How to Use Emojis in Your Content Strategy to Improve Conversions

How to Use Emojis in Your Content Strategy to Improve Conversions

Do you want to use emojis in your content marketing strategy but don’t know how? Are you wondering how to use emojis in your digital marketing mix to increase conversions? If that is your struggle, this article is for you!

You will learn what emojis are and the difference with emoticons. You’ll also understand why you should use them in your marketing strategy, and the best emoji marketing tips for scaling your business.

The might of these small icons are so remarkable that brands are using them to communicate and connect with buyers. Why? Because they assist in enriching conversations by adding emotions to marketing messages. You say more with fewer words.

As a result, digital marketers in different niche markets, including messaging apps, and social networking sites, content marketers, and more, have expanded their options and incorporated emoji marketing into their marketing strategy.

What is an Emoji?

Emoji is a little digital picture, visual, or icon used to express your emotion or concept. In other words, emojis are characters, symbols, and smileys symbolizing ideas in languages without text or sound. 

How to Use Emojis in Your Content Strategy to Improve Conversions
Image by Pixaline from Pixabay.

People use these small icons in electronic messages, social media posts, web content, and more to convey specific messages. You can find them in all forms, including:

  • ???? Facial expression (Smileys & People are used prominently in communications).
  • ???? Animals 
  • ⛅ Sun Behind Cloud (weather)
  • ???? Food & Drink
  • ???? Flexed Biceps (Human body parts)
  • ⚽ Activity
  • ???? Travel & Places
  • ???? Ordinary Objects
  • ???? Symbols
  • ???? Flags
  • Etc.

Here is a list of emoji names and meanings, as well as arts. However, although people use emojis and emoticons synonymously, they are different but work in similar ways. So when describing what do emojis mean, some people confuse emojis and emoticons. 

What are Emoticons?

Emoticons originated from the combination of two words─emotion and icon, also called emote. They are facial expressions made by combining keyboard characters in specific ways and used to convey ideas and feelings.

It is the process of using letters, numbers, and punctuation marks (by typing a colon and parenthesis) to create a facial expression or graphic icon that conveys happiness, sadness, and other feelings. 

So in addressing the difference between emoticon vs. emoji, emoji is the real image, while emoticon comes from combining keyboard characters. Nevertheless, these little symbols offer marketers a new way to convey brand messages and connect with consumers.

Why Use Emojis in Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

There are several reasons why emoji marketing should be part of your digital marketing toolbox. However, let us look at some recent content marketing statistics to see the effectiveness of emojis and emoticons in your digital marketing mix.

Why Use Emojis in Your Digital Marketing Strategy?
Source graphic via Statista

The graphic above shows the steady growth of this little symbols-rising from a mere 76 in 1995 to over 3,000 emojis in 2019. That is according to an analysis by Statista. The visual also reveals the most famous icons across different social media sites.

Also, a further survey indicates that: 

  • More than 60% of online consumers use emojis to communicate at work. 
  • 775% of the year-over-year increase of emoji usage in marketing messages.
  • Emojis in mobile push notification messages increase open rates by 85%
  • 58% of consumers will open emails that have emojis in the subject lines. While 64% are most likely to open emails containing their favorite emoji in the subject line.
  • 60% of emoji users have a higher likelihood to engage with brands online through emojis

The research also shows that 64% of buyers are willing to pay for items through emojis. That is why both Facebook and Twitter introduced new emojis in their application software in a variety of industries. 

Consequently, marketers in all industries are using this marketing tool for business growth. So it makes sense to use emojis and emoticons in your digital marketing strategy. These smileys and symbols can significantly transform how your target market and customers view your brand. 

6 Effective Ways How to Use Emojis in Your Content Strategy to Convert More Leads

Discover practical emoji marketing tips that will help you strengthen your digital marketing strategy and boost your conversion rates.

1. Know What Each Emoji Stands for

According to research by Emojipedia, Messenger accounts for an average of 5-billion emojis sent daily, while Facebook users send, on average, 60 million emojis per day on the social media platform. Also, the statistics above show steady growth in the numbers of this fantastic marketing tool. 

In fact, top brands have introduced new emojis of the coronavirus outbreak in the market-place.

5 Effective Ways to Use Emojis to Boost Your Content Marketing Strategy

Image via Emojipedia.

The numbers indicate the power of these little icons. But to make the most of your emoji marketing strategy, you need to know what each emoji signifies. Yes, understanding what these emojis stand for has never been more critical. This process also involves understanding what emojis connects well with your audience.

It is by understanding each one of them that you can successfully implement the icons and symbols in your marketing mix. Your emoji knowledge will help you send targeted emojis that will engage recipients and convert them to leads.

2. Establish Emoji Marketing Strategy

Just as with any marketing undertaking, you must develop a viable strategy if you want to have success. So after you build your knowledge of each emoji and emoticon, your next step is to establish a sustainable plan for your emoji marketing campaigns.

This step involves how to integrate emoticons into your digital tactics to improve communications with consumers. It addresses how to convey your brand message successfully to connect better with customers and potential buyers. 

Your strategy is your road-map to emoji marketing success, the framework, or guide you need to run an efficient emoji marketing campaign. It also helps you sustain coherence across marketing channels. 

3. Add Relevant Emojis and Emoticons in Social Media Posts

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, you name it. Emojis reigns supreme on these social networking sites. You can see them on post updates, comments, and more. And since over 90% of online consumers use emojis, adding them to your social media posts will relate better to your target audience.

Text replacements with emojis
Chart/graphic by the author

From the chart above, you can see that users are replacing regular online slangs with emojis. For instance, the internet slang for “Okay” is “K.” But consumers are shying away from using the slang and replacing it with an “????” okay hand emoji. 

The same applies to all marketing channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, including LinkedIn—the professional social media networking site.

So emojis and emoticons offer you fantastic opportunities to improve your content strategy using these small icons. They convey emotions and can dramatically grow your business if you use them correctly.

A study by Wordstream found that using emojis on Twitter updates can increase your Twitter engagement by over 25%. A separate study by Quintly found that Instagram engagement rate also skyrocketed by 48% due to the use of emojis. And a different study found that Facebook posts with emojis received 57% more likes and 33% comments and shares.

The best way to apply these icons is to use social media apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, Shopify software app, and others. These applications will help you attract targeted traffic, skyrocket conversions, and bring return buyers because of the use of visual content (emojis).

For example, Shopify review apps stimulate repeat purchases with visual product reviews. And most customers use emojis in their reviews, which helps attract more consumers and would-be buyers.

Consequently, emojis are ideal for humanizing your brand. So, integrating emoji marketing into your social media content strategy will increase engagement and conversions. They express enthusiasm and emotions that connect with your tribe. 

Further Reading: The Secret TikTok Emoji Codes: What They Are and How to Access Them

4. Use Emojis on Email Subject Lines

Why should you care about emoticons and emojis on email subject lines? Because the human brain reacts to emojis as it would with a human face. In just one hour, our brain can process 36,000 visual materials, 60,000x faster than text content, and retains 80% of the images we see as against 20% of the text.

It means that consumers can make faster decisions to open your emails or not if you add emojis and emoticons on subject lines. Some of the benefits of using emojis on email lines include:

  • It saves writing space
  • Express feelings
  • Stands out in your inbox
  • Increase email opens (since more people access their emails through mobile devices. with a 30% increase).

However, ensure to use relevant emojis─icons that align with your marketing message to attract recipients’ attention and make them click to increase email open rates.

5. Do NOT Over-use These Icons

Although using emoticons and emojis can help you increase conversions, experts advised to use them cautiously. Be careful how you use them so that you do not create a negative impression of your brand, or convey the wrong message.

The consequence could be the loss of customers and money. Here are examples of brands that went overboard in their use of these little symbols.

Examples of Brands That Did Emoji Marketing Wrong

House of Fraser

House of Fraser is a well-known luxury department store. But when they launched their emojis marketing campaign, it was a disaster. Why? Have a look at the billboard to see how they messed things up.

House of Fraser's emoji marketing blunder

Their advertising team used non-relevant emojis that shows a high contrast to their brand identity. The emoji-infused content marketing campaign resulted in much ridicule from consumers. And when they realized the impact of deviating from their brand voice, they apologized.

Their apology on Twitter, for instance, was perhaps posted several times. But two stood out to me. See the screenshot below!

House of Fraser's emoji campaign apologies

One has a few emojis which they did right, but they added no symbols to the other. The result; the one with emojis got more traction than the other. However, they achieved negative brand publicity, which wasn’t right for their image.


When Chevrolet announced a press release for its 2016 Cruze model, they settled on using emojis for the entire program. Chevrolet aimed to convey their brand’s message to customers and prospective buyers in ways that will connect better. 

But they ended up communicating the wrong message. How? They use several emojis, many of which are NOT relevant to their brand or the message they were trying to convey.

As a result, consumers could not understand what the communication was. Looking at the above image, I cannot ultimately say that I get the message either. Both Chevrolet and House of Fraser could not speak the language their respective customers understand.

So, if you find it challenging to identify and use the most relevant emojis, you can work with influencer marketing agencies who can connect you with emojis influencers. It is an ideal way also to build a viable influencer marketing program.

6. Use Emojis in Mobile Push notifications

I believe you are already aware that mobile internet users surpassed desktop users back in 2015. And as of January 2020, the global internet users skyrocketed to over 4.5 billion. Among these numbers, over 4-billion are unique mobile users and more than 3.7 active mobile consumers

So, several online activities, such as search queries and purchasing decisions, happen on mobile devices.

To back this up, please, consider the following statistics:

  • The average American smartphone user spends 5.4 hours a day on their device.
  • Research reveals that 69% of shoppers use mobile devices in retail stores to research customer reviews.
  • Further survey shows that 66% of Americans check their phone 160 times a day. 

Although there are differences in number, the two following reports have one thing in common―users examine their smartphone many times more than they would desktops.

So, there are more opportunities for marketers in the mobile marketing platform, and that is where using push notification comes in.

Push messages are result-driven marketing strategies you can’t afford to miss because they offer direct interactions with consumers on their mobile device’ home screens. You cannot ignore the effectiveness of mobile push notifications!

In consequence, add emojis and, or emoticons to your push messages to captivate recipients and move them to action. Indeed, surveys prove that emotions influence customers’ buying decisions.

And since emojis and emoticons have potent effects on human emotions, including them in your push messages will improve conversion and sales. Therefore, use them when announcing: 

  • Contests
  • Special offers
  • Coupons codes
  • Gift cards
  • product discounts
  • Etc.

Wrapping Up How to Use Emojis in Content Strategy for Optimal Results

Emoji is a global language you see and read everywhere on the internet. They are everywhere on your smartphones, mobile devices, messaging apps, and more. They help you connect with consumers by communicating your message in a few words─in ways that may not be possible through text content. 

But when using these little icons, ensure to use the most relevant emojis to align with your brand message.

Given this, use the tips in this article to strengthen your digital marketing strategy and increase conversions. What other tips can you add to this post that will be useful to our readers? Please, tell us in the comments!

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Moss Clement
Moss Clement

Moss Clement is an expert on Content Marketing. He is a freelance blogger and content manager at Writers Per Hour, and the Founder of Moss Media. Moss is working closely with B2B marketers - helping several startups grow their online presence in the digital marketing space. By delivering highly informative content pieces​, he has assisted small & medium-size businesses to build their online reputation and connect them with their buyer persona.

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  1. Really surprised and amazing to learn the journey of Emoji’s. Never thought incorrect use like in case of House of fraser could cause so much damage to their image….through emoji’s. I better be using them very carefully now.
    i just want to add that FOLDED hand emoji i learned somewhere that it is actually HI-FY and not the traditional indian NAMASTE
    Thanks for the beautiful article

  2. Great piece of work Moss who knew emojis could improve conversion. I love how your explanations are detailed. Thanks

  3. Hey Moss, great article I love how you write, it is very interesting and engaging. Plus the information you delivery is very useful, I never knew emoji could help improve conversion. Thanks for exposing me to this information

  4. Thanks, Moss, This article is really informative. It is so true that integrating emoticons into digital tactics can improve communications with consumers. I often finds it more engaging in customers point of view.

  5. Hey Moss,
    Thanks for this WOW post! I always feel that emojis will give us a personal touch with the targeted audience. This post helped me to learn more about the way on how to work on it and on choosing the apt emoji. Will work on it for sure…
    Thanks again :-)

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