My timing is a little vague, but, do you remember being limited to only 1,000 text messages per month?
I’ll never forget my phone phill the first time I went above 1,000! Luckily, that only happened once. I was a poor, broke, college student working on my Master’s at the time. I didn’t have “expendable income.”
Thankfully, my carrier (ATT) finally created an “unlimited plan” — unlimited long distance and unlimited text messaging.
And, about that time, the creation of “messaging apps” were also forcing cellular phone companies to compete. These apps were helping people send text messages through their computers to other phones for free!
Businesses kept innovating and the app-coding business flourished and expanded with the creation of “smartphones.” Eventually, apps for almost every type of digital interaction possible had been created. Some, like MySpace, Yahoo! Messenger, and others did the same thing for computers ahead of their time.
With websites, web-based and smartphone apps, you could chat with your friends, communicate with businesses and brands, make calls, play games, consume online content and even order food… even call a cab. All from the convenience of your telephone.
These added functions included in text messaging apps, make them “sticky.” People kept coming back to them over and over again. Today, the different messaging apps (like Facebook Messenger, What’sApp, Viber, Snapchat, Skype, Telegram, Kick and WeChat) are serving over 5 billion users with the ability to communicate in private and group messages.
Now, the systems have evolved to include video phone calls, games, and other functionalities that attract more and more users.
MARKETING WITH MESSAGING APPS IN 2020
With over five billion people using messaging apps each month, this becomes a very lucrative market for businesses to, for lack of a better word, exploit.
Because of that, different online apps, like ManyChat, ChatBot, or LivePerson have popped up (forgive the pun) to serve business and organizations in talking with masses using AI (artificial intelligence) to communicate in repeatable business conversations repeatedly.
These chatbots appear in social media, as bots in your websites, even in text messaging, to provide customer service, send content to users, sell products and even advertise. Different regions of the nation and even the world, have certain preference as to which “bot” they’d rather interact with, so, here’s an overview of five of the best messaging apps available to you to help your business grow.
5 Best Messaging Apps for Marketing in 2020
Monthly active users: 1.5 billion
Most Popular Regions: South America, U.K., Africa, The Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Russia
Age group: 16-44
Marketing Features: WhatsApp is globally the most preferred messenger app today. The system offers end-to-end encryption and is a very secure messenger platform. Thus, you will find this app used in countries such as Russia where security may be a major concern. Known mostly for it’s ease of use in sending photographs and videos, the app is also popular since the content sent can’t be saved and is wiped out of the system within about 30 minutes.
How are marketers supposed to leverage the most popular messaging app in the world then?
Since WhatsApp isn’t conducive to large-scale content distribution, marketers must take advantage of its one-to-one messaging capabilities. And by interacting with WhatsApp users like a normal user would, marketers can execute hyper-targeted and personalized campaigns. In 2014,
Hellman’s Brazil created WhatsCook, a live recipe service that connected people to real chefs. This wasn’t a service that just recommended recipes, though. It created recipes with the ingredients users already had.
After signing up for the service on their website, users would send a picture of their refrigerator’s contents to WhatsCook. Then a chef would whip up a unique recipe using the person’s available ingredients and teach them how to cook it using pictures, videos, and other WhatsApp features.
Over 13,000 people people signed up for WhatsCook and each user spent an average of 65 minutes interacting with Hellman’s chefs. The service also received a 99.5% approval rating.
WhatsCook is a prime example of creative WhatsApp marketing.
By attracting users with a helpful service, they engaged thousands of more people than they could by blasting content through a broadcast or group chat.
To start a service like WhatsCook, you just need users’ phone numbers or they can add your number to their contact list.
Fortunately, WhatsApp offers a click-to-chat link that you can embed in your website, email signature, or social profiles, allowing you to effectively promote your service.
2) Facebook Messenger
Monthly active users: 1.3 billion
Most Popular Regions: North America, Europe, Australia, The Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa
Age group: 16-44
Marketing Features: Facebook messenger offers brands a stockpile of marketing features. For instance, you can serve destination ads in people’s newsfeed to drive them to your messenger and spark a conversation, send sponsored messages to people who’ve messaged you in the past, integrate messenger bots like Chatfuel and ManyChat to interact with customers, and more.
At HubSpot, chatbots are used to automate Facebook conversations with people. Whenever someone messages their Facebook account, the chatbot will message back with a menu of options. People can then search and subscribe to HubSpot’s content, check out their software, look at job openings, ask for customer support, and manage their Facebook messenger blog subscription.
How Do Businesses Maximize Facebook Messenger for Growth?
Facebook’s native Messenger app, with more than 1.3 billion monthly users worldwide is an amazing platform for brands to use for marketing. And, brands have been flocking to the app to reach out to their customers, provide service, and many even use Facebook Messenger to provide support and sales service on their websites.
Chatbots, like the ones mentioned above, provide unique opportunities to acquire customers, nurture leads, and even segment audiences. I have even assisted some brands in providing highly relevant, targeted content to specific niches within their customer base.
One way to do this is with the mailing list you develop with receipts, warranty cards, registration cards and other methods of communicating with your customers. Then, once they visit your specific website, using Facebook’s pixel (read “cookie”) you can contact them on Facebook with an ad drawing them to your Facebook page. Then, when they visit your page, your Messenger pops up from the bottom of the screen, inviting them to communicate with you, your staff or your chat bot.
The fact is, getting buying customers into your chat list on Facebook is one of the easiest tasks to accomplish. There are many ways to accomplish this.
Monthly active users:1.3 billion
Most Popular Regions: China
Age Group: 18-45
Marketing Features: WeChat features a digital payment method and a GPS function that lets you find nearby friends.
Can non-Chinese brands capitalize on a predominantly Chinese communication tool?
Yes, but you’ll need to master (or hire someone with) the art of Chinese translation first. That’s because more than 90% of it’s users speak standard Chinese.
If you have a product or service that is available to the population of that nation, then, you’ll want to master this tool as it is the most powerful social communication tool in the entire country.
Monthly active users: 1 billion
Most Popular Regions: Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Armenia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Russia, Herzegovina, and Vietnam.
Age Group: 25-44
Marketing Features: Fairly popular in the former Eastern Blok of Europe, the app is popular due to its encryption and secret chat feature. This app is often installed in phones as a secondary app.
Using Viber for Digital Marketing in Your Business
I am not personally aware of any business who is using Viber as a marketing tool.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t. After all, there are over 1 billion monthly users worldwide. Additionally, Viber offers free call and messaging service to mobile users for almost 10 years. That means the app is mature and developed.
Here’s some information about the app’s users that could help you when trying to reach them for your business:
- 30% of Viber’s users send stickers on a daily basis
- Viber is used in 193 countries
- Viber is partially banned in Tajikistan, the country with the most usage is Ukraine
- More than 500 million downloads in Google Play
- 7 million interactions each day
- 1 in 4 Viber users tap the “buy” button on the app
- One Viber user has generated more than $5 million in revenue
Monthly active users: 203 million
Most Popular Regions: Japan, Taiwan
Age Group: 25-44
Marketing Features: LINE offers free voice and video calls, as well as stickers, groups, timelines (similar to Facebook), games and video calls.
This app isn’t mature enough yet for commercial use.
USING MESsAGING TOOLS IN YOUR BUSINESS WITH AN EYE TO GROWTH
Over the years, businesses who use digital tools have replaced the postal service with email marketing. More recently, the email, with all the spammers and other misusers of the medium, has dropped in its effectiveness.
While email is still one of the most useful marketing tools out there, according to Neil Patel, you should still include social messaging as one of your main sources of contact with your customers and prospects.
Reports indicate that “open rates,” the number of messages that are actually opened by the recipient is near 88% in Facebook Messenger. That’s at least 35% better than most email open rates.
That same report indicated a “click thru rate” (CTR) of 50%. That means that about 26 more people out of 100 will read your message than your email. And, about 45-50 of those who read the message will actually click on the link you send them.
Let me help you understand that.
If you had 1000 email addresses and 1000 Facebook Messenger contact that are allowing you to send them sales offers, you sales could be quite amazing. Let’s say, for math purposes, that your product or service costs $10 to the end user.
1000 email messages would, typically, result in about 32% click through rate. That means that out of 1000 email addresses, about 320 will actually click on the link and see your sales pitch on your website. At minimum, you should see 10% of them purchase. That’s 32 sales at $10 or $320.
At the same time, if you sent the same messaging to 1000 Facebook users through their Messenger app, your sales should be around $500. (50% of 1000 = 500. 10% of 500 = 50. 50 x $10 = $500) That’s a 65% increase in revenue.
This is why you should be asking your digital marketing agency to implement, at minimum, Facebook Messenger Bots to increase your sales and revenue for your business.
After all, don’t you want a 65% increase in sales in 2020?