According to forecasts, by 2021, the monthly audience of instant messengers will reach about a third of the total population of the planet. A third willing to pay for use and entertainment. Bypassing this category of users is an unaffordable luxury for a marketer. Today you need to be competitive – 90% of users absorb ads there. Anna Znamenskaya, Rakuten Viber Global Development Director, talks about the specifics of such communication.

Why messengers?
They are always at hand. A modern person does not part with a smartphone, opening his favorite applications dozens of times a day. So why do any additional algorithms of actions, leaving a request on the website or through the call center, if you can communicate with the brand directly?

Traditional promotion tools are gradually becoming obsolete. The classics of direct marketing – emails, push notifications, SMS, cold calls – are perceived by users as something familiar, and sometimes have a reverse / negative effect.

A person no longer wants to be one of many, he expects an individual approach to himself. Not to mention the fact that the presence in the messenger is an obligatory component of the general trend towards omnichability.

Of course, there are some peculiarities, for example, the effect of invading personal space, when the initial perception of the messenger as a tool for communicating with friends and family is erased – this moment may not please all users. Nevertheless, today 53% of them would prefer to make a purchase from a company that can be contacted through various channels, including via a messenger.

How exactly to interact with the audience in the messenger?
Perhaps the most popular option that allows a brand to build effective communication with its audience in a messenger is to create a community.

They bring a large number of people together and offer flexible management and engagement tools. The idea is similar to all well-known communities in social networks – it also publishes company news, information about their products and promotions, as well as various thematic content.

In addition, in the communities of some messengers, brands can also communicate directly with users. In communities in Viber, for example, in addition to direct communication, you can arrange polls and quizzes, publish videos via YouTube, which is already installed inside the application, send stickers, gifs and much more.

This creates the very effect of a personal, almost friendly conversation, because a person perceives 90% of information visually. …

The choice of a messenger for communication with customers depends on the characteristics of the audience that the company is targeting. When working, the main attention should be paid not so much to the formula “the more the better”, as to understanding who exactly you interact with.

For example, a third of the active Viber audience in Russia are young people aged 25 to 35, and what will be of interest to them will not always suit other users. Considering this channel for their business, companies need to develop a specific content plan and format for presenting information.

From a technical point of view, in the communities everything is organized as conveniently as possible. Each user or brand can launch their own group with an unlimited number of members.

The creator of the community is a superadmin and has complete control over everything that happens in it. Administrators act as moderators. If the community is open, all members can write in it and comment on the content.

If they wish, they can also tag the messages they like and “tag” other users. Expanding your community’s audience is easy by inviting members through a dedicated link. In addition, in communities with more than 1000 members, it is possible to collect statistics of user activity.