Emoji marketing campaign, is that a real thing?

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An emoji marketing campaign sounds risky, but staying put can be worse, and you know how the saying goes: ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’. Emojis are here to stay, they represent a new language and even the Oxford Dictionary named an emoji the word of the year in 2015. If you want to take your brand to the next level, dive into the world of smiley faces and fireworks…

Why do we use emojis?

The emoji phenomenon has certainly been the object of various psychological studies. According to one 2013 study published in the Journal of Social Neuroscience, the same areas of the brain associated with looking at a real face are activated when looking at a smiley face emoji. And this makes perfect sense, since when we’re online we’re missing the emotional connection and to compensate, we add an emoji at the end of ‘hi’.

This explains why, according to Quintly, emojis bring a 17% increase in interactions on Instagram: we respond to emotional communication, and emojis are as close to that as you can get via Instagram and other social media.

Emoji marketing campaign impact in numbers

Ok, we get the psychology behind the massive use of emojis, but how does this affect a marketing campaign? First off, let’s consider that campaigns with emojis have increased by 777% from 2015 to 2016.

But why? Because the numbers support their use. For instance, the click-through rate of an ad is 20 times higher when it has emojis. Not convinced yet? Marketing campaigns that include emotional content, such as emojis, performed twice as well as those that have rational content.

Tips for your emoji marketing campaign

#1- Use the right emojis for your audience

It may seem like emojis are pretty straightforward, but you’ll be surprised by the countless interpretations of the peach emoji: some use it as ‘peachy’, others referring to a butt and even to fitness.

The meaning behind an emoji can vary according to age, gender, location and social class, so before picking the perfect emoji, consider who you’re targeting.

Let’s take, for instance, a younger audience, generation Z. In this case, you want to use bolder emojis that have a special meaning to that target audience. Don’t play safe, quit the classic smiley face and go for sassier options.

#2- Start the conversation

Domino’s Pizza provided a delivery request system that only required sending a pizza emoji. Result? Total success. You can mimic this initiative or think up your own strategy that will provoke a positive action from the user.

#3- Know when to use emojis

Depending on the experience your brand is offering, you’ll be using more or fewer emojis. As a general rule, if you provide a carefree service targeted for a young audience, you may be able to use emojis without many limitations. On the contrary, if your company sells life insurance, using emojis blindly can result in a major gaffe.

#4- Create your own custom emoji

If you’re shooting for the stars, try investing in your own brand emoji. With the right emoji, you allow your audience to have easy access to your brand. What’s more, you can even sell your emoji branded keyboard on the app store and generate revenue while expanding your brand. When designing an emoji:

  • make sure almost all devices will be able to display it
  • encourage its use through special offers and calls to action

Emoji marketing campaign success

#1- Taco Bell’s taco

This popular Mexican food restaurant chain tweeted to mobilize followers to support a petition to have a taco emoji. Since Americans are great taco lovers, they weren’t reluctant at all to support the cause. The result? A viral success for taco lovers.

#2- PETA’s Cruelty Beyond Words

This organization advocating for animal rights created a simple yet effective emoji-focused video to reach younger audiences. In this way, we can see how, with the right mindset and approach, emojis can be used to target serious issues.

#3- Budweiser

For July 4th, Budweiser came up with a emoji flag made up of fireworks and beer. The creativity involved in this tweet was the only nudge the brand needed to go viral. It got 120,000 retweets, a total success. One of the main reasons for the positive impact of this emoji-focused marketing tweet was the timing and the emotional impact patriotism has on Americans.

Defining the perfect emoji marketing campaign for your brand won’t be an easy feat, but with the right marketers and a good emoji translator, you’ll be on your way to create high-impact!

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