Messaging Apps – The Next Big Thing in Social Media Marketing

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Most smart phones users are familiar with messaging apps and at some point have used at least one, simply because it’s easy to communicate with people who use different devices and platforms. With an array of services like sending voice messages, photos, videos, files and creating chat groups, WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app with 400 million monthly active users. SnapChat (with 100 million active users) and Wickr round off the top 3 messaging apps.

Why Do Marketers Love Messaging Apps?

Consider these statistics:

80% of internet users own smart phones and 89% of their time is spent on using messaging apps. Approximately $28.7 billion is being spent on mobile advertising this year, and that figure is expected to increase to $65.8 billion by 2019. With 1600 million mobile phone users, marketers and business owners are realising the value of targeting messaging app users for promoting and advertising their brands.

Australians make up 1% of the Facebook users around the world. With 2.4 million users on WhatsApp and 2 million users on SnapChat, the Australian market finds the simple and secure services provided by Facebook and these messaging apps very appealing.

The private interaction offered by these apps is an opportunity for marketers to interact closely with the target audience and create a loyal customer base for their business and services, says a report from Pew Research.

Marketing Your Brand Through Messaging Apps – Pros and Cons

While the adoption of messaging apps has been rapid globally and in Australia, marketers need to approach this medium with some caution.

  • Messaging is a private medium of communication, and marketing messages can be seen as intrusive. Be creative when creating content and make it relevant to the target market. Where possible, use pictures and short videos to get your message across.
  •  Messaging apps like SnapChat automatically deletes messages after it is received. Ensure that your messages are snappy and attractive so that it is read as soon as it is received.

As is the case with any new/emerging media, marketing through messaging apps has to be part of an overall marketing strategy that is based on the habits and requirements of the target market. While it offers the ability to target the user instantly and easily, messaging apps may not offer the staying power and durability that a true marketing message deserves.

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