Cinemagraphs, Glitch Art and Emojis: 5 Tips for Developing a Visual Mobile Campaign
Cinemagraphs, glitch art and emojis: visual media is everywhere in today’s branded marketing and creative campaigns. Digiday reports that there are more than a billion existing mobile app and chat users that can’t be engaged through traditional mobile advertising. Yet every day, smartphone users send six billion emojis, and eMarketer notes that 9 out of every 10 people incorporate them into their communications. One third of Millennials believe that emojis are fine to include in business emails. A University of Missouri study found that businesses’ credibility wasn’t negatively affected even when emails contained four emoticons. Emojis, emoticons and other images are finding their way into the workplace and customer communications.
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Know your visual media: a quick overview
Deciding what to include in your campaign – and how intensive the design process will be – starts with a quick breakdown of each type of media:
Emoticon: An emoticon is a simple image that uses traditional keyboard characters to convey an emotion like 🙂 or :(.
Emoji: Emojis originated in Japan in the 1990s and the term roughly translates to ‘pictograph’. Emojis are based on Unicode and can display anything from a heart to an image of a cat or martini glass.
Sticker: Stickers are custom images that are native to certain messaging apps.
Cinemagraph: A cinemagraph is a still photograph that has one small element of motion, such as grass blowing in the breeze or liquid swirling in a glass.
Glitch art: Glitch art has a techno-feel; artists create it by distorting images with technology using a variety of different techniques.
Designers developing visual mobile campaigns should consider five key questions:
What emotions do you want to evoke?
Emotions drive customer buying decisions and brand loyalty. Emojis – and other visual elements – help build emotional connections with your audience on mobile devices. Recent research published in the journal Social Neuroscience found that viewing a smiling emoji was the equivalent of viewing a smiling human face. In other words, it personalizes your brand. When you’re designing visual mobile elements, what emotions are you trying to get customers to feel and associate with your brand – for example, having fun or letting go?
What do your customers want to express?
Emojis and other visual elements also allow your customers to express their own emotions. Studies show that when communicators can’t use gestures, they become less fluent. The same concept applies digitally; what do you want to help your customers express? Think about creating images that help customers better discuss their experience with your brand and share those during social interactions, texting and chatting.
How do your actual customers use emojis, emoticons and images?
The New Republic recently reported that linguists studying emoticons on Twitter found that their usage varied widely based on gender, age, and more. Designing images for your business should start with an understanding of how your specific audience uses them in communication. Who are your customers and how do emojis, emoticons and images fit into their communication style? Understanding these dynamics guides tone and voice – as well as the look and feel of your designs.
Where are images being used?
According to Instagram, half the text on the social platform today is emojis. Are you creating images for customers to share on social media, for your marketing team to interact with your audience in a light-hearted way, or something else? Images created for social media, for messaging apps, and for email marketing will have different technical requirements and creative possibilities.
Can images help clarify your communications?
One of the biggest challenges today is that there’s just too much information competing for consumer attention. As designers, there’s a constant need to find more efficient ways to communicate meaning, emotion and context quickly. Sometimes the need for an emoji is as simple as a taco to represent a product; in other cases, you’re pushing creative boundaries to define more complex concepts. For example, how could images help you convey a streamlined workflow or decreased stress?