Why messaging apps should be #1 choice for marketers

Viber mariia-martyrosian
Mariia Martyrosian
Global PR & Marketing Innovations Director at Rakuten Viber
Why messaging apps should be #1 choice for marketers

We are living in an era of conversational commerce. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, marketers should make the shift and leverage messaging apps as their #1 choice for engaging with consumers. Let’s explore why such apps are the key to effective marketing, stronger connections with audiences, and higher brand revenue.

The Untapped Potential of Messaging Apps for Marketers

Today's consumers expect tailored experiences based on their preferences, interests, and behavior. Personalized marketing not only helps to build trust and loyalty but also increases the likelihood of conversion. It’s simple: people are more likely to engage with content that is relevant and customized for them. In order to create personalized experiences, businesses must invest in tools and platforms that enable them to gain and analyze customer data in real time.

A recent study from Hootsuite shows where people spend the most time. Chat and messaging apps win users’ attention: they are used more than social networks, search engines, or web portals.

Websites and apps with the highest Internet penetration, DataReportal

Since people spend a lot of time on messaging apps, brands have a great chance to connect with their target audience more directly and personally. These apps have many features that marketers can use in multiple ways. For example, on Rakuten Viber they can:

  • Use targeted advertising campaigns, reaching users based on their interests and demographics.
  • Create viral marketing campaigns using branded AR lenses and increase visibility of their brand.
  • Turn users into brand fans by creating customized stickers that can be shared with friends and family in day-to-day communications and engage wider audiences.
  • Offer exclusive promotions, deals, and discounts through messaging apps and incentivize users to engage with the brand.
  • Share interactive content to drive engagement and increase brand visibility.
  • Update customers on important information: from delivery statuses to transaction notifications, appointment reminders, account balances and more.
  • Provide real-time customer support by connecting with users directly, ensuring a personalized and efficient experience.
  • Utilize chatbots to automate customer service.
  • Leverage multiple solutions and create complex 360-campaigns. Examples of brands who powered their marketing by this approach include Raiffeisen Bank, Coca-Cola, and more.

This can ultimately lead to greater brand awareness, increased interest, higher conversion rates, brand loyalty, and significant business growth.

The Case for Messaging Apps as the #1 Choice for Marketers

One of the main reasons messaging apps should be the top choice for marketers is their reach. With hundreds of millions of users, they offer an enormous potential audience for local and global marketers. By granting access to a vast user base, chat apps can ensure that your marketing efforts are more likely to be seen and interacted with.

Direct and personal communication is another benefit of messaging apps. Unlike traditional marketing methods that often rely on broadcasting a message to a wide audience, messaging apps enable one-on-one conversations between brands and consumers. This approach, known as conversational marketing, allows for more personalized and targeted interactions. 

Additionally, chat apps facilitate instant feedback and real-time interaction, helping marketers tailor their strategies based on customer responses and preferences. This level of personalization and engagement is difficult to achieve through other marketing channels.

Messaging apps offer great flexibility, making them an ideal choice for marketers. They support various communication formats, allowing businesses to create engaging and dynamic content. Brands can adapt their marketing strategies to suit different audience preferences and stay ahead of the competition.

Finally, brands can easily integrate messaging apps with other solutions, services, and customer database software, including CRM systems and CDPs. These integrations enable seamless customer service, sales, and marketing efforts, driving greater efficiency and results. It’s especially important as 53% of business leaders believe they lack the tools they need to achieve the level of personalization their customers expect, at scale. In reality, their dream solution is right on their phone screen.

Rakuten Viber Superapp

Since its launch 13 years ago, Rakuten Viber has vastly expanded its user base and engagement. Today, the app has over 1 billion Android downloads and users in more than 190 countries around the world. What does it mean for marketers? They have the opportunity to tap into an engaged audience with immense trust in the service. There's no better time for businesses to leverage the app’s potential and expand their reach to a more connected and active audience.

Rakuten Viber has entered the league of superapps, and this is part of its long-term strategy to provide as many services as possible throughout users’ day and offer brands more opportunities to interact with their customers in the native environment. Users already receive up-to-date information about their courier packages, make utility payments, schedule appointments, receive financial education, order food, and more, – all directly through Rakuten Viber. Its diverse superapp capabilities make Rakuten Viber the ultimate place for brand-user interactions.

Rakuten Viber’s superapp features, solutions, and capabilities

Rakuten Viber as a Marketing Goldmine

It’s each brand’s dream to build one-to-one connections and reach a wide demographic. Rakuten Viber has established itself globally, including in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa, offering businesses the chance to expand their reach and establish a presence in these rapidly growing regions while keeping communication personal.

Take a look at the numbers: Rakuten Viber is used by 91% of Greek mobile users, a remarkable 97% of Serbian mobile users, and even more impressive 98% of Ukrainian mobile users. In the Philippines the app boasts a 71% penetration, proving its appeal across regions worldwide. 

It’s not only the app reach – its solutions for brand-user interaction have broad adoption in different markets. For instance, the Philippines has witnessed a 603% increase in Transactional Business Messages last year. Meanwhile, there has been a 433% rise in delivered Business Messages in Hungary. Simply put, Rakuten Viber is not only a popular choice for casual conversations among friends and family but also a reliable tool for businesses looking to step up their game in today's highly competitive market. 

The platform's user demographics are balanced, encompassing individuals of varying ages, professions, and interests. For example, Rakuten Viber's user base is almost equally divided between women and men with 47% and 53% respectively. 57% of Rakuten Viber users are below 35, indicating the app's popularity among younger generations. Meanwhile, over half of the users fall within the 25-50 age bracket, showcasing an opportunity for brands to reach an economically active audience.

This diversity allows marketers to target a broad range of potential customers: men, women, young adults seeking the latest trends, professionals looking for reliable services, and more. 

Demographics of Rakuten Viber's global user base

Rakuten Viber Solutions For Marketers

Rakuten Viber offers solutions for each step of the customer journey: from building awareness and generating interest, to driving conversions and strengthening brand loyalty. 

With Rakuten Viber Ads, marketers can reach potential customers by targeting users based on their interests and behavior and ensuring their message is seen by the right people at the right time. Brands can create their own Stickers and Lenses for viral marketing campaigns that resonate with their audience and attract new leads. 

Then, businesses can leverage Business Messages and Chatbots for customer service and sales. Business Messages help to build meaningful relationships with customers via a single channel – by boosting purchases via personalized promotional messages, sending timely notifications via transactional messages, and assisting customers via conversational messages. Bots can be programmed to answer frequently asked questions, provide product recommendations, and even assist in completing transactions. This saves time for your team and provides a seamless experience for your customers. 

Ukrsibbank Success Story

Established in 1990, Ukrsibbank has served nearly two million customers with dedication and excellence. In 2006, the bank joined forces with the French International bank BNP Paribas, further solidifying its reputation as a leading financial institution. Despite its success, Ukrsibbank was eager to explore new ways to enhance its services and increase customer engagement with its mobile app.

Shortly after, the bank's management team decided to use Rakuten Viber Business Messages. They realized that by using Rakuten Viber's unique features, they could drive new users to their mobile app and educate existing users on its full functionality.

Ukrsibbank turned to Rakuten Viber’s messaging partner GMS and embarked on a campaign utilizing Rakuten Viber Business Messages to promote its app. They combined eye-catching images, compelling call-to-action (CTA) buttons, and engaging text to create an effective messaging strategy that captured the attention of their clients.

As the campaign unfolded, the bank started to see remarkable results. Over three months, Ukrsibbank delivered more than six million messages to its clients on Rakuten Viber, promoting its latest mobile app. Rakuten Viber proved twice as effective as traditional SMS, achieving a 14% conversion rate compared to SMS's 7%. App downloads skyrocketed by 50%, while its usage significantly increased by 30%. 

Mobile marketing campaign of Ukrsibbank on Rakuten Viber

Coca-Cola Success Story

The world's largest beverage company, Coca-Cola was looking for ways to boost its mobile presence, interact with existing and potential consumers, and deliver a seamless digital experience in Bulgaria. The company turned to Rakuten Viber thanks to its engaged and connected audience in the country.

Coca-Cola launched a three-month campaign that included a Rakuten Viber Sticker Pack with a promo code mechanism and a chatbot experience. To maximize reach and conversions, the company leveraged cross-promotion across its social media channels and integrated an "under-the-cap" sweepstakes within the Rakuten Viber campaign.

The results were impressive:

  • 29K cap codes redeemed
  • A remarkable 30% conversion rate, 10 times higher than the industry average
Coca-Cola’s mobile marketing campaign on Rakuten Viber

Once a well-kept secret known only to a few brands, the potential of messaging apps has transitioned to a common knowledge. Today, these apps transform the way businesses engage with their audience in the ever-changing digital landscape. To stay ahead of the curve and maximize growth, marketers need to recognize and utilize the power of messaging. After all, its vast opportunities are only one tap away.