Content marketers, it’s time to start a conversation about Facebook Messenger Ads.
If you’re not using Facebook Messenger for lead acquisition and newsletter sign-ups, you’re seriously missing out.
Facebook Messenger boasts over one billion monthly active users, a number that’s been steadily on the rise since 2014. Plus, Facebook Messenger ads are actually less expensive than ads that send users to other web destinations, according to Digital Marketer.
In fact, private messaging as a whole seems to be overtaking public forums for online communication, with chat apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, and QQ Mobile logging millions of active users per month.
Facebook Messenger Ads reduce friction for your customers providing brands with a personalized 1:1 communication outlet to deliver your content such as blogs, guides, newsletters and other important announcements to your subscription base that has opted in. You can think of Messenger Ads as an evolved version of email communication where early adopters are seeing significantly higher open and engagement rates.
So, how can you make the most of Facebook Messenger Ads when it comes to lead acquisition? Here are five ways to get more leads to your content with Facebook Messenger ads.
#1: Use Destination Ads for cold audiences.
There are two main types of Facebook Messenger Ads: Destination Ads and Sponsored Ads. You’ll be able to choose the type you want when you create a campaign in Power Editor or Facebook Ads Manager.
Destination ads show up in the news feeds of your target audience. When they click the call-to-action button, it opens a conversation with your brand in Messenger. There, the user will see a message following up on the promise you made in the ad.
For example, if the ad touts a free online event, the message within Facebook Messenger might say, “Save your spot at the online event using the link here.”
Destination ads are best used to open a channel of conversation with cold audiences. Once your leads have opened a conversation with you in Messenger (even if they haven’t typed any text of their own), you’ll be able to communicate with them directly going forward. This is also a great way to drive subscriptions to your blog or communicate an exciting announcement to your most loyal customers.
#2: Commit to one measurable goal for each of your Messenger Ad campaigns
With all of the marketing capabilities of the Facebook Messenger app, it’s natural to want to experiment with different things. However, you’ll get the most out of your time and campaign budget if you focus on one goal for each of your campaigns. Here are a few examples of lead generation campaign goals that work really well with Facebook Messenger:
- Awareness or engagement. Create a Facebook ad (select the “Messages” ad type, to drive traffic straight to Messenger) that features a top-funnel offer. This could be a downloadable content resource, or an app or game download, for example. Use the ad to drive traffic into Messenger where your lead can get access to the content they want. Measure the success of these initiatives by looking at the open rates and click-through rates of your messages.
- Acquire new subscriptions to engage on Messenger. This goal depends on how extensive your Facebook Messenger contacts list is to begin with. If you don’t have many direct contacts on messenger yet, this is probably the best goal to start with to grow your following.
- Retargeting. If you have a solid list of Messenger contacts, it my be time to warm up those leads by sending Sponsored Messages direct to their inbox.
- Booking an initial call or free consultation. Because Facebook Messenger cuts out the “middleman” that’s usually required to book appointments online, it’s a great platform for booking introduction calls or first-time meetings with new prospects. Offer a free consultation or appointment in your original ad to get leads clicking through to Messenger and booking with you.
- Driving traffic to a landing page or website. Although Facebook Messenger ads can act as mini-landing pages of their own (and according to user experience best practices, the fewer the clicks required to achieve something, the better) sometimes you may need to drive traffic to an external page. If that’s the case, provide the desired link directly within Messenger.
#3: Personalize your communication whenever possible.
As you know, content marketing is exceptionally powerful when it’s tailored to a specific audience. There are several ways to personalize your Facebook messenger ads — both manually and automatically. Here are some tips for customizing your content:
- Craft your sponsored message flow in advance. Even if you’re going to be manually replying to your leads, it’s wise to create a conversation flow that guides your prospects toward the desired action. Create a flowchart using a free tool like draw.io or Xmind, where you can visualize the possible directions that a conversation with a lead might go.
- Use customer information cards and saved replies. Facebook has built-in features that make communicating with your prospects simpler and more effective. Customer information cards are resources that show your prospect’s location and other key demographic information. Saved replies are handy for responding to frequently-asked questions, like those regarding pricing and packaging — and they’re useful for providing long-term customer service once you’ve converted those leads into brand loyalists.
- Integrate a chatbot. There are tons of chatbots on the market that integrate with Facebook Messenger. A chatbot can serve as a fantastic lead generation tool when it’s programmed to ask qualifying questions, so consult with your sales team to set up a chatbot flow that mimics a typical sales conversation.
- Use the right call to action. Different personas require different calls to action, so make sure your conversation flow ends with a clear action statement.
#4: Retarget cold leads with Sponsored Messages
One of the challenges of using Facebook Messenger for lead acquisition is that you can’t direct message strangers. In other words, you can only send direct messages to people who have interacted with your business on Messenger already and opted in.
If a prospect has opened a direct message with you (through a Destination Ad, for example), you’re now free to run Sponsored Messages directly in their inbox. The open rates for these ads tend to be incredibly high, but be careful not to bombard your prospects with messages. Nobody likes a spammer!
Facebook Sponsored Message Ads are ideal for retargeting prospects who are already brand-aware, but who haven’t taken your desired action yet. Here are some content ideas for these prospects:
- Send a simple multiple-choice question, asking which of the answers best represents their biggest pain point.
- Provide a “learn more” link that guides them to your website or blog.
- Prompt the user to ask your chatbot a question about your brand. Give them two or three options. For example, “To learn about our products, type ‘products.’ To see our pricing, type ‘pricing.’”
#5: Be more like a friend than a brand.
Nothing will turn off your potential customers faster than jumping into a Facebook message conversation with a sales pitch. Instead of leading with an offer, lead with value. Embed a helpful or entertaining video, introduce yourself (or your brand) and finish with an open-ended question. Use rich media like images, GIFs, stickers, videos, and emojis to capture attention.
When integrating rich media, keep it consistent with your brand voice — but don’t be afraid to be a little more casual than you might be in more public forums. The more you mirror the conversation style of the platform you’re in, the better. Explore all of Facebook Messenger’s capabilities, too. You can set up surveys, polls, external links, and more all within the platform.
Messaging is intimate, and as it turns out, internet users appreciate the privacy and immediacy of communicating with brands in Facebook Messenger about as much as they enjoy chatting with friends. Conventional advertising on social networks won’t be going anywhere for a long time, but if you want to be ahead of the curve on the next biggest thing and supercharge performance of your lead acquisition initiatives, Facebook Messenger Ads is the way to go.