Compared to live video streaming or blogging, instant messaging (IM) seems to be the fastest growing technology right now. WhatsApp has 990 million and Facebook messenger has 800 million users, while WeChat is used by 650 million people, making IM user base a pool of large and fast growing addressable audiences. Yet, marketers and businesses choose to ignore this effective marketing tool by considering it as a mere communication tool.

Here are four ways IM can help marketers sell their brand:

One-to-one Communication

While social channels are good for sharing widely, and making things go viral, messaging apps are good for one-to-one communication - like offering personal experiences, handling customer queries, and - most importantly - for selling. Interaction via messaging apps is more personal as messages are unique and tailored to a specific audience. Brands are now able to send direct messages to fans and what is even better is that these messages are handled similarly to those sent by friends.

Segmented Reach

Segmentation of the target audience is a crucial part of targeting. By using instant messaging apps, you are able to share content with only one person or a small group of people. Most of these apps allow the formation of different segments (groups) within the app. They are probably the most valuable customers you really need during a marketing campaign.

Quick Process

IM offers both quick and nonparallel communication, which allows you to multitask while the customer services representative investigates. It also helps dropped signal areas to not hinder calls which mean that customer services will be able to work with several people at the same time.

Trusted Method

People use these apps to communicate with friends or people they already know, yet there is always a fear of breach of privacy while being online. Using Touch ID or facial recognition to unlock phones has created the most secure platform we've even known. The need for pin numbers, passwords are long gone; just frictionless personal and secure service at your fingertips.

High Conversion Rate

Due to the high level of trust, shorter response rate, and personalized human communication, engagement rate is relatively higher among fans. Messages sent via messaging apps are usually opened and read within a few minutes, so message delivery is much more effective. With the use of private messaging apps, marketers are able to reach almost 100 percent of their followers listed on their IM list.

Major players like Facebook and Google have entered the IM marketplace; it's high time for agencies and brands to jump in and reap the rewards that the all-powerful instant messaging apps have to offer.

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