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Love emojis? So do big brands and advertisers

National Emoji Day may have passed — it’s always July 17, if you want to mark your calendar for next year — but that doesn’t mean that emojis are any less popular today than they were yesterday. In fact, for businesses the world over, emojis seem to be more popular than ever, as companies attempt to connect with younger demographics by speaking their language.

Appboy recently conducted a survey examining “the rise and rise of emoji marketing,” and found that the number of active campaigns containing emojis has increased by 557 percent in the last 12 months, and 114 percent year to date. This, the company says, translates to more than 700 million emoji messages being sent last month, versus 145 million 12 months ago and 400 million in January.

Appboy polled 500 people regarding their feelings on emojis, and 63 percent reported having a positive view on these little pictorial messages. Eighty-seven percent say they use them in their personal messages, and another 68 percent say they receive one or more emojis via some medium every day. And as a true testament to the effectiveness of emoji use in marketing, 51 percent of survey respondents said they had a positive impression of brands using emojis, and further noted that they perceived these brands as being fun or relatable.

Corporations have certainly taken this into consideration, with brands increasing their emoji usage by 777 percent since January of last year. Everyone from Bud Light to Saturday Night Live to Burger King to Apple has used emojis in various campaigns, and Appboy found that emoji-enabled ads generated click-through rates that were 20 times higher than the industry standard.

Ultimately, Appboy says, “Emojis give brands the opportunity to engage in new forms of expression that fit naturally into consumers’ existing conversations. Further, they help marketers better understand consumers’ needs and preferences.”

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