Bot-Driven Messenger Marketing: Going beyond clever ad placement

Bot-Driven Messenger Marketing: Going beyond clever ad placement

Isaac Hayward

HK Digital Co-Founder · 11 Oct 2021

Bot-Driven Messenger Marketing: Going beyond clever ad placement

Considering that Facebook is regarded as one of today’s most effective marketing channels, one would think that all of the platform’s mysteries have been uncovered. After all, it has been at the forefront of social media for quite a while, and there are countless articles on how to get the most out of your money while advertising on Facebook. So, it should be safe to assume that we really haven’t missed any big opportunities here, right? Surprisingly, those assumptions appear to be wrong, at least for now.

Messenger marketing is something that has essentially been hiding right under our noses, in plain sight, due to everyone sort of just dismissing it as another way to place an ad in front of their audience. However, ti seems to be catching on as one of the most promising new (to the world of marketing) communication tools for companies using Facebook marketing solutions.

So far, few businesses have started using Messenger for marketing, and only around 1% of all businesses on the platform are using a bot-driven approach to Messenger, but that is expected to change over the next 3-5 years, when Messenger and other chat platforms will become one of the most prominent online channels for marketers. And it is this bot-driven approach that really changes the dynamics of Messenger marketing from a simple paid ad placement to a tool that has the potential to throw email in the back seat.

For some, this might sound like the right time to wait for best practices to be amply documented and proven. To the rest of us, it’s the perfect opportunity to set the standards and reap the benefits of the first mover’s advantage.

So, what is it?

In short, it is literally what we know Messenger to have always been: a way for two people to communicate with one another. However, Messenger marketing goes beyond the simple, narrow use that most of us are familiar with.

Grab your phone and open the messenger app that you almost certainly have and religiously check, and look at the 5th-7th message from the top. Are you looking at an advertisement?

That is just one of the features of Messenger marketing, which you are likely most familiar with, as it basically behaves much like the paid ads that run on news feeds. But once you throw chatbots into the mix (and you will definitely need to), this channel gets so much more interesting.

Let’s look at all the ways that marketers can utilize the power of Messenger.

Run Paid Ads in Messenger

To reiterate, this allows you to place your advertisements that would otherwise be on users’ news feeds in Messenger instead, or both.

The best part is that you can use the same creative and copy setup that you would run in feed ads for Messenger, so the decision to try out running a paid advert in Messenger requires no extra creative; just always be sure that your ads are optimized for mobile if you are going to be paying for them to run in Messenger (and in general, of course).

Paid Messenger ads have two possible routes on which you can send your audience on:

Paid Messenger Ads: Two Routes

Click to your owned media (app or website page)

Also known as “click-to-website,” this is the journey that your audience most commonly takes with your feed ads. You place the advert and a click sends your audience to a landing page designed to convert, or one of your content pages. The conversion rate on these kinds of adverts are pretty much the same as regular feed ads (0.91%).

While this might not sound excitingly new, one thing that sets these paid ads apart from your standard feed ads is that Messenger is not the news feed. It is an entirely different app and people go there for an entirely different purpose than Facebook. Rather than mindlessly scrolling through a load of images, waiting until one catches their elusive attention, your audience members enter Messenger not with the intention of being entertained by imagery, but are already instinctually expecting to take in more information through text. All of a sudden your copy becomes much more powerful due to the context provided by a chat-specific app.

You don’t lose the power of your creative here, as it is displayed once the ad is clicked open.

Click to Message

This is where paid Messenger marketing really sets itself apart from the news feed. Click-to-message allows you to use your paid ads to get your audience to engage in a conversation with your business for a plethora of reasons, especially:

  • Generating and qualifying leads,
  • Narrowing down audience members’ preferences for a personalized landing page.

If click to message is your ideal route, you aren’t just limited to ad placement within Messenger. Your feed ads also have the option to choose this feature, which would send your prospects from their Facebook feed into a chat with your business. If you are looking to gather leads, your conversion rate is 100% here because the information is obtained upon opening!

You should note that some of the features of click to message marketing in Messenger are not offered in the UK and EEA.

One last thing you should keep in mind with this approach: you are going to need “someone” on the other end of this chat, ready to answer at any and all times of the day. This is where the chatbots are pretty much essential. Luckily, there are plenty of platforms that make it very easy for pretty much anyone to “program” a decent bot that is capable of performing chat sequences that can guide your prospects through any journey you set up for them, all while keeping them engaged.

Chat Blasting

Move over, email. Messenger bots are doing it better.

A chat blast is essentially the same thing that most companies do with email: sending personalized messages to your audience at scale. However, with the chatbot, you are able to set up sequences that are enacted in real time; essentially dividing what would have been your email message into bits and creating a unique, engaging path for your prospects as they interact with the bot through simple CTA buttons.

Perhaps the most stunning thing about the Messenger chat blast is the performance. While email blasts are lucky to see open rates over 22.5% and click-through rates around 2.5%, chat blasts are seeing open rates anywhere from 50-70% and click-through rates around 20%. The term ‘unicorn’ doesn’t really cut it here. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that you get the benefit of push notifications from an app that most consider more informal and welcoming than email…

Comment Guard

If you regularly post content to your social pages (you really should), then using comment guard is the best way to generate new contacts out of that content. Simply put, your chatbot can be set up to reply to all comments to any of your posts. What this means is that anyone who comments on your posts are immediately converted to a contact the instant they decide to interact with your bot.

Just imagine the potential for your ROI to grow with this kind of approach; you have a chatbot that is working around the clock to ensure that anyone that engages with your post is turned into a lead that has already confirmed that they are interested in interacting with your business in the future.

Sounds effective, so it must cost a lot, right?

Surprise, again. Even Facebook’s paid Messenger ads are cheaper than the standard feed ads, especially when using the send to message function. However, the real deal is in the chat blasting and comment guard: they’re free.

Of course, there’s always a caveat, and no matter which platform you use to build your chatbot, the free version can only take you so far. You will be limited by similar factors to your CRM, which includes number of contacts, monthly sends, and so on. Either way, in the end, what you end up with is a much higher ROI than email marketing, because these bots can be deployed across all of your owned media, and can serve vastly different functions, all from one platform and account.

So in the end…

There’s really no reason to shy away from trying bot-driven Messenger marketing out. You have the potential to enjoy so many benefits, including:

  • Close-to-free warm lead generation,
  • Extremely high engagement rates,
  • Low-cost or free, interactive communication with your audience,
  • And, generally, an enhanced version of all of the benefits of email marketing.

If the need to build a bot is what you fear, Mobile Monkey makes it quite easy, as do the rest of the bot building platforms. If that isn’t your forte or you are simply too busy to set up your chatbot, this is something that we would be happy to help you with.

So, now is the time to seize the opportunity to be one of the first companies to jump on the bandwagon to growth through bot-driven chat, before it becomes just another cliche expectation.

Stay tuned by following us on your favorite social media platform as we expand your knowledge on the mysteries of Messenger marketing!

-Isaac


Bot-Driven Messenger Marketing: Going beyond clever ad placement

WRITTEN BY

Isaac Hayward
HK Digital Co-Founder

Entrepreneur and business strategist with experience developing small businesses.
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