Emoji Keyboards Didn't Work But Conversation Media Does
Updated: Jul 7
Let's go back to the year 2015-2016.
You might have been watching amazing superhero movies of the year. From Batman Vs Superman to Ant-Man.
Or you might have jumped on the bandwagon when Pokemon Go became this huge deal, especially for nostalgia loving millennials.
But there was one more fad spreading like wildfire amidst the brand marketers.
Branded Emoji Keyboards Apps!!
At least 250 brands created their own Emoji Keyboards. Dove, BurgerKing, Toyota, and Star Wars to name a few.
But this trend came and went even though people's love for emojis only grew stronger.
Actually, any brand that wanted to connect with Millenial users has tried to insert emoji marketing in different ways to their marketing strategy.
So it is really great that brands understood the power of being a part of user conversations. But doing so by releasing Emoji Keyboards right left and centre was not the big win they thought it would be.
These custom keyboard apps had fun relatable branded emojis that people can share while messaging or on social media (provided the platform supports it).
Actually, it was maybe, a BIG maybe, the start of conversation media marketing as we know it.
Whether conversation media marketing is an evolution of emoji keyboard or the fruit from a different branch of the same tree is hard to tell.
But it is easy to realize that brands did find an easier, more fun, and non-intrusive way of becoming part of user conversations.
Why Emoji Keyboards Didn't Work But New Age Conversation Media Marketing Does?
Emoji Keyboards Focus On The Brands
With branded Emoji Keyboards brands didn't become a part of user conversations. Instead, they tried to make users part of brand conversations.
What it failed to grasp was that people don't talk in brands.
Conversation Media Marketing on most platforms is about putting the interests of users first.
Issues With Accessibility
Branded Emoji Keyboards require you to download individual apps. This adds to an unnecessary step in the way of brand awareness.
This also means that extreme loyal consumers will be the ones going forward to make this extra effort.
With this expectation of extreme brand loyalty, how is a person who has Burger King's Whopper with his Coca-Cola choose between the branded keyboard he/she wants?
Most platforms that provide new age Conversation Media Marketing allow multiple brands to reach consumers with fun usable content at ease.
So a user who is already using a platform for his/her everyday conversations can choose that which sticker, GIF, or emoji suits best in these conversations.
They Didn't Know If It Worked
Even though some of these keyboards saw huge downloads seeing if they actually resulted in conversion was hard at the time.
Brucculeri, CEO of Snaps, has helped create downloadable emoji keyboards for brands including Burger King and candy maker Trolli. He said that emoji keyboards have driven more than “100 million content shares” across the network by 2017.
We see 10 Billion shares with just emojis each day. Let alone other forms of conversation media like GIFs, Memes, Stickers etc.
Most platforms nowadays provide regular updates to brands about downloads, usage, and reach of their conversation media content (stickers, GIFs, Emojis) to see if these campaign stick.
Brands soon realised that slapping an emoji keyboard might not be the best way to become a part of user conversations.
Emoji keyboards were an act of desperation, conversation media marketing on the other hand is a needed and proven evolution that brands have found fruitful time and again.