The real question isn't should you be using emojis in your marketing, but when. When and how can you get the most out of emojis; are they relevant and what do they contribute to your content?
Over 92% of consumers online use emojis. They haven't just submerged themselves into our daily communications, but they've become a seemingly integral part of our language. Heck, the word emoji even found itself being added to the Oxford dictionary.
From a marketing perspective, anything that becomes so relevant and dominating in our lives becomes a huge opportunity to use; a vital asset to add to our expansive digital tool kits.
Many brands and organisations are too afraid to include emojis into their brand strategy on the belief it ruins their cooperate image, ruining their well-constructed tone of voice that has had hundreds of man hours thrown at it to design.
Whenever I've spoken to fellow marketers in the past on the subject of using emojis for businesses purposes, many of them 😂 laughed 😂 at the concept; particularly those representing businesses that like to be positioned as leading corporate giants.
Nowadays however, emojis have become a universal language. During his time as president of the United States, Barack Obama told Albuquerque’s 93.3 KOB FM in an interview that if he could have any superpower in the world, it would be to speak any given language.
A successful marketing strategy is built on clear communication. Emojis aren't just words; they are visual representations of feelings and emotions. They are key to conveying depth in a single character that any copywriter would struggle to match with a single, meaningful word in the right context.
There is no escaping the huge trend emojis have set over recent years, and to bluntly ignore the opportunity to utilise them in your marketing strategy is quite simply unwise.
As humans, we rarely buy into hard, cold sales anymore. In fact, brands selling their products directly has even become more difficult. Companies are resorting to use influencers to promote their products on their behalf; tapping into their huge trustworthy audiences. But how were these audiences generated and how have they become so trusting of influencers? The fact is, as living creatures with we are now buying into people and their stories more so than businesses that feel devoid of personalities. Corporate text with no soul is losing the war against personalised stories full of energy, passion, and even the occasional emoji. 🏆
To successfully utilise emojis, it needs to be recognised that there is a time and a place. Professional documents (such as invoices, proposals, complaint handling procedures) aren't the best situations where emojis should be deployed. There are however, countless other mediums where they utilisation works preferably in your favour to creating an image of a fun, trustworthy business to work with or purchase from.
Where are emojis most commonly used?
In order to effectively include them in marketing scenarios, firstly we need to recognise where they are frequently used. The most common applications of emojis on a daily basis is of course live messenger and chat apps (Whatsapp, Messenger, Instagram Direct).
The use of emojis is to convey reactions and feelings in quick, direct manners. As marketers looking to use them on our digital platforms, we're looking to communicate effectively to our target audience.
The emergence of chat bots onto the social media scene allows for businesses to respond to messages efficiently; saving time for our clients whilst also learning more about their motives. And of course, they're a great place to use emojis; giving that automated angle of the chat bot a more personalised and lively feel.
Social media ads
In a great slab of copy that comes with ads, emojis are great ways of distracting the eye and drawing attention; making them a highly useful tool to allow your ads to stand out on social media.
Every single business should be able to identify 🔍 with at least one emoji. For my marketing posts within property management, I've been able to utilise a great deal of property related emojis.
The most important details (the location and rental figure) are right at the top of the ad copy, flanked either side by two house emojis; fortifying the aim of the ad and drawing in tenants looking for properties.
A lengthier wall of text description is included to help potential tenants visualise the details alongside the included images. However, there are those whilst browsing for properties who want the details broken down into easily digestible key points; something I've addressed under the 'key features' section using emojis to help emphasise the point of each feature. Even the call to action is highlighted with the use of an emoji, highlighting the primary communication channel as contact via phone.
The sheer number of emojis presents a great plethora of options for you to utilise in your marketing, regardless of what the aim of your business is. Some great examples of individual emoji use and meaning include:
🔥🔥🔥 (Fire emoji): This emoji is a great eye catcher, addressing something as hot, taking off or igniting (quite literally catching fire). This has the ability to evoke "not to be missed" feeling within your target audience.
🛑🛑🛑 (Red stop sign emoji): This emoji is the same as the universally understood symbol for stop, which is exactly what we want our audiences to do on our ads, and this is why it works so well.
⏰⏰⏰ (Red alarm clock emoji): This emphasises urgency and heightens the need for immediate action. It’s a great addition to any ad that has a limited time offer, and is aiming for more clicks.
Blogs / website copy
The use of emojis in blogs and website copy is far less recognised than that of social media. Websites are there to create first impressions and showcase what you can do for your clients; whilst blogs are platforms to showcase your knowledge, thoughts and persona.
Whilst it may not be common knowledge outside of SEO practise, search engines do typically allow for emoji searching. Whilst the utilisation of emojis in SEO is still yet to be fully practised, there is never a better time to start thinking about how to use emojis on your website and blogs for SEO purposes.
As it stands, searching an emoji in Google brings up information about the emoji itself, as opposed to information regarding that specific object or feeling the emoji is conveying.
As an example, searching Google by using the paintbrush emoji yields these results:
When you broaden the search term however (such as by name or location), the results become somewhat more accurate:
So let's try something a little more general, such as pizza. Searching by emoji only brings these results:
Yet when you throw location into the mix, the results are far more useful:
So whilst the practice of utilising emojis in SEO is still in relative infancy, in terms of the bigger picture it is certainly worthwhile investigating how the use of emojis can align with your objectives.
When it comes to blogs, it is necessary to reflect on the tone you typically take in each post. Blogs are a great way for clients to gain insight into your brand and persona; particularly if they are consistent in tone of voice and style. Emojis, if used correctly, can be used to highlight key points you're trying to make efficiently. Some clients detest lengthy slabs of text on their screen, whilst others prefer reading into your subjects as in depth as possible.
Of course you can break blogs up with the use of multimedia; however creating or sourcing this comes with time consumption or legalities of copyright. Emojis can be just as effective in trying to convey messages in blog posts, albeit in much smaller and swift manners.
In order for your marketing strategies to be successful, you need to approach and embrace trends surging into the ever-changing digital landscape. As I've already mentioned, communication is key to creating long-last relationships between yourself and your clients, and the way you do this unequivocally important.
Any business should know exactly how to speak to its desired clients; be it through deep and meaningful technical language or snappy, witty informal chat. By using emojis tactically in the correct way and on the correct platform, you're effectively showing that you aren't just another bland, digital personality following the same cut/paste marketing communications as everyone else. 🤷🏼♂️
Be careful however; overusing them in the incorrect context can do more damage by turning them away with poor communication. Official communications should be kept exactly as intended to be, whilst every other avenue of emoji use in your marketing is free for you to explore.