by Matylda Chmielewska on 19 Jul, 2018 ~7 minutes read

It’s not easy to choose the most effective platform to reach your audience. You’ve probably noticed some dropdown of your emails’ open rate. And maybe the number of the interactions with your videos went down?

It’s natural - some channels may feel outdated and overused, so you’re looking for the newer ones, which will not only connect with your users faster, but also allow you to do it on a personal level. This is where Facebook Messenger ads come in.

In this post you’ll learn about types of ads you can share in Messenger and which ones are the best when it comes to driving attention and engaging users.

Let’s dive in.

Why should you try out Facebook Messenger ads

We’re all getting more and more busy these days, and there are no signs that the world will be slowing down anytime soon. I’m not sure how about you, but I’m exposed at least a few dozens of marketing messages (including emails, popups, banners) every day. With all things I’m juggling as a content marketer, I just can’t keep up and engage with all of them, even if I’m interested in trying the offer out. I bet I’m not the only one.

With all of this in mind, it’s hard not to think that all of your marketing efforts may go to waste and connecting with your audience is no longer possible.

It’s not true.

In fact, your reach and engagement can even increase if you’ll focus on one thing: personalizing your advertising messages. I dare to claim that Facebook Messenger is the most powerful platform for that at the moment.

It’s also the place where your audience hangs out. Here’s an overview of the research showing the growing usage of Messenger since April 2014:

facebook messenger users source

What’s interesting, the increasing number of Messenger users is just a part of the general trend. According to the research conducted by Business Insider Intelligence, 4 most popular messaging apps have already surpassed the usage of 4 most popular social networking apps:

messaging platforms usage source

As you can see, the decrease in usage of social networking apps is real, and marketers should look for other channels to not entirely replace, but complement their existing communication with users/customers.

What types of ads can you use in Messenger

Now, before I begin listing ideas and examples of successful Facebook Messenger marketing campaigns, let’s check the opportunities.

So, what advertising messages you can actually share in Messenger?

They fit into two categories:

  • Sponsored messages;
  • Click-to-Messenger ads.

Sponsored messages are ads that you can share with people who already contacted your business via Facebook Messenger before. They will be great for re-engagement and I will follow up with more on that (+ examples) below.

Ok, now on to Click-to-Messenger ads. With these, you can reach out to, i.e. your website visitors, allow them to access a Facebook Messenger chat, and ask any questions that they may have.

What’s important, Click-to-Messenger ads can be delivered via a chatbot you can create with platforms like BotEngine.io (you can read all about how to integrate it with Facebook Messenger in their documentation). You can skip to the section with campaign examples below to see how to include bots into your marketing strategy.

You can also check my guide on how to set up Messenger ads.

How to set up Facebook Messenger ads

If you’re used to creating regular Facebook ads in Ads Manager, this will be easy for you. If you’re a Facebook marketing newbie, you may want to check Kasia Perzynska’s post on why these ads may help you out if your organic reach is in decline.

Once you’ve logged in, create a new campaign and set up the right objective that will allow you to place your ads in Messenger.

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Have in mind that Messenger ads are currently only available with campaigns with specific objectives; hence they may not work depending on the goal of your marketing efforts.

As of July 2018, here’s a list of objectives that you can use for your click-to-Messenger campaigns:

  • Brand Awareness,
  • Traffic,
  • Messages,
  • Reach,
  • App Installs.

Remember that you can use Sponsored Messages exclusively with the Messages objective and that you’ll need to set these up first using the Facebook Marketing API.

As you may have noticed, these objectives can already help you explore directions for your Messenger ad campaigns.

Once the campaign details and the objective are filled in, start creating your Ad set and click on ‘Edit placement’ in the ‘Placement’ section:

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This will allow you to edit where your ads will be displayed. For Messenger ads, scroll down to ‘Messenger’ and you’ll be able to see which type of promotion you can use with a chosen objective:

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Don’t forget to format your creatives accordingly and preview them as Messenger ads to make sure they will actually encourage people to contact you or engage with your campaigns. Once these are ready, you’re all set!

Now, let me show you a few examples of successful Facebook Messenger campaigns.

How can you use Messenger ads in your campaigns (with examples)

This campaign from CNN is a great example of successfully employing sponsored messages. It uses sponsored messages to reconnect with people who contacted CNN previously using Messenger. In their case, messages included links to the articles they might be interested in.

null source

How can you engage your customers using sponsored messages on Messenger? Depending on your business area, you may offer them a discount on the product they’ve asked about or ordered before, or invite them to your industry-specific event.

The second example of effectively using click-to-Messenger ads on Facebook is this recruitment campaign created by the marketing agency, Ality, for a UK-based charity Anchor. They wanted to find a way to encourage more people to apply for the vacancies they’ve posted on their website, as well as help them identify the right position quicker.

What worked in their case was preparing a bot that asked potential candidates a few qualifying questions (including those about their previous work experience and location), and then offered them a role perfect for them. Once they were interested, it followed up asking them for their contact details which were then used by Anchor team members to call the candidates and invite them for job interviews. You can read their full story here.

This method can not only be used in your job searches, but also help you speed up your lead generation process: a bot may as well ask a few questions about a potential customer needs and refer them to the right person straight away, without the need to contact the middlepersons first. This is just one idea, I’m sure that the are at least a few more techniques that you could leverage combing a bot with Facebook Messenger ads.

What’s next for Messenger marketing

You may remember Facebook’s M, a virtual assistant which was launched back in 2014. Although the product was officially scrapped in February 2018, Facebook seems to be still using learnings from its development process in Messenger, especially looking at their recent API changes which allow chat developers to further integrate their product with Facebook’s messaging platform, and the possibility to include Messenger on e-commerce websites.

Once again, the growing interest in employing Messenger ads is a part of another current trend related with an overall spike in the number of bot used in marketing, customers support, and sales.

With the increasing need to advance speed and personalize customer experience in general, I’d assume that this trend is not going anywhere for the next few years. In fact, what’s interesting about that is the usage of bots we see in the past few months. Instead of making them more and more distant from human-to-human experience - they’ve become more relatable and personal.

They’re increasingly more helpful as well, with bots being able to handle menial tasks giving people the opportunity to focus on more important things and balance their work-life ratio. Bots are also used in initial scans for patients with mental health problems that could help the doctors treat them quicker and more efficiently. If you’re interested in reading more about the future of chatbots, I highly recommend this guide from Hubspot.

What we - as marketers - can learn from the direction that chatbots development has taken in the recent years? It may be time to re-think our marketing strategies and see if we’re really bringing value to our customers/users.

Over to you

What are your thoughts of using Facebook Messenger ads in marketing campaigns? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

About the author:

Matylda Chmielewska

I’m a content marketer with a passion for ‘doing things that don’t scale’ and a life-long learner. When I’m not writing new posts or researching more topics, I’m probably either running or listening to podcasts (or doing both of these things at once).

Are you interested in discussing any subjects I’ve written about in more detail? Would you like to be featured on LiveChat Partners blog as a guest contributor? Let’s connect via email or on Twitter.

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