Last year, Facebook released several updates to Messenger, all of which serve to create a seamless cross-platform advertising experience between Facebook and Facebook Messenger. These new features offer an exceptionally exciting opportunity to leverage the targeting capabilities of Facebook combined with the personalized experience of Messenger—transforming part, or even all, of the funnel into something far more personal and consumer-driven.
Stay with me as I explain these new features and expound the major ways in which our clients – despite their vast range of business objectives – can benefit from these advances.
Details of The New Features
The new Facebook Messenger features center around Messenger as a Destination for News Feed Ads, which enable advertisers to serve ads on Facebook News Feed that drive users to Facebook Messenger, instead of linking to another website. They look identical to traditional image ads, the only difference is that they feature a call-to-action that either incorporates the Messenger icon or reads, “Send Message.”
Clicks on these ads directly open up a Messenger thread with the brand, which can include a configurable structured message with additional information relevant to the ad, a link to an external website, or – most noteworthy – the message can continue further with a bot.
The other new features simply function to support this ad format and include:
Sponsored Messages are highly targeted, in-context ads that further allow advertisers to re-engage with any user that has previously initiated a conversation with their business. Essentially, if your brand has a Messenger thread open with a user, you can pay to reach back out to them.
Once sponsored ads are sent, they appear at the top of a user’s Messenger inbox and the user receives a notification that they have a new message.
Users can then click into the conversation thread, which can again include a configurable structured message or a conversation with a bot.
Enhanced Mobile Websites in Messenger
Enhanced mobile websites in Messenger allows for users – once directed to Messenger from a News Feed ad - to seamlessly interact with a business’ website within the platform. Websites within Messenger can be customized by height to create richer interactions in threads without losing the context of the conversation.
Messages with Payments
Messages with Payments allows businesses to actually sell products and services within Messenger itself—essentially transforming Facebook Messenger into an e-commerce platform. US businesses can apply for payment via Messenger and if accepted, payment options can be incorporated into the structured message or chatbot thread itself, allowing customers to purchase without ever leaving the app.
All of these features provide a unique opportunity to leverage the consummate utility of BOTH data and one-to-one messaging—and we think our clients can benefit significantly.
How Can Our Clients Benefit from This?
We strongly believe that success within the highly competitive and dynamic industry of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, requires staying up-to-date and being the first to test new features and PPC platforms for our clients. Hence, we’re thrilled to take advantage of these new features.
Here are the key areas in which we strongly believe our clients can benefit from these new features:
1) Another Channel to Leverage
Multichannel advertising is important for the simple reason that your business should be where your customers are—and they’re everywhere. As of mid-2016, Facebook Messenger reached 1 billion active users worldwide! The question is, why shouldn’t you take advantage of this new channel?
2) Highly Targeted, In-Context Dialogue with Customer
Chatbots offer a service that more closely resembles the one-on-one assistance a customer would receive from a salesperson in a physical store. This is an opportunity to leverage data to create this type of dialogue and relations with customers. These conversations can be generated at any and every stage of the funnel—with the added benefit of having a warm, engaged, and receptive audience on the receiving end.
3) Behind the Scene Remarketing, Upselling, and Cross-Selling
Once a user initiates a conversation with a brand, chatbots can offer promotional materials and recommend new products relevant to the customer's interest. Hence, these new features offer our clients a unique avenue for behind the scene remarketing, up-selling, and even cross-selling.
Consider the short comings of the current advertising model, whereby a user clicks on a product ad, decides not to purchase the product, at which point remarketing ads follow them everywhere. Messenger provides the opportunity for users to actually opt-in and communicate with a brand—providing the user with an experience they’re choosing to participate in. More comfortable for the user, more beneficial for the brand.
4) Real-Time Content Distribution
Chatbots offer the opportunity to effectively deliver instantaneous content (whether it be a response or re-engagement).
The fact that sponsored ads appear at the top of a user’s Messenger inbox and the user receives a notification akin to any other message, makes them far more likely to be noticed than a post on social media or an email.
We find this feature to have similar benefits as the Facebook live video feature, insofar as it’s an effective way to deliver real-time content and followers receive notification. However, the Messenger feature clearly surpasses the live video feature in terms of versatility.
5) Messenger as an E-Commerce Platform
It’s quite simple… the easier we make if for your customers to purchase, the more likely they are to convert. Not only can a bot make recommendations for specific products that match the user’s interests but it can also provide the option for users to purchase right then and there.
Previously, if a user decided to purchase an item, they would click a CTA and be redirected to a 3rd party website in order to complete the transaction. With this new feature, users can get everything they need – including the ability to purchase – without ever leaving the app.
All-in-all, these new features represent a larger trend in which businesses are working to create personalized brand experiences with customers.
We’ve all witnessed various aspects of Facebook ads develop into something more interactive and personalized over time (i.e. dynamic product ads, retargeting features, canvas ads, etcetera). These new features are on the same trajectory and serve as the highest level of personalization we’ve seen yet—and we simply can’t wait to get our clients onboard.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or need some extra advice, feel free to contact us!