Digital Marketing spend has expanded exponentially in the past decade, but in 2020, there was a massive drop due to the global pandemic. Businesses all over the world have shut down, and the way digital marketers are handling their strategies has been affected too. As explained in terms of emojis, many marketers went from 😀 to 😟 in 2020. Fortunately, here at Lightspan, we were able to respond to this major crisis quickly and thoughtfully.
I remember watching “The Emoji Movie” in 2017 which I found both entertaining and educational. From the movie, we learned that no matter how many emojis are created, only the popular ones stay useful and accessible. Most of us send emojis without even thinking about the true meaning behind them. We may find a particular emoji fun, but someone else may interpret it differently. Let’s dive into what emojis really are and how they can be helpful to us marketers.
Fun fact: Did you know that the syringe emoji got a Covid-times update (Feb 2021) to remove the blood drops, so it can be used to signify vaccines?
What are emojis?
The literal definition: Emojis are colorful and tiny digital images or characters that are often used to express a concept, emotion, sentiment, or other feelings. You can find them in messaging apps (texting, WhatsApp). Most social networks -Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat- have also added their own sets of emojis
The history: According to Wikipedia, “Originally meaning pictograph, the word emoji comes from Japanese e (絵, “picture”) + moji (文字, “character”)” They were originally created in 1998 by Shigetaka Kurita. “He was working on a way for customers to communicate through icons. The result was a set of 176 icons he called emoji” according to The Readers’ Digest.
How to use them: There are multiple ways of utilizing emojis. First, tap the smiley face symbol on your keyboard (depending on which application you are using), and it will show you a wide selection of emojis arranged in different categories. Second, insert them manually, and the app will automatically convert them to emojis. With the rise in popularity, digital marketers all over the world are taking advantage of this visual communication method.
Fun fact: Curious as to what different emojis mean? There’s an encyclopedia for that, called emojipedia. It’s also a handy tool for marketers, so you can copy and paste emojis when working on a desktop. You can also install the emoji keyboard on your computer.
Using Emojis in Marketing
According to Jonathan Long, founder of Uber Brands, emojis are quickly making their way in the world of marketing. He mentioned that you can order pizza now by sending a pizza emoji just like this “🍕”. Cool, right? With the wide adoption of this marketing trend, we want to know how business owners are successfully using emojis to promote their brands. But first, let’s take a look at the good and bad sides of emojis in marketing.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Emojis in Marketing
- Helps in quickly conveying messages
- Makes email subject lines stand out
- Overcomes language barriers
- Saves character-limit space
- Enticing to the eyes
- Makes marketing consumer-friendly
- Helps in connecting with the target audience
- Increases the appeal of the product
- Expresses emotion
- Can increase brand awareness
- Hard to follow if overused
- Confusing to your target audience if choosing a lesser-known emoji
- Annoying and distracting if in the wrong context
- Comes off as unprofessional to some
- Not appropriate for people with visual impairment
It’s crucial to understand the pros and cons of using emojis in marketing. You have to learn the basics in order to determine what works best for your brand.
And remember: context is key. When in doubt, skip the emoji.
Fun fact: In 2018, “tears of joy face” was the top emoji used worldwide!
Choosing the Appropriate Emojis for Your Brand
As mentioned earlier, using emojis in marketing is not just about fun and excitement. You have to consider which ones make sense to better engage with your audience. Always assess the nature of your business to determine if emojis are appropriate for your brand and target audience.
- Explore and select emojis that help tell a story or accentuate a message. Double-check every meaning of emojis that you want to use.
- Identify your target audience – don’t just inject emojis into conversations without knowing who you are engaging with.
- Identify which emojis best fit and attract your target audience without altering the meaning of what you are trying to say about your product.
Fun fact: Did you know that as of today, there are more than 3,000 emojis? Do a little exploring!
Using Emojis on Social Media
Emojis can be used to spice up your social content and audience interactions. Use them to add context, emphasis, or humor to your posts.
Emojis can also promote engagement! Ask your audience to comment with an emoji.
For example: Where do you want to go this summer? 🏖🌄🏔🏡
Using Emojis in Email Marketing
One of the main goals of email marketing is to provide your audience with useful and helpful information. Sending out email campaigns regularly allows your business to stay top of mind. Adding emojis to your email is a great way to add emphasis to a particular message and increase engagement. However, do not rely on emojis to replace the text of your main message. Different email providers show emojis differently. Make sure to test and preview your email before sending it out.
Emojis can be powerful – it’s important to use them wisely, especially in marketing. Take time to research the meaning behind emojis before adding them to your messages, social media posts, emails, or ads. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. And most importantly, have fun! You can check out some of the emojis I use on Instagram and Facebook. 👌
Fun fact: Have you heard about “World Emoji Day”? Yeah, you read that right. Although it’s not official yet, World Emoji Day is celebrated every 17th of July.
Are you excited to experiment with emojis in marketing your brand? 😉 If you have a favorite emoji, please share it with us below in the comments section. Also, if you want to find out more effective ways of marketing, feel free to contact us because we have more in store for you.