Should You Incorporate Chat Into Your Marketing Plan?

Marketers are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting ways to engage their existing users and acquire new ones. And with new marketing solutions being offered to brands every other day, choosing the right one that will best suit their needs and help them promote their business to a vast number of users is crucial.

For many socially-focused marketers and service providers, Viber and Messenger’s chat extensions offer a great solution to help them stay involved in their users’ experience while promoting their brand. Not only can chat extensions help marketers turn their brand loyalists into brand activists, but they are also able to promote higher engagement levels among users who will prefer a specific app and its chat extensions to all others.

From a marketing standpoint, both Viber and Messenger chose to implement chat extensions into their messaging apps in order to enhance the ways in which a user can interact in a chat with friends. By providing users with seamless access to social features, including music players, YouTube videos, and travel booking apps, chat extensions are able to address the majority of today’s marketing trends, exposing users to specific brands or promotions.

Viber’s Chat Extensions, introduced in December 2016, offer a variety of features for users, from GIFs, Spotify, Vice, Booking, and even YouTube. Nearly a year later, Messenger introduced their version of the feature, focusing more on creating chat extensions such as Kayak and Swelly that will help users reach desired chatbots. The possibilities chat extensions offer marketers and brands that are looking to reach a wider audience are endless. Here are examples of brands that have already realized Viber and Messenger’s chat extensions’ marketing potential.

In this blog, you’ll find examples of brands that have already realized Viber and Messenger’s chat extensions’ marketing potential as well as some key tips on how to best implement chat with your company.

Messenger’s Kayak Travel Planner allows you to create a poll of possible destinations and travel dates and share them on your group chat so your friends can cast their vote. It also enables users to look for flights, hotels, and car rentals as well as visit the Kayak Messenger bot for more direct and personal traveling information. This chat extension, as well as the others on this list, enable the brand or business to insert itself into users’ conversations without extra effort on the part of the user. In essence, Kayak is going to where their users are planning and therefore able to be involved in the process from start to finish.

With a whopping 1,413,232 properties to choose from and 118,478 destinations in 226 countries and territories worldwide, there’s no wonder that more than 1,200,000 room nights are reserved every day on the Booking platform. Viber’s Chat Extensions enable users to choose a specific location and date, pick out their preferred hotel, and book it immediately. Tourism brands can benefit from the possibilities of enabling users to gain access to their service in a brand-new way through chat extensions. The more brands are using chat extensions, the more users will neglect regular online searches for hotels and flights and simply opt for trusted brand offerings that are right in front of them. Building this level of trust with customers is invaluable in the Engagement Economy. 

Both Viber and Messenger have already introduced Swelly, a social voting bot, to their users. Messenger has also included Swelly as one of its chat extension features. The Swell pad lets users vote for one of two images in the same category and then allows them to share their answers with friends in order to compare results. The bot, on the other hand, not only lets users vote for their preferred image but then instructs them on how they too can create their own “Swells.” In a “Swell,” a user can upload two images in a specific category and receive data regarding the votes the images received and which one was more popular. There’s no doubt that brands like Swelly are onto something. Users often need advice on what to wear and buy and will tend to trust like-minded or experienced consumers over people they know.
Marketers Can’t Afford to Pass up the Opportunity
If there’s one thing marketers should take from these examples, it’s the importance of investing in messaging apps. As social activity becomes more private, and one-to-one messaging begins to dominate the social media world, marketers are faced with an unbelievable opportunity. With everything they need at their fingertips, users trust in the platforms they are using will rise as well as their trust in the brands those platforms choose to work with.

Marketers, and in particular those who run social-based businesses, should consider turning to the likes of Viber and Messenger in order to have their service and brand added as a chat extension feature. By doing so they’ll be able to not only reach hundreds of millions of monthly active users (MAU) but will also keep users engaged on a platform that they’re already using. If marketers are looking for further reassurance as to why they should invest in messaging apps, data from 2016 has already shown that messaging apps have surpassed social networks in terms of monthly active user numbers, and that is something marketers can’t afford to ignore.

How have you incorporated chat into your marketing plan? What can you take from this blog to implement in your own strategy?