The modern smartphone has radically changed how people communicate, extending its tendrils into almost every facet of everyday life. Instant messaging apps have not only supplanted SMS exchanges (for the most part), but also been widely embraced for personal and professional purposes alike:  instant messaging is fast, convenient, cheap, and simple.

Of course, these apps aren’t only valuable for interpersonal communication — they’re also hugely interesting to marketers. Every exchange constitutes a promotional opportunity of some kind, with the exact nature depending on the people and the circumstances. Let’s run through 7 ways in which messenger apps are changing the fabric of digital marketing:

They’re Reaching Fresh Audiences

Marketers have always loved finding opportunities to reach untapped markets, but that’s become much harder since the internet started to bring everyone together. Messenger apps (and messenger,bots), though, allow sellers to do something fresh: blur the line between personal and professional to reach those who tend to avoid the latter.

Direct mail is often personal, but it’s been used for business since the beginning — that letter in the mail could be from a friend, though it’s more likely to be from a bank. Email is much newer (obviously), but that also shot out of the gate as a business tool. Instant messaging is different. It entered our lives as a method of maintaining carefully-curated conversations — keeping up with your friends and family members in a space free of restrictions or business consequences.

What this means (now that marketers are finding ways to use it for promotion) is that people who prefer to keep very private and maintain conversations very selectively can now be reached — if you choose your approach very delicately, that is. It’s a new frontier to be explored.

They’re Achieving Greater Engagement

The average internet user has a certain amount of skepticism about the marketing materials they’re bombarded with. Every site they visit has banner ads, pop-ups, and native advertising with affiliate links everywhere. Every video they watch has ads playing at regular intervals, and sponsor messages bracketing the actual content. It’s no surprise that they become inured to it.

Think of all the emails you receive in the average week, and how many of those emails are promotional in nature. When you see such an email pop up, how likely are you to actually click on it and read it? If you’re like most people, then not very. We’re totally used to breezing straight past most of what we see online.

Messenger conversations, though, still have our engagement. Because they’re curated spaces (we delete any conversations we don’t want, and block people who annoy us), they don’t make us feel pressured — and when you receive a new message, there’s an excellent chance that you’ll pay attention to it. For a marketer, that’s a dream scenario.

They’re Presenting New Conversion Points

To own a smartphone with an always-on data connection is to know the pull of retail temptation. You don’t have to buy at a store, during working hours, or even while on your feet — mobile payment systems allow you to grab your phone at 2am and place an order while you’re in bed. Messenger apps expand upon this by allowing people to buy from inside their conversations with store bots (or workers).

The forward-thinking seller can spread their products far and wide. Shopify, for instance, has expanded the appeal of its online retail service through the addition of native support for numerous sales channels, including Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest, Messenger, and Instagram. Offer your products on five more channels, and your chances will inevitably increase.

Indeed, when you’re pushing your product range to a whole host of new potential buyers, and making it extremely simple for them to indulge in some retail therapy, you’re clearly going to see a significant impact on your revenue generation.

They’re helping with granular targeting

When you’re running a marketing campaign, you may want to be extremely specific with the people you’re trying to reach. That can be complicated through older means such as email marketing (which requires you to steadily build up an email database over time, and still typically leaves you with limited information), but messenger marketing is different.

Since messenger apps are typically built on mobile ecosystems and attached to social media platforms, they’re intrinsically connected to massive collections of valuable personal data, allowing marketers to get extremely specific about the distribution of their messages. The more granular you make your targeting, the more impactful it can be, and the more strongly you can personalize the content (as we’ll see next).

They’re Enabling Richer Personalization

Personalization is a core part of modern digital marketing. We’re all exposed to so much content on a daily basis — and so many retail opportunities — that everything starts to blur together, and we want to be given a reason to pay close attention to something. When marketing content is tailored towards your specific needs, that presents such a reason.

Using the rich data we just discussed using for targeting, marketers can provide extensive personalization. Someone engaging with a store bot through Facebook Messenger, for instance, can issue a query without providing any details and have the bot provide a suitable answer (having inferred various things about their identity from their Facebook account). This creates a satisfying and rewarding user experience that helps build customer loyalty.

They’re Bolstering Local Marketing

Local marketing is one of the key concerns for smaller businesses looking to compete with larger brands, because it once again allows physical location to play a significant role in someone making a purchasing decision. And messenger apps are great for local marketing for one vital reason: your phone regularly updates your location, making it possible for marketers to use geotargeted messages to reach you at the most useful times.

What’s more, those messages can be enhanced using personal data. Imagine that you’re walking down a particular street and see a Facebook message appear to let you know that there’s a highly-rated barber just a mile away that’s currently offering 30% off any haircut. As it happens, personal grooming is something you’ve expressed interest in through your Facebook activity, so that offer stands out to you.

They’re Supporting Creative Content

Almost every marketing platform has major restrictions. Twitter has its character limit, Facebook has limitations on the type of content you can create, and while emails are entirely open, you’ll be lucky to get just one opened — so good luck rolling out a narrative-based series. Since creativity is important for marketing, that’s far from ideal.

Sending content through a messenger app, though, gives you a lot of freedom. You can use text, images, emojis, videos, whatever you think is worthwhile. If you have a large video file that you want to share quickly and efficiently, you can also make use of a video compressor to reduce its size before sending it through the app. You can send one message, or send five in a row. You can even use interactive storytelling: that way, you can really capture someone’s attention, and promote something in a more compelling way than you could ever manage with a more traditional form of marketing.

Bring all of these factors together (the engagement, the personalization, the creative freedom) and you have a fantastic recipe for creating powerful digital marketing content. If you’ve yet to consider working messenger outreach into your digital marketing strategy, now’s the time to get started — and if you create your own mobile app, you can include a chat channel to create a comprehensive mobile platform.

Of course, these apps aren’t only valuable for interpersonal communication — they’re also hugely interesting to marketers. Every exchange constitutes a promotional opportunity of some kind, with the exact nature depending on the people and the circumstances. Let’s run through 7 ways in which messenger apps are changing the fabric of digital marketing:

Simpalm is expert messenger app developer in the USA. We have developed several messengers mobile apps in the last 10 years. If you have any idea in mind or need a mobile app on iOS or Android platform. You can frankly contact Simpalm to get a free consultation.

    Join 30,000 + other readers

    To receive blog posts and new App and Web Tips.

    Piyush Jain

    Piyush Jain is the CEO and Founder of Simpalm. He leads the business and engineering team to build the mobile and web product solution for clients. He loves to write thought leadership articles on IoT, Mobile, Blockchain, BigData, Web and other software technologies.