Emojis: They're everywhere. And if you're not already using them, you've definitely seen them — in a text from a friend, on social media, and even on shirts and slippers at mall kiosks.
Whether you ❤️ emojis and use them every day or think they're just a "Millennial" thing, there's no denying the impact they've had on the way we communicate. And while religious emoji users know they're a great way to express what words often can't to friends, family, and followers, marketers (especially in traditional industries or conservative companies) may still hesitate to merge personal communication tactics with professional messaging.
I know what you're thinking: "Using emojis in an email to a client would be unprofessional." "No one will take me seriously if there's an emoji in our newsletter." "Tweeting emojis from our company's account would seem childish."
But as emoji use continues to grow and span demographics, those fears and preconceived notions may not be reason enough to avoid emojis.
After naming 😂 the 2015 Word of the Year, Oxford Dictionary explained that emojis aren't just for teens anymore — emojis "have been embraced as a nuanced form of expression, and one which can cross language barriers."
A "nuanced form of expression" that can "cross language barriers"? What content marketer wouldn't benefit from nuanced communication that reaches diverse audiences in a familiar, understandable way?
So ask yourself, "How can I, as a B2B marketer, incorporate emojis into my content marketing while remaining professional and elevating my brand?" Let's explore some key ways emojis can amp up your marketing:
Larry Kim, founder and CTO of WordStream, conducted a study on Twitter's ad platform to test whether and how emojis in tweets affect engagement. He found that the emoji version of a tweet got 25 percent higher engagement than the non-emoji tweet! At a time when brands are constantly looking for ways to increase engagement on social media and connect with target audiences, this is great news. (The best part? Adding emojis is free.)
No one wants to feel like he is talking to robots or on the receiving end of annoying message automation — especially not your clients. To humanize your brand, try sprinkling in some emojis throughout communications on your key channels, from email newsletters and drip campaigns to social media outreach.
Think about it: If you're sharing some really awesome news about your company, what might convey that excitement more clearly and authentically? A plain exclamation point or emojis like 🎉 or 🎊 ?
Your brand is powered by humans, and humans feel excitement. Let emojis help you convey those feelings and share those messages, and your audience will likely find it easier to connect to you, a real human.
Just this summer, Chevrolet wrote a press release about its 2016 Chevy Cruze composed only of emojis. In an effort to appeal to a wider audience, Chevy left it up to readers to decode the message (until later in the day when Chevy released its "Emoji Explained" letter).
This is just one example of the many ways emojis can help you enhance a story. Maybe an emoji press release isn't something your particular brand would benefit from or your audience would love, but that's part of the beauty of emojis — they're versatile. If that tactic isn't for you, explore other channels of your storytelling (blog posts, social updates, internal communications, etc.) that could be improved with a few good emojis.
Using emojis in your marketing communication is a free and easy way to get a leg up on the competition. When scrolling through social media feeds, what stands out more: a tweet with no image or a cool piece of emoji art 🎨 ? (Obviously the emoji art.) Something as simple as a well-composed tweet full of emojis could leave the lasting positive impression you need to cut through the noise and win over a new brand advocate.
Before you hit the ground running, though, remember that emojis may not translate perfectly for every audience member. So be cautious, and remember that while an emoji may mean one thing to you, it may mean something different to someone else. To avoid confusing or offending your audience, do your research. (Or hire an emoji translator specialist because that is apparently a thing people do now.)
Another tip: Don't overdo it. You still want the person on the other side of your article, email, or social post to understand your message. Producing emoji-heavy content that's irrelevant to what you're actually trying to say may skew your message and leave your audience with a bad taste in their mouth 😷 .
As you plan your 2017 content marketing strategy, brainstorm some fun and relevant ways to interact with your audience through emojis. Put your ideas into action by testing out emojis in email newsletters, subject lines, social media posts — anywhere that resonates with your audience and reflects your brand well. You might be surprised by how quickly your engagement rates take off 🚀.
I'm an avid storyteller and a right-brained thinker who loves to make people laugh by acting out strange, hypothetical scenarios and writing funny sketches. Amy Poehler is my idol, and I have the same thumbs as Megan Fox.