The news market is competitive, like really competitive.
Hundreds of engagement strategies emerge almost every quarter here to beat this competition. Some become an instant hit, others simply lose out on making it to the marketing trends list. Nonetheless, it’s evident that a different strategy is a must if your numbers are refusing to scale. Want Change = Do Different. That’s the only way.
Facebook Messenger for marketing news stories has been around for almost 2 years now. But the adoption of the channel hasn’t been as exciting as the benefits it offers. A lot of Digital publishers I spoke to in the last 3 months regarding iZooto’s Messenger beta release were still awaiting Safari to allow push notification so that the iOS audience can be engaged as well. FYI - Messenger push notifications allow you to do that.
There are 7B conversations happening on Messenger every day! More than 2.5 Trillion conversations a year. To help you get the scale here, Snapchat users exchange 3 billion photos a day.
Moreover, Messenger push notifications probably are your only chance to move from one-way communication to messaging in civil discourse. And messaging experiences are more social by nature.
Why should you consider building a marketing stack?
Let’s look at your options for distributing content -
- Google - Search, News, Discover
- Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Instant Articles
- Apple News
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, reshared a post on Facebook a while ago and witnessed an engagement rate as low as 0.05%. I know,... depends on the content, the time, audience size, etc. So why don’t you tell me about the last time you saw over 5% engagement rate?
Share your avg. engagement rate at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll remove this section if it’s over 5%.
Building a marketing stack (set of tools that help you convert a new visitor to a loyal reader and distribute your news stories) is the only comeback you can give the two Digital Daddys (Facebook and Google). It is the only option you’ve got to keep your users on your website (using emails and push notifications - App, Web, and Messenger) and pay you.
I know! The 70-30 deal with the duopolies is everything but there’s no this or that here. Building a marketing stack is an additional exercise and one that takes time to have an effect so why delay?
Read More - How to build your own publisher marketing stack?
Why Make Messenger Push Notifications a part of your stack?
'Twenty years ago, businesses scrambled to start building a web presence, Now is the time for businesses to build a presence on Messenger.'
- Stefanos Loukakos, Head of Messenger, Facebook
It’s been just 2 years and more than 2 billion messages are being exchanged every month between users and businesses. Why be the last to get there? Here are some more benefits of using Messenger push notifications for your Newsroom -
- Carousels (series of horizontally scrollable messages) in the Generic template - One out of the 6 exciting notification templates that Messenger offers, has carousels that help readers choose the news to read. You can play with the different content categories or cover one in detail, your call.
- Not Another News App - Messenger push notifications are like personalized Inshorts (News app) inside an existing app for your audience + it’s interactive (2-way communication, remember).
- Multimedia experience - Messenger allows news publishers to use multiple media formats (like text, videos, .gif, etc) on Messenger push notifications to engage their audience effectively.
- Reach Everyone. Everywhere (even on iOS) - A game-changer for news sites! Despite being the first OS to introduce push notifications, Apple doesn’t support web push notifications on iOS. Publishers, as a result, lose out on their iOS engagement via push notifications. Messenger push notifications offer a workaround to publishers willing to grab exciting CTRs for those 900 million active iPhone users.
- Longer shelf-life for the event updates - You can deliver your event updates right inside the messenger inbox of your Messenger audience. This gives a longer shelf to the push alerts that users can engage with whenever they want.
- Enables two-way communication - Send and receive! You get to interact with your audience via a private in-chat experience of the messenger. Unlike other engagement channels, where it was just the brand doing all the talking, messenger push enables user participation which reinforces meaningful two-way communication.
Messenger adds 100 million new users every five to six months so it’s clearly not just a fad. Why not apply for it right away? Get your business and domain verified on Facebook and go to your Facebook Page’s Business Settings to register your page under the NPI (News Page Index). Facebook takes time to send the approval. The sooner you apply, the more time you’ll get to build your Messenger push notification audience.
Here’s a Help doc that can make this verification process a piece of cake for your team.
Read More - Everything you need to know about Facebook Messenger Push Notifications.