Emoji marketing wasn’t an industry term just a few short years ago. Businesses wouldn’t be caught dead using emoji’s to communicate with customers, and it was loosely accepted in communications amongst co-workers. Now, with more marketer’s aiming to lure in a younger crowd, emoji are more than acceptable; they are now considered the norm.

Here’s a brief rundown on the rise of emoji marketing, and how you can implement this into your campaign strategy.

What Are Emoji?

If you’re not familiar with the common emoji, think small yellow smiley face, or sad yellow face somewhere in an email or text message. This was the basic use of emoji when they first appeared in the digital world. In its most basic definition, emoji are tiny digital images that express an emotion or idea.  

Beyond the Smiley Face

What once started as smiley faces and hearts has now emerged into something more vast and robust. Emoji now include images of cars, washing machines, and even people. Some of them are animated, others represent the holidays, and some are just downright creepy. Companies like Samsung and Google that operate digital platforms often have their own database of emoji that increases almost daily. Businesses are also joining the cause and creating custom emoji for marketing and branding purposes.

Emoji in Marketing

Using images to express ideas in this digital age is pretty much a no brainer in marketing, as people now prefer graphic content to text content. Emoji fit perfectly into this new niche, but there is a right and a wrong way to incorporate this into your affiliate campaigns.

You don’t need to insert these small icons into every Twitter and Facebook message that you post for followers. This will get annoying very fast, and your followers don’t want to be annoyed. They want to be informed. So, with that being said, center your emoji usage on certain campaigns or structured messages. For instance, affiliates within the health and fitness niche could send morning exercise tips and updates, and use a bicep emoji or a runner emoji in the message. If you’re a pet affiliate, you could send daily tips on how to care for your cat and insert a cat emoji. The point is to make sure the images are relevant to your messages, and not sporadic and all over the place.

DIY Emoji

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all support emoji. Even LinkedIn has joined the cause and recently allowed the use of these icons within their messaging system. Each platform has its own set of emoji that users have access to, and the stock is very robust. You will usually find an image that’s related to your post. There are however, those times when you’ll want to use a custom image, and some applications are perfect for this.

Imoji is an app that allows you to create custom emoji from images on your smartphone. It’s available on the Android and iOS platforms, and relatively simple to use. Keep in mind that some images appear differently, depending on the platform or browser that the viewer is using.

There’s definitely an increase in the usage of emoji with both small and large brands, and customers seem to like this lighthearted approach to marketing. Just be sure that when you’re using them, you make the images relevant to your message, and use them sparingly. The last thing you want to do is confuse or bother your followers with messages that don’t bring them any value. With a bit of planning before the execution, you can ensure that your emoji marketing campaign is a success.