Everything you need to know about Marketing through Messaging Apps

Posted by David Buckle

Did you know that marketing through Facebook Messenger generates between 10-80 times MORE engagement than organic posts on the Facebook news feed? Can your brand afford to risk missing out on those levels of engagement?

Traditional channels like email and social media are far from dead, however there’s just no denying how active users are on instant messaging apps. In fact, over the next 5-7 years, messenger marketing is expected to become the number one marketing channel in the world. Therefore, it’s a logical step for brands to begin curating their strategies to start connecting with their audience on these platforms.

What can Messaging Apps do for Your Business?

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, where brands are in strong competition to catch people’s fleeting attention, messaging apps offer an unmissable opportunity for connecting and communicating with a young and engaged audience. Messaging apps offer a wide range of possibilities with customers and potential customers:

  • Cultivate contact
  • Deliver information
  • Boost sales
  • Involve audience in events
  • Regain potential customers
  • Provide support and assistance

How to Choose the Right Messaging App for Your Business

Step 1: Understanding your Audience

Before you can choose the best messaging app for your online marketing strategy, obviously you need to get to know your audience first. By understanding key insights of your audience demographic such as: who they are, where they’re located, their interests and hobbies, their challenges and pain points, their age range and where they spend a lot of time online, will all give you excellent insight into your approach to connecting with them.

For example, if your target audience is under the age of 18 but you were planning on using Facebook Messenger, you may miss a huge part of your demographic. Instead, utilising Kik, a popular messaging app used by 13-24-year olds, might be more appropriate for your needs.

Step 2: Set Your Marketing Strategy Goals

Do you have a clear idea of what you are trying to promote and the outcome and deliverables? Once you’ve assessed your target audience, it’s time to focus on your marketing goals and your overall marketing strategy. What is your goal from this interaction? Are you trying to increase brand awareness, sell a product or inform & educate your audience about a new feature? These goals will all have an impact on your method.

Step 3: Figure Out What App Your Audience Uses and Why

The key aim is to figure out the right messaging app for your target audience, as well as why and how they use it. Then, you need to determine if the app will be the best channel for your marketing campaign.

For example, according to research conducted by Hubspot, WhatsApp has over 1.3 billion active monthly users. With a user base ranging in age from 25 to 44 that is mainly based in Latin America, Europe, Southeast Asia and India.

Whereas, Facebook Messenger has 1.2 billion active monthly users, with the majority of its users between the ages of 16 – 44, based largely in North America.

If you’re targeting millennials, then Snapchat could be the best option for you as 73% of its user base are millennials.

How Can Your Business Incorporate Messaging Strategy?

Each of the different messaging apps have developed features and tools that marketers can use to support their brand’s marketing strategy. By utilising these features and using the messaging apps to your advantage, you can improve customer service, increase website conversions, and generate a loyal following.

Step 1: Setting Up Facebook Messenger

Automation allows us to streamline certain processes and make them more effective, combine these with instant-access apps and you can always be there for your customers. By creating a WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger bot, it enables you to be there for your customers 24/7 and provide them with a range of instant responses.

Whilst a chatbot won’t be able to deal with every query, especially not the more complex queries. It will be able to answer simple queries (like opening time requests) and boost your customer’s experience from frustrating to enjoyable, whilst also helping you sort and answer queries.

For example, you can:

  • Automate responses to the most common queries, for example: ‘what time are you open today?
  • Use the chatbot to identify issues and streamline requests to the right person on your team, for example, accounts vs. complaints.
  • Eliminate frustration with waiting times for responses, you can design a chatbot to schedule a call if an agent is not available as opposed to a vague ‘we will be in touch within 48 hours.’

How to set up Facebook Messenger:

  • Facebook Messenger should already be enabled when you create your Facebook
    Business page
  • Next, ‘add a button’ to your page, with a ‘Send Message’ call to action Write your greeting – a Facebook Messenger greeting is a customisable message that a user will receive when they open a message thread with you. It will appear
    before they even send their first message.
  • Set up Instant Reply – You can use Instant Reply to create an automatic first response for new messages. This message can be used to share the time frame your customer can expect to receive a response. Alternatively, you can thank them for
    getting in touch.
  • Create responses for frequently asked questions – These responses can be created to help you answer frequently asked questions easily. When a customer sends you a message, they will be instantly offered a range of subjects/questions that they can choose from.
  • Schedule automatic away messages – if your business is closed or your social media manager will be away, you can create ‘Away Messages’, which are effectively ‘out of office messages’ for Facebook Messenger. Use these messages to let your customers know when you’ll return or re-open.

Step 2: Attract Customers to Contact You Through a Messenger Advert

Facebook offers an advertising option to direct users who click on your Facebook ads straight to a messenger chat with you. Here are some of the different placements and formats available:

  • Click-to-Messenger Adverts
    These are essentially sponsored posts with call-to-action buttons which appear across Facebook’s family of apps. When someone clicks on the CTA button, it will open a chat with your account.
  • Messenger Advert Placement
    These adverts are placed in the Messenger inbox between the different conversations. When a user clicks on them, they will see a full advert with a customisable call-to-action button like ‘Shop Now’.
  • Messenger Story Adverts
    Once again, these adverts will appear in the Messenger inbox but between different Stories, on mobile, you can click to view these as a full-screen story. These are currently only available when bought with Instagram Story Adverts.
  • Sponsored Messages
    Sponsored Messages appear in the inboxes of people that you’ve spoken with before. These are a great way to re-engage customers with special offers or promotions.

Step 3: Use the Facebook Messenger Code

Just like other social media codes, the Facebook Messenger code is a unique graphic that opens a message chat when scanned. You can add this code to your printed marketing, your website, your emails etc so that people can quickly and easily begin a chat with you.

How to find your Facebook Messenger Code on mobile:

  1. Open the Messenger chats tab.
  2. Click on your profile picture in the upper left corner.
  3. Click on your code.
  4. Select the send icon in the upper right corner to download or share.

Step 4: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Bot

There are a few instances where it might be beneficial to create a Facebook Messenger Bot, for example, if you’re low on time, a bot can organise customer enquiries for you. Some brands even go as far as giving their bots personas, an avatar and a name to make the experience more personal and human feeling.

Any business which offers a product or service that has a high level of pre-purchase decisions to be made, such as real estate, sales or even software could gain immense value from a chatbot. Your potential customers are likely to be doing a lot of research before they buy, by building a chatbot, you can be available to answer their questions, without actually having to be available! Your chatbot can even offer a downloadable guide, with your prospective customer filling out a quick form with some contact information.

With customised greetings and instant responses, a chatbot on Facebook can provide answers to a lot of your more generic enquiries on Facebook Messenger. However, to create a more advanced chatbot, you would need additional tools that would allow you to offer a wider range of conversations, such as: Streamchat, Chatfuel and MobileMonkey.

We recommend always reading through all tutorials or hiring a professional to set up a chatbot, whilst they are a fairly straightforward process, you wouldn’t want to accidentally put any potential customers off!

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