Messaging apps like YikYak, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Kik have recently become very popular, which is why they will be indispensable tools for marketing your crowdfunding campaign or startup in 2016. If you aren’t familiar with messaging apps, they allow users to send texts, videos, pictures and more. Some are free (like Facebook Messenger), while others have a small fee to use (WhatsApp is free for the first year, then users are charged $0.99 USD per year).
Messaging apps are creating quite a buzz; they have even been tentatively referred to the ‘future of marketing’. Huge brands like MTV, Twentieth Century Fox, Coca-Cola and more are taking advantage of the ‘one-on-one’, personal interactions that their brands can create with these apps. A few different ways that brands can reach consumers using these types of apps include: branded stickers that can be shared with friends, data-based adds, official accounts and Promoted Chat.
Here are three steps that will help you get started with the right messaging app to market your crowdfunding campaign or startup:
1. Find Your Audience
Messaging apps are ideal for those who are trying to reach Millennial or Generation Ζ audiences (users roughly between the ages of 13 and 30), but are also becoming popular with somewhat older audiences.
These users tend to move on from social networks quickly, but lately their preferred medium has been messaging apps. Users enjoy the features that are available on messaging apps but are limited with traditional texting (one app, Viber, promotes its free international calling and messaging features).
Messaging apps give teenagers and adults the chance to form their networks to their specific interests and social groups without all of the noise and hassle of traditional social media platforms.
According to the Pew Research Center messaging apps are used almost equally by men and women. They also note that 49% of users are between the ages of 18 – 29 and 37% are between the ages of 30 – 49. About 36% of smartphone users are using these apps – a number that has been steadily growing over the last few years.
2. Choose the Right Platform
There are no rules that say you can’t try to use all of the top messaging apps to market your startup, but it seems like most businesses prefer to concentrate their efforts on just one. When choosing a messaging app, you will have to compare their unique features and figure out which one works best for you.
While some messaging apps have offer different options for paid advertising, others have more affordable ways to help you reach your audience. For example, WhatsApp is add-free but has a Broadcast Lists feature that lets you broadcast live to up to 250 people. There are endless ways to use messaging apps to market your startup or crowdfunding project!
3. Run a Marketing Campaign
Joining a messaging app and simply reaching out to potential customers without any strategy won’t get you very far.
The best approach to take is an experimental one. Figure out: what message do you want to give to users? What are your goals (increased awareness, sales, etc.)? How you can measure the campaign’s success (new adds on social media, sales, etc.)? Make a plan, write it all down and then implement it!
Judging by how well your first try goes you can always tweak things and try again or put together a new campaign to keep the buzz going once you have the hang of how these apps work.
Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, suggesting that social networks are aware of how big messaging apps are becoming and how important it is for them to get on-board. The same goes for startups and large companies who want to take advantage of these platforms to create new interactive experiences for their customers.
Messaging apps give us the chance to get behind-the-scenes glimpses of our favorite brands, learn more about them, share content and ask questions. If you’re looking to grow your startup in 2016, I suggest you give messaging apps a try and see how can they can help increase your audience’s interest and engagement.
Feel free to leave any questions or comments below!