Put a Smiley Face on it: How Digital Marketers Can Get on Board With Emoji Marketing

Emoji marketing through social media. Why every digital marketer should be using emoji marketing.

How to Use Emoji Marketing Through Social Media With Credibility

Every day, 6 billion emojis are sent across the world through mobile apps and messaging platforms. As a result, emoji marketing through social media has become an increasingly popular way for digital marketers to connect with audiences.

There are enough emojis to create entire conversations, stories, and anecdotes. Since there’s an emoji for everything, why not take advantage of this trend?

Here is a simple DIY guide with everything you need to know about implementing emojis in your digital marketing strategy.

Emoji Marketing is the Newest Digital Marketing Trend

You may have noted a lot of major companies using emojis in their advertising over the last year.

Pepsi launched an emoji campaign in early 2016 that featured a variety of different “PepsiMoji” characters printed on the labels of Pepsi beverages. Customers were prompted to use the hashtag #SayitWithPepsi for an interactive brand experience.

Burger King also created their own emoji keyboard to promote their chicken fries. And they’re not the only company that’s created an entire keyboard users can download for custom brand-tailored emojis.

L’Oreal, Dove, Ikea, Mentos, and Comedy Central are among the hundreds of other brands who have done this.

Custom brand emojis show the digital marketing trend is popular.

Not all of us are multi billion dollar companies with enough extra cash to create our very own custom line of emojis. But there’s a lesson we can learn from these big marketing campaigns.

The bottom line is that emoji marketing works. Recent studies have shown that consumers are more likely to engage in a conversation when emojis are used.

In fact, 52% of consumers surveyed said that they thought brands using emojis in their marketing was “relatable” and “fun.”

Here’s how you can use emojis in your digital marketing strategy.
Emoji marketing can be used across all social media platforms.

The Rise of Emoji Marketing

We all know what emojis are. Chances are we’ve all seen the little face with hearts for eyes, or the poop with eyes.

Emojis are really just updated versions of the traditional smiley face with a colon and bracket. 🙂

Those classic, early emojis have been around since the 1990’s, when people would end their emails with a sideways smiley face or some x’s and o’s.

The emoji keyboard has become extremely popular.They’ve undergone a major facelift since those early days, and now your emoji keyboard includes everything from crying faces to little cars.

The popularity of these little smiley faces, animals, and icons has boomed over the last several years.

In 2015, the Oxford Dictionary chose the word “emoji” as word of the year. July 17 has been declared “World Emoji Day.”

Emoji marketing has gotten so popular that Twitter is rolling out a new digital marketing strategy to target ads to users based on what emojis they use.

So if you live in Brooklyn and you use the pizza slice emoji, you can expect to see ads for local pizzerias in your area.

Using Emojis to Connect With Your Audience

Emojis are constantly being used every day.Emojis are popular for people from all generations, from millennials to their parents.

Among cell phone users ages 18 to 65, 4 out of 5 people use emojis on a regular basis.

This means that no matter who your target audience is, you’ll likely be able to grab their attention when you use emojis.

You just need to make sure you’re doing it in the right way.

Your audience is likely using emojis for anything they do, from sending text messages to posting on Instagram. You can actually hashtag an emoji on Instagram, which means you can utilize this for hashtag searches.

Emojis are also commonly used on Twitter, and can be used in hashtags there as well. It’s another way you can get your brand to show up in searches and add exposure to your message.

Emojis have become a common digital language.

The Benefits of Emoji Marketing

According to some marketing experts, emojis are actually easier to analyze. When your audience responds with emojis, you can easily track feedback and reactions.

Fast data collection is also a big advantage to using emojis. It’s easier to sift through responses that use emojis because it’s obvious right away what your audience reaction is.

Emojis can also make your copy more appealing to the reader, as they are perfect for breaking up too much text. Your content can stand out just a little bit more if you throw an emoji or two in it.

Tips for Adding Emojis to Your Digital Marketing Strategy


1. Make it less about your brand and more about your fans. Digital marketing experts advise that you shouldn’t make your brand the focal point when you use emojis.

Emojis are linked to human communication.Emojis are meant to convey emotions. That’s the way that humans connect with one another.

So it’s important for your brand to be able to appear on a human level with your community.

Using emojis can help you determine how your audiences are reacting to you on an emotional level.

This is how they need to be used when it comes to your marketing strategy.

2. Understand your target market. Your particular target might not use or respond to the same type of emojis as another market.

This part takes a bit of analysis and digging deeper into the interests of your audience.

Find out what emojis connect with the themes of your content and use those when you target.

3. Get your audience to use emojis when they engage with your content. This will make it easy for you to track your audience feedback.

You can do this by asking them to tweet or comment back with an emoji, or prompting a question that uses emojis in the answer.

Since people love using emojis, they might be more inclined to engage with you than if you hadn’t used any emojis at all.

Be Careful of These Emoji Marketing Mistakes

With any digital marketing strategy, there are dos and don’ts that you have to consider.

1. Avoid overuse of emojis. Don’t post a string of emojis and expect your audience to decipher it. No one is going to want to attempt to figure out what you’re trying to say, and you won’t get the engagement you were hoping for.

Consider this tweet from Goldman Sachs in March of 2015:

Failed brand use of emoji marketing.

The company may as well just have tweeted out hieroglyphics and just as many people would have understood it.

Not only is it hard to understand, it’s stereotypical. People are well aware when they’re being stereotyped and if you make this mistake it could severely damage your brand.

2. Always use the appropriate emoji. There are almost 1,000 different emojis available to choose from. Don’t pick a random emoji just for the sake of using one.

If you can’t find a way to incorporate a good emoji in your content, then just don’t do it. 23 percent of consumers in a survey stated that they found emojis in marketing to be “inappropriate.”

People are on their phone all day sending and posting emojis.This comes down to understanding your target audience and making sure you know when the appropriate times for using emojis really are.

For example, females use and respond to emojis more than males do. So if your brand is targeting males, it’s a good idea to use emojis sparingly- if at all.

3. Beware of looking too cutesy. This is one of the biggest risks for brands using emojis for digital marketing purposes.

Emojis aren’t going to be a good fit for every brand out there, so it’s up to you to be the judge of how they’re going to fit in with your branding.

Closing Notes

It’s important to tread carefully when you dabble in something that’s trendy. But some risks are really worth taking when it comes to putting your brand out there.

As digital marketers, we understand how crucial it is to stay on top of every single trend out there. Keeping up with the times keeps your business more relevant and relatable with all audiences.

Want to experiment with emoji marketing, but don’t know where to start?

VPDM Digital Marketing can offer you solutions for all your digital marketing needs. Talk to an expert today to create your perfect digital marketing strategy, emojis or not.

Get your consultation now.

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