Facebook Messenger Ads – Gimmick or Game Changer?

Marketing leaders recently gained a new weapon in their Facebook Marketing war chests: the ability to serve their ads via Facebook’s Messenger platform. But is Facebook’s latest tool for advertisers a game changer in terms of social ad personalization, or just another gimmick that will give CMOs headaches as they try to explain the ROI of Facebook Messenger ads to their clients and CEOs?

First off, let’s cover the ground rules that Facebook has set for marketers when it comes to advertising through Messenger. The biggest asterisk with Messenger ads is the targeting limitations. For now, marketing leaders can only target fans that have already messaged the page- which limits the potential reach significantly. Further, the ads can only have one photo and a single link. Additionally, if you’re thinking of modifying the campaign to run across Facebook and Instagram at large, think again.

On the bright side, marketing leaders will also notice that Facebook Ads now allow them to create campaigns around the goal of initiating conversations with fans through messenger, hence widening the audience that can receive sponsored Messenger ads later on.

Pro Tip: Run contests and promotions where fans submit their entries via Facebook Messenger instead of in the comments section or through a third party app in order to widen your Messenger Ads audience organically.

For example- run a promoted post inviting fans to message your brand’s page for an exclusive discount. Or, give away a prize to one lucky fan that messages the page within the first twenty-four hours of the promoted post going live. Voila! All of a sudden your brand has a Facebook Messenger Ads audience to target in future campaigns.

So how does Facebook manage brands’ ad spend within Messenger? For now, Facebook is charging every time someone sees the sponsored message, on their home screen or in their inbox- regardless of whether or not someone clicks the link in the ad or replies to the message.

This means two things for marketing leaders. Marketers must leverage compelling copy to be effective at Facebook Messenger ads. They must also be prepared to leverage clickable links with optimized landing pages in order to maximize their ROI on the latest piece of Facebook’s ad platform. Simply sending prospective customers to a brand’s home page is no better of an idea via Facebook Messenger than it is on any other type of digital advertising. Here are seven more ways you can improve your Facebook ad campaigns.

Many marketers and digital privacy advocates have questioned why Facebook has begun to add personal messages into its advertising arsenal. Does the platform have the best interests of brands and the marketing teams supporting them at heart? As with most actions taken by Facebook, one simply needs to follow the money. The publicly-traded social media giant is planning to stop showing newsfeed ads at some point in 2017. After growing ad revenue by over 50% in Q3 2016, Facebook plans to leverage its Messenger platform, as well as its acquisition of WhatsApp, to make up lost revenue from newsfeed ads.

All things considered, is Facebook’s Messenger Ad platform a gimmick or game changer? The short answer is that it depends. Marketing leaders guiding brands in search of brand awareness would be best served to invest their Facebook ad dollars elsewhere on the platform. However, marketing leaders at B2B and B2C brands trying to convert leads stuck in middle-funnel or bottom-funnel stages of their sales cycles could see a significant ROI on the Messenger ad platform.

Marketing leaders will be best served in the short-term by offering coupons or a personalized opportunity for prospective customers to ask questions in a prompted, one-on-one setting. Remember, it’s always easier to extract information from someone that is called upon than waiting for people to raise their hand and volunteer their concerns or reservations about a product or service.

Pro tip: Brands and their marketing teams must remember that if a Facebook page has a slow response rate now, that’s not likely to change once an ad campaign is launched on Messenger. Social teams must respond to fan messages quickly in order to build trust and provide a positive user experience for the prospective customers.

Fidelitas is going to test some different Facebook Messenger ad campaigns on our own page. Want to participate? Click here to like our page and send us a message letting us know how you found us! We’ll be sure to include you in our experiments- and send you the results!




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