Is Your Brand Using Its Emoji-nation?
How many times have you ended an email with a smiley face and in the split second before sending it thought, “This is to a CEO… Better not.” It happens to all of us, because that’s how ingrained emojis have become in our online and mobile communications.
Communicating with imagery can be traced as far back as 4000 years ago, when the Egyptians used hieroglyphics to tell stories at a fast pace. It should be noted that we’re almost certain there was no taco hieroglyph.
Originating in 90s Japan as a method to add context to a message, e.g. tagging ‘ ’ to the end of a ‘Thank you’ to show extra warmth, emojis have become a global phenomenon. In December, a London company was even recruiting for an Emoji Translator.
As 2017 progresses, who would’ve thought we’d be communicating via tiny images of eggplants?
Emojis Are Used How Much?!
Last year, eMarketer reported that 6 billion emojis (That’s 6,000,000,000 in digits for extra drama) were sent across mobile messaging apps. We don’t have the words… We literally need an emoji right now.
According to Emogi’s Emoji Report, 92% of online users use emojis. Google also recently allowed Twitter users to tweet emojis at them to get a response or ‘result’, much like typing into their search engine. Brands are constantly employing the icons in new ways to boost awareness of their business activities.
YouGov reported “53% of young people think mixing emojis with text helps people better understand each other — yet another position that sets the millennial generation apart from those that came before.”
With major social media tools and purchasing decisions being dominated by millennials and the proceeding Generation Z (Are you feeling old yet?), brands are trying to speak in their language to get them on side. That language just so happens to be image-based rather than character-based.
A Li’l History Lesson
So, who’s been doing a good job of it recently?
WWE, Amber Rose and about every other famous person
Because the hundreds of icons already available simply aren’t enough to put across your true uniqueness, Hollywood players have begun introducing their own lines of custom emojis for fans to use. In many cases they’re very specific and have less communicative power than the standard emojis. Have you ever been asked a question and had no other option than to reply with a John Cena emoji? Having said that, they’re fun and any type of communication method that’s personalised can get a brand noticed.
Durex for World Aids Day
Being that there is no condom emoji (Yet there is a squirrel holding an acorn… How often have you had to employ that in conversation?), people around the globe have adopted the ‘rained on umbrella’ emoji in its place. The contraceptive manufacturer tackled a sensitive subject matter and noticed the need for an official ‘safe sex emoji’, creating the basis for Durex’s World Aids Day campaign. Timeliness with a catchy hashtag.
The global charity ran a fantastic campaign to raise donations to save the endangered animals featured in their custom emoji series. WWF didn’t use the emojis in place of traditional communication, instead displaying them starkly against plain text to bring attention to a serious matter.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. How do millions of Americans celebrate Independence Day? If a Twitter user hadn’t tried it with fireworks and a Bud Light in their hands, this tweet might’ve just persuaded them. Aside from that, it’s a big high-five to all of Budweiser’s fans that were already getting their crates ready to celebrate.
Oreo allowed users to super impose their heads onto custom emojis. Their campaign was reported to have generated 99 million personalised creations in just 11 weeks.
How Can JGM Help?
Whether your brand wants to engage its existing fan base or build a rapport with an elusive audience, utilising a popular method of communication (like emojis) could be ideal.
Of course, using emojis as a marketing tactic isn’t right for all industries. If not used thoughtfully, they can come off cheesy or try-hard. As a rule of thumb, if your target audience is over 30 (a.k.a. individuals not given smartphones at birth), you should start small and test the water.
JGM trials the market for our clients, for example, by operating A/B split testing with email campaigns or tweeting only in emojis, to interpret responses to trends before incorporating them in your communications fully. With mobile browsing and shopping only increasing, businesses need to continue investing in their communications strategy to cater for mobile users.
If you think your brand could benefit from a review of their online and mobile communications, including social media usage, contact us today. Our team is typically glued to our phones (usually for productive reasons) and can revitalise the way you speak with your prospective customers to help build a voice for your brand.