Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a long post on the future of private messaging entitled “A privacy-focused vision for social networking,” where he states that private messaging will soon outperform open platforms: “As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I expect future versions of Messenger and WhatsApp to become the main ways people communicate on the Facebook network.”
As early as 2014 Zuckerberg had more than just an inkling that private messaging was a big thing – he invested $19 Million to buy WhatsApp (now 1.5 billion users strong). In July of 2017, Facebook announced that Messenger Ads were “going global”. After rolling out beta tests in Australia and Thailand, Zuckerberg was sure Facebook had a big thing and made Messenger Ads available internationally.
The logic behind Messenger ads – “be where your customers are” is especially true when you know that you can tap into over 1.3 billion active Facebook Messenger users in an instant message based conversation. Messenger Ads are way more personal than viewing a display ad and have a higher engagement rate, because users are much more apt to respond to a personalized message that pops up on their phone than a passive ad. Furthermore the cost per message conversion is much lower than regular CPC. Neil Pattel says “Facebook Messenger bots are one of the most powerful new methods in digital marketing…Right now, we’re in the phase of Facebook Messenger marketing where customers are not yet experiencing things like “banner blindness” (web ads) or “email fatigue” (email marketing). When you send a prospect a Facebook message, they’re far more likely to view and click through than they would with an email marketing message.
If there was a downside to messenger ads, it would have been the expense incurred by sales teams needing to respond to messages 24/7 – but along came Chatbots.
Facebook Messenger Chatbots “take over” the messaging for your product’s Facebook page at all hours of the day, instantly. and can do so much more than answer customer service questions. According to Zapier Chatbots can “help you segment your audience, collect and nurture leads, or even sell products directly.” Any of your current followers or users who have engaged with your business page at some point are now part of your subscriber list on Facebook.
What does this mean for digital lead generation?
Prospects can be targeted via Messenger and into your marketing funnel with a number of relevant lead magnets including white papers and case studies or more aggressive call to actions like free demos or free consultations. According to Pattel you can:
There are some excellent Chatbots out there, each with their own unique selling points. Here are a few to check out:
ManyChat “Visual bot builder for Facebook Messenger with broadcasts, analytics and scheduled posting”
Landbot.io “Transform websites into conversational experiences”
Chatfuel ”The world’s leading chatbot platform for Facebook Messenger”
Botsify “Let’s your bot chat like a human”
MobileMonkey “Facebook’s official Facebook Messenger Marketing Platform”
We might be going out on a limb here, but we’d be quite surprised if the digital marketing industry is still utilizing old-fashioned contact forms in five years from now. Messaging apps and Chatbots are far more user-friendly and personalized, and are clearly the way of the future.