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October 13, 2017

92% of the world’s online population uses emojis.

So unless you’re part of the 8% who doesn’t, it should be no surprise to you that emojis are changing the way we communicate. You’ve also likely seen many brands jump on the emoji bandwagon in recent years, incorporating them into their social media strategies, brand identities, and even in their acquisition programs.
Through our experience testing emojis on various paid social channels, across placements and audiences, here are the top three things we recommend you to keep in mind when using emojis in your own acquisition strategy.

 

1. Context is Key

We’ve seen a lot of bad emoji use in ads and have taken it upon ourselves to learn from those mistakes. ​

Here is a checklist of essential questions to ask yourself when evaluating your emoji usage…

  • Does using emojis make sense for your brand? Most brands these days can probably get away with using emojis, but it some cases they might come across as cheesy and ingenuine.
  • Does it make sense? This question may seem overly obvious, but we can’t stress it enough. There’s nothing worse than a complicated or confusing series of emojis (see the above example from Chevrolet).
  • Is the use of emoji appropriate to the channel? Emojis are generally more acceptable on casual channels like Twitter than more professional networks like LinkedIn.
  • Does the use of emojis take away from the ad content? If they don’t add to your message, they probably shouldn’t be there. Even worse, they could actually detract from your call to action or be misleading, having a negative impact on downstream events.
  • Are they relevant to your target audience? Keep in mind that just because your audience is millennial-dense, doesn’t mean emojis are a good idea, as we’re starting to see signs of emoji-novelty wearing off. One client actually saw a decrease in CTR by up to 53%.​

Each brand is different, and the above checklist should help provide basic guidance. Outside of answering those questions, we also urge companies to think outside the box when using emojis…

 

2. Think Outside the Box (or text)

Most of the ads we see with emojis use emojis in the text, as they can be helpful in conveying emotion with limited characters. We’ve started expanding from that idea, applying the same methodology to images and even video!

Using emojis in image assets is a great way to beat Facebook’s 20% text rule, saying a lot with very few characters. Compare the following creative and the emotions each conveys…

Note: this is a representation of a concept, not a real ad.
We’ve applied the same concept to video, in the same vein as user emoji stickers on Snapchat and Instagram Stories. This trend is certainly not going away.

 

3. Emojis Can Positively Impact ROAS

If you couldn’t tell already, we love emojis. 🐼 💚 As a direct response agency, however, loving something isn’t enough. We care about results and are constantly testing creatives to see what actually performs, including the use of emojis.

​One client is seeing 66% higher conversion rates and up to 30% lower CPAs from people who clicked emoji ads.

In many instances, we’ve found that emojis, when used thoughtfully and in the right context can have a measurable impact on conversions and costs.

​But why?

One study found that emojis can impact our moods and help us foster empathy, thus making prospects that much more invested or trusting in the advertised offering. They also convey meaning much more quickly than words, which can be ultra impactful in mobile, where users scroll faster and have shorter attention spans.

Regardless of the reasons or the results, emojis are here to stay. As advertisers, we have an opportunity to leverage them to drive performance, and also the responsibility to do so tastefully. We’ve helped many of our clients to do just that, and we urge companies to decide for themselves if emojis are right for them.

Happy emoji-ing! 👍​


Interested in how Bamboo can help optimize your paid social campaigns? Learn more about our paid social agency services and expertise >

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