In this episode, we talk to the go-to source when it comes to Facebook Messenger marketing: Larry Kim!

YES — that Larry Kim, the founder of WordStream and CEO and founder of MobileMonkey [this is our referral link], the world’s best Facebook Messenger marketing platform and free chatbot builder.

Larry is ranked among the top 10 most popular authors on Medium, he’s a contributor to CNBC and Inc Magazine, and he has also received Marketer of the Year Awards for Search Engine Land, US Search Awards, and PPC Hero.

Facebook Messenger Marketing for B2B

Larry talks to us about:

  • How Facebook is changing in ways that make private messaging more important than ever
  • Why Facebook isn’t just a place for business-to-consumer; B2B marketers can find opportunities there, too
  • How Facebook Messenger marketing can help B2B marketers get the most out of their Facebook presence
  • The open/click-through rate with Messenger marketing and how it beats traditional email outreach, making it a great additional outreach option
  • How early adopters will be rewarded by taking advantage of Messenger marketing now while the adoption rate is only at 1% since it’s so new
  • Tips and best practices to make your chatbot engaging to help with your content distribution
  • The way to reach Gen Z with  Messenger outreach and promotion (for both marketers and HR and recruiters)

Want to follow Larry online? You can catch him on Twitter @larrykim or follow him on LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to check out the Chatbot Messenger Master Class.


About The B2B Mix Show
The B2B Mix Show with Alanna Jackson and Stacy Jackson is brought to you by Jackson Marketing. Need help with your B2B online presence? Let’s talk!

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Episode 20 Transcript

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Stacy Jackson: Hey, everybody. I'm Stacy Jackson.

Alanna Jackson: And I'm Alanna Jackson. We are the co-founders of Jackson Marketing, and in case you haven't heard, we are also sisters. We are bringing you Episode 20 of the B2B Mix Show. Stacy, what's today's topic about?

Stacy Jackson: Today's topic is for all you B2B marketers out there who are curious about Facebook Messenger marketing. We wanted to bring you someone who really knows firsthand about this topic, and we are very excited to bring you a unicorn among donkeys, Larry Kim. Alanna, for those who don't know who Larry is, why don't you give them a little background?

Alanna Jackson: Larry Kim is the CEO of Mobile Monkey, the world's best Facebook Messenger marketing platform and free chatbot builder. He's also the founder of WordStream, the leading provider of Google ads, Facebook ads, and keyword tools used by over a million marketers worldwide. Larry is ranked among the top 10 most popular authors on Medium, he's a contributor to CNBC and Inc Magazine. His interests include chat bot marketing, Google ads, Facebook ads, entrepreneurship, and startups. Larry has also received Marketer of the Year Awards for Search Engine Land, US Search Awards, and PPC Hero.

Alanna Jackson: Larry, we are very excited to have you today, and welcome to the B2B Mix Show.

Larry Kim: Great. Thank you very much for that intro and it's great to be here.

Stacy Jackson: Larry, before we dig into any questions, and we do have some specific ones about Mobile Monkey, is there any background you'd like to share before we get into the conversation about Facebook Messenger marketing?

Larry Kim: Sure. At a high level, Facebook is in a bit of trouble with their newsfeed. They're getting all sorts of criticism whenever the newsfeed has these live streams of murders, rampages. And also getting in trouble whenever they try to censor certain people from the newsfeed, so overall it's kind of a mess. They don't want to be in the business of trying to figure out what content is correct and what content should be on the newsfeed or not, and earlier this year, they announced that the future of Facebook isn't the Facebook they have today, it's more about private messaging and groups, so that makes a lot of sense because the newsfeed is causing all sorts of terrible things. But I think the main question is just how do marketers adapt? Because you're probably used to marketing on the social platform that you know today, but what are marketers supposed to do in the future? So that's kind of what I was hoping to talk a little bit about, like in terms of messaging and how to do marketing on this new channel.

Alanna Jackson: Yeah, and that kind of leads into one of our first major questions. Our podcast primarily focused on B2B marketing and sales topics, and one of the things we've noticed over the last few years is that B2B marketers just don't find Facebook at all attractive and they don't spend a lot of their effort there. But Stacy and I have actually seen firsthand from managing some of our B2B client accounts that people are actually visiting their pages and going there for information, so what is it that you think B2B marketers are missing when they ignore Facebook?

Larry Kim: Most people have a Facebook account, so you're just missing out on reach. If you have all the customers you need and all the leads that you have, then there's no need to ever market on Facebook, but generally, that's not the case. Usually, businesses are looking for more leads and more sales, and if people are spending so much time on Facebook and if they're the same people that you're trying to sell ... Generally, it's the same-

Alanna Jackson: Right.

Larry Kim: People who visit your B2B website are the same people who use Instagram and Facebook and other Facebook products, so you're just missing out on reach and the opportunity to have your brand be in all the places where your customers spend a lot of time. Additionally, there's a lot of unique targeting parameters for Facebook that are uniquely valuable for B2B marketing.

Larry Kim: A couple of them come to mind. Custom audiences. So that's where if you take the phone numbers and emails of your best customer prospects and upload those to Facebook, you can get a 50% match rate on Facebook, and that's the highest match rate of any ad platform in terms of being able to match the leads that you have in your system to logged in users of a platform. Beyond that, they've got remarkable ad targeting options for B2B specifically, like job titles, companies, you can go after specific named companies, size of company, location, behaviors, purchasing histories, interests, demographics. These are, when used in combination, I think it's actually substantially better than, I don't know, LinkedIn ad targeting. It's probably just a bias. Like when people say, "Oh, Facebook isn't great for B2B." I certainly haven't seen that to be the case.

Alanna Jackson: Do you think some of that comes about from when organic reach kind of went down with some changes that happened in Facebook? Do you think that that's why a lot of B2B marketers at least kind of moved away from that?

Larry Kim: Well, that was a transition that's been happening over five, seven years now.

Alanna Jackson: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Larry Kim: So I just think that it's possible that you might be connecting with these customers outside of work hours possibly and perhaps they value it less, although I think if you can get them to engage with your content, that's valuable regardless of the platform. So I don't know what the root of that bias is, I don't necessarily share those views.

Stacy Jackson: So as far as the B2B marketers who do want to do more Facebook, looking at a chatbot marketing or a Facebook Messenger marketing opportunity, how could that really help them get the most out of Facebook?

Larry Kim: The issue here is chat is not very scalable, right? So people message your Facebook page all the time, but usually, those inquiries go unanswered, okay? They just end up in your Facebook page inbox and maybe someone will answer them, maybe not. So what Messenger has done is they've, in partnership with companies like Mobile Monkey, we've developed technology that allows businesses to engage with customers in a more conversational way, like by sending messages as opposed to just showing up in their newsfeed, so you can show up in their messaging space. So most B2B marketers are doing content marketing, like podcasts, or videos, or blog posts, so I presume that the reason why these businesses are creating this content is for it to be consumed by their audience, so you could look at messaging as just sort of a 20/20 equivalent of email marketing from 20 years ago.

Larry Kim: It's just another distribution channel for content and for engagement, and I'm sure we can agree that having more people produce all of these whitepapers and B2B content that we're producing, having it be consumed by more people who are of the right demographics would be valuable, so that's the value proposition as I see it for B2B marketers.

Alanna Jackson: And as far as using a solution like Mobile Monkey versus Facebook Messenger platform itself, what is it that marketers should look for and why would they want to use a Mobile Monkey solution versus the general messenger in Facebook?

Larry Kim: Sure. That's a really good point. One thing that people don't really realize is that there is no messenger tools in Facebook Business Manager. So if you go into Facebook Business Manager, you have tools for managing your Facebook page and tools for managing your group and tools for managing your ads, but there are no tools for managing messenger automation, so the ability to do blasting to all your subscribers, or the ability to do drip campaigns, like automated responses to people based on certain activities. The messenger product for businesses is actually very new. They have an API for solution providers like Mobile Monkey to build custom solutions, however, there is no messenger tools in Facebook Business Manager. So it's kind of the only game in town is to find a messenger solution provider such as Mobile Monkey and use those tools. If you're interested in exploring the channel.

Stacy Jackson: From the things I've read on the Mobile Monkey site, it sounds like your click-through rate or your open rate would definitely be, assuming you're not totally boring in the way you do it, would be email marketing.

Larry Kim: Yeah. Like I was saying earlier, the messaging is a lot like email in that you can initiate a conversation, so I can do a push notification to all my subscribers, just like how you can send all your emails to all your email list, correct? So the issue is that with email, because the spam is such a big problem, deliverability on newsletters and stuff like this, even if you've opted into them, it's still five to 10% open rates and zero to one percent click-through rates. So messaging, it doesn't have the spam problems because it has a very rigid permissions model, so if you're just trying to do email marketing, you can go to Zoom Info and buy a list of, I don't know, B2B businesses or something like that. You can just buy a list of names, you know? And you can start blasting them and there's no issues there. Nothing's stopping companies from just spamming people.

Larry Kim: But in messaging, you can only send messages to people who've explicitly granted your company permissions to message them on messenger. So as a result, you tend to have smaller lists, but those lists have astronomical engagement rates, like 80% open rates and 20% click-through rates is pretty typical. I don't think it's just tricking people by triggering the push notifications because if that was true, why would there be a 20% click-through rate? You see what I'm saying? So people would just ignore it and block the bot if they were so mad. But actually, 20% of people are clicking on these things, which is much higher than the one percent you typically see in email. It's a really exciting new emerging channel for distribution and just for keeping in touch with your customers. I'm not saying you should do it instead of email, but people overwhelmingly use messaging in general as their communications platform, so I think it's generally a good idea to embed yourself into where those places where your customers hang out.

Alanna Jackson: And you're not inundated like you are with email. You get tons of emails from all over every day, and it's probably less than they're getting through messenger, and that's probably one of the reasons why some of those open rates are higher than email.

Larry Kim: Yeah, that's another thing. So in marketing, it's all about first mover advantage. You were talking about the decline of Facebook page reach, but if you were doing this Facebook organic marketing 12 years ago, then you would have been having a great return on investment, you see what I'm saying? So all these marketing channels, they dramatically disproportionately reward the early adopters of the technology, and it's never going to be easier to get messenger subscribers as it is today because it's just so new. And only about one percent of businesses are actually using it, so.

Alanna Jackson: Oh, really?

Larry Kim: There's only about 400 thousand messenger chatbots in the world, but there's about 80 million businesses, so it's less than one percent.

Alanna Jackson: Oh, wow.

Stacy Jackson: Are there GDPR concerns that people would have to be aware of, or does Mobile Monkey and even Facebook help people not get in trouble?

Larry Kim: So Mobile Monkey is just using the Facebook Messenger API, so when you start a conversation for the first time with a business over messenger, it serves you this Facebook terms and conditions kind of thing. Like, by starting this conversation, you're agreeing to blah, blah, blah. It's like one of those click-through licenses. And nobody ever reads it, but that's basically to check all the boxes for these GDPR consent requirements, to inform the customer of how the data's being used, et cetera, et cetera, so basically the Facebook lawyers have figured this out and all we're doing is we're just using their technology to send messages.

Stacy Jackson: Well that's convenient. With all the noise out there, like millions of new blog posts published every day, and you were talking about trying to get content in front of the right people, Mobile Monkey could help people do that. And I love the way that you guys do it because it's very engaging and entertaining when I get those little messages from Mobile Monkey. So what are your tips and best practices for a B2B business? Obviously, don't be boring, but what are some good ideas of how they could actually make it more engaging and interactive so people want to go download that whitepaper?

Larry Kim: Sure. So we don't just take our email marketing emails and paste them into the chat and then send them out. It's a different medium, so there's different best practices. One of the things we do is we ... Chat, there's an expectation of it being an interactive medium. So if you think of your own chat discussions with your husband or your friends, it's usually back and forth 10 times or something like that, you know what I mean? So the idea here is to take the message that you want to send and break it up into short sentences, kind of like, "You'll never guess what happened." That's your opening message, and then you provide some buttons like, "No, no, tell me. What happened?" You just have all these providing the user the ability to respond and interact with the content that you're providing. So each message should be very short, it should be very informal. We actually don't even use capital letters, we use, it's all lowercase. We use emojis and gifs and spelling abbreviations because that's very customary for chat communications, it's very informal, and basically that's some of the obvious stuff.

Larry Kim: Some of the more advanced stuff include asking the user questions instead of declaring something, so I think a lot of blog posts are more of the declarative style, where you're making some kind of a bold claim. If you think of blog posts, you could say, "Five ways to do email marketing." Or something like this. That would be a blog post that you would send. But in chat, you might want to frame it a little differently. You might as your opener be like, "Hey, are you struggling with low email open rates?" You know? And then kind of engage the user in that way. Eventually, you can just send them the link to your blog post, but you got to that location, that outcome in a more conversational way. You see what I'm saying?

Alanna Jackson: Yeah, more relaxed.

Stacy Jackson: And you guys do a great job of that, I always-

Larry Kim: Yeah.

Stacy Jackson: Click through.

Alanna Jackson: So I want to switch gears just a little and talk about the coming Gen-Z, people that are now coming into the workforce, I think the top of that demographic, they're now in their 20s. They don't really use Facebook to the degree that they use Instagram and other platforms that are kind of more private or limited group type situations. So with Facebook unifying messaging for Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook, does messenger marketing or something like Mobile Monkey present a better way for companies to reach this demographic?

Larry Kim: Yeah, so the way ... You still need to get people to opt into your messages, okay? So-

Alanna Jackson: Right.

Larry Kim: Right? Because you can't just randomly send messages to people. So there's an ad format called click to messenger ad for Instagram, okay? So what I would be doing is I would be running some really cool, hip video ad on Instagram because that's where those Gen-Z people hang out, and I'd be offering them something like, if they click the button, offer them, I don't know, a gift card or something. Just trying to get people to subscribe. With a click to messenger ad, as soon as the user click on the ad, they've opted into receiving messages from your business. You see what I'm saying?

Larry Kim: So it's kind of like, I don't know if you remember this, but 15 years ago, there was a Facebook like ad, where you would run an ad and if they clicked the button, they would become a fan of your page. So now it’s 2020, so they've kind of changed the game a little bit where the goal is not to get page fans, it's to get messaging subscribers. So they have a new ad format called click to messenger ads, which, if the user clicks on them, they become a messenger subscriber so you can send them some content and start a dialogue with them on Instagram chat or on messenger. You see what I'm saying?

Stacy Jackson: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I think that'd be a fun way for recruiters who, if these people aren't on LinkedIn-

Alanna Jackson: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stacy Jackson: To maybe put a job ad and click to message to reach us about this application. I just think that'd be neat.

Larry Kim: Yeah, because Instagram and Facebook have amazing targeting options, you could be very selective. You could narrow it down to recent grads with, I don't know, engineering degrees, and then you could talk to them about their possible career opportunities in their space. Doing it through messaging rather than sending people directly to your website. You see what I'm saying?

Stacy Jackson: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Larry Kim: It's just kind of a differentiated, more interactive way of doing that. Here's the thing with ads or marketing in general. You're making a lot of assumptions. So in marketing, if I post something to my wall or if I post an ad to an audience, I'm assuming that this content that I'm creating is relevant to the users who will consume that content. And these assumptions are usually wrong. In messaging, you don't have to make those assumptions, you can just conversationally ask the person, like, "Are you looking for a job? Yes or no?" Based on the answer of that question, you can very decisively understand what their interests are as opposed to just guessing based on, oh, I think my email list will be interested in this, or, I think this ad audience will be interested in this.

Larry Kim: And then in messaging, based on the feedback you're getting from the user, you can change the next question. So you don't just continue down this funnel asking them irrelevant questions. You have to kind of adapt to the answers that are being provided by the user and just sending them down different pathways. So if they say, "Oh, I'm looking for a software testing job in the South Boston area." Well then, now that you've collected that information, you should then send them to the right page on your website as opposed to just sending them to all the tech jobs. You see what I'm saying? You can kind of pre-qualify and figure out where to send them and then send them ... you can still send links on messenger, but what you can do is you can find out more about what offer will be relevant to that user.

Stacy Jackson: Yeah. Okay, Larry. We don't want to take up too much more of your time, but we do have one more just for fun question that we like to wrap up our conversations with, and we came up with this one specifically for you. If you weren't creating software for marketers, what other industry or niche would you find interesting to tackle next and why?

Larry Kim: I think I'm very happy building software for marketers, but if for whatever reason I wasn't doing this, maybe just doing math. Math teaching or computer science professor. Something related to education.

Stacy Jackson: Oh, that'd be great.

Alanna Jackson: So I hope you like kids-

Larry Kim: Awesome.

Alanna Jackson: If that's one thing that you would be doing.

Larry Kim: Yeah, I have two boys. One's zero and one is four and they are a handful.

Alanna Jackson: Oh, wow. I was going to say, those two ages are probably a handful.

Stacy Jackson: But fun.

Alanna Jackson: Yes. All right, so marketers, there you have it. Reasons why B2B marketers should consider Facebook Messenger marketing, straight from Larry Kim. Larry, if our audience would like to follow you online or get in touch with you, what are the best ways to do that?

Larry Kim: I'm on Twitter, so it's LarryKim on Twitter, I check that every day. Also, LinkedIn, or Mobile Monkey has a Facebook group called Mobile Monkey Island. That's just available on Facebook, all right?

Stacy Jackson: Also, listeners, I saw on a Facebook live today on Larry's page about Facebook Messenger chat bot master class offered by Mobile Monkey, it's on their website. We'll include a link to that along with Larry's contact info in the show notes. And I've already signed up for it and nobody paid me to say that, I think it'll be great. I already took a peek at the content. Larry, thank you for joining us. We really do appreciate your time and taking some time out of your busy schedule to talk to us.

Alanna Jackson: Yeah, we really appreciate it.

Larry Kim: Thank you, and thanks for reaching out. Have a good day.

Alanna Jackson: Okay, people. That's a wrap. If you want to get in touch with me or Stacy, you can hit us up on social. On Twitter, you can find Stacy at Stacy_Jax, that's S-T-A-C-Y, underscore, J-A-X, and you can find me at Alanna_Jax, that's A-L-A-N-N-A, underscore, J-A-X. And hey, if you're not a Twitter fan, look us up on LinkedIn. Stacy Jackson or Alanna Jackson. We will respond to you with any questions you might have if you reach out to us. Finally, don't forget you can also leave us a voicemail on the Anchor mobile app.

Stacy Jackson: Yeah. All right, people. Thanks for joining us. Have a great week.

Alanna Jackson: Bye.

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