You may have read reports that Facebook is over for advertisers. The cost associated with getting your ads in front of the right people are always on the rise. Not to mention, Facebook users are becoming more cynical towards the newsfeed. Simply put, advertisers are having a hard time on Facebook at the moment.
Thankfully, there is a way forward for those who aren’t ready to give up on the world’s largest social network just yet. The smartest marketers are switching their attention to Facebook messenger advertising and being rewarded with a highly engaged audience offering immediate feedback. Here’s how to make this marketing avenue work for you…
What is Facebook messenger advertising?
Facebook messenger ads rely on a fairly new advertising option. You will have a few different options when setting up Facebook messenger ads.
- Destination ads
- Sponsored messages
- Story messenger ads
In the past, the call to action for most Facebook ads would send users to your Facebook page or perhaps your website. Now, you can direct users to interact with you directly on messenger.
How can this be used in a B2B context?
A lot of people get caught up in the idea that B2B marketing is fundamentally different to B2C marketing. This leads many to shy away from advertising B2B products and services on Facebook because they assume it isn’t the right platform for them.
It doesn’t matter if you are selling to other businesses or consumers, both are people. A person may be acting on behalf of a company or organisation, but they are still people. And people love to talk. This is why Facebook messenger advertising is so effective.
In the world of B2B, getting the conversation started is often the hardest step. Once the conversation is flowing, you can qualify leads with an automated process and then pass the hot leads on to your sales team.
But wait, won’t I spend ages responding to everyone?
In this situation, automation is your friend. Using a chatbot builder like Many Chat, you can craft interactions that will draw out all of the information you need in the friendliest possible way. It’s like taking all of the effectiveness of email marketing and condensing it into short and sweet interactions.
If you’d prefer to take the personal approach, you can always set up a single autoresponder letting people know when they can expect a response. Whatever you do, try to avoid encouraging users to send you a message and then ignoring them for days – not the best start to a relationship!
How do I get started?
As with all marketing campaigns, we begin at the end. Before you lift a finger, you should first think about your end objective. What do you want to get out of a Facebook messenger campaign? Here are some common objectives…
- Send users an offer
- Get feedback on your product
- Encourage users to download a resource
- Pre-qualify leads
- Request permission to send messages in future
By using Facebook messenger bots, you can request permission to send users messages in the future, a bit like two-step authentication for email. Once you have permission, you have a direct line to their inboxes and a highly engaged audience.
If you aren’t sure what your objective is, don’t start a Facebook messenger campaign yet. You run this risk of annoying your current customers and prospects while you figure out the lay of the land.
What ad types are available?
Unlike LinkedIn’s sponsored mail option (which allows you to send a direct message to anyone you would like to target) Facebook does not allow you to slide into a user’s DMs without a prior relationship.
When creating a Messenger ad, you will have 2 options. Click to Messenger and Sponsored Message. The former allows you to run Facebook ads in all of the usual placements and the primary call to action will be to message the page.
The latter can only be used to send targeted messages to people who have an existing messenger conversation history with your page.
The secret third option
There is a third option which is a little more advanced but highly effective. First, you can run a Click to Messenger ad to build awareness and direct people to message your page.
Next, you craft a chatbot using a service like ManyChat to request permission to send users messages. The chatbot can also start the customer on a journey. Send them valuable content, gather more information, get feedback or just make them laugh.
The key here is to get permission to send messages directly to their Facebook account. Once you have this permission, you have a direct line to your customers and the start of a stellar customer relationship.
As with all marketing, you need to think about what the customer stands to gain from interacting with your company page. If it’s all one-sided, you’ll quickly be marked as a spammer and may see your page blocked. If you make sure you get permission, only send useful content and make it easy for users to unsubscribe you should be fine to continue building customer relationships in this way.
Will I still get normal messages to my page?
With ManyChat, you can set it up so that every message starts a new conversation in your dashboard. When you reply to a message manually, automation is paused for 30 minutes. This will prevent the bot from responding to keywords in their messages. It will also ensure that the user can continue their automation journey once you have answered their questions.