10 Jul Non Profit Marketing: Using Emojis To Reach Millennials
You texted BFF last week about your boss and just to make sure she understood the situation you included . Like most other online marketing trends, it starts with the consumer picking up on something and brands testing the waters about ways to use that trend to connect with with consumers. In the last year, more and more brands have been using these images in social media and even inbound marketing campaigns. Before you shoot off a bunch of Tweets with thrown in, take a minute to think through your use of emojis with your company brand.
Know why are you are doing it. What exactly do you want to accomplish? Do you just want to look young and hip? Are you wanting to engage with the millennial generation? Are you just using them to be using them? Emojis are particularly popular among younger consumers. If that’s your target audience, then emojis may offer a real benefit to your goal of being seen as one of them. If your target audience is a little older, they may still be using these images but in a different way and on different platforms than millennials. Be sure your use of the fun little characters doesn’t make your audience go .
Make it about the customer. Large brands have been using emoticons for full out inbound marketing campaigns this last year, and they’ve been really successful. The key to their success is two-fold. First, they knew their purpose and audience (see #1 in this post). Second, they made the campaign about the customer. It’s not about educating people on your product or service, it’s about offering a chance for your consumers to engage your brand through pictures they already love. Let your customers vote on which items goes on the sale rack today with a or . How can your audience participate in your industry? Now turn it into pictures.
Make it engaging. Don’t make it a one-way conversation. Just because you add a to your post, doesn’t mean you’re now marketing with emojis. Give your audience a way and a reason to respond. Millennials, particularly, aren’t as interested in long-format content. They want to be part of the brands they use. Emoticons give them a chance to quickly interact with your brand. If you are involved in non profit marketing, you have even more opportunities. You could allow your donors to give to a specific campaign (even your capital campaign) by texting to a specific number. Need volunteers? Ask your followers to tweet to be assigned a volunteer duty.
Choose your images carefully. The easiest way to start using these images in marketing is to use what’s already available. You do have risks like your image becoming associated with something that doesn’t represent your company or organization well or the image becoming outdated. Your other option is to hire a graphic designer to create emoticons that relate specifically to your brand. You can build on your emoji keyboard over time and show your followers how they can use these images in their everyday conversations. Again this goes back to your goals, but if your goal is to increase brand reach, this has a lot of potential.
The emoticon marketing scene is still developing although it’s moving quickly as more and more brands develop custom images and jump into the marketplace. Small and mid-sized companies have the advantage of being able to implement changes more quickly than larger brands. Use that advantage. Start now researching how other brands are using the medium, how it might relate to your brand and what’s the best way to get it out there.