How exactly to use Facebook Messenger being an advertising platform

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
5 min read

Messenger apps have a more impressive audience than social networks. Here’s how to attain them.

Messenger apps are big. The very best four messaging apps – Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Viber – now claim nearly three billion monthly active users combined, that is a lot more than the combined active users on the world’s four largest social networks (source:

Brands recognize that among the key means of being increasingly highly relevant to customers is usually to be where they’re; more specifically, communicate where their customers communicate. This needless to say was an integral reason many early-mover brands begun to shift budgets from TV and towards social networks. Fast forward to 2017, and being ‘where your visitors are’ means concentrating on one-to-one chat apps like Facebook Messenger and China’s WeChat. Indeed, with regards to the latter, users will not only utilize the app to speak to friends but additionally conduct mobile payments, play games, stream music, and partake in a number of online-to-offline services like ordering cabs and takeaways. To provide such features, WeChat had to open its platform to third-parties (i.e. advertisers), that is where Facebook currently has been the development of Messenger; for this to become more sophisticated product, advertisers have an enormous role to play.

Moreover, as demonstrated by the success of WeChat, users actually want to activate with brands – when it suits them. Engaging with a brandname via Facebook Messenger, allows consumers to ask those pre-purchase questions which will be valuable in ensuring the best buying decision.  Whereas an individual experience once was a comparatively one-way experience, now it is becoming enriched with real-time interaction.

But what does advertising on Facebook Messenger actually appear to be? Well, you can find two distinct ways for businesses for connecting with consumers via this ad format; Facebook Messenger Destination Ads, and Sponsored Ads.

Messenger destination ads

Like a great many other Facebook ad formats, Messenger Destination Ads come in the news headlines feed; and also have a call-to-action; the distinction is they don’t result in a full page like or perhaps a website visit, instead, they open a Facebook Messenger message. The ad unit has two elements, the ‘regular’ Facebook ad, and the ‘welcome’ message in Messenger:

The ad creation element is easy, as possible based on a preexisting variant such as for example image, video, carousel etc. You’re charged whenever a user clicks on the ‘send message’ call-to-action. Much like other ad formats, Facebook Messenger Ads may be used to target any user, whether or not they presently follow your brand or not – making this an especially interesting prospecting tool.

For example, it’s late October and you’ve just opened a fresh coffee shop. Seeking to interact with an area audience, you create an ad which ‘asks’ your market to message you via Messenger and provide suggestions about which unusual recipes they’d prefer to see to celebrate Halloween. A prospect messages you with an indicator, you take part in a conversation, and proceed to provide a discount code should they visit your shop within the next handful of hours.

Sponsored Messsage ads

Unlike Messenger Destination Ads, Sponsored Message Ads only appear inside Facebook Messenger itself. The ads will initially appear much like message interactions from friends, before expanding to a ‘full-size’ message, because the below example for CNN shows:

Moreover, it is possible to utilise images and links, along with text to be able to maximise engagement. But think about message spam you say? Well with this particular kind of ad can only target those who have previously messaged your page. You’re charged when someone opens a note, as with other styles of message advertising such as for example LinkedIn InMail.

Looking at example cases, you might want to think about this format as a marketing follow-up to anyone who has previously interacted together with your brand, with regards to a customer support query. Furthermore, you might seek to retarget those whom have previously engaged together with your website, but perhaps didn’t create a purchase. In this scenario, it could be that high delivery costs or insufficient product clarity were the original roadblock, then you will have an ideal channel to ease those concerns. You can even look at up-selling or cross-selling further items or, you will want to provide them with a 15% promotion code off their next order. All this can be achieved minus the prospect needing to pick up the telephone or taking the time to go to a bricks-and-mortar store.

Putting everything together: Building your subscriber list

With Sponsored Message Ads it is possible to only message people who’ve messaged you before. The main element challenge for some advertisers is always to build-up their ‘list’. A proven way of achieving this might be to utilize Messenger Destination Ads to operate a vehicle prospects initially to Messenger, and follow-up with Sponsored Messages with an increase of sales-led messaging.

You may also use outside channels like email to facilitate initial message conversations. For instance in case a user has subscribed to your email list, you can promote your Messenger functionality as a far more ‘responsive’ solution to engage with your organization (think following through to order tracking status, arranging hair appointments etc.).

While this all sounds great, you’re probably convinced that all of this messaging back and forth requires some serious manpower to control. Which may be the case, but with the continued maturation of automated ‘chatbot’ technology, we are able to now automate a lot of the communication process. For instance, chatbot company FlowXO supplies the flexibility of fabricating robust bot sequences for Messenger to cope with ‘initial’ interactions, that may then be replaced with a human presence once some type of commercial intent becomes apparent. This enables the advertiser to scale their top-of-the-funnel activity, whilst ensuring maximum control and relevancy once a user journey reaches a far more advanced phase.

So to recap, that can be done three what to make sure you are leveraging Facebook Messenger being an advertising platform.

  • Integrate your other marketing activity, like email, with Facebook Messenger to organically build your ‘list’ and maximise reach within the Messenger app.
  • Supplement your organic reach with paid activity, via Messenger Destination Ads. Utilize the relative uniqueness of the ad format to operate a vehicle first-time interactions in an innovative, ‘non-salesy’ way.
  • Once users have engaged with you via Messenger, use Sponsored Messages to activate with your market. Take care not to spam, and use automated bot software to scale mid-funnel presence. You’d desire to make sure that your human conversations are increasingly being leveraged when commercial intent is indicated.

Communication apps were always likely to function as next frontier for advertisers, and not simply because of the exponential growth during the last year or two. It is in the end, how many of us talk to friends, on the one-to-one or group basis. Now as marketers, we are able to either adjust to this emerging medium, or be left out.

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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