One of the main concepts behind successful inbound marketing is to broadcast to and engage with as many people as possible who might be interested in what you have to offer. It’s the old saying of ‘fishing where the fish are’, meaning to have a presence on the platforms where the right consumers are spending time, looking for useful information to address their needs, and find solutions to their challenges. And where is that? Facebook Messenger.
We have all bowed at the altar of social media platforms, recognising the need to promote our blog and website content in front of the eyes of consumers, but trends are ever-changing these days, and today, smart marketers are looking beyond social media platforms to the messaging apps that accompany them.
According to a study by BI Intelligence, more people are using the Big Four of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Viber than the top four social media platforms of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
One in particular, Facebook Messenger, has the potential to transform your inbound marketing strategy, to help you push out content to an even wider audience, and to engage with the right consumers at the right time, in the right way – the very essence of inbound marketing.
As this blog from bufferapp.com is eager to point out, there are now more than 1.3billion people worldwide using Facebook Messenger every single month. That’s a lot of people, a lot of eyes, a lot of potential customers or clients, so if you are not on it, you really are missing out.
Why is this? Well might you ask. The answer is that those darned consumers are changing their online behaviour once more, and no longer want to receive generalised, one-size-fits-all messaging. They want to feel like your messaging is directly aimed at them, and only them, in a one-to-one, rather than a one-to-many fashion.
It’s really just the next logical step in the move towards personalisation in content creation to create a sense of real engagement and to improve the online consumer experience. Don’t you want your potential consumers to look this happy when they see a message from you?
We can’t blame them, but in today’s world of information overload, consumers now no longer want to engage via the (now) traditional format of email, and instead much prefer using messaging or chat functions to receive and discuss information. Don’t get me wrong, email is still a very effective means of lead generation and conversion, but there are now other ways to achieve these goals.
The stats bear this out, with Facebook IQ having found in a survey by Nielsen’s that:
- 63% of respondents said that their messaging with businesses has increased over the past two years
- 56% would rather message than call a business for customer service
- 61% like personalised messages from businesses
- 53% are more likely to shop with a business they can message
- Messaging ranked second out of nine possible modes of communication with businesses
So, what can you do with Facebook Messenger to enhance your inbound marketing strategy?
Use it to deliver the right content to the right people
Sending out an email to potential customers that requires their filling in a form is hit and miss. Looking at the bigger picture, a 1% open and click-through rate may seem ok, but you can improve this immensely by cutting out the form-filling steps to offer gated content and enabling leads to access the content straight away through Facebook Messenger.
ChatBot tools are becoming more and more common now, meaning there are many options out there that will allow you to create and use them for free (within limits), and without you having to know coding.
Not only can you send content directly to people you feel might find it of interest, but you can also bring them into further content on your website by suggesting related topics. Your ChatBot will recognise the topics that can add further value, and provide the links to them, so that leads come to you, rather than you having to go to them. That’s inbound marketing, folks!
Use it to generate qualified leads
The relative novelty of Facebook Messenger means you are likely to see more engagement through this platform than you would through those other platforms that people have begun to get tired of. A good automated ChatBot can recognise when a lead has clicked on sponsored copy or a targeted ad, and can engage with that lead in a natural conversation that asks them a few questions that qualifies them further.
Use it to re-engage with leads
Everybody sees some leads lost to the ether. Perhaps they browsed your pricing pages and never returned, or simply weren’t ready to go further along the buyer journey yet. However, if you use Facebook ads, you can get them back onto the conversion path with tailored re-engagement.
Click-to-Messenger ads provide the means by which you can direct people who have clicked your ad in their News Feed to a Messenger conversation with you, so you can ask if they have any questions or need help with anything in particular regarding your services.
Sponsored messages, meanwhile allows you to initiate a conversation with anybody who messaged you in the past, so you can say hi and send them on some content you think will be relevant to where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Use it to get personal
As mentioned, personalisation and a one-to-one effect is what seems to work these days, but how can you make sure that you get noticed and can start a conversation with the lead you really want to talk to? Facebook’s News Feed is like a crowded party full of people vying for the attention of the most attractive person in the room, so what can you do to stand above the others?
Messenger ads gives you a helping hand. If a lead sees your ad in the home tab of their Messenger app, they can click on it and be brought directly to you – either your website or to a conversation where you can speak to them away from the huddles masses, as if you were right in front of them, like this:
Of course, there is more to being successful using Facebook Messenger than just signing up and letting fly. You need to set things up so that you have everything you need in place to automate chats and direct people to you, so take a look at this blog from hootsuite to see what you need to do first.
Once you know how to do all of this, it’s time to get started on a new approach to tailored engagement with your potential customers. But remember, if you do use a ChatBot for lead engagement, remember the following:
- Your ChatBot is part of your inbound marketing strategy, so just as your inbound content shouldn’t put the emphasis on the hard sell, your automated messages should simply drive traffic to your website
- You want to bring people to your content, so ensure that when they get there, your site is mobile-responsive
- Inform customers how and where to contact you if they need additional help or want to talk in person. Remember, we are still sentient people, after all, and a ChatBot will not close the deal with any lead
- Include browsing menus if possible to make it easier for leads to find content they will find relevant
Keep all of these things in mind and you may find that your lead generation and conversion rate goes through the roof.
In the meantime, find out how you can create a successful lead generation strategy for your website by downloading our Lead Generation Survival Kit: