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Using Emojis Effectively in Your Marketing Materials

Northsail Believes in Using Engagement Tools Strategically

When your marketing strategies include features like interactive marketing, you need to be smart about how you implement them. Otherwise, you may end up doing more harm to your marketing campaigns than good.

Communication (and how communication is received) is key in today's digital landscape. Our clients know they can trust our communication, because we always deliver our projects on-time, on-spec, and on-budget. When we don't think we can meet and exceed customer expectations, we simply won't take the project on.

For newer businesses, who don't have the luxury of a history of success stories, this is even more important. New potential customers will be looking to your website materials to engage, excite, and reassure them that they can trust you to fulfill whatever promises your brand guarantees.

We've talked about how colors and typeface can impact engagement, but if you're looking to inject a bit of fun into your site content, it might be time to think about using some emoji symbols in your marketing content.

Before we get to some tips for using emojis in text effectively, let's talk a bit about what emoji symbols are, show you a list of popular emojis, as well as some pros/cons of using emojis in content text.

What are Emoji Symbols?

Unlike GIFs, emoji symbols are static icon images that are often representative of emotions or ideas.

Often leaning on humor or irony, emojis are used in text to add a flair of body language, tone of voice, or levity into any text-based source. They are also frequently used as a replacement for facial expressions on social networks where communication is more relaxed and informal.

Historically, emoji symbols were used in text messages, as well as digital communication and messenger programs, so that users could inject them throughout and feel more like they were having a conversation - rather than writing short letters or notes back and forth.

In today's marketplace, emojis have begun working their way into marketing channels. Most often, we find these popping up in social media platforms and website content. Some businesses have even begun including emojis in email communications with customers to reduce the formality and business tone that email marketing traditionally carries.

List of Popular Emojis:

Here's a list of popular emojis that you've likely seen before:

Regular Smile - 🙂

Big Smile - 😀

Surprised - 😲

Angry - 😠

Sad - 🙁

Crying - 😢

Disgusted/Nauseous - 🤢

Confused - 😕

Thumbs Up - 👍

Thumbs Down - 👎

Wave - 👋

Shrug - 🤷

Of course, this is far from an inclusive list. It would be almost impossible to create one in today's environment, because there are an almost limitless number of emoji symbol variations and styles that have been custom created by both businesses and users alike.

The Pros of Using Emojis in Text:

The biggest pro of using emojis in text is that they can potentially increase the engagement rate of your digital marketing strategy, whether that's on social media platforms, in your email marketing efforts, or inserted into your website marketing content.

Audience engagement is one of the biggest challenges that face every single business today, especially since so many industries are oversaturated with competition.

Finding ways to help your brand cut through the noise is essential for grabbing the attention of online consumers, and for some brands, targeting emoji users is a great way to stand out.

The Cons of Using Emojis in Text:

Human emotions can be a difficult thing to quantify sometimes, and it becomes even more challenging when you apply emoji symbols to your marketing message, because if it isn't as clear as possible, your entire advertising campaign could suffer for it.

Brands today are built on relating to customers through associative beliefs and values, also known as brand affinity, which has become one of the most important elements that businesses need to consider in their communication strategies.

If you start overusing emojis in text or use the wrong types of emoji symbols, which contradict the rest of the brand image that you've created, it muddles your messaging. In turn, it can reduce the success rates of your campaigns and reduce the positive impression the rest of your marketing content is creating.

This isn't to say that using emojis is bad. It’s just an element that you need to spend time thinking about how to implement effectively, especially if effective communication is one of your top priorities - And it should be.

Should I Download Free Emojis?

If you don't already have access to emoji symbol packs through your digital marketing tools, you should be very careful about where you're downloading free emoji packs from.

Just like we've talked about with typeface packs or pre-made GIFs, there are tons of websites online that will offer 'free emojis' that you can download to use with a simple click.

Some of them will be legitimate and may function without issues. Others however, could result in you accidentally installing spyware or malware onto your servers.

In turn, this could cause a huge array of different issues, from viruses that can damage internal hardware and software, to programs that are designed to steal personal data (i.e., credit card information, customer contact info, etc.), and could cause a lot more problems for you than they're worth.

If you're not sure about a pack of free emojis, do a bit of research. See if you can find out anything about the site that's offering them and their history of customer reports. If there's nothing online yet, you might be taking a chance you don't need to.

Most lists of emoji packs aren't terribly expensive to purchase from their creators, and they help encourage those emoji designers to continue creating new and exciting emoji symbols for you to use.

For businesses who can afford to do it, we'd suggest purchasing the packs legitimately to avoid all these potential issues, as well as supporting emoji creators.

It's the right thing to do, and in the end, it helps create a culture of support between brands and the graphic artists who pour their hearts and souls into creating these useful little icons.

5 Tips for Using Emoji Symbols Effectively:

1.) Consider Adding Emojis to Emails

Email personalization is incredibly important for brands, because the vast majority of email marketing materials are ignored and deleted before the potential client has even looked at what you're trying to show them.

Some businesses have found success including emojis in the email subject, since its visible to the customer before the email has even been opened. It's also an attention grabber in an inbox full of bland, text-filled subject lines.

If you're using email marketing software, take a look through the built-in options and see what types of emojis are available to you. When there's nothing that suits your brand, look into add-on options, which can allow you to further differentiate your brand against competition using the same software.

2.) Use Emoji Symbols in Social Media Posts

When you're making a social post, regardless of the platform you're choosing to use, you want to keep things light, approachable, engaging, and concise - emojis are perfect for this type of use.

A social platform is a communication channel built on conversations, rather than old-school digital marketing strategy that many businesses adhered to in the early days of the internet and online shopping. Again, emojis are perfect for representing this colloquial style of client communication.

Including emojis in marketing materials for your social media posts gives you the opportunity to relate to customers on a personal, relatable level; especially since it's similar to the style of communication many internet users are used to using when they walk with friends and family.

3.) Build Emojis into Blog Posts

When trying to create valuable content for your website strategies, you may not consider emojis as a first choice, but it can be an effective one.

Blog posts are often more relaxed and conversational in tone than educational articles, and that gives you the opportunity to take this one step further by adding emojis into your blog posts.

With that said, it's important to note that a little bit goes a long way here. Many readers won't be used to seeing emojis in blog posts (because it's not a very commonly seen tactic - yet). If you overdo it by plastering emoji symbols all over the post, it could detract from the points you're trying to make.

Also, emojis can be a great way to combat some of the white space that can sometimes go alongside text-driven, longform blogs that don't use a lot of infographics.

4.) Encourage Emoji Use in Online Chat Services

Do you talk to your customers directly through a chat service? As long as you're not using an automated chat service and actually have team members on the other end of the communication channel, you may want to consider encouraging them to use emojis to help keep consumer chats informal.

This tells customers that your team is approachable and easy to talk to, which can help de-escalate tense situations, or add a bit of humor when customers are just seeking FAQ information.

Alternatively, be mindful not to build emojis heavily into automated responses. That can come across as dismissive or disrespectful to customers, especially once they realize that they're not talking to another actual person.

Customers want to be taken seriously, but they don't want to talk with someone who only offers robotic responses. It's a fine line to tread, but an effective tactic when you can make it work for you.

5.) Create Holistic Emoji Marketing Campaigns

Establishing a clear, relatable brand voice for your business takes time and effort, and if you're going to start using emoji symbols in one area of your marketing plan, it's a good idea to include at least some in all other relevant content.

You want all your branded materials across all your marketing platforms to carry the same energy and messaging. Using emojis in one area and completely ignoring them in others can create an inconsistent brand voice.

Instead of worrying about the potential of that happening, consider building holistic emoji marketing campaigns that span your entire marketing plan - social media campaigns, email marketing strategy, everything.

Emojis are still new to the marketing world, but building a well-rounded plan that introduces them into your entire marketing plan at once will ensure that your brand voice remains consistent and effective across all your customer communication channels.

Let Northsail Help You Engage with Your Audience

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