Today marks World Emoji Day; a day that celebrates emojis and how they help us express emotions and ideas.
Emojis were once something for the young but in the modern world we live in they have become widespread and used by people of all ages online.
Emojis have had the attention of content marketers for over a decade. With new emojis coming out every year and 2,823 already released, emojis have slowly taken over the world of social media. But how are they changing the world of content marketing?
Changes to Emojis in 2018
Earlier this year, Apple released 157 new emojis for the iPhone and for many social media addicts it was like Christmas came early. The new release gave us more ways than ever to express ourselves with new emojis such as a bagel, kangaroo, cupcake and melon. Apple has been striving for inclusivity this year and has even released a number of emojis for redheads after a change.org campaign, along with 13 new emojis to represent people with disabilities.
Why do we love emojis?
These colourful symbols are everywhere now. They decorate high fashion and they even got their own movie. We are totally obsessed with them, but why?
They are entrenched in today’s popular culture because they have changed how we can communicate. Messaging has become simpler and we can now quickly fire off messages knowing that emojis are helping us get our point across clearly. Emojis are the fastest growing new language and with 80% of people in the UK now using emojis in messages, we can only expect to see more of them in our communications in the future.
How emojis have changed the way we communicate
Emojis have become an integral part of day-to-day communication and 5 billion emojis are sent daily over Facebook Messenger alone.
When ‘talking’ online it can be awkward to express your thoughts and feelings using words alone. Emojis can help give verbal cues letting the recipient know the tone of the conversation and prevent miscommunication.
Where once you would labour over texts and other messages to ensure that they came out the way you intended, we can now use emojis to ensure that our words are not misconstrued.
Emojis also elicit emotional responses in recipients. Using positive emojis can result in positive feelings from the reader and using negative emojis can result in negative emotions in the reader. This empathy can help us feel closer to one another and creates a more effective form of communication.
Seeing a ? and seeing a human face activate the same region of the brain. In a world where we have less face to face interactions, emojis can help us feel like we have a more personal and human experience.
Emojis in different cultures
Emojis were invented in Japan back in 1999. Later when Apple released its iPhone on the Japanese market, they came to the attention of the whole world as Apple had to release a support platform for emojis so it could compete with Japanese phone manufacturers.
Japanese blog writers use significantly more emojis than their American counterparts. And their use of emojis reflects their culture with emojis used to help the writer appear more polite. Due to emojis getting their start in Japan and East Asia it is no surprise that East Asians and Indians put more significance into emojis than their western counterparts.
Emojis like any visual cues are open to interpretation by the reader. Cultural differences and personal experiences can dramatically affect how individuals interpret specific emojis.
Specific emojis will have different connotations depending on culture and age. For anyone of the younger generation, emojis like ? and ?have meaning beyond the object. If you showed a peach emoji to someone of an older generation from East Asia, they might say that you would send it on a birthday as a peach is a symbol of prosperity.
Another example of an emoji that can be interpreted differently through various cultures is the horn emoji ?. In the UK and America it’s often used as a symbol for rock and heavy metal music, in countries like Italy, Spain, and Portugal, if it is directed towards a specific individual, it can mean that a persons partner has cheated on them ?.
Emojis influence on content marketing
A big part of content marketing is getting an emotional response out of your reader. This helps ensure they remember your content and allows you to stick out from competitors. By expressing emotions with emojis you are more likely to get an emotional response from your audience and this is why Instagram posts that use emojis get 17% higher engagement.
Emojis are being used more and more in content marketing campaigns with some brands experiencing real success. The movie Deadpool had a simultaneously idiotic and brilliant emoji billboard created for its release in 2016 that revitalised an old form of advertising. They also had some Deadpool emojis created and released as a part of ‘12 days of Deadpool’ campaign. These types of campaigns see great success because they put a spin on classic emojis and build excitement around the release date.
This idiotic/brilliant billboard is why I’m all in on the DEADPOOL movie. I’m an easy lay. pic.twitter.com/jSRorPvaCp
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) January 13, 2016
Emojis are inherently unserious and using them in marketing campaigns has to be well thought out. Deadpool is a dark and comical movie, with a young target audience so using emojis is a fun and exciting way for them to get attention. But, if you are in a more serious industry and want to use emojis, you should proceed with caution. You need to think about whether it is professional to add emojis to your communications, if you are using them to clarify tone or if they look forced and unsuited to the topic.
Email marketing is another excellent place to incorporate the use of emojis. Experian’s research showed that the open rate of communications with emojis in the subject line was 56% higher compared to those without.
Swiftpage, an app developer, conducted A/B testing that showed higher unique opens (+3.29%), unique clicks (+6.28%), and click-through rates (+18.93%) for an identical subject line that featured a symbol.
Despite the many advantages of using emojis, not everyone loves them. Around 30% of email users see characters like emojis as unprofessional in emails so if you suddenly start using them you may not see the results you were hoping for.
To avoid seeing negative results always do A/B testing on email marketing campaigns. Divide your subscriber list into segments and test some with and some without emojis and monitor the results. You will then be able to better understand the consequences of using emojis for your business’s email marketing.
Tips to follow when using emojis in your email marketing:
- Use them in moderation so they don’t appear annoying and spammy and also so the novelty doesn’t wear off.
- Test your subject lines across various email clients and mobile devices – different devices render emojis differently, you will want to ensure the emoji is appearing how you want it on any device.
- Choose emojis that make sense, are relevant and complement your brand message.
To see how emojis can effectively be used in content marketing, take a look at our Teamoji Campaign ?
Post published on Tuesday July 17, 2018