It’s pretty common these days to have one or two social messaging apps on one’s smartphone. After all, it’s the easiest way to communicate with your contacts from all over the world. Because of the strong and ever-growing consumer base that these social messaging apps currently enjoy, these apps are poised to become the next big thing in the digital marketing channel industry.
With billions of users worldwide, it is now becoming obvious that social interaction is alive and well (and even more so) in private groups through messaging apps rather than public channels like social media. We now see an opportunity to tap into a fast-growing sector that thrives on discovery and interaction – and marketers are now looking at how to mine such opportunities as well as overcome any challenges that are part and parcel of this new and exciting channel.
Because the very nature of messaging apps is anchored on privacy, knowing how to navigate these new waters can get a bit tricky for marketers. There’s the risk of users not responding well to traditional advertising models (by way of pop-ups, and without their permission at that) because it might infringe on their privacy. Nevertheless, talk about ads coming to social messaging apps is quite beneficial and this might be a reality that’s soon to come. Big brands are already dipping their toes in the water, testing it by way of inviting brand advocates to groups where private conversations are exchanged between them and the brand’s sponsored celebrity figures.
In the past, messaging was only sent through text. Today, however, you have the ability to also send images as well as videos, which pretty much created said opportunities for marketing in the ‘dark social’ platform. Suddenly, there are new and innovative ways to reach out the consumers by tapping brand sponsors to dialogue with them, offering up to the minute event coverage, and setting up a new and more personal way of handling customer service queries. Entertainment marketing is also experiencing good initial results, with as high a 10% conversion rate after broadcasting links to fresh videos and the latest content.
While smartphone apps offerings number in the millions, statistics show that the average user spends most of his time on just about three apps – including a social messaging app. Because users are not clocking in the time on other apps, bots have been thought of to solve this problem. Because a user has to interact with a bot to accomplish things (ex. Looking up and paying for movie tickets later at night, or booking a taxi), it can be used within the social messaging app context provided the experience is a smooth one and doesn’t require the user to leave the app.
Bots in messaging apps are designed to make life a whole lot easier for users, which is why more and more brands are looking into introducing these. Instead of having to go through the whole kit and caboodle of e-commerce, you can simply do all the transactions – from filling up your cart and paying for your transactions – right within the messenger app without the need to re-authenticate yourself multiple times. To put it simply, bots in social messaging apps will make the brand experience more positive and transform customer service interactions for the better and with much personalization. All these benefits of social messaging apps spell good news for marketers because at the core of social media one-on-one connections are what it really is about. What a coincidence too, that marketing aims to achieve exactly the same.
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