Messenger Communication: 7 Hacks for Successful Content Marketing on WhatsApp & Co.

Messenger communication is more popular than ever. Messaging apps like WhatsApp & Co. are now leading channels for content marketing, with KPIs that leave e-mail marketing and traditional ad formats in the dust. But how exactly can you use messaging apps for great content marketing?

In our cooperation with the German research institution YouGov for the MessengerPeople Study 2018, we didn’t just look at user preferences, but we also at best practice ideas. From our statistics and experience with 1,600+ customers, we’ve gathered recommendations for how businesses can successfully use messenger communication for content marketing.

One thing that has become clear, is that each type of communication channel deserves it’s own thought-out content.

It’s easy to find the right content strategy for your messenger communication – but it’s also the key to your sucess. Businesses should ask themselves the following questions while deciding on a concept:

  1. Who am I creating my WhatsApp & Co. content for, and what do I want to achieve?
  2. How can I create value for the customer – what content can be communicated exclusively over messaging apps, making it even more relevant for my target groups?
  3. What kind of content is particularly suited for WhatsApp & Co.? What information needs to be received immediately and directly, what kind of content is viral or shareable, and what is best suited for messaging app usage?

The following 7 hacks for content marketing on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and more are recommendations that we extracted from an analysis of over 1 billion messages sent between August and September 2018. They have a basis in all industries and use cases, showing the wide range of possibility in messenger marketing.

“Of course, each company should develop their own content strategy, taking a good look at their KPIs, and carefully adjusting their own messenger communication to their target group.” – Matthias Mehner, MessengerPeople CMO

Messenger Communication:

7 Hacks for successful Content Marketing on Messaging Apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger & Co.

content marketing hacks

The MessengerPeople Study 2018 showed us that there are at least two decisive factors in successful content marketing on WhatsApp & Co.: “shareability”, and attention.

Our analysis with YouGov showed that most people share information, links, sales, etc. over WhatsApp – even more than over Facebook, e-mail, or other channels. Businesses should understand this and adjust their content strategy to accomodate this rise in messenger communication. WhatsApp also dominates in terms of attention. More users allow WhatsApp to send push notifications than any other app: WhatsApp has truly gained user trust, and WhatsApp messages thus have a privileged position on users’ smartphones. Apps, even from big companies, can no longer really compete.

MessengerPeople Study: Free Download

1. Content Marketing on WhatsApp & Co. – it’s all about the timing!

The number one content marketing hack is, naturally, all about timing. Think carefully about when you want to send your messages! We’ve seen good results in click and opening rates when messenger newsletters are sent in the morning between 7 and 8 am, or in the early evening between 5 pm and 6:30 pm.

2. Spam or not: customer acceptance depends on how often you message them!

How many messages should companies send daily? You need to find the sweet spot between sending too many messages, or too few, and that depends in large part on the industry. Media companies send 3-5 messages daily, on average – brands send content in about 5-10 messages weekly. B2B companies usually send WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger updates about  3-7 times weekly.

Real-Life Examples:

Best Practice Case for Media: Bloomberg Quint’s WhatsApp Channel

Best Practice Case for Brands: Behind-the-Scenes Content with Norwich City Football Club

3. The best days for different content:

In addition to frequency, the day of the week is also important. For news, it’s great to start the week off with a news report on Monday. Thursday is a great day for tips, and Saturday is a good day for deals or specials, to encourage weekend shopping.

4. Know your customers, know the right tone!

Some of our most-frequently asked questions are about the tone on messaging apps. Should businesses stay formal, like in e-mails?

From our experience: 95% of companies keep an informal, friendly tone, and even use emojis. The two most-used emojis are 👍 and 😀 – and about 3-5 emojis is ideal per message. Customers actually prefer when companies use emojis, and it’s part of the classic tone on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.

Reading tip:

Fashion brands are growing closer to their customers by communicating over WhatsApp & Co. “Once you have an engaged audience on this channel, the opportunities are endless.”

5. Take advantage of multimedia! How about a Podcast?

What types of media can you actually use over WhatsApp content marketing? Messaging apps typically support almost all types of multimedia. You can send photos, animated GIFs, videos, or audio files. Right now, podcasts are especially popular – we recommend going no longer than 15 minutes.

Reading tip:

WhatsApp in political campaigns. For personal and emotional topics like politics, multimedia can make your content really grab your readers.

6. Social post or newsletter: choose a format, then choose suitable content!

For the content format you can essentially choose between two main types: the social post style, and the newsletter style. The first is, as you can guess, created essentially like a post on social media: there’s a bit less content with one central topic, and you usually include a visual (photo or GIF), a short text, and a link. The newsletter format offers more content, and usually has a variety of topics, each with their own link.

7. Text length: keep it short and sweet.

Finally, let’s talk about message length. We can characterize three different types: marketing, sales, and PR. Marketing content is usually fairly short, with a maximum of 15 words. Sales messages are even shorter, with around 8 words and a product description. In PR, you should make to include all important information – but still keep the message not too long!

Reading Tip:

How to reach customers with WhatsApp content marketing throughout the customer journey.

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