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Marketing 8 min read

Emoji Marketing: How to Use Emoji to Promote Your Brand?

Serpstat: Emoji маркетинг в вашей рекламной кампании: что, как и зачем​

Anastasia Suhareva
Content Marketing Manager at AtomPark Software
Can you imagine any private chat without emoji today? Everyone loves emoji! Just remember, how often you've caught yourself on the thought of adding it to the body of business correspondence or newsletter? But the fear of losing the company's reputation stopped you each time.

Let's see whether there's a place for emoji in the modern marketing.

What is emoji marketing and how it affects the audience?

Thanks to Apple's decision to add emoji support to the iPhone in 2011, it became known to the big world. During this time, emoji became an integral part of the online communication. These funny pictures help people better understand each other and express their feelings. People even created an unofficial World Emoji Day that is celebrated on July 17. Marketers couldn't miss up emoji trend and started using these funny pictures in their campaign. An emoji are a powerful tool that allows marketers to attract clients and win their trust.

Media analysts service Socialbakers conducted a survey, which shows that 59% of the 500 selected top brands use emoji in their tweets, and 40% include them to their Facebook publications.
Appboy service (provides services of mobile marketing) also researched advertising campaigns of famous brands. The results showed the growing popularity of emoji as a marketing tool.

Only over the past year, the number of emoji advertising campaigns increased by 609%. More than 800 million messages with emoji were sent in July 2016.
The high efficiency of emoji marketing is proved by successful promotion of many famous brands.

Don't believe? Look at the conversion rates calculated by Appboy.

Will emoji rock YOUR marketing?

Well, it all depends on the type of your business and target audience. Thus it's important to clear up the following points before experimenting with the trend:

  • Does this marketing tool fit the expectations of my target audience?
  • Will emoji improve feedback from my email campaigns?
  • Which of them are more relevant to my business?
  • Do I know the real meaning of each emoji I want to use?
Answering these questions, consider the following aspects:
  • Target audience
  • Actuality
  • Relevance
  • Frequency of use
Too much water drowned the miller
Keep in mind that emoji can as help you to establish a positive relationship with the clients as totally push them away. For example, in 2015 Chevrolet managed to write a whole press release devoted to Chevrolet Cruze upcoming reveal using just emoji!

The idea was to draw attention and create buzz around it. Despite the fact, that the decoded version was posted the next day, this marketing campaign provoked a negative reaction as people criticized Chevrolet for being overly gimmicky. Below you'll see this press release, if you want, try your luck at decoding it.
Always remember, keeping optimal balance is most important if you don't want your promotions to look artificial and ridiculous.
Be ready for surprises
In order to improve the brand's affinity with its audience, McDonald's had launched an outdoor advertising project for banners, called "Good Times." The idea of the campaign was to present their products as a universal method, which will help to brighten even the worst day.
However, the fate had other plans for this project. In Bristol, the unknown artist decided to "improve" it by adding several other emoji to the brand story. As a result, it affected the whole campaign, turning it into a kind of joke in social networks.

Does emoji marketing really work?

Marketers still debate about the value of Emoji in the marketing. If you have a desire to experience these "emotional weapons" in your advertising campaign, you will definitely need inspiration. So here are some examples of successful emoji-marketing campaigns.

#1: Domino's – all for the customer

Today you can order pizza by tweeting the relevant emoji. The brand has launched a chatbot: just send a special emoji with a picture of a slice of pizza and wait for delivery.
On the one hand, it looks like a smart tactical move in the process of attracting new buyers, because people are always keen to explore something new. On the other hand, this is not entirely true, because the person has to first register on the website and configure the service to use it in a proper way. Only after that, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of the service.

Moreover, you need to choose the only one type of pizza as preferred to be ordered in such a way. I don't know about you, but I prefer ordering different toppings each time. But the idea of simplifying the process of ordering cannot be underestimated.

#2: Durex or safe sex in the emoji language

Project #CondomEmoji was one of the brightest decisions of the company in their general call for safe sex acts. Check it out.

#3: Miracle-Gro and #Springmoji Garden

Miracle-Gro specializes in gardening and landscape design. In 2015, they welcomed spring by creating a virtual flower emoji-garden.
They asked their users to choose the flower or vegetable emoji they like the most and repost them using #Springmoji hashtag. Therefore, Miracle-Gro had inspired its clients to do the e-gardening. According to the counter on the website, 1.6 million #Springmoji were "planted."


For World Emoji Day, NASCAR posted a series of Tweets, which has all chances to become a kind of masterpiece - huge mosaics of the most famous racers made out of small emoji. Looks cool, isn't it?

#5: Disney

To mark the release of the film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Disney in collaboration with Twitter prepared an Emoji-movie.
Moreover, a month before the video was launched, Twitter and Lucasfilm had launched a project allowing users to create their own emoji. Cooperation gave an excellent result — the video not only increased the hype around the anticipated film but also became the good support for the adaptation process of the author's emoji in social networks.

It also became a perfect advertising for the world-famous entertainment corporation. The numbers speak for themselves — the video has received over 13 thousand likes and 9 thousand reposts.

#6: #WorldEmojiDay

17 July has become the day when every brand tries to launch its own Emoji project. I have tried to collect most interesting of all — so get inspired and create your own masterpieces!

Final thoughts

I hope that you won't worry about the relevance of emoji in your marketing campaigns anymore. Emoji are not only cute pictures for fun but also a powerful marketing "weapon" in the battle for the favor of the client. Discover new trends and improve your advertising campaigns.

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