07 September 2016

DIGITAL - Using Emojis for Marketing

Most everyone has dropped an emoji into a text or social media post - the symbols are turning into the new internet slang.

And more brands are using them in their marketing than ever before. 

Research, by mobile app provider Appboy, also showed most mobile phone users have a positive perception of brands that do so.

Their survey of mobile phone users in the U.K. and U.S. concluded that most users age 14 and over thought brands that used emojis were fun and relatable.

Analysis of the Appboy platform showed in June 2015, brands sent 145 million mobile messages containing emojis. A year later, Appboy reported that 814 million emoji-containing mobile messages were sent, an increase of 461%.

As companies look to stay relevant or be part of a trend by utilizing emojis, it’s important to keep in mind that 11% of respondents thought they were unprofessional and 12% childish.

So how can emojis be used effectively?

Before using emojis, organizations need to determine:
  • How their audience interacts online
  • If emojis will enhance the branded message
  • Which emojis are relevant to the company brand
  • How often to use them and
  • Ensure they understand what the emoji means.

Domino’s Pizza won the Titanium Grand Prix for breakthough idea of the year for developing an emoji ordering system - a quick tweet featuring the pizza emoji led to an instant order, which was confirmed through a direct message.

Chevrolet composed a press release using only emojis for the launch of the 2016 Cruze.

The creative folks at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched the first emoji based fundraising campaign with their #EndangeredEmoji Twitter campaign. Every tweet using one of their custom emojis resulted in a donation to WWF and increased awareness about protected animals.

While these campaigns were done by big brands, smaller companies can also use emojis successfully.

Emojis aren’t likely to become the go-to digital marketing tool, but can be effective for some campaigns and even one-on-one communication with customers.

Using them just depends on relevance, target audience, affinity and frequency.

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