This week Facebook has announced it is opening up the Messenger app for all advertisers to be able to send sponsored messages.
In April Facebook began testing the monetisation strategy with a few select advertisers as they were concerned about potential abuse. Facebook VP of product for Messenger David Marcus told TechCrunch “These will definitely be limited…we’re very paranoid about that and we don’t want bad things to happen to anyone”
The sponsored messages work by directing users from a News Feed ad to a Messenger conversation with the advertiser. Advertisers can also use sponsored messages to re-engage with users who they have interacted with previously via Messenger. Those users can be invited to a Messenger chat with a brand chatbot.
Users will have the ability to block advertisers that send them irrelevant, spammy or unwanted messages and advertisers will also only be able to send sponsored messages to users they have had some sort of interaction with.
For this roll out any concerns at Facebook about having the appropriate controls in place must have been satisfied already.
Why should you care?
With users feeds projected to hit saturation point with advertising in 2017 it is no surprise that these avenues are going to be opened up to keep momentum in revenue growth for Facebook.
The reality is most businesses that advertise on Facebook are small to medium-sized businesses with little technical knowledge or support. The process to set the sponsored messages up is not exactly simple yet. Until Facebook simplifies the process down to a few simple clicks most businesses that handle their social media marketing in-house with staff that are not developers it may just be in the too hard basket.
You should, however, “watch this space” as the possibility to drive consumer interaction and engagement into a 1-1 personal experience could have huge impacts on conversion rates if done well. This certainly is big news as to keep revenue growth momentum, they will need to invest heavily in development and support of this feature, so expect rapid improvements.
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Glenn is a Partner and Senior Consultant who has had a very successful career building growth companies in the private equity arena. He has a wealth of experience in both the digital space and strategy development. Prior to becoming a partner in SureFire Glenn built one of the largest digital teams in New Zealand for a NASDAQ listed global online marketing company & Google's largest premium partner.