Best Practices for Brand Campaigns On Messaging Apps

The popularity of Messaging Apps has created another opportunity for Brands to create campaigns that encourage audiences to interact with Brands using fun and entertaining features such as stickers.

Messaging Apps have monetized with different revenue models. According to The Street, “WeChat, Tango and Viber have 438 million active users, 70 million active users and 100 million active users, respectively. WeChat generates revenue for parent company Tencent by adding additional features to its service, such as stickers, games, and payments to generate revenue. Line, which recently filed to go public, also users stickers and games, as well as branded accounts sending out ads to users.” According to a report,” LINE is making roughly $18 million a quarter on sticker packs, and even more on in-game purchases.”

IPG lab has shared some of the successful campaigns for brands that have worked on Messaging Apps with the demographic. It is important to note that Messaging Apps work in a one-one scenario while social networks work in a one-to-many scenarios. Though it is not unusual for brands to promote the messaging app campaigns in Social Networks. Messaging apps campaigns may require Brands to think beyond posts and content that is entertaining and move to interactions and content that creates brand experiences that are fun and will engender collaborative behavior with the fans of the brand.

The nature of Messaging Apps is such that the Brands need to follow an Always-On strategy as the community of fans is ever-changing. This is a departure from Social Networks where the posts and content are present for fans to interact with for a longer period of time.

While choosing the messaging app for your Brand, the recommendation for an app should bear in mind is the  Target Audience, Location and the desired action from the campaign:

Audience: Understand your target audience and target campaigns based on user behavior. Some apps are suited for the younger audiences with exhibited behaviors of collaborative decision-making . For now Snapchat, Kik, and LINE are especially well suited for younger audiences, while Tango offers an older demographic.

Location: While targeting a mass audience it may be important to go with the most popular app, however if you are looking at niche audience then the behavior may take precedence over the total audience size.

Action:  The desired action from consumers is important while deciding the app that you would like to use for your brand campaign. If you are looking at promoting a game it may be important for an app to allow for API integration to customize content. On the other hand if you are looking at simple sharing and simple downloads of content then it may be important to go with a certain app.

LINE’s stickers might be great for promoting celebrities and upcoming movies, but WeChat may be better to drive ecommerce, and Kik might be best if you have a great existing HTML5-based game in need of exposure.

Here are some examples where brands have effectively used messaging apps for brand campaigns:

Kik a messaging App that allows brands to build customized content with platforms Api. Brands serious about connecting with the Kik community will want to build Kik-optimized web apps around shareable content that leverages the platform’s API.


Create Campaigns that will encourage Collaborative experiences 

Kik create a never-before experience for One Direction fans. The band actively encouraged fans on Facebook and Twitter to download Kik to access and share exclusive content. Collaborative purchase behavior is encouraged by rewarding fans with even more exclusives. It is a place where fans can chat and make friends with other fans from around the world and it’s clear they’re doing that: the results of the campaign were 956,800  installs of the 1D experience, over 2.4M visits, and the massive 1D Kik chat room was overflowing with the fans joining the community.

Reward Behavior that encourages first time usage

WeChat makes messaging pay McDonald’s supports payments via app. The campaign is seen as a first of a kind with messaging app offering a unique reward on using a payment mechanism.

WeChat may be the most multi-faceted in the space, supporting all kinds of multimedia sharing, gaming, and commerce. Leveraging their partnership with Chinese mobile payments provider Tenpay, users can make purchases within the WeChat app. Approved official accounts are able to support purchases via Tenpay. WeChat is connecting offline and online commerce, which could prove to be very attractive for brick-and-mortar retail. That said, mobile payments are
still an emerging technology, so their effectiveness in the messaging space is largely unproven.

Brand Campaign:
McDonald’s was the first account to support payments and offered a discount on tea, provided users purchased the tea upfront via Tenpay in the app. After buying it, users were sent a message with a QR code, which they could scan at a register for proof of purchase.

Create Brand Experience offering previews to events and Behind The Scenes

imglineLike LINE, Snapchat is entirely open to brands creating pages, with no differentiation from regular users. Its unique offering —photos that disappear after a few seconds—makes it ideal for brands that want to give their fans a feeling of exclusivity. The private nature of Snapchat makes it challenging for fans to discover, but increases its “secret” appeal. Tracking is limited, as there are no analytics beyond seeing the number of followers, but this may change as more brands seek to engage with fans.

Brand Campaign:
The Philadelphia Eagles send out behind-the-scenes photos and videos to promote upcoming games or events, as well as tease announcements or break news to drive traffic. With over 7,000 fans within the first week , it’s one of the most successful brands on Snapchat.

According to IPG Lab, here are three basic rules to consider when designing campaigns for
messaging services:

  1. Enhance the conversation

Provide truly shareable, fun content that lets people connect. With branded stickers, the challenge is to create images that let users express themselves in likely conversational scenarios. This works especially well for popular entertainment properties, but with the right creativity, it can work just as well for CPG, Auto, Retail, and a host of other verticals. Sour Patch has taken the Snapchat campaign to the streets of New York with the Social Media celebrity Paul Logan to migrate the social media fans to the Messaging App.

2. Create opportunities for fans to interact

The most popular game on Kik is called Costume Party, and it attracted over one million players in its first 24 hours. 27 Built by a company called Koala, it asked users to draw costumes on top of photos of friends and to share them rapidly in one-to-one conversations. Brands could build this type of game to engage existing fans while reaching new audiences.

3. Give Audiences what they really want

If you have to hard sell, give them something they really want. There have been successful coupon distribution and e-commerce campaigns on messaging apps, but they rely on giving users a notably exciting offer. Go beyond broadcasting typical messages about discounts or regular sales. Content that entertains the younger audiences is always likely to work better in this context.

Source : Messaging Apps: The New Face of Social Media and What It Means for Brands, IPG Media Lab