The rise of messaging
Messaging is the growth digital channel. WhatsApp has more than two billion users. In fact, more than one hundred billion WhatsApp messages were set on New Year’s Eve in 2019. Slack, Guild and other vertical messaging apps are carving their own place in the MarTech/CommsTech space too.
But this isn’t just a space for consumers and B2C marketers. There are increasingly more opportunities for companies to integrate messaging into their communications mix. This amplifies the need for marketers to become more familiar with messaging and its capabilities.
At DigiConf 2020, Founder of Econsultancy and Guild, Ashley Friedlein, stepped up to explain how forward-thinking companies should plan their messaging strategy.
A new marketing destination
Now is definitely the time to get ahead with messaging, as Ashley explained “The reality with messaging at the moment, is like social media 12 years ago, it’s a bit of a mess in terms of marketers and organisations. It’s this new exploding thing where nobody quite knows what good looks like.”
But what everyone does know, is that messaging is the platform that’s “eating” into both email and social usage.
Ashley described the rise of messaging as a “new destination for marketers”. With 68% of consumers preferring this way of communicating with businesses, it’s not a flight you can afford to miss.
The impact of COVID
COVID-19 has made messaging an even more powerful and desirable tool. Ashley explained how the pandemic has been “rocket-fuel to messaging”, which has seen the likes of WhatsApp usage “grow by 40%”. Business-focused messaging apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams have also seen similar growth.
Ashley said: “When we think about the future of work, messaging is going to be a bigger thing.”
It’s evident that professionals are now going to group chats to obtain valuable and meaningful conversations. Ashley explained: “What we’re starting to see now is that social media will continue to exist and it’s still important for marketing, reach and awareness; but they’re not really so much the places anymore where you get that intimate engagement, the closer bonds and relationships – that are now moving into messaging groups.”
How marketers can utilise messaging
With this value in mind, how can marketers use messaging? Using the marketing/sales funnel, Ashley answered this all-important question:
- Awareness – advertising in messaging apps; in relevant messaging groups; and getting engagements and likes.
- Interest/Consideration – prospects join a messaging group you run, or connect/direct message you in another group/app.
- Desire – Prospects/customers engage with you via messaging, express explicit interest, or pain points and needs, in their conversations.
- Action/Conversion – Prospects/customers buy, click/tap, register, download, subscribe, renew and upgrade.
- Loyalty – Customers renew, repeat buy, advocate your brand and introduce others to your brand via messaging.