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How Emojis Have Changed Content Marketing Forever

JULY 2017

We’ve come a long way from simply stringing together a colon and closed bracket to create a smiley face in emails. Now, every text message you send, every Instagram post and every Facebook status update is peppered with emojis, hashtags, and GIFs. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

Emojis are everywhere. A study done by Emogi found that a staggering 92% of the online population uses those expressive faces. Typically, women use emojis more than men – 78% women use them in social media and text messages as opposed to 60% men. Emojis aren’t just useful in capturing emotional cues; they are also effective ways to express informal playfulness. They give text messages, Facebook status updates, Instagram posts and branding messages a human element. They are especially useful on Twitter where messages are restricted to a 140-character word count. Why waste character counts on words when you can use it on an emoji that expresses much more?

However, using emojis in content marketing is tricky. You want to sound expressive and human but not over-the-top or garish or flamboyant. Still, there’s no denying the humble smiley face is here to stay and that successful brands are capitalizing on the emoji-craze in order to target millennials. Brands like Domino’s Pizza, Baskin-Robbins, Bud Light and World Wide Fund have triumphantly used them to increase sales, improve customer engagement and enhance their brand’s image.

In fact, Burger King and Disney have created their own emojis. That’s how important the smiley face is now in the content marketing sphere.

You can also use emojis effectively by keeping in mind some useful content marketing tips that are highlighted below:

Use Emojis Organically

Emojis are the best way to humanize your messages, but use it too much, and you can attract the ire of your customers. They’re more forms of art that replace images, GIFs, and videos rather than send a message in itself. They’re relatable and evoke an emotional response, but they should not replace the entire message.

Before deciding to use emojis in your content marketing efforts, do some research. Identify which emojis resonate the most with your target audience. Do they love using the crying face emoji over a simple smiley? Do they have whole conversations using emojis or simply use them as an add-on feature? Next, identify the emojis that will connect with them emotionally. Finally, liberally use emoticons they use in their everyday conversations.

Be Mindful of a Country’s Culture

While using the right emojis to connect with your customers is important, equally essential is making sure you know their culture. Different emojis mean different things in different cultures. Even emoji usage differs in diverse cultures. Fox example, content marketing expert Neil Patel pointed out that Finnish people love using the heart symbol with 60% Instagram texts featuring the blood-pumping icon. In contrast, only 10% of Instagram users in Tanzania use it.

They’re Great in Push App Notifications

Now that you’ve figured out which emojis to use, the question is how to use it. Smiley faces are very useful in push app notification, particularly when informing customers of a sale, a promotion or launching a new product. Customers are more likely to tap on a push app notification if it has an emoji than if it’s just text. After all, almost all of a customer’s purchase is based on emotions and not solely on logic.

For example, if you’re a travel agency promoting a sale on a honeymoon package or flight deal then using the emojis representing an airplane, luggage, cocktail and travel destination icons (like the flag of paris, perhaps?) with the message leads to a greater customer engagement and a more emotional message than a simple: “Exciting sale! Get a trip to Paris for 4 nights and 5 days at an attractive 40% discount NOW.” Which message would you rather click on? Plain text is boring.

Use Emojis in Social Media Marketing

When it comes to emojis, of the many useful content tips, the one most likely to work with almost all companies is to use the beloved icons in social media. In fact, use a generous dollop of the smiley faces on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook.

Zazzle Media reports that Facebook posts which feature emoticons get 57% more likes, 33% more comments and 33% more shares than a plain text post. In fact, Domino’s Pizza successfully used the pizza icon by letting customers simply tweet or text a pizza emoji to order a pizza. And it was a hit.

Don’t be afraid to use them on social media to express enthusiasm, happiness, anger, sadness and other myriad emotions.

Ensure That Your Message Is Clear

The last and most important thing to learn about the use of emojis from experienced content providers is whether they enhance your brand image and ensure that your message is clear. A serious financial firm can’t very well use a plethora of emojis in its messages. But a fashion brand certainly can.

Create Custom Emojis

Creating custom emojis isn’t right for every brand. But if you’re willing to shelve some money to improve customer engagement and build on your target audience, then it can be a good idea. However, ensure that the icon can be displayed on all mobile devices (and see how it looks on Android and Apple phones), promote it on social media and encourage customers to share it and make sure that the symbol is linked to a cause your audience is passionate about and not just your brand.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, emojis are here to stay so you might as well jump on the adorable smiley bandwagon. After all, people are going to use them more, not less. Hopefully, with the above useful content marketing tips, you’ll be able to master the art of emoticons. If you need help in conquering the uncharted territories of emojis, feel free to connect with our dedicated team of content providers that will strengthen your marketing efforts and boost customer engagement.


Want to learn more how to leverage your online content for better results? Our newest eBook has the answers. Learn how to become a content superhero with just a few smart tricks from this imaginative collection of content marketing tips. Order one content piece today and get the eBook for free.

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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