Messaging apps are taking over the world and breaking records in app downloads. According to global statistics, WhatsApp was downloaded 40 million times in January 2022 alone. Telegram was downloaded a little less — almost 36 million. As you know, marketers go where there is an audience.
Messenger marketing is a direction that some businesses are just starting to use, while others have already mastered it. Messaging apps can be either a separate or additional platform for marketing. Personalization, free newsletters with non-strict requirements, a wide range of tools — these are some of the reasons why instant messaging platforms attract marketers and provide new opportunities for getting and retaining customers.
Read the article on how to apply messenger marketing in your business, how this direction works and how to build your promotion strategy.
What is messenger marketing
Messenger marketing is the promotion of company products and services or other marketing communication with customers by using WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Telegram, or other messengers. Messenger is an instant messaging service that allows users to communicate with each other by exchanging text and voice messages. The main purpose of messengers is correspondence, but functions such as phone calls, video calls and file transfers are also available. Messenger marketing generates leads, accelerates sales, and maintains communication with buyers after the purchase.
Messenger marketing is more suitable for B2C companies that use messengers to take orders, make appointments with specialists, sell products with a short purchase cycle, and educate potential and existing customers. Communication in messaging applications is relevant when there is a flow of customers and, as a result, automation is needed.
Benefits of messenger marketing
The main bonus of marketing in messaging apps is direct communication with your client. Your message will definitely get to the user. When it comes to the social media feed, the risk of going unnoticed is higher, because the algorithms do not always show the posts of brand groups and accounts to subscribers. In addition, social media platforms limit the sending of messages by a business account in PM.
Other benefits of messenger marketing:
Marketing SMS mailing, calls to customers for advice on the sale — all this costs money, while working with messaging apps is free. It is worth noting that there are also paid features, such as advertising, calls to mobile numbers. However, free tools are enough for marketing.
If you need to talk to a manager, you will contact the call center. It takes time and involves communication with the robot, waiting and constant engagement. You can not be distracted, even if the matter is not the most important.
It’s easier to solve issues in the messaging app where you don’t have to stay on the line all the time. In addition, it is up to you when to reply to a message. In messaging apps, communication starts quickly without listening to an answering machine and pressing buttons. To start a conversation, you just need to open the app and send a message with a request. Correspondences will be saved. Messages will definitely get to the addressee, and not to spam, as happens with emails. The transition of marketing to instant messaging apps is a step towards the client, who will be able to communicate with the brand in a convenient format.
Everything is automated in instant messengers: newsletters, answers to questions, a request to search for products or content. Managers' time is freed up for other tasks.
Messages will definitely reach the user and will not be lost in the feed. On social media platforms, communication takes place rather in the background, while on messaging platforms it is targeted.
- Collecting contacts
Users are not always ready to leave their contacts in live chats on company websites, so it is difficult to «capture» a client. If you leave a link to the messenger instead of a bot on the website, you will receive the client's contacts and will be able to offer your products.
- Fewer Requirements
Email marketing services have strict rules and restrictions: from stop words to checking the reputation of an address. Social networks regulate advertising, posts and chats. On Facebook, you can't just write to a user on behalf of a group. Ads are blocked for even harmless reasons. Against the background of all this, messengers look like the most loyal marketing tools.
What messaging app to choose for marketing
In terms of monthly activity, WhatsApp is in the lead, with more than two billion visits in January 2022. Second place goes to WeChat, followed by Facebook Messenger, QQ and Snapchat. Telegram is only in sixth place.
In this article, we want to take a closer look at WhatsApp, which is the most popular messaging app in the world, and Telegram, which is one of the fastest growing apps.
Common features of both messaging apps that can be used in marketing are free calls, messages, file transfer, mailings and group chats. What are the differences?
The app was not planned for commercial purposes, and the website still has a promise that there will be no ads.
However, the ad appeared in 2021. Before the official launch of advertising, there was also promotion: channels advertised each other, and brands promoted their products through channels.
Channels are the main difference and advantage of Telegram over other messengers. This tool replaces the social media feed and even corporate blogs. Channels provide comments and reactions, similar to social networks. 82% of users go to channels for news, 43% to find out the news of their industry and 59% for entertainment, so the marketing opportunities here are endless.
For business purposes, the service has another application – WhatsApp Business. It is also free, but with additional business features. The messaging app offers to create catalogs of products and services with a description, price, link to the website and product code for quick search. The client can also ask questions to the company here. With the automation feature, WhatsApp responses are fast. There are templates as well. Catalogs are stored in companies' business accounts, making it easy for customers to search.
Messenger marketing tools
A chatbot is a tool for automating simple actions on a website or in a messaging app. The robot takes over the routine and repetitive actions: collecting applications, answering questions according to a template, sending out information, and more. Simple bots are made in constructors, while complex ones are created by professional developers. The chatbot responds quickly 24 hours a day. It does not miss a client due to a mismatch between the employee's work hours and the client's request.
Example. The client wants to book an appointment at a beauty salon the next day, so he is looking for options the night before. The client writes a question to three salons. There is no answer from two salons because the working day of managers is over. The third one has connected a chatbot, which automatically signs the client up for free time. As a result, the client goes to this salon.
Bots are useful for content distribution, education, entertainment, reminders, habit building, ordering, appointments, and tech support work. There are simple bots with one function — they are monetized or they publish ads there. For example, bots for currency conversion, text checking and reminders.
Messaging apps offer private and group chats. If you send a marketing message to an private chat, you can personalize it and hit right on target. If you send newsletters to a group chat, you will save time, because you do not need to send a message to each user.
Telegram has internal advertising tools; its users can see ads in channels. When it comes to WhatsApp, the app does not have its own advertising tool but users can go to the app from ads on Facebook and Instagram.
4. Telegram channels
The channel replaces social media platforms and corporate blogs. The format with text and a picture simplifies the design of the text. Unlike websites, there is no layout. Voice and video messages complement the text content in channels.
5. Custom stickers
It is more of an addition to the main promotion methods in messaging apps. According to Viber, users send more than a billion stickers per month. Original brand stickers are a plus for recognition and free promotion.
Messenger marketing strategies
Automated funnel are a customizable sequence of actions that leads the user to a result without the participation of a manager or with minimal participation. In most cases, the desired result is a purchase. The autofunnel captures the user’s attention, increases loyalty with a lead magnet, offers a service on favorable terms, and eventually sells or sends a potential client to a manager. Autofunnel scenarios depend on user action or inaction.
Example. The user received a lead magnet, but he was not interested in the offer. In this case, we will send him information about favorable conditions. Another option is when a purchase has happened. In this case, we will continue to send content to the user, offer related products and services for upselling.
In messaging apps, autofunnels are launched in chatbots.
In messaging apps, mailing takes place individually or through groups of users. You can use mailings to offer discounts or personalized purchase conditions, engage users in marketing activities (events, contests), answer questions, collect feedback, and distributes content. If we are talking about content, messaging apps can serve as both a platform for announcements and a full-fledged platform.
3. Event support
In messengers, you can inform users about an upcoming event and, when the time is right, send them reminders or even include these reminders in an autofunnel. During conferences, programs, offers from speakers and sponsors are published in groups and through chatbots.
4. Lead generation
Instant messaging platforms simplify the collection of user contacts. Available options:
- Collect contacts of customers who clicked on the messenger widget installed on the site;
- Redirect users who left contacts to managers in exchange for a lead magnet;
- Warm up the user by sending him useful content so that he becomes a client.
- Collect feedback on products and services through chatbots.
- Inform about the status of the order and make upselling.
- Conduct conversational marketing — always stay in touch with the client.
Messenger marketing promotes business in instant messaging apps. It is more suitable for B2C companies to promote and sell products and services. It saves managers' time by automating business processes, and saves the company's money, because the main functions of messaging apps are free.
You can promote your business by sending messages to users in PM or in group chats, through chatbots, advertising and publishing content in channels. Sales in messaging apps work through autofunnels, so they do not require the participation of managers. Messaging apps also collect leads.
The article was originally published here.