In the ever-increasing competition for consumer attention, alternative ways to acquire new and existing consumers are at the forefront of every marketer’s mind. Facebook’s latest channel for reaching consumers is Facebook Messenger Ads.
Messenger is Facebook’s chat application for desktop and mobile. Every month, some 2 billion Facebook users use Messenger to communicate with friends and family, as well as businesses. Now, Messenger offers the opportunity to run ads from right within the chat screen, and have brands build and deploy chatbot technology.
Messenger Ads Encourage More Engagement
By its very nature, a chat application is an interactive experience. Users are communicating directly with each other, reviewing previous discussions, and checking in for business services and product updates. Entering a chat application primes people for engagement. It’s a great way for brands to connect with customers through targeted advertising.
The rules of engagement for Messenger Ads apply like for other marketing strategies. Offer product or service information, news updates, discounts, and deals in a compelling manner that prompts user clicks. Where Messenger Ads differ is what happens upon a click. If a user presses the CTA within a Messenger ad, a chatbox opens within the platform to direct the user to your website, a phone contact, or–the best option–a conversation on Messenger.
The chat option is yet another great way to utilize the psychology involved in messaging applications. Users of chat platforms are already about to communicate. Therefore, a conversation option on an ad integrates with that intention, rather than redirect the user to a different activity or platform.
Putting the Chat in Facebook Messengers Ads
Once the chatbox opens in Messenger, marketers have to two ways to connect in a personalized manner: live chat and chatbots.
Live chat works like a form of online customer service. The user connects with a real person in real time to discuss more about your offer, services, and brand. Chatbots, on the other hand, are sophisticated software applications that mimic human interaction.
Applications that recognize and understand human language have improved dramatically in recent years. Alexa and Siri are examples of the technology involved, but chatbots are instead scaled for an online text experience, especially within messenger apps.
The two modes of interactive communication have different pros and cons. With live chat, overhead is higher since staff needs to respond. Depending on the brand and market, the cost can be well worth it, establishing a brand with highly personalized service.
Chatbots have the advantage of cost-effectiveness and can handle practically an unlimited number of user interactions at once. Currently, the main downside has to do with lack of linguistic fluency and an inability to handle complex requests or tasks. However, the software already has reached a certain level of smooth communication with people, and as development continues these concerns will likely become non-issues.
Chat Applications Are Growing
Since 2015, the number of users on the top four chat applications has outpaced the top four social networks combined. Message application developers have responded by creating more features and services to keep their users interacting with the applications.
What once functioned exclusively for texting now includes video, live chat apps, and gaming components. Users spend more time in-app than on social networks, making the user base a seductive attraction for marketing.
Facebook Messenger remains the dominant messaging app in the market. With a huge user base and constantly updated features, the app has become the go-to message service for users who want to save money on phone calls, utilize group chat and video, and–now–find the best deals for products and services. For businesses, the advantages are a greater ability to personalize the marketing experience for consumers via chatbots and have access to Facebook’s unrivaled data and analytics for targeting the right potential customers at the right time.
About the Author:
Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.