In the digital age, you’d be forgiven for thinking that visual content is key. Text-based communication in the form of messaging apps and social media is still the biggest driver of internet traffic; but there has been a noticeable decline in usage of email as a primary means of business communications. That being said, a lot has changed since the peak popularity of email. As an increasing number of businesses adopt more modern methods of communication, it is clear that these channels are more powerful than ever before. Here’s why text-based channels remain relevant and important – even in this visual world.
Messaging Apps Are More Than Just for Talking
Chat, video call, or email – which is more effective? The truth is that each medium has its own strengths and weaknesses. Email is great for mass communication, but it lacks the immediacy and personalization of real-time communication. While video calls are great for visual communication, their high barrier to entry makes them less accessible than a written message that can be sent at any time. As such, email has become the dominant medium for B2B business communications. However, times are changing. Businesses are now using new forms of communication, like messaging apps, to reach customers where they are: on their smartphones. All the big apps – like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp – have been steadily introducing features that make them more suitable for business communications. These features include the ability to create targeted ads, link accounts with CRMs, and integrate with business systems like email. As a result, messaging apps have become more than just another medium for communication. They are increasingly becoming the central hub for all customer relations, replacing email in many instances.
They’re Highly Targeted and Personalized Communication
Email marketing is a fantastic way for your business to reach customers, but it can be challenging to create content that is relevant and engaging for every individual. With mass communication, you can’t always be sure that your content is landing with the right person at the right time. While social media and visual marketing can also be tailored to certain audiences, messaging apps take personalization to the next level. With messaging apps, businesses can target specific users based on their purchase history, geographical location, and more. That means you can send coupons, exclusive deals, and rewards to your best customers. You can also provide support to customers who need it. Dialect is AI-powered software that lets businesses send targeted email-like messages via messaging apps. The company claims that its platform lets businesses send targeted, personalized emails to customers without writing a single word. For example, a retailer can use Dialect to send customers a coupon after they have purchased a product. The message would include details like the customer’s name, the product they bought, and the amount of the coupon.
Consumers Are Constantly Using Text-Based Channels to Buy
The rise of social media and visual marketing has led many brands to make their online presence more visual. It has also seen companies adopt a conversational tone in an effort to connect with their customers on a more personal level. However, despite this shift in focus, it is clear that consumers are still making purchases via text-based channels. In fact, a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers found that more than two-thirds (68%) prefer to buy on text-based platforms. The top three channels for purchasing are Facebook (31%), Instagram (14%), and WhatsApp (9%). With that in mind, it is clear that marketers need to find ways to incorporate their visual content with their text-based communication. You can do this by linking your visual content with a targeted call to action in your text-based channel.
B2B is Embracing Text-Based Channels Too
While businesses have traditionally favored email for their communications, it’s clear that B2C is making the most of modern communication channels. However, the rise of social media and visual marketing hasn’t been as evident in B2B communications. However, it is becoming clear that this is changing. A study of 200 B2B marketing professionals found that 90% of respondents use email. Meanwhile, 23% use Facebook, and 6% use Instagram. This suggests that business communications are falling in line with how consumers are interacting with brands. The study also found that, for brands adopting new communication channels, the intention is to use them alongside email, as opposed to replacing it. This makes sense, as email remains a powerful communication channel. It is effective, reliable, and has been proven to work.
There has been a noticeable decline in usage of email as a primary means of business communications. However, businesses have been using new forms of communication, like messaging apps, to reach customers where they are: on their smartphones. It is clear that these channels are more powerful than ever before. With these communication channels, businesses can create targeted, personalized content that is engaging. They can link this content to visual content via social media, while linking visual content to purchase. These channels are a great way for businesses to engage with customers, and they will only become more important as time goes on.