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Should You use Emoji in Your Marketing Campaigns?

I ❤️ emoji. I often find that a bright symbol (or four) allows me to better and more succinctly express my meaning and mood than words ever do. And I’m certainly not alone. But just because individuals communicate in emoji, does that mean businesses should, too?

The short answer is (you’re gonna love this): it depends. On your brand and products. On the people you’re trying to engage with. On the channel you’re using. And on the campaign and messaging. Let’s explore the three key considerations when deciding whether to use emoji in your marketing campaigns.

The Audience

Gender and age group are the biggest factors to emoji usage. Seventy-eight percent of women are frequent users, while just sixty percent of men use them as frequently. And, unsurprisingly, younger age groups (particularly 25-29 year olds) use them more frequently.

Source: https://www.meltwater.com/blog/the-emoji-infographic-stats-to-back-up-your-obsession/

Emoji usage also varies slightly by country, but the numbers are growing across the world.

Source: https://thenextweb.com/insider/2015/06/23/the-psychology-of-emojis/#.tnw_5TMon0sn#.tnw_OE0fDXaJ

If your target customers fall into these demographics, emoji can be a great way to speak their language and connect with them on a more personal and human level.

The Channel

Emoji are slowing making their way into all types of digital channels and features. Last summer, Twitter announced the ability to target ads by emoji. All of the search engines allow you to search emoji, and Google is again letting you use emoji in organic snippets as of February this year, and they’re showing in the Search Console Analytics reports. Unsurprising to most, using emoji on Instagram captions results in higher engagement. And some cite similar improvements when using emoji in email subject lines and pre-header text.

You have lots of options for which channels you CAN use emoji on. But it’s not all of them. In fact, while several people have spotted emoji in AdWords and Google PLAs in the wild, their guidelines still prevent it and every time we’ve tried adding them to campaigns, the ads are disapproved.

So before you spend time and resources planning how to use emoji in your campaigns, make sure the channels and locations support it and that it makes sense for the format.

The Message

What are you trying to convey to your audience and what action do you want them to take? Emoji are effective in setting a more light-hearted tone. But if your message is more professional or somber, you should rethink adding them.

Emoji do come in handy when communicating internationally. They can deliver a message the world over without the use of words, thus by-passing any language barriers. You probably don’t want an entire communication written in nothing but emoji (although, that might be a fun campaign to garner some attention!), but you can use them sparingly to aid in the cross-language communication.

Emoji can help to draw attention and result in increased performance--in addition to the increased engagement with Instagram photos and email open rates already mentioned, emoji in ads lead to an average 9.2% click through rate, compared to the industry average of 0.4%, according to emotional marketing platform Emogi. But it depends on what, where, when and how you’re marketing.

So before you start adding emoji willy-nilly, consider the four points above. And it makes sense for you, don’t be afraid to add 😎 to your marketing campaigns.