If you feel that your campaigns have hit the ceiling and can’t grow anymore or in case you struggle with attracting more users — make your ad language more emotional. It’s not all about words, you know. In speech, we use the tone of voice and intonations to be more convincing, on the Internet, smiley faces and cat stickers have become the go-to solution for such occasions.
For a start, emoji is an actual picture of a round face or an object 🍀 like these two 🥰. There are also emoticons =) like this one. And a heck ton of stickers with all imaginable characters and expressions (see an example below) that have become a popular alternative to traditional emojis in messengers.
We keep saying that content is king, and usually we mean the high quality of copy. This is very true, but words are not the only tool you can use in your copy. These seemingly silly pictures have real power of driving engagement and conveying emotions without words.
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Why users love emoji
Emojis have become a hallmark of social media in particular and online communication in general. People have become so used to these signs and the ease of “saying” something complicated with just one picture, that in many cases emojis are used more than common language. Marketing-wise, you can use emojis for many purposes, for example:
- save space (for example, use 🏇 🏁 to signify a betting offer)
- add emotion and make your message more relatable
- stand out among similar ads or messages
- be above language barriers
Why it works
Now a bit of science. According to psychologists, the human brain perceives emojis that depict human faces like actual people and reacts accordingly: with emotional response and more affection/consideration. The object/animal emojis serve as a substitute for a complex concept, they often “read” as more than what they actually show, and this additional meaning is rooted in folk psychology and modern trends. For instance, years ago someone imagined an eggplant 🍆 emoji as something obscene, and this notion stands to this day. So, in a sense, it’s just like TikTok trends and popular sounds — you need to be in the know of the latest media trends to stay on the same page with your audience.
Another thing is: the human brain is lazy (we have talked about when discussing listicles) and it tends to favor easier bits of information to chew on. And visuals are easier to process than text. The human brain can process visual bits 60K times faster than words, and 80% of images stay in our memory for at least some time (compared to 20% of textual information).
Where to place emojis
Of course, it depends on your traffic source, campaign flow, and audience. But there are some placements that will benefit the most from a little extra emotion. Here they are:
- Social media posts: this point kind of speaks for itself, social media is where it all has begun. TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram are setting trends for emojis as well, try following popular hashtags — you will discover what emojis your audience uses. And most importantly, you will be able to see the new meaning behind old pictures.
And here are some examples of Twitter campaigns:
- Email subject lines: the subject line is your best chance of hooking a user, this is all people see before they decide to even consider reading your copy. So, standing out is a great idea, only make sure that the emojis are relevant to the topic.
- Search ads: it may come as a surprise to you, but Google and the like sometimes approve ads with emojis in headlines.And according to WordStream, the emoji ads have 3 times higher CTR. To be fair, this has been against the Google’s policy for years (since 2015), but it has come to our attention that the company is testing emojis instead of favicons for some ad campaigns. So maybe soon we’ll see more emojis in ads.
- Push notifications: these messages will greatly benefit from being shorter and more personalized. Use emojis in push campaigns to announce contests 📢, special offers 💲, and discounts 💵, present gift cards and coupons 🎁, and show off new features and characters 🤖🧩🎲.
Emojis for robots
Now we know how people see emojis, what about search engines and parser bots? Let’s take a look at Google. The official position is that emojis neither help nor hurt your SEO visibility. Here’s what John Mueller said in January 2022.
You can definitely use emojis in titles and descriptions on your pages. We don’t show all of these in the search results, especially if we think that it kind of disrupts the search results in terms of, it looks misleading perhaps, or those kinds of things.
But you can definitely keep them there, it’s not that they cause any problems. I don’t think you would have any significant advantage in putting those there, because at most what we try to figure out is what is the equivalent of that emoji and maybe use that word as well, kind of associated with the page.
So, there is no direct correlation between using emojis and becoming Google’s favorite (or even getting into the snippets). But emojis work on people and bring a better click-through rate, which in turn is good for your SEO ranking.
Emojis are a small tool that can bring big changes to your campaigns by making them more relatable to your audience and getting an emotional response. This is also an opportunity to stand out and make use of fleeting but hot social media trends. The most important things are: know the correct meaning of emojis (check out Emojipedia for that) and don’t overdo it.