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Facebook Messenger Ads: What You Need to Know

5 MINUTE READ | October 25, 2017

Facebook Messenger Ads: What You Need to Know

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Eva Yang

Eva Yang has written this article. More details coming soon.

The rollout the of Facebook Messenger ads objective in late September is nothing short of groundbreaking for the advertising world.

In this post, we’ll touch on the gravity of the new targeting objective and how brands can leverage this new feature in attaining their paid digital goals. We also dive into some practical application of how Messenger Ads stand to fit into overarching media strategy. But let’s take a step back first.

In short, think personal brand interaction at scale. According to Facebook, the platform sees more than 1.2 billion active users each month, with 20 million businesses actively using Messenger and over 2 billion messages being sent between people and brands. The Messages objective rollout tells us that Messenger ads are likely to be the next big focus in the company’s development roadmap.

The Messenger Objective in all its glory within Business Manager

There are a few options here for advertisers.

Messenger ads can easily be a supplementary placement that can be added to a campaign. This could help further scale a program or even provide placement optimization benefits. In setup, advertisers can now also serve news feed ads that drive users to open a Messenger conversation with the business. This may not be a one size fits all solution for all advertisers, but if reach suddenly becomes a short-term priority, we recommend Messenger Ads to be a lever worth pulling.

Re-engagement opportunities are also possible through Messenger Ads. Those leveraging Messenger ads can re-engage users who have actually messaged their business in the past. Think of this as an ideal opportunity to follow-up with promotional messages in peak seasonal periods; speaking to those audiences who are already familiar with your brand and are thus more likely to make repurchases lower down the funnel.

Adding Messenger Ads in the Business Manager UI is quick and easy.

With the above Messenger capabilities in mind, advertisers are now even better equipped in reaching consumers at various levels of the purchase funnel much like they have been able to do with regular news feed ads in recent years.

Let’s explore three easy ways to get started with Messenger Ads.

  • Extend the reach by adding “Messenger” as a new ad placement. The ad will appear on the home screen of the Messenger app and not within a user’s conversion with the business. You cannot target contextually yet but rather just use the same audience targeting parameters as you can do on news feed ads (i.e., website custom audience, CRM audiences, lookalike audiences, etc.).

Messenger Ads as a Home screen placement.Select “Click to Messenger” to drive more conversations by sending potential or current customers to the Messenger app. The ad will appear in the news feed similar to a regular link ad.

Messenger Ads appearing in the Newsfeed driving to a personalized experience with a chatbot

Remember our June blog post on chatbots? Well, this is where they come into play pretty well. In alleviating development roadblocks for the marketing innovators of tomorrow, Facebook actually offers a variety of bot templates to get one started. These include buttons, lists, boarding passes, receipt, or even booking appointment services (time & nearest store location).

A prime example of how bots are providing value to consumers in e-commerce through receipts

Early best practices point to having a “persistent menu,”  i.e., one that pops up at the bottom of the chat view where brands can present common actions and shortcuts for users to be cognizant of for any time they come back to Messenger. The goal is for users to easily be able to pick up where they left off the last time in the app. When the AI is not comfortable answering questions, it can also pass thread control with metadata to the back end so that the live agent can jump in directly with the needed context.

A persistent Messenger menu should be simple yet direct in prompting user engagement.

  • Re-engage Facebook users with Sponsored Messages. The ad will show up in an existing conversation between the user and the business. The power of these ads originates in brands being able to send relevant promotions directly to the people who have previously messaged the brand in the past six months via Messenger.

Sponsored Messenger Ads User Flow Logic

Messenger Ads as a Sponsored Message Placement

It’s promising to see Facebook adding ground-breaking value to the clear industry trend of making brand experiences more personal. Even with Messenger Ads in their infancy, we can expect to see continuing advancements in the space in the coming months, especially when considering the degree of focus that the industry initially placed on the advent of chatbots and their growing importance to marketing as a whole.

Dive deeper into the world of Facebook Messenger Ads through these three resources:

The Messenger Platform Developer Community is an ideal place to start. Firstly, check out Facebook’s Official How-To Guide to Messenger.

Secondly, Github hosts a forum specifically dedicated to Facebook Messenger sample builds which serves as a reliable source of real-world examples and discussion.

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Lastly, if you’re only looking for practical use cases and success stories, visit Facebook Messenger Business Showcase.  Fair warning, prepare to be inspired!

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