Private-messaging apps are coming at us fast. Everyone’s heard about Facebook’s massive acquisition of WhatsApp and recent development of a Snapchat lookalike under the name Slingshot. Yahoo has also made noise in the messaging app world with its acquisition of private messaging app Blink. And then there are new apps like Blink, Chadder, Confide, and Wickr that are radically changing digital communication and forcing brands to experiment with how to best use private messaging for their marketing campaigns.
What’s the best way to market when your tool is a disappearing message?
The New Orleans Saints was one of the first brands to adopt a Snapchat marketing strategy last year, providing behind-the-scenes looks at the team off the field. The NFL team also used Snapchat to send sneak peeks of uniforms, photos of new merchandise, and clips of players joking around. This intimate interaction and playful communication with fans helped maintain loyalty for the brand, even during the off-season.
If your brand is thinking about stepping into the private messaging marketing game, here are a few things to consider:
Private messages are short-lived, so get your message across quickly. Users want to receive their information fast, in an easy-to-digest format, and then move on. Brands need to deliver compelling messages with just a few words.
As branded private messages run a higher risk of feeling one-way and impersonal, this will challenge the creativity and effectiveness of the messages that marketers are creating. So what can you do? Focus on creating messages that are meant to be understood within seconds and don’t feel spammy. This is one of the biggest challenges for successful private messaging campaigns, however, it also allows brands to focus on getting one idea across at a time.
Creating shorter messages and focusing on one key point at a time lets you share announcements, flash sales, contests, or promo codes to fans quickly and redirect interested users to that specific content; whether it’s redirecting them to a website, app, or social pages.
You’ll need a different approach for communicating with different age groups. The majority of private messaging app users are much younger than the general population using standard text messaging, so you’ll need a different communication approach to effectively engage this group. Even within this group of messaging app users, there is a lot of age diversity, so brands will need to segment communication between the differing age groups.
The average user of private messaging apps is 18-24 years old and sends/receives an average of 110 texts per day, or more than 3,200 messages per month. Messaging app users aged 25-34 years old are averaging 1,200 texts per day, according to Pew Research Center. Private messaging allows marketers to reach a highly targeted, niche group of consumers, so fitting your communication with each of these audiences appropriately will increase your chances of running a successful private messaging app campaign.
Private messaging app marketing still needs to be just one part of your mobile marketing strategy. Forming a mobile marketing strategy is no longer an option if your brand does not want to fall behind. Private messaging could be an extremely beneficial addition to many. However, it’s still important to figure out which mobile marketing tools work best for your brand and its communication. Having a multichannel mobile marketing strategy that includes private messaging apps in addition to a mobile-friendly website and strong social media campaign will help your brand reach your target audience wherever they are interacting most.
In the words of Nikhil Sethi, CEO of Adaptly, “As the landscape for ‘social’ experiences continues to fragment, brands need to understand and develop more scalable ways to leverage the myriad of opportunities they’ll be presented with … the ability to adapt quickly will be key.”
Is your brand incorporating messaging app marketing into your mobile strategy yet? If so, share your thoughts with us in the comments.
Fernando Cuscuela is an experienced entrepreneur who likes nothing better than to start new businesses and make them profitable. Fernando has a background working for international companies including America Online, Cartoon Network and Grupo Infobae. He is the Founder and CEO of Everypost, a social media posting application. Follow him @everypost.