EDU Update: Facebook Messenger Ads
With Facebook Messenger’s massive user base reaching 1.2 billion, it was only a matter of time before the social giant would find a way to funnel its advertising revenue stream to the app. With proven success from a beta test for the advertisements in Thailand and Australia, Facebook Messenger ads are expected to roll out worldwide over the course of this month.
Consumers are constantly adapting to the new ways that businesses are connecting with us—and in turn, businesses learn what channels work best in connecting to their audience. A growing trend seen year over year is communication via messenger applications. It’s been a common tool when communicating with family and friends, and over the next two years, Facebook anticipates that 67% of people will message businesses more. Take a look at the following image taken directly from Facebook IQ, outlining how Messenger plays a vital role across the buyer’s journey.
Largely due to the fact that Facebook’s revenue stream is upheld by advertisements, with a reported $7.86 billion dollars from ads in Q1 of 2017, the expansion of ads across Facebook platforms was inevitable. With the competitive advertising landscape on the Facebook News Feed, which is expected to slow due to limited inventory, it was time for Facebook to diversify where it’s monetization comes from.
The new advertisements will be popping up on the home tab of the Messenger app as single display ad designs. When an ad is clicked on, it will prompt the opening of the advertiser’s website within the Messenger app.
In addition to this, the ads can initiate a message thread with the company enabling them to send user-sponsored messages in the future.
With the rollout of Facebook Messenger ads, you can reach your audience where they are. Considering the extensive buying cycle in the EDU market—this is crucial. Education marketers can engage with their audiences (prospective and admitted students) on the platform where they are already active, and at the appropriate time in their enrollment journey.
Imagine this: A Messenger user sees an ad for a new Online MBA program. They click on the ad to learn more and are prompted to begin communicating directly with an admissions counselor. They have a convenient way to communicate with your institution and are able to get their questions answered in real time—no more waiting for unreturned phone calls or emails that get lost in the shuffle. You are able to provide them with answers to their questions, relevant program information and send them directly to the application page.
To expand upon this, maybe your lead didn’t end up enrolling at the time and continues to fall within the consideration stage of the enrollment journey. Since you now have a Messenger thread started with this lead, you are able to send them sponsored messages in the future to keep your institution top of mind when they are ready to enroll.
As the digital landscape expands, it becomes increasingly important for us to create a personalized experience with each prospect. Messenger is a platform that strengthens the one-on-one connection between a user and a brand, and that connection can lead them to choosing you over your competition.
Have big ideas on how to start utilizing this platform for advertising? Let’s connect to brainstorm.