Emojis are taking over. Indeed, they have been for some time. It was back in 2015 that the Oxford English Dictionary named an emoji (the crying laughing one) its Word of the Year, and you can now buy emoji merchandise in pretty much every shop you walk into, there’s been The Emoji Movie, and even respected organisations like the BBC regularly use emojis in their communications.
And according to research published to coincide with World Emoji Day – yes, that’s a real event, marked across the globe on July 17th – carried out by Leanplum, brands can reap significant benefits in terms of engagement with their marketing content through emoji use.
How using emojis can increase engagement
Leanplum’s report, entitled ‘Unlocking Engagement and Growth with Emojis’, involved the analysis of some 300 million brand emails and push notifications sent between June 1st 2017 and the same date this year.
The study authors found that emoji use rose sharply over the 12-month period, as a growing number of brands experimented with adding these visuals into their marketing content. Both the number of emojis used per message and the proportion of communications featuring emojis doubled over the course of the year.
Meanwhile, Leanplum found that email communications featuring emojis were 66 per cent more likely to be opened than those without emojis, indicating that these symbols have the potential power to increase marketing email engagement by as much as two-thirds.
In addition, push notifications featuring emojis were 254 per cent more likely to be opened, and apps that used them in their communications received 26 per cent fewer uninstalls on average.
Joyce Solano, senior vice-president of global marketing at Leanplum, explained: “Emojis convey emotion and personality from brands, which help marketers deliver in-the-moment engagement and build long-lasting user retention.”
How to use emojis in your marketing
There are many different ways to incorporate emojis into your brand’s marketing communications. For example:
- Create social content that encourages your audience to use the emoji-like reaction buttons on Facebook to better understand their needs and whether your content is working.
- Make your brand’s social media posts more visual – a proven way to increase engagement – by including relevant emojis. This will help to show a little of your brand’s personality too.
- Include emojis in email subject lines to make them stand out in customers’ inboxes and increase the engagement rate.
- Create a custom emoji for your brand, or work with designers to generate an emoji each time a particular hashtag is used. One example of this comes from The Great British Bake Off, which used this tactic during last year’s series to generate a white tent emoji in tweets each time its hashtag was used.
- Nurture engagement around your social content by asking followers to reply to posts using an emoji response, which will show that you value engagement with your audience and that you’re approachable too.
How have you tried incorporating emojis into your marketing so far? Do you have any top tips to share with others? Let us know in the comment section below!