The art of content marketing is changing on the way business is done online. Everything has become concise and clear. The days of long winded, detailed posts are long gone – readers have far less time, and far greater options on where they consume their content.
For content marketers, it’s crucial to understand their audience, why they choose to read their content and more importantly what causes them to engage. One of the biggest engagement trends in recent months has been the use of emojis as emotional triggers. A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words and therefore, allowing a blogger’s audience to react with a smiley can certainly help generate emotional feedback from your readers – here are some reasons why:
Not everyone can elucidate
Have you ever been in a situation where you’re trying to explain yourself and well, just can’t? Many readers face this problem almost every day. They read a great post and simply can’t find the words to describe how they feel about a certain topic, or just don’t have time to get into a heated debate about it. That’s a big reason why emojis have become such an integral part of our every day lives. Give someone a set of emojis to express themselves, and watch how it helps reactions increase.
Think this is just a hunch?
- 36% of millennials ages 18 to 34 who use “visual expressions” such as emojis, GIFs and stickers say that those images better communicate their thoughts and feelings than words do.
- That’s more than twice the amount of people over the age of 65 who say the same. Roughly a quarter of people in the age groups between those two demographics feel that images can paint a clearer picture than words.
Creating Personal Connections
It’s no surprise then that the most frequently used emojis are faces. 😃 – 😏 -Smiles are contagious. It’s human nature to smile when we see others with happy expressions. When we look at a smile online, our brains react instantly in a positive way, just as it would if we would see someone in real life.
Let’s Keep it Clean
One of the main reasons content markers and brands choose to include emojis or emotional feedback as part of their feedback mechanism is to simply cut down on spam related comments. History has shown us how words can create disputes and what is actually being said does not necessarily come across the way it was intended to. An emotional engagement tool such as Vicomi can provide quick feedback while remaining insightful, minus any hateful outbursts.
It’s Faster Than the Alternatives
Apart from the aspect of writing down, the audience doesn’t need to form their opinion in long bearing sentences. With an emotional feedback tool, the reader can simply click on one of the smileys and relay to the blogger what they think of that particular blog post. Emotional engagement will be fast for the audience – they don’t need to sit down and type a reply. It’s not just fast, for the millennial crowd, it’s almost a reflex. Look at their private chats and you will see that most of them are full of emoticons.
Criticism can be acceptable
Criticism for your work definitely tops the charts as one of the hardest things for any human to accept. Some would say that the emoticon is the most basic manner of sharing emotions in the modern era. However, in today’s world, receiving flak for your work by means of a smiley will certainly increase any chances of acceptance rather than harsh words. This will help the blogger understand in a single glance if the reader really didn’t like the post.
Pete Brown, Tow senior researcher shared his thoughts about emoji Reader Engagement over on new research from the Tow Centre for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and the Guardian US Mobile Innovation Lab.
“You would not believe the amount of thought people are giving to emojis. It really blew my mind,” says Brown. “Emojis are so valued because when they’re used sensibly and interestingly, they can really add character, voice and fun to an alert. That can help a brand stand out. Publishers talk a lot about adopting a conversational style in their alerts. People use emojis in their written conversations, so it follows that news alerts would see them as a way to feed into this conversational style and to help create a chummy feeling of intimacy between the news brand and the consumer.”
It’s as easy as the click of a button
Most visitors will love the simple and hassle-free way in which you took details from them in a non-obtrusive and quick manner. That’s because the emoticon bar offers a platform to give an honest review in a one step process by just the click of your mouse button.
These are just some of the reasons why emoji based reader engagement is a necessary tangent for an effective audience engagement. With the help of an emotional survey, you can tweak your content accordingly to suit the preference of your readers. So if your content receives an abundance of neutral reactions, consideration can be given to make it livelier by adding more pictures, videos or even a dose of humorous content to elicit the desired response from the audience. There are several emotional analytics plug-ins that offer this service now, and you’d need to do some research before choosing the one that best suits your requirements.
Using human insight and truly understanding emotional engagement to get under the skin of the data means you can turn analytics into action, transforming your marketing, customer service and experience to resonate with customers.
Why win their mind, when you can win their hearts?