The Lowdown on Facebook Messenger Advertising

Facebook marketing

Facebook is always looking for new ways to expand its advertising reach. In November, they began allowing advertisers to show ads through Facebook Messenger.

“Messenger gives your business a fast and convenient way for people to get in touch to schedule appointments, ask questions about your products and services and more,” writes Facebook in the News Room. “And it allows you to build personal connections with your customers. Now, you can create a Facebook News Feed ad that opens a Messenger conversation between your business and your prospective customer.”

This is a big deal for advertisers for a variety of reasons:

  • They have another option to reach their target audience.
  • Their ads are more visible than sidebar ads.
  • Users may be more engaged with ads in messenger, because they are much closer and they’re already in the engagement mindset.
  • Brands can initiate conversations with customers.

However, advertisers may also face some unique challenges they haven’t encountered with other Facebook advertising solutions:

  • Messages may be considered too spammy if they aren’t executed properly.
  • The CPM will probably be higher for messenger ads than other types of Facebook advertisements, so you can burn through your budget quickly if you don’t get your targeting right.
  • Since Facebook messenger Advertising is still new, it is still too early do you have any hard data on what works.

Here are some tips to help brands execute successful Facebook Messenger advertising campaigns.

Understand the Rules

While Facebook is one of the best advertising platforms in the world, it also has very strict policies all advertisers must abide by. Marketing Land’s Tim Peterson points out that these rules are particularly strict for Facebook Messenger.

“There are other limitations. Sponsored messages can contain one link and one photo, and sponsored message campaigns can’t be automatically modified to simultaneously run on Facebook or Instagram, unlike a typical Facebook or Instagram ad. Coinciding with that latter limitation and with the sponsored messages roll-out, Facebook is officially opening up the ability for any advertiser to run an ad on Facebook that links to the advertiser’s Messenger account in order to get people to start conversations with the brand.”

Make sure you familiarize yourself with these policies beforehand. You must also make sure your images abide by Facebook’s global advertising policy.

Focus on Branding Campaigns Over Sales

Facebook Messenger advertising is probably the most invasive form of interruption marketing imaginable. While it’s going to be a very effective way to get your brand noticed, you are going to have a very hard time converting users on the first visit.

You don’t want to link directly to a sales landing page. People will need to build a rapport with your brand before they are ready to make a purchase.

Instead of focusing on selling a product, you need to focus on building your brand. Use Facebook Messenger as an opportunity to inform and educate customers about your product. Try to lure them to a lead generation page so they can learn more and coax them to return when they are ready to make a purchase. You can also draw customers to your other social media profiles to earn Twitter followers or automatic Instagram likes.

Experiment with Facebook Messenger Destination Ads

There are a couple of ways that you can use Facebook Messenger in your advertising campaigns:

  • Use Facebook Messenger as the destination of your ads. You can show ads to users in their newsfeed, which will take them to Facebook Messenger after they click on them. This can be a great way to engage with customers directly.
  • You can show ads to customers through Facebook Messenger, which bring users to your landing page or website.

Both of these strategies can work, but many advertisers are expected to rely on the second option, because it’s easier to setup. However, the first option could be much more effective.

You can use a polite call-to-action to invite users to message you to learn more about your solutions. Customers will already be interested and will be more likely to engage with you through Messenger. As Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer points out, customers are becoming more open to messaging brands through social media. Over two-thirds of customers say they will be more likely to message brands on social media more within the next couple of years.

Both of these strategies can work, but you will need to test them out. Don’t get tunnel vision or focus on the option that requires the least amount of effort to setup.

Get Your Targeting Right

Many users already feel Facebook’s advertising platform is already very intrusive. The last thing that you want to do is send ads to people that have zero interest in your service. You will only be hurting your brand image and driving more people to ignore Facebook ads altogether.

This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.

Read next: This is How Tech has Changed Our Work Life