Over the past 10 years, social media has played a vital part in any businesses digital marketing mix. One of the key influences behind the success of social media has been the growth of mobile. The reality is mobile messaging is the platform most consumers prefer to use when engaging with the internet.

Social media and instant messaging has evolved over the past 10 years and is not just a place for simple text messaging any longer. It’s also the place where they share the most visual content from emojis, memes to animated stickers and GIFs.

The growth of instant messaging

Every month, trillions of mobile messages are sent by consumers with many using emoji, stickers or GIFs to express how they’re feeling in the moment. According to a recent survey, 75% of U.S. consumers are interested in having more emoji alternatives and variety than they currently do, and more than 50% would use branded emoji when given the choice.

And yet, despite this demand for this kind of content, the opportunity for brands in mobile messaging to date has been limited by the experience.

The barrier to entry is extremely high with people having to take it upon themselves to download third-party apps, keyboards or sticker packs, or search to find content they want to include in their conversation. This takes up time, time consumers do not want to waste and more often than not, they choose not to bother.

Contextual content

What is contextual content and how can it be used in messaging to drive brand awareness & sales

A branding opportunity

Taking what I've mentioned previously and applying a marketing spin on it, brands have a unique opportunity to introduce content for consumers to use as a natural part of their chats.

Supplying consumers with relevant emoji, stickers and GIFs surfacing right when the conversation calls for it can not only enrich the personal conversation but increase brand recognition and act as a hybrid word of mouth marketing exchange.  

The Rise Of Contextual Content

Platforms such as GiphyTenor and Emogi are leading the way in providing new ways for brands and marketers to enter mobile chat with messaging content formats. Giphy and Tenor both allow you to search for topical GIFs without having to leave your conversation. This year, we’ve also seen predictive content take off as a trend in mobile messaging for the first time. Turn on the predictive emoji setting in iMessage and emoji suggestions automatically pop up when you type a word. But that’s just the beginning.

Rather than providing a library of searchable content, as Giphy and other players in the market have done, Emoji surfaces relevant animated stickers and GIFs for people to use as natural part of their conversation, based on the unique context of their chat, such as location, use of certain phrases or emoji, or other triggers such as time of day. 

Powerful Word Of Mouth Marketing

Big brands have begun to take notice of this opportunity with some early adopters already entering the space. Brands across categories are seeing a similar impact when they deliver content contextually in mobile messaging. Chandon (founded by Moët & Chandon), partnered with Emoji to create custom Chandon stickers, then strategically delivered them to users in mobile messaging who were chatting about celebratory moments (i.e. “cheers”, “celebrate”, “drinking”, “celebration”).

Remain relevant in the conversation

Text messaging is a tool consumer turn to daily and spend a large number of hours using these mediums. Some consumers, especially on the younger end of the scale, spend more time using instant messaging tools than traditional media.  The younger generation chooses to spend their time using instant messaging rather than TV and Radio which limits the effectiveness of your marketing on these channels.

Social media channels have also become increasingly competitive when it comes to broadcasting your messaging while instant messaging is still an untapped market.

So would it not make sense to expose your brand to a platform where the consumer's eyes are constantly fixated?

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Source: Forbes