As a small business owner, you're probably looking for ways to reach new customers and increase your revenue. One tool I am referring my mentees to that you should also consider is Telegram, a popular messaging app that is gaining popularity among businesses for its marketing capabilities. In this article, I'll explain why you should use Telegram for your business and provide a step-by-step guide on how to get started.
What is Telegram?
Telegram is an instant-messaging app similar to those services created by the American company Meta, owner of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The app was launched in 2013 by the Russian-born brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov and has grown to over 500 million active users. It is known for its privacy and security features and ability to send large files and media.
Telegram In Numbers
550 million monthly active users. An increase of 175% since 2018.
The world's 8th most popular social platform globally.
55.2 million daily active users.
The top-5 most downloaded apps in the world. In Summer 2022, it passed 700 million monthly active users.
The average Telegram user spends 2.9 hours on the app each month.
Why use Telegram for marketing?
Large User Base - Telegram has a large user base that continues to grow. This means that you have the potential to reach a large number of people with your marketing messages.
Privacy and Security - It has built a reputation as a secure messaging app. It offers end-to-end encryption, which means that your messages are protected from interception or hacking.
Cost-Effective - Telegram is free to use and offers many features to help you market your business without spending much money. For example, you can create a channel or group to communicate with your customers, share updates, and even sell your products.
Customization - The app offers a high level of customization for your marketing messages. You can create branded stickers and GIFs to make your messages more engaging and shareable.
Marketing opportunities on Telegram
Telegram channels are an excellent way to promote your brand, products, and services. Unlike groups, channels allow you to broadcast messages to a large number of people without creating a cluttered discussion. Channels can be public or private, and users can subscribe to them for updates. You can create a channel for your business and regularly update it with relevant information, offers, and promotions. Channels are a great way to keep your customers engaged with your brand and inform them about new products or services.
Telegram bots are automated chat programs that can perform a variety of tasks, including customer support, order tracking, and lead generation. Bots can be programmed to respond to user queries, provide product recommendations, and help customers complete transactions. Small Businesses can use bots to streamline their customer support process and provide 24/7 assistance to their customers. Additionally, bots can be used to generate leads by engaging users in conversation and collecting their contact information.
Telegram groups are another way to connect with your customers and build a community around your brand. You can create a group for your business and invite customers to join. Groups can be used for customer support, feedback, and discussions. You can also use groups to offer exclusive promotions or discounts to your most loyal customers.
Telegram also offers advertising opportunities for businesses. You can create and promote ads on Telegram channels or other relevant groups. Telegram ads are an effective way to reach a wider audience and promote your brand to people who are interested in your products or services. Additionally, Telegram ads are cost-effective, and you can choose your target audience based on location, age, gender, and interests.
Contests are a great way to engage your audience and create buzz around your brand. You can create a contest on Telegram and encourage users to participate by sharing your brand's message or completing a task. Contests can be used to promote new products, increase brand awareness, and reward loyal customers.
The app offers a range of marketing opportunities for businesses to connect with their customers and promote their brand. Whether you choose to create a channel, bot, group, or run ads, Telegram provides businesses with the tools they need to succeed. By leveraging the power of Telegram, businesses can build a strong online presence and connect with customers on a more personal level.
8 Steps to getting started with Telegram marketing
1. Download Telegram
The first step to using Telegram for marketing is to download the app on your mobile device or desktop. You can find the app in the App Store or Google Play Store.
2. Create a channel or group
Once you've downloaded the app, you must create a channel or group for your business. A channel is similar to a broadcast list, where you can send messages to a large group of people. A group, on the other hand, is more like a chat room where members can interact with each other.
A well-designed channel can help attract potential customers and keep them engaged with your brand. Make sure to use high-quality images, videos, and content that are relevant to your target audience. Additionally, use keywords in the channel description and make it easy for users to find and join your channel.
Here are the steps to create a channel or group on Telegram:
Creating a Group:
Open the Telegram app and tap on the "New Group" button.
Select the contacts that you want to add to your group.
Choose a name for your group and add a group photo (optional).
Set the privacy settings for your group (public or private) and configure other options such as permissions and admin roles.
Tap on the "Create" button to create your group.
Creating a Channel:
Open the Telegram app and tap on the "New Channel" button.
Choose a name for your channel and add a channel photo (optional).
Set the privacy settings for your channel (public or private) and configure other options such as who can post messages and view the channel's members list.
Tap on the "Create" button to create your channel.
Share your channel's link with your audience to start growing your subscribers.
3. Customize your channel or group
Once you've created your channel or group, you'll want to customize it to reflect your brand. You can upload a profile picture, add a description, and even create a custom URL.
4. Invite members
The next step is to invite members to your channel or group. Then, you can share your channel or group URL on your website, social media profiles, or email newsletter.
Here are some ideas to promote your channel or group to get more subscribers:
Create an eye-catching banner for your Telegram channel or group to grab people's attention and promote it on the most popular pages of your site.
Share the link to your Telegram channel or group on your website, social media profiles, and email newsletter.
Use relevant hashtags to share your Telegram channel or group on social media platforms to increase visibility.
Encourage your existing subscribers to invite their friends and family to join your Telegram channel or group.
Offer exclusive content or discounts to your Telegram subscribers to make it more appealing.
Collaborate with other Telegram channels or groups with similar interests and cross-promote each other.
Regularly post engaging and relevant content on your Telegram channel or group to keep your subscribers interested and attract new ones.
Run a giveaway or contest exclusively for your Telegram subscribers to encourage more people to join.
Use paid advertising on social media platforms to target your desired audience and increase your Telegram subscribers.
Make sure to include a call-to-action in all your promotions to urge people to join your Telegram channel or group.
5. Share your content
Once you have members in your channel or group, you can start sharing your content. Creating compelling content is crucial to keeping your audience engaged with your brand. Use a mix of text, images, and videos to produce engaging content relevant to your target audience. Use hashtags and keywords to make your content more discoverable.
Telegram can be a great platform to offer exclusive deals and promotions to your followers. This can be in the form of discounts, freebies, or early access to new products or services. Make sure to communicate these offers clearly and provide clear instructions on how to redeem them. Again, be sure to keep your messages engaging and relevant to your audience.
6. Engage with your members
Telegram allows you to engage with your members in real time. Responding promptly to user comments and questions can help build trust and credibility with your audience. Encourage your followers to participate in discussions and offer valuable insights and feedback.
7. Keep your eye on the analytics
Monitoring your Telegram analytics can provide valuable insights into the performance of your channel and content. Use analytics tools to track user engagement, demographics, and growth trends. Use this information to optimize your content and marketing strategies for better results.
8. Use Telegram ads
Telegram advertising can be a great way to reach a wider audience and promote your business. You can create ads that target specific demographics and interests and track the performance of your campaigns. Make sure to set a clear objective for your advertising campaigns and measure their success regularly.
Telegram vs. Whatsapp: Which is the Better Choice for Small Businesses?
Both Telegram and WhatsApp are popular messaging apps with their unique strengths and weaknesses. While WhatsApp has a larger user base and is better suited for businesses, Telegram offers better security and privacy. Small business owners should consider their specific needs and preferences when choosing between the two apps.
User Base and Popularity
Telegram and WhatsApp are both widely popular messaging apps, with over a billion monthly active users each. WhatsApp, however, has a more extensive user base than Telegram, making it the more popular app. WhatsApp's popularity is attributed to its simplicity, ease of use, and the fact that it is owned by Facebook, which has allowed it to gain a massive user base.
Security and Privacy
Regarding security and privacy, Telegram has a distinct advantage over WhatsApp. Telegram is known for its end-to-end encryption, ensuring all messages are fully secure and private. Additionally, Telegram allows users to create secret chats that use self-destructing messages, making it a popular choice for individuals and businesses that prioritize security and privacy.
On the other hand, WhatsApp has faced criticism for its data-sharing practices with Facebook, leading many users to question the app's commitment to privacy. While WhatsApp does offer end-to-end encryption, it also collects user data and shares it with Facebook for targeted advertising purposes.
Features and Functionality
Telegram and WhatsApp offer a range of features that make them popular messaging apps. Telegram is known for its customizable chat backgrounds, themes, and stickers, as well as its support for large group chats of up to 200,000 members. Telegram also offers file sharing of up to 2GB, which makes it a popular choice for businesses that need to share large files.
On the other hand, WhatsApp is known for its simplicity and ease of use. The app offers features such as voice and video calls, group chats, and file sharing of up to 100MB. WhatsApp is also integrated with other Facebook-owned apps, such as Instagram and Messenger, making it easy for businesses to communicate with customers across multiple platforms.
When it comes to integrating with businesses, WhatsApp has a clear advantage over Telegram. WhatsApp Business is a dedicated app designed specifically for businesses, offering features such as quick replies, automated messages, and business profiles. WhatsApp Business also integrates with other Facebook-owned apps, making it easy for businesses to communicate with customers across multiple platforms.
Telegram, on the other hand, does not have a dedicated app for businesses. While it does offer a range of features that make it suitable for businesses, such as large group chats and file sharing, it lacks the dedicated business tools that WhatsApp provides.
Long story short, Telegram is an easy-to-implement versatile marketing tool ideal for small businesses as it offers excellent ROI, privacy, security, savings, and personalization. In addition, it provides opportunities like channels, bots, groups, ads, polls, and contests to connect with customers and promote your brand. With Telegram, your business can create a robust online presence and connect with customers on a more personal level, generate leads, and, most importantly, build a relationship that drives increased revenue.