the emoji-equivalent to what was sent. This caught fire so quickly, their social media team had to extend their timeline beyond World Emoji Day to try and accommodate the influx of requests!
Photo credit: @Smithsonian twitter
In a Cinderella story for the ages, Taco Bell used a lack of emojis to their advantage for a marketing campaign. More specifically, the lack of a taco emoji. Back in 2015 the “Bell” lobbied Unicode for the addition of a taco emoji and heavily communicated their efforts with their audience. People became highly invested, they even started petitions! Taco Bell ultimately won their appeal and the success helped their brand permanently associate themselves with this universally loved and heavily used emoji.
As a response to the popular “Share a Coke” campaign, Pepsi took advantage of the universal language aspect of emojis and launched their “Say it with Pepsi” campaign. Instead of personalizing cans of their soda with people’s names (like Coke did) they opted to create cans featuring emojis instead. The idea here was to extend beyond language barriers and unite everyone through the universally understood language of emojis. What resulted was a highly successful global campaign.
Like most things in life, too much of a good thing is too much. Marketers (and millennials) are all in agreement that trying too hard and forcing emojis into your conversation results in a total loss of clarity and credibility.
A good rule of thumb for deciding the appropriate time to use an emoji is to ask yourself, “will using an emoji help me get my message across?” To demonstrate, take a look at how an emoji softens and enhances the following example text messages to create more of a personal connection.
The folks over at HubSpot did a little research and found out some details about the most useful emojis for achieving different business goals. Here are some of their most interesting finds:
Here at SimpleTexting we are firmly pro-emoji. We’ve even worked up a help-desk article to help you sort through some of the most frequently asked questions about using emojis in text marketing.
This has come in handy for thousands, but especially our customers who connect with youth through SMS marketing. For Matt, a youth pastor at Life Chapel in New Jersey, they’ve been a helpful tool for connecting youth with their faith.
No matter how you slice it, emojis in marketing is a trend that’s here to stay. In the meantime, we can’t wait to 👁 what you super ⭐️’s do with these tips in your 🧰!
Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.More Posts from Meghan Tocci
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