They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and in many cases that is true. This year has been a time where people have ditched conventional communication and replied in memes, emojis and reaction .gifs. In doing this, marketers have had to change the way they communicate with their target audiences.
Consumers are looking for a way to form meaningful relationships with their favorite brands, thus strengthening brand loyalty. In this case, it has become more common for brands to respond to customer service queries with imagery that forms a bond. Whether it’s a clever .gif, funny meme or emoji peppered reply, brands are trying to think outside of the box with their communication strategy. This is humanizing brands for consumers, and proving that they have personalities just like the consumer!
If you’re familiar with the extended keyboard on your smartphone, you know that emojis help enhance a text message conversation, tweet or Facebook post. Due to this, marketers have been trying to adopt emojis into their overall strategy.
With the rising popularity of this trend, brands must approach with caution. While it is a rising trend, it does not currently make sense for every brand, which means you must be cautious when you try to adopt this trend for your brand.
Emojis have a high adoption rate among users of all ages; however, it might not make sense for every brand’s target demographics to pepper in smiley faces and symbols. If your brand has a more corporate and clinical feel, is B2B or deals with an industry that is complex, emoji marketing might not make sense for you. In these situations, it can set the wrong message tone and be misaligned with the rest of your corporate branding and communications.
It is estimated that over 3 billion people around the world use the Internet through a variety of different devices. Which means it is highly likely that your target audience is looking at your content on a smart phone or tablet, which means if you weren’t thinking mobile first before, you should be now! Mobile first refers to creating content that is easily digestible and translates over different platforms and screen sizes. A person on a phone is more likely to be able to see your emoji messages as they’re intended, which will most likely resonate with them.
If you’re looking to start adding emojis to your marketing strategy, be sure that you start small. Pepper in a few emojis to your content messaging on Twitter or Instagram to see how it pans out. Test everything and remember that this kind of strategy might not work for your brand. There is a fine line between authenticity and cheesiness. Before you begin, always consider your audience and brand voice.
While emojis help tap into emotion and drive brand messaging, it also shortens content strategy in tandem. Emojis serve as a way to substitute words for imagery, which shortens the length of content across all social media channels. For instance, a tweet with an emoji should be direct and to the point. The call to action should be clear, and aimed at driving engagement.
Overall, emojis are a great way to tap into and connect with the right target audiences and increase the likelihood of engagement, but it might not make sense for every brand. To find out if emoji marketing is right for you, be sure to think about your brand voice and company motto – then we suggest diving in head-first!
Ben Smith is a Researcher at Fruition. Ben is a graduate of the University of Denver’s Mathematics program, and he enjoys learning about Google’s algorithm updates. He's a vital asset of the Fruition team, and he one day hopes to publish a book. In his free time, you can find Ben walking around reservoirs in Colorado.
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President & Founder, Family Travel Association