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BizReport : Advertising archives : September 17, 2019

Expert: How brands can embrace emojis for engagement

There are movies about them, kids text primarily in them, and new studies have shown that emojis can even be good for business. The key, of course, is knowing when - and how - to use emojis effectively with a base of shoppers. We asked a digital expert for his advice.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: We're seeing a big uptick in the use of emojis between consumers and businesses. What is driving this increased use?

James Lee, Head of Digital Strategy, Sitel Group: Technology has significantly changed the way that people communicate, and with this change has come new forms of communication. One of the most difficult areas of communication to measure and understand, particularly when consumers are communicating with businesses via text (i.e. chatbots, messaging, emails, etc.), is sentiment. Emojis have grown so much in popularity because they are a much easier way to show emotion and sentiment. They serve as a universal standardized language that consumers and businesses can understand, creating common ground that allows for better, more understandable communication and feedback.

Kristina: Are businesses prepared for this kind of use?

James: Since emojis are an aspect of communication that most people use in their personal lives, it can be a smooth transition to use them within businesses. The biggest challenge for businesses when implementing visual communication using emojis, memes, gifs, etc. is thinking outside of the box. How can we best represent our brand through visuals? Are there specific areas of the customer experience that need better, or more clear feedback from consumers? How can we use emojis to boost our business goals while improving customer experience?

Kristina: Can the use of emojis improve communication between brands and consumers?

James: The use of emojis can absolutely improve communication between brands and consumers. As we've discussed, emojis are a universal standardized language and are therefore much less likely to be misinterpreted. Additionally, emojis provide an opportunity for a brand to create a strong positive connotation through visuals and by creating personalized brand/emoji pairings that are pushed out to customers and make brands more identifiable in the long term. When a brand becomes associated with a particular emoji or series of emojis, whenever a consumer sees them, they'll spark a thought of the brand.

Kristina: What are some steps brands can take to add emojis and other visual aids to not only their social profiles but actual marketing messages?

James: First, know your audience. Understanding who your audience is and what messages they best relate to is critical to implementing a successful strategy using emojis.

Second, make sure the emojis you are using ties in with a marketing message or has an attached meaning. Pick emojis that make sense for your business and target audience, rather than overwhelming consumers with a slew of meaningless emojis. Rather than grabbing attention this tactic may actually make consumers more likely to disregard your messages.

Third, encourage interaction through emojis. Whether through email marketing or on social media, emojis are a great way to gather feedback from consumers. Using different emojis to represent emotions such as happy, sad, annoyed, etc. can push a customer to provide valuable feedback on your marketing tactics. It's a great way to measure if your messages are resonating with consumers.

Tags: advertising, advertsing, email marketing, emoji advertising, emoji tips, emoji trends, marketing with emojis, Sitel Group, social marketing

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