The more marketing evolves, the more human it becomes.
The early days of email marketing were about outreach—talking at people. Now, in the Engagement Economy, marketing is a two-way dialogue and marketers talk with people. But we have one more leap to make: talking like people. Marketers today are still trying to be everything to everyone. They’re chasing consumers—who own 132% more devices and access 389% more apps than they did five years ago—across all channels, and consumers sense the desperation. To talk like people, marketers must commit the ultimate lifelike act and like consumers’ friends. Marketers need to explore focusing their energies on channels that maximize engagement, like Facebook Messenger.
The Way the World Messages
Most friendships revolve around a single channel of choice. It may be Slack for work buddies, SMS for your significant other, WhatsApp for international friends, and email for the grandparents. These real-life relationships have unspoken rules: you don’t over-message, you don’t beg for attention, and you don’t blast people on all channels at once unless there’s a good reason. According to Twilio, 66% of consumers now prefer to reach brands (or be reached) via messaging apps.
Consumers want marketers to stick to just one channel too. In this day and age consistency is soothing. Consumers already proactively unsubscribe to all but their channel of choice. They’re tired of poorly targeted multi-channel offers, such as retargeted discounts for a dress they already purchased, and marketers are tired of trying to stay consistent.
For a great many consumers, that one channel is email—but this is changing. Email is great but can be full of clutter. If you’re going to go about culling down your channels to the one where you’ll focus your audience, it’s far better to future-proof it. Offer that your new ‘buddies’ meet you on a channel that’s growing, robust, and genuinely engaging, such as Facebook Messenger.
Facebook Messenger is where the world goes to:
- Connect with everyone. 31% of US app time is spent on Facebook and messaging apps.—Sprout
- Stay tuned. It’s used by 17% of the world’s population monthly.—TechCrunch
- Escape cold outreach. Brands need explicit permission to message consumers thanks to Facebook’s filtered inbox.
- Seek support. Customers demand that brands be on Messenger.—Conversocial
Messenger is ‘safe,’ but it’s also far more engaging because it’s so versatile. In the mold of China’s WeChat, Facebook Messenger does it all: video calls, emojis, stickers, mobile games, payments, group chats, music, bots, and integrations with services like ride-hailing apps. The ways to engage are endless.
And unlike static Facebook brand pages, which resemble the bulletin-boards of yore, Facebook Messenger is a truly 21st-century channel: it’s a never-ending personal conversation.
Put Your Marketing Where Your Messenger Is
Now, don’t delete your Twitter account just yet—I’m not implying you should abandon all channels. But refocusing your efforts on a core audience on one core platform will allow you to do a much better job engaging people because you and your team won’t be spread thin. You can use other channels to help direct traffic to your core messaging channel. Like a good friend, consumers will appreciate that you’re always there. As in, literally there, on Facebook Messenger, where they are too.
Marketers who build their audience on Messenger will reap the rewards. It’s the ultimate active channel with unheard-of open rates of up to 90%. By opting in, consumers offer you their attention. They expect to hear from you, and they click-through posts 30% of the time. And it’s a fun place to be: brands can engage with users one-on-one in a setting where they’re primed to have fun and interact in a rich-message environment.
Brands can build loyal fan bases on Messenger free of the pay-to-play component of Facebook’s newsfeed:
- Retailers e-tailers can post hot picks and announce sales.
- Musicians and artists can sell tickets, host music, and launch merchandise.
- Sports teams can engage fans with score alerts, team events, and VIP offers.
- Political candidates and causes can rally constituents and raise money.
- News organizations and bloggers can circumvent crowded inboxes and drive clicks.
- Businesses and startups can post press releases and live-report events.
It’s also a fantastic opportunity to blend direct-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer experiences that are the key to modern brand loyalty. According to the Harvard Business Review, that’s what Kimberly-Clark, maker of Huggies diapers, did by creating a rewards program to help new parents educate each other. And it’s why the retailer Burberry streams online-only fashion shows that include user submissions. These types of activities belong on Facebook Messenger where brands can and cultivate always-on, lifelike conversations their customers.
Future-Proof Your Audience
Nothing could be more friend-like than choosing one channel and sticking to it. Facebook Messenger is where consumers are increasingly spending their time and where they’re most likely to engage and click. And, it’s growing. If you’re a forward-thinking marketer hoping to build an audience that’ll be with you in the future, there’s no better place to be.
Do you use Messenger to engage your audience? What has the response been? What potential do you see for your brand? Let’s keep the engagement going in the comments.