3 Ways Emojis Are Enhancing Marketing

By Jen Wetzel


If you use emojis, you may recall a dramatic moment of indecision between the classic smiley and the winky face, or even some fleeting regret over choosing the peace sign instead of the fist bump. Joking aside, with customers across channels using emojis for everyday communication, it’s no surprise that brands are capitalizing on this trend in their own marketing strategies. Here’s how:

1. Brand Promotion

Today’s brands are doing whatever they can to make an impression on customers. Whether this is through traditional marketing strategies, social tactics, or unique advertising, it’s more important than ever for brands to stand out among competitors. What better way to make an impression than to use some of our favorite pint-sized images?

Brands like Bud Light and Burger King have used emojis to ring in noteworthy dates and product promotions. As simple as the concept may sound, using emojis to make announcements or communicate without words alone is inventive and memorable to large audiences. When consumers see brands communicating with emojis, it draws them into responding back in just the same way, opening a new line of communication that may have been blocked out with traditional messaging. Don’t be surprised if you fall head over heels with your favorite brand with heart eyes and a smile.

2. Audience Interaction

We know from our personal experiences that emojis bring an element of fun to the top of mind, with playful designs and a big selection. Emojis often set the tone for good-natured and familiar banter, and innovative marketers are running with this feeling in their own customer relationships.

In any successful marketing plan, interactions with customers should be tailored and personal. Giving consumers the power of choice is a major win in a marketing strategy, and emojis make this easier than ever. With emojis on different devices ranging from favorite foods and moods, to entertainment icons and brand images, customers have a massive ability to respond to brands creatively, for the good or the bad. This may be a leap of faith for brands that are weary of negative commentary, but using emojis sets a tone of casual communication that promises humor between the brand and customer.

3. Direct Communication

Since customers have a massive ability to choose how they use emojis, using them in communication between a brand and customer can be particularly personal. Some brands are capitalizing on this by transforming particular emojis into brand identifiers. Domino’s recently announced that they will be launching a new tweet-to-order tool that allows followers to tweet #EasyOrder to Dominos and move forward with their food order right on the social platform. Too much typing for you? You will also be able to simply tweet them with the pizza emoji, and they will send you a direct message in response.

If emojis are being used for direct selling and brand messaging, it would also make sense to tap into this trend for the sake of a good cause. The World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as WWF, recently launched a fundraising campaign combining the power of emojis and Twitter. Using #EndangeredEmoji, followers can tweet out any of the 17 standard emojis that represent animals off of the endangered animals list. Doing so will contribute a small donation to the WWF for each emoji tweeted. Learn more here.

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