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Conversational CommerceOctober 17, 2016Written by Alex Debecker

Leveraging Facebook Messenger for a Small Business

Successful online marketing on a tight budget

Small businesses have it rough.

Research from the UK presented some staggering numbers. Did you know that, on average, SMEs spend £24,000 a year on marketing?

 

SME-marketing-budget-in-the-UK-in-2016.jpg

Source: marketingweek

 

That is almost as much as the average salary (£26,000/year according to this study) in the UK.

An average SMEs' marketing budget is essentially an additional employee on the payroll.

The same study linked above also states that 40% of SMEs believe they lack enough marketing budget to grow their business.

A few more statistics.

1. A study showed 18 town centre shops closed every day in 2013. (smallbusiness.co.uk)

2. Another study by Amigo Loans revealed that 21% of businesses have no idea how to grow in the future.

3. More alarmingly, the same Amigo Loans study showed 15% believed growth is impossible.

A gloomy outlook.

This may not have been the best introduction to the article. However, I do believe it is important to highlight the struggles of small businesses in hard numbers.

How about saving some (if not a large part) of the £24,000 per year spent on marketing?

How about leveraging a new channel (please no more email marketing) and find fresh growth in your business this year?

 

A look into the current SME marketing trends

Before we dive into the power of Facebook Messenger for a small business, we need to look at the current trends in SME marketing. We want to know what is currently being done and how it's performing, and then compare it to the solution.

 

What do small businesses spend their marketing budget on?

A marketing trend reported by Robert Allen on Smart Insights gives us some good insights (get it? Insights).

Digital-marketing-trends-in-SMEs-in-2016.png

Source: smartinsights

 

The chart above shows over 70% of businesses have a website, over 43% of them use social media in some way, and 40.1% do email marketing.

Why does it matter?

- Traffic is hard to get. Having a website isn't enough. These days you need regular content to even show in Google searches.

- Social media is great, but social reach is hard to get. As an example, Facebook post reach has gone from 16% in 2012 to as low as 2% today. This means for every 100 Facebook fans your small business has, only 2 will see your updates. Ouch.

- Email open rates have been falling for years, crashing to 22.87% in 2016. Click-through rates have been terrible as well, down to about 3.5%.

When you know that, on average, SMEs spend 46% of their marketing budget on digital channels (email, website, social, etc.), it sucks to know it performs so poorly.

 

Mobile messaging for small business, to the rescue

Finally, we arrive at the good bit. Where I provide a solution to all this misery.

 

What is mobile messaging for a small business?

The concept is relatively untapped in business.

It involves sending your customers messages to the mobile messaging applications they use such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Line, Viber, WeChat or even SMS.

From setting up an autoresponder that fires off when people talk to your Facebook page to creating full-on drip campaigns through Facebook Messenger, mobile messaging is a fantastic opportunity for small businesses.

 

Why mobile messaging?

There is plenty of reasons to get into mobile messaging today. I'm going to list a few, and we'll compare them to the current marketing channels you use to see how they compare.

 

It’s where your customers are

They are not on email. They are not looking at billboards. They are using messaging apps. Everyone has a smartphone and everyone uses at least one messaging apps. As any good marketing guru would tell you, go where your customers are! PS: This also means you don't have to get them to install a new app, drastically reducing your costs.

 

It's short and to the point

Mobile messages are short. Think of how you communicate with friends. Do you ever write more than a couple sentences before hitting send? If you are like me, you even break your sentences into short messages each a couple of words long (am I weird?). This is great for businesses! No need to write long e-mails with beautifully crafted paragraphs and HTML templates.

 

It's instant

As attested in our 2016 mobile messaging report, customers want instantaneity. Messaging apps are ideal, for instance, for flash promos. Instead of preparing a long and complicated e-mail campaign about a discount on your product, why not send a short and to-the-point message through Facebook Messenger about it?

 

It's cost effective

Did you know mobile messages are free? As a consumer you have probably never paid a penny to send a message (except SMS). Here is some great news: they are also free as a business. You can send messages through Facebook Messenger for literally £0. In fact, you can set up an autoresponder right now and build an entire messaging campaign, make it all live, and not pay anything.

Can't really beat that, can you?

 

It performs amazingly

Remember all the depressing stats I presented above regarding websites, social media, and email? Here's a good one for you. 97% of mobile messages are opened within 3 minutes of receipt (source). Another one? Sure. Dynmark showed mobile messages get an average 29% click-through rate.

 

The tools are here

All of this would be great, but fairly useless if we couldn't automate the process of sending mobile messages to customers. Thankfully, the tools are here. We build chatbots that allow you to automate everything, from list building to sending messages and using autoresponders - all for mobile messaging.  

 

In short

Mobile messaging is more affordable, better performing, and requires fewer resources than any current marketing channels. Oh, and SMEs can even start to afford an AI-driven chatbot. Good times!

Ready to get started?

 

Where should you start?

Facebook Messenger for small business

It makes sense to start with Facebook Messenger.

Why?

First, Facebook Messenger is the second most popular mobile messaging app in the world. It has over 1billion monthly active users. Chances are your customers have it and are already using it.

Second, 41% of small businesses have a Facebook page. It's very likely your business is already on there. If not, you should definitely have a page up.

Third, we have built an easy one-click integration that takes two seconds to get setup.

I believe starting with Facebook Messenger is the best option for you. You can get started at very low costs and see if this works for you.

Start implementing your mobile messaging strategy today! Get in touch with us.