‘Instagram Messaging Automation will redefine relationships between brands & consumers’

Yellow.ai & e4m recently organised a panel discussion on the topic ‘Instagram Messaging Automation- A game changer for brands’

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Dec 27, 2021 12:00 PM  | 6 min read

Instagram Messaging Automation is set to redefine the entire purchasing cycle from brand discovery to post-purchase support and the recently launched automation API has companies, large and small, around the country gearing up for a new kind of marketplace. With the app being able to provide CX and support in over 100+ languages using Yellow.ai’s award-winning conversational AI platform, it is vital for companies to familiarise themselves with the API and optimise its utility to expand and nurture their businesses.

Against the backdrop of this paradigm shift across brand building and marketing, the exchange4media group organized a vital virtual panel discussion, moderated and sponsored by Yellow.ai on the topic “Instagram Messaging Automation- A Game Changer for Brands.”

Some of the points of discussion included how brands’ social media engagement has evolved over time and the cause and effect of these developments on CX expectations as well as the changing nature of transactional exchanges between companies and their clients.  It also examined the varied use cases of chatbots, their viability when it comes to customer interactions and experience and how much further they can be used in consumer acquisition and retention.

These were just some of the many topics addressed by a stellar cast of speakers in a session moderated by Neil Barman, Chief Growth Officer, Yellow.ai. The panellists were Shreya Sachdev, Head Marketing, PUMA; Ekta Agarwal, Strategic Product Partnership Manager, Meta; Pragati Rana, Senior Vice President Strategy, Isobar India; Shardul Bist, CMO, Modi Naturals Ltd; Samyukta Ganesh Iyer, VP and Head of Marketing, Kaya India; and Karthik Nagarajan, Chief Content Officer, Wavemaker.

“The art of possible is now beyond posts, stories, and DMs to a complete customer experience life cycle that can be executed on Instagram Messenger,” noted Barman, opening the discussion while addressing how every step of the customer journey can be facilitated through the automation, and can manage high volumes of customer messages which can help transform conversations into business outcomes.  

Speaking with authority as a member of team Meta, Agarwal explained that the functioning and strategies of brands and target groups on Instagram has evolved over time. “When Instagram was founded in 2010, it was initially a picture sharing platform but now has evolved so many times and has become the birthplace of many brands. As per stats, 90% of IG users follow brands, and two-thirds of these use IG as the first way to reach out to brands,” she observed.

Agarwal added that the pandemic had accelerated this growth, with many people working from home, and companies both big and small using messaging apps to stay engaged with customers as well as employees, and that IG had become a de facto brand discovery and engagement platform. As she pointed out, “From browsing and scrolling it has evolved to talking and purchasing.”

Highlighting the ubiquity of Instagram, Sachdev said, “For our brand, as with so many others, Instagram now exists in every part of the consumer funnel. Most of our consumers are on Instagram and as a digital platform it helps us reach out to people who aren’t necessarily captive audiences, who don’t visit our stores or aren’t aware of our offerings. We also cover so many segments, right from running/track to various sports and athletics, and so using Instagram Shop effectively helps with our product visibility across different audiences.”

She added that it has evolved to help PUMA to be able to also keep engaging with people who’ve already bought their products, whether it’s keeping them engaged through Reels and stories and a myriad other feature, to being able to answer sales and post-purchase queries.

Iyer said Instagram has been a blessing for Kaya, as “We have so many formats ranging from a network of 100-plus dermatologists to our skin clinics to entire ranges of FMCG products in skincare and other categories, and we have been able to use every tool on Instagram to effectively leverage each part of our business. It’s become critical to every touch point of the customer journey, from pre to purchase to post. In fact, we use a hub and spoke model from which all our content on Instagram gets disseminated across our other digital as well as offline channels.”

Rana noted Instagram has transformed the entire consumer experience and psyche. It has gone from a platform where you could express yourself to be able to relate with others to a place to discover new brands and even buy them to now becoming a place where you can also come back to and raise consumer issues and get them resolved.  

Addressing how agencies can help clients use Instagram Messaging to scale, Rana said “The automation is going to revolutionize the entire process and provide so many different opportunities for marketing, both short term and long term. From giving instant gratification by giving a discount code for a buyer’s next purchase to innovating movie marketing strategies to suggesting entire ensembles from fashion brands to solve a major pain for consumers who want a complete look.”

“We are at a phase where people are more comfortable on Instagram through the messaging platform than any other mode of communication. We are entering an era of conversation as content,” observed Nagarajan, citing several studies that show people are more comfortable using Instagram Messaging than any other messaging app, and noting that his own time on IG’s messenger has gone up by 4X in the last two years.  

Speaking about the use cases of Instagram messaging automation, Bist concluded that, “The biggest boon is the seamless integration across campaigns. Instagram Messaging has really ramped up where we use it as the control panel of our various campaigns, from putting out content to working with influencers to answering consumer queries. Instagram messaging starting off from stories definitely takes a lot of load off the CRM team and gives us better baskets to target our consumers with. Automation of Instagram messaging is the next level for us in our CX journey.”



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