Share this Post
On March 14, 2022, social online life of the Russian audience changed dramatically. The point is that a few days earlier the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation demanded from the government to restrict the access to Instagram and recognize this resource as a platform that foments a political conflict towards Russian citizens.
After the publication of these data, most bloggers, brands, and active users of the platform got a big question regarding the further promotion of their product on social networking websites. And, as a consequence, there is another equally important aspect. How to maintain an existing audience and at the same time create advertising content to attract a new one, without Instagram? And also what resources are better to do it on?
Transition of the companies and bloggers from Instagram is carried out in three key ways:
It cannot be said that some of these approaches is more correct or efficient. Here you need to realize that any of them differs from the mechanics of promotion on Instagram and has its own peculiarities.
We work with Telegram and we know that it has its own specific features. In the article we will tell you about the peculiarities and specific features of this service and promotion techniques for your brand or channel on Telegram.
successful cases about promotion on Telegram appeared long before the current events.
For example, the channel Don't touch my face of the beauty blogger Adel Miftakhova, which was created in 2016, “was transformed” into a successful cosmetic brand Don't touch my skin in 2019. Alfa-Capital Management Company was able to attract new customers thanks to the maintaining of its own Telegram channel Alfa Wealth.
In both cases, the companies devoted a huge amount of time to content elaboration and search for their audience on Telegram. Therefore, you need to understand that “to promote the channel in a week”, as some bloggers tried to do after the news about the blocking of Instagram in Russia, would not work.
However, Telegram still has a significant advantage - the messenger's audience is more stable and growing every year. According to the data of 2021, active Telegram users comprise 52% of the entire Runet audience. Besides, 62% of the same indicator downloaded the app to their phones. It is pretty obvious that after the blocking of lots of media resources in Russia in March 2022, the latter actually began to actively use the service in order, as a minimum, to be up-to-date. And this is not the last figure associated with the growth of Telegram users. According to many experts, it will be even bigger by the end of 2022.
The prospect is quite attractive and feasible, but subject to a competent promotion strategy that takes into account all the nuances of the messenger.
Before launching an advertising company on Telegram, the important points should be taken into account that concern placement of the main content on this resource. Without understanding the specifics of the service, the results will most likely be failing.
The most important feature of Telegram is actually that it is, first of all, a messenger.
Therefore, the main content of the platform is text and it needs to be given great attention. You should also take into account that the majority of users visit Telegram to “read the latest news”. In other words, the advertising content must meet this requirement and contain not just information about a product/a call to buy, but also be relating to news and covering a more global topic.
In recent times a good example is the Modulbank advertising message in Ksenia Sobchak's Telegram channel Bloody Lady. The advertising post contains information about the company's products, but at the same time shows how relevant they are taking into account the current economic situation in Russia. And of course, it should be said about the appropriate choice of a popular TV presenter channel, which has a huge audience of loyal users.
Through a specific example, it is pretty obvious that efficiency of content on Telegram directly depends on:
A few words should be said regarding the last point. Since you need to understand that any Telegram channel is a news feed where one post is followed by another. Therefore, it is better to agree with the channel owners beforehand so that the overlap of the advertising post does not occur, for example, within 12-24 hours or about its pin for the same day. Accordingly, the success of the content directly depends on timing of the post placement on Telegram.
Despite the predominance of text content, some companies still sometimes “break the rules”.
A good case in support of this idea is the “promotion” of the Telegram channel PSGR, owned by Aviasales, using voice messages. The project was launched at the end of 2021 and the content became “viral” thanks to the unusual format of advertising messages.
Originally, the brand planned the promotion on four Telegram channels. But as soon as it became clear that such an advertising format began to gain popularity among users, voice posts were integrated additionally into eight popular communities on the same day. Moreover, the idea was caught on by other channels on a "free-of-charge" basis, making reposts of audio recordings.
Thus, the total coverage of the Telegram advertising campaign amounted to 600 thousand, at this within two days about 10,000 people visited the Aviasales website, although some messages did not even have a link to the platform.
It should be understood that this tool was quite effective due to its “spontaneity”. In addition, the company had already had a successful Telegram channel with a large number of subscribers and text content from travel experts, so it could afford to go on an “experiment”.
By the way, there is one more rather creative way of promotion.
A distinctive feature of Telegram is also sticker packs. In other words, it is a set of certain visual symbols that reflect a mood or a specific thought.
But if you think about it as part of creating a marketing strategy for a brand on Telegram, then you can make a conclusion that a corporate set of stickers is another way of communicating with a client. Moreover, it is quite effective, since unique symbols will add brand awareness and can become “viral” within Telegram communication of a client and other users.
A set of Telegram stickers by a popular Russian artist Masha Yankovskaya, repeating sketches of her most famous paintings, including the iconic cover of Esquire ”literary issue"
Many experts consider the low cost of this tool to be a significant advantage. In fact, in order to make a unique set of sticker packs for a brand, you need to come up with its concept and find a talented designer who can implement it. At the same time, the brand will not need additional investments, as, for example, when purchasing advertising in Telegram channels that require constant material resources.
On the other hand, corporate stickers will have an effect if there is a brand's own Telegram channel with an already formed audience. Launching this tool in the absence of at least one of these elements will not bring the desired effect, since users will not yet be familiar with the brand within Telegram communication.
Let's make it clear using a particular example.
In 2017, the cinema audience was waiting for the premiere of the new season of the legendary TV series “Twin Peaks”, the official representative of which was the Amediateka company. On the day of the premiere, the brand opened 28 stickers with iconic Twin Peaks characters for its Telegram subscribers and gave them three-day access to its movie service.
Thus, Amediateka attracted attention to its product by increasing the sales of movie subscriptions, and expanded the community of the series on the Telegram channel. And a set of stickers, in turn, has become a “viral” content popular for quite a long time.
All this shows that sticker packs can be an effective additional tool for promotion on Telegram. But first you still need to think about the main content.
So far, five key mechanics can be distinguished:
In all cases, the effectiveness of promotion will directly depend on the content quality, in particular, text, as mentioned above.
Accordingly, before writing something, it is necessary to find out what topics are interesting for your audience, what situations your customers face in real life, how your product can solve them, etc. Without prior marketing research in this area, the effectiveness of promotion will be minimal.
After the content is created and the channel is successfully registered, the active stage in its promotion begins.
The easiest way is to advertise it on other brand's social networks, if any. The call for this can have a rather simple format. For example, in the form of a link in bio or post.
Many Russian brands/bloggers did so before they stopped broadcasting content on Instagram. Moreover, some of them offered bonuses in the form of free products while subscribing or participating in contests.
Of course, it is impossible to predict how many subscribers will “follow” Telegram after being notified about it on other social networks, but this tool is entirely free.
So does barter cooperation with other Telegram channels. There are two criteria that are important components of this mechanics: the presence of the same number of subscribers for both integration participants (as an indicator of audience loyalty) and the correct choice of a partner channel (here you can use additional analytics services).
Competent specialists when choosing a partner are guided not by the number of subscribers, but by ER and views. These indicators “speak” much more about the effectiveness of content placement, taking into account the fact that Telegram posts have a news related format and will disappear in the feed after the next ones appear.
Usually, barter cooperation between channels occurs under one of the scenarios: either placing posts for 24/48 hours, or a certain number of views, after which the posts are deleted. Both options are mutually beneficial, but it is better to interact with the same Telegram partner not more than once a month. Firstly, during this period, the channel can gain a new audience, not earlier. Secondly, intrusive advertising, especially on Telegram, can cause a negative reaction from subscribers.
If the first promotion options do not require a certain budget from the company, then the purchase of advertising in popular Telegram channels will be paid. Integration of a campaign under this mechanics can be done according to one of three versions of the advertising scenario:
Telegram Ad Platform is the messenger's own advertising resource. When choosing this tool, it should be taken into account that the advertising message should not exceed 160 characters and external links and photos cannot be attached to it. Put in other words, again, an ad will be directed to the Telegram channel again without the possibility to broadcast the company's website/online store to the audience.
In addition, the advertiser will not be able to select a specific community for the paid integration: the system will automatically display ads in all channels that have more than 1,000 subscribers.
The only thing that can be configured is an advertising campaign, specifying a link to the brand channel, approximate cost per 1000 impressions, budget, language and community topics. Telegram itself will offer analytics based on the results of the campaign with statistics on joining your channel / launching a bot after clicking on the ad and general information on costs (taking into account the price you specified for 1000 impressions).
Not all advertisers are satisfied with Telegram Ad Platform due to the “limited” set of features, therefore they choose the second option - Telegram channel exchanges. That is, the purchase of advertising through intermediaries. There are more opportunities here, because Telegram exchanges differ from each other and have different types of integrations.
For example, the Epicstars exchange is aimed at promotion of advertising through bloggers and opinion leaders (not only on Telegram, but also on other social networks). Telega.in works only with a “live audience” and does not cooperate with bot channels. Barzha presents itself as a private Telegram exchange which provides analytics and favorable rates for advertisers. The advantage of this service is that you can view the list of channels before buying integration with this exchange. Tgbox.pro cooperates with channels using chatbots and publishes honest reviews from advertisers. And Telegrator.ru is a bargain, because it is free and offers cooperation with channels not only on a paid basis, but also on terms of barter PR, which we discussed earlier.
And this list can be continued if an advertiser realizes that the resources offered by the before mentioned exchanges are not enough for successful promotion on Telegram.
Or you can choose the third option of purchasing advertising and contact the owner of a certain channel directly, as Aviasales did in the case with voice advertising messages. The brand has successfully integrated the campaign in 12 popular Russian-language Telegram channels, including the “Merciless PR Man”, “Bloody lady”, “Russian Marketing”, “Good morning, Karl!”, etc.
However, it should be understood that this method of implementing an advertising campaign has its own risks. Firstly, it will take more time, since channel owners do not respond promptly to all requests from advertisers. Secondly, they may not agree to integrate if the advertisement seems to them “inappropriate” on the subject for their channel.
In other words, the purchase of advertising in popular Telegram communities requires a competent approach from the brand to setting up an advertising campaign, choosing channels for its integration, as well as having a certain budget for implementation.
The same can be said about the “promotion” of popular Telegram collections, as well as adding the channel to paid catalogs. In these cases, the campaign budget will be implemented to advertise the collections and catalogs themselves, where the brand's content/channel falls. Despite the more complex promotion tactics in comparison with the previous examples, the tool allows you to “unobtrusively” broadcast advertising to a huge number of potential audiences due to a single selection topic and interest in it from subscribers.
For example, Telegram collection "Linguistics" will allow the channel of, for example, a foreign language schools to find new customers much faster, targeted precisely at the company's products/services. You can say the same about any other sphere. Therefore, some Telegram experts consider this promotion tool to be one of the most effective, but provided, again, that there is a budget for implementation and good analytical skills.
You can't call a chatbot a direct promotion tool on Telegram. Rather, it is its additional function along with the automation of work on the content placement and improvement of the service for customers.
In addition, chatbots are very different. Paid, free, which Telegram offers to users, existing only within the messenger, integrated with other company resources, etc.
Despite many types of virtual assistants, all of them have two main functions.
Firstly, it concerns autoposting. The chatbot allows you to plan the placement of content on the channel in advance, saving significant time resources. Besides, a bot will allow you to track the analytics of views and, depending on its type, publish posts with different content.
For example, @ControllerBot can add buttons and emojis to a post, and include comments. In cooperation with @coub - animated pictures. The bot @VoterBiBot publishes sweepstakes and drawings, and it will be useful to brands for which this type of promotion is successful on other social resources.
At first glance, it seems quite difficult to understand the chatbot system. But “the game is worth the candle”, because it is convenient.
Besides, a virtual assistant is able not only to post publications, but also to interact with customers. This function is aimed at improving the service and has already been successfully implemented by many large companies.
By the way, the X-Fit network of fitness centers has been using the bot for a long time in Telegram group chats, where it independently answers customers' questions and informs them about sports programs at the club.
Also such bot can also process orders, lead customers to the site from Telegram chat / the other way around, register for webinars, close simple and complex queries, depending on its purpose and the developer company. In this case there are a lot of ways for integration with Telegram, if only “the client was satisfied”.
Regardless of the chosen function, the bot will in any case contribute to the promotion of the brand (and not only on Telegram) and, sooner or later, every major company / expert / owner of the channel thinks about it.
"For me, channels on Telegram differ little from media, so the trends are the same for everyone — in my opinion, it is efficiency, exclusivity, the right selection of speakers / experts. In general, it has always been so, and it will be so in 2022.” - Alexander Sysoev (owner of the SysoevFM Telegram-channel)
Telegram, which has been steadily gaining popularity for several years, is a promising resource for brand promotion. However, when choosing this service, you have to understand its features. In a greater degree you have to understand how a high-quality text content for the audience is developed.
Subject to the latter, Telegram offers many choices for promotion. In short, the following can be said about this:
1) Telegram channel promotion via other social networks is a free tool suitable for the initial stage with a small number of subscribers. It will be quite effective if you add “bonuses” in the form of contests or a free product to it, in addition to a link to a resource;
2) barter partnership with other channels is another “budget” option based on mutually beneficial cooperation between channels. The advantage here is that you can choose a partner at your discretion, and the disadvantage is that frequent integration with the same channels can cause a negative reaction from the audience;
3) purchase of advertising from popular Telegram communities is a paid tool that allows you to conduct a full-fledged advertising campaign in the messenger. It requires from the advertiser to have a clear idea of which communities/opinion leaders he needs and automatically broadcasts all content there directly or through intermediary exchanges;
4) promotion of popular collections and catalogs of the service is the same paid function, which has a more complex scheme of promotion settings than the rest ones, but at the same time not less effective;
5) a chatbot, paid and free, is a tool for additional customer service and automation of content placement in a Telegram channel. Combining many functions, it is a powerful means of promotion and saves time resources.
All this should be taken into account when developing a promotion strategy, besides creative approaches to present information. RMAA experts will help your business build communication on Telegram with consideration of all the necessary options and tools for this.
Ready to partner with the specialists in Russian marketing and advertising?
About the Author
A content lead. Natalia runs marketing projects promotion with different digital tools in the Russian-speaking market.