When the topic is WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger integration – whether it’s your friend or foe – the person to ask is the master of all three.
CEO of the Facebook Messenger marketing platform MobileMonkey, Larry Kim founded the advertising management and software and services company WordStream and is a columnist for Inc. magazine. He talked with marketing expert Madalyn Sklar about messaging and its rewards.
Kim likes the catch-all #InstaWhatEnger for Instagram plus WhatsApp and Messenger. He believes Facebook is integrating them for several reasons:
- Chatbots. This lets businesses connect with 3 billion users regardless of what messaging app is being used.
- Scale. Integrating all three equals over 3 billion daily active users. That is a dream for marketers and better than email.
- WeChat. People in China use messaging much like how we use “browsers” in the west. A unified messaging platform would allow companies to build out ecommerce experiences, via messaging, which means money for Facebook.
“Nobody on Instagram ever wanted to message someone on WhatsApp,” Kim said. “#InstaWhatEnger is totally for the benefits of businesses seeking to market to that enormous user community — and for the benefit of Facebook profits.”
Message integration makes marketing easier for entrepreneurs who won’t have to learn a lot of different ways to reach customers when one simple way will do — saving time and resources to focus on their business
“Companies will need to take messaging seriously as a new marketing channel,” Kim said. “They’ll need to adapt by building messaging infrastructure such as chatbots — essentially like chat-based web pages.
“They also need to invest in chat-based lead-generation strategies such as Click to Messenger Ads and these other ways to generate opt-ins,” he said.
Kim suggested strategies in his article, “12 Magnetic Ways to Generate Leads with Your Facebook Bot.”
“Target ads and messaging based on ‘conversion criteria,’ not just inferred interests based on browsing or whatever,” Kim said. “In messaging — unlike email — there is an expectation of a more immediate response.”
Integration of Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp will influence chatbot marketing funnels. Different funnels flowing into one source opens the way for one chatbot to do it all — again, a savings of time and resources.
“The channel will become 10 times more valuable as you can reach more than three times the number of people, with one-third the effort,” Kim said. “Build one chatbot for all of Facebook users, instead of three — one for each messaging platform.”
If the integration of Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp work, the result could rival email marketing.
“Yes, messaging is better than email,” Kim said. “Email is the enemy — so awful. Comparing email versus chat is basically like comparing donkey and unicorn. In the next five years, 30 to 40 percent of companies will use messaging like how they use email today. Currently, around 1 percent of companies use messaging.
“If messaging is so annoying, why are the click rates so damn high?” he said. “Sure, you could maybe trick someone into reading a message via push notification, but then why would they click on the link in the message? People love messaging.”
The integration of Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp could enable Facebook to provide a service similar to China’s WeChat.
“Since everyone uses WeChat in China – 100 percent market share — they can build all sorts of business services, like ordering lunch — or calling an uber — directly via chat,” Kim said. “There is no ‘news feed.’
“We don’t have a WeChat equivalent in the West, due to messenger fragmentation — WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, iMessage, Google — but Facebook is fixing this by creating #InstaWhatEnger.”
Facebook as a business will benefit from this integration.
“Messaging is the future of Facebook,” Kim said. “Fewer and fewer Facebook users are interested in posting crap on a wall for all to see. Stories and private messaging is the future.
“I’m not a stock analyst, but I believe the future of Facebook is strong,” he said. “You can build chatbots, Facebook Messenger ads, drip campaigns and more using MobileMonkey for free.”
Now is the time for marketers to prepare for the integration of Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, according to Kim. He has compiled a guide to chat marketing.
He and Sklar continued their conversation on Facebook Live.