Should B2B Brands Use Emojis In Their Content Or Is That Unprofessional?

Posted by Ross Simmonds 20 February, 2018 No comments

The emoji era is upon us! 💪

A survey of 1,000 American workers found that 76% of survey participants have used emojis in digital communication in their professional lives.

In another survey, 68% of millennials said they are more comfortable expressing emotions using images such as emojis, GIFs, and stickers than through phone conversations, while only 37% of those over the age of 65 agreed.

Emojis and GIFs are becoming more and more popular, and marketers are taking notice.

Back in March of 2016, mobile marketing automation company Appboy analyzed nearly 10,000 marketing campaigns and found that emoji usage increased 775% year over year. As the year went on, emoji usage was still climbing nearly 20% each month.

It’s pretty clear that emojis are here to stay, but that doesn’t exactly the question itself…

Should B2B brands use emojis in their content? 🤔

The answer isn’t quite as complex as you may think.

Yes they should…and here’s why:

Communication Should Always Be Straight Forward 😎

Think back to the last time you were at the dentist…

There you are, sitting in that chair overhearing your dentist talking about what’s up with your teeth with a colleague. Every third word sounds like a completely foreign language to you.

Now imagine your dentist turning to you and starting to explain what’s wrong using all of those same confusing terms. Every word they said would be flying so far over your head you’d be lucky to even hear them, let alone understand them.

If you want people to understand your message, it needs to be straight forward.

Most dentists understand that, so they simplify what it is they’re saying.

The same idea holds true in the blog posts you write, emails you send, tweets you tweet, and any other piece of copy you write. If it isn’t easy to digest, it won’t get digested…

And that’s where the art of the emoji comes into play… 🙌

Emojis Make It Easier To Communicate 👌

A study on the effects emojis can have on first impressions, emotional reactions, and how well someone can remember certain messages came out with some telling results.

They found that when an expert added emojis to their messages in a conversation thread (think dietician talking fruits and veggies), the perception of them was more positive, and the participant was more likely to remember what was said.

The key takeaway is this…

Using emojis not only makes the person you’re talking to feel more positively towards you, it helps them to actually remember what it was you said.

Of course, you can’t just start throwing emojis and GIFs around left and right without a solid understanding of how, when, and where to use them…

An Understanding Of Context Is Key 💡

A question on Inbound.org was asking for opinions on using GIFs and emojis in emails, and whether it positively or negatively impacts results. One of the most insightful responses came from Sujan Patel:

I’ve tried using gifs in my emails and got mixed results. When marketing to SMBs, I got bad results and negative feedback about not being professional. But when I used gifs when communicating with millennials and b2b audience, it worked great..higher engagement and CTR.

The point here is that emojis can work wonders for you and drive great results, BUT only if you understand two primary elements:

1. Understand The Medium 🚗

If you’re putting together a sensitive report, there’s a very good chance you should NOT be using any emojis. If you’re working in an industry where the topics are life or death, the subject matter is highly controversial or the discussions surrounding these topics are likely to evoke negative emotions; it might not be the right time to include an emoji.   

On the flipside, if you’re creating content about a product or service that is pretty neutral in terms of stirring up conversation, give it a go! Especially if you’re simply taking the time to promote a blog post, article, webinar or a graphic that your followers are going to find interesting on social media. 

Here’s a couple examples of this in action:

2. Understand Your Audience 🧐

You need to identify your audience before you make a call on emojis vs. no emojis.

Let’s jump back to some of those numbers from the top of the post. Millennials are twice as likely to prefer emojis and GIFs over phone conversations than those over the age of 65. If you’re talking to millennials, it’s might just be time to bust out the Fresh Prince GIFs. #RIPUnclePhil

Wrapping Things Up 📕

Jump back to that Inbound.org question on emojis in emails and you’ll find one of the best quotes from Lucia Fontaina of Quuu on just how much power emojis have:

The way I see it, emojis aren’t just a silly fad; they’re a linguistic evolution that is changing the way we communicate with each other, so marketers need to sit up and take note!

Emojis aren’t just some fad all the kids are into…

They’re literally changing the way people communicate online. They’ve created a way for people to express real emotion online in a way that words alone never could…

And they’re pretty fun to work with too. 🤪

How are you using emojis in your marketing efforts? Drop a comment & let us know your expert secrets. Promise we won’t tell anyone.

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