• Bri Goebel

The Future of Marketing with Facebook Messenger



"Messaging is one of the few things that people do more than social networking.”  - Mark Zuckerberg

Mobile messaging apps are massive. In 2015, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Viber, recorded 2.125 billion monthly active users. These top 4 messaging apps have drastically surpassed the monthly active users for the top 4 social media apps. People are now using messenger apps more than they are using social networks.


Today, Facebook Messenger alone has over 1.2 billion monthly active users. That’s over 11% of the world’s population messaging on the platform every month.


Messenger isn’t just a place to chat with your family and friends. Facebook has been investing heavily on making Messenger a marketing tool for businesses and brands everywhere. David Marcus, who leads the Messenger team at Facebook, envisions it as the perfect place for businesses to connect with their customers in a natural and personal way.


“If you had a rabbit that I wanted and I had a wolf skin that you wanted, we would talk about it, but when you look at websites or different forms of commerce today, it’s not very conversational. It’s almost like the guy trying to sell you something is screaming at you, and you can’t reply, so you throw him money and he throws you the product.”

Great marketers know that to really build a loyal base of repeat customers, communication is essential. On average, small businesses spend nearly half of their marketing budgets on communicating effectively through email and social. However, with email open rates tanking to 22% in 2016, click rates down to 3.5% and Facebook posts reaching 2% of your audience, businesses have been on the losing end of direct and personalized marketing communication.


Facebook’s Messenger, which has now become a robust platform for social messaging, is proving to be the future of engaging, nurturing and selling to your future customer.

Marketing on Messenger

In April 2016, Facebook opened up Messenger to businesses, encouraging them to promote their presence on Messenger. In the past year, Facebook has expanded the features to include Messenger ads and conversational bots, empowering businesses to explore innovative ways to engage with consumers at scale.

A growing number of people are saying that messaging is their preferred method of communication with a business. Messaging is wholly changing the way people communicate and do business with brands.


Reinventing Business Communications

Today, messaging is where we expect to communicate and spend most of our time. An increasing number of people are choosing to message a business rather than call it. Messaging helps create a more personal experience for the user leading to one of the most essential qualities of the relationship between a potential customer and brand: Trust.

Research shows that nearly 55% of people are more likely to trust a business that they are able to message. The ability to communicate in real-time with a brand is something more consumers are demanding. Businesses that are able to rapidly provide their customers with information will ultimately win the trust, respect and loyalty that can fuel sales and repeat engagement.

Messenger makes it easier to create and build a strong bond between your brand and customer. According to a study by Nielsen, more than 1 in 2 people say they are more likely to shop with a business they can message. With consumer behavior shifting in this direction, Messenger is becoming a channel that your brand can no longer avoid in using to grow your business.


From financial transactions to raising awareness, businesses across the board are finding successful ways to integrate Messenger into their marketing strategy. Here’s a look at how industry leaders like Sephora, Tommy Hilfiger and Absolut Vodka are already leading the way for Facebook Messenger marketing.


Absolut Vodka

The famous vodka brand is using automated Messenger bots to offer consumers a complimentary drink at a local bar of their choice.

Source: Facebook

By directing consumers to Absolut’s Facebook Messenger with News Feed ads, they were able to introduce their fans to Absolut’s Bartender Bot. This Messenger Bot is designed to warmly and personally guide fans to a local bar where they can enjoy a free Absolut cocktail.


By offering a coupon code for the cocktails, Absolut was able to message the user at the point of consumption while at the bar. This experience resulted in a 4.7x lift in sales and 3x faster redemption time.


Sephora

Sephora wanted to encourage more clients to visit stores by offering them an easy way to book makeovers.

The beauty brand utilized News Feed ads that sent users directly to Sephora’s Facebook Messenger. These ads are incredibly effective in growing an audience on Messenger. People that engaged with Sephora’s Messenger bot were introduced to Sephora’s Reservation Assistant, a conversational system to personally complete their booking.


By booking through Facebook Messenger, 5 fewer steps were required from the user. This created a more seamless experience, especially since the user never had to leave the platform. The result was an 11% increase in their booking rate vs. their other booking channels.


Tommy Hilfiger

The famous fashion brand used Facebook Messenger to introduce their audience to their new collection.


Moments after the debut of their new collection at a New York fashion show, the brand launched a conversational messenger bot called, TMY.GRL. Users watching the show were encouraged to “Shop the runway with TMY.GRL” on Facebook Messenger. From there, users could explore behind the scenes of the show and shop the new collection.


This experience resulted in 60,000 messages exchanged between users and TMY.GRL and 87% of people returned to interact with Tommy Hilfiger on Facebook Messenger afterward.

Not just a New Feature, a New Channel

With marketing channels like email becoming oversaturated and slow, people are naturally turning to platforms like Messenger to communicate more fluidly. The numbers show that businesses using Messenger for direct marketing are achieving extremely high open and click-through rates compared to their email marketing campaigns. Messenger’s ability to reduce friction can help you build a better relationship between your brand and the potential customer.


It is clear that the future of marketing is moving to messaging. Consumer behavior has shifted to prefer messaging as the mode of communication with the brands they are interested in. From customer service to conversational selling, the next businesses to take advantage of Facebook Messenger will exponentially grow their operations.


So here’s the burning question:

How do you plan to integrate Facebook Messenger in your business?


Let me know your thoughts in the comments below ⬇️. Whether you’re just starting to explore Messenger or have been using it already, we would love to know how you’re thinking about future-proofing your brand.