What is the potential of combining content and chat in a news app? 8 ideas and suggestions

The connection of current, relevant content with a real-time chat offers many exciting opportunities for content providers. Chat applications have become an integral part of private communication. For some years now they have also arrived in business communication and are increasingly replacing the classic communication channels email or telephone. In most cases, many users simply prefer chat – in other words, there is great demand on the user side.

A tool that is already frequently used in online marketing are so-called on-site live chats, which make it possible to chat with potential or actual customers live and directly on their own website. tchop offers this possibility and much more now in native apps with its own look and feel.

Media and content providers are already using the well-known messaging platforms, primarily to reach new target groups, to build reach and often also to gain experience with it for the first time. Links are usually distributed via subscriptions or groups using bots. The use of such chatbots is becoming more widespread and was one of the hotly discussed topics in the digital economy in 2017.

Reduce dependence on Facebook

However, a decisive disadvantage for publishers remains as in the area of ​​social media: the platform providers (in this case, especially Facebook, which controls WhatsApp and Messenger, the two largest chat services in this country) ultimately pursue their own financial interests and start now increasingly with the marketing of chat platforms. In this sense, Facebook is ultimately a competitor of content providers and media that struggle for the same advertising customers and budgets.

Technically, What´s App and Messenger are “open” anyway. On the contrary: Facebook has direct control over how content is displayed, marketed and what data is collected. Just as changes to the news feed algorithm have led to a drop in reach for publishers, it can be expected that Facebook’s own interests will also become more important on the chat platforms (and are now becoming increasingly important).

If you want to control and market messages and content in connection with mobile real-time chats flexibly and independently, the only way is ultimately the classic way via your own media: your own website or your own apps.

Live chat as real added value

A basic condition for the use of a chat are always registered users. At the same time, this is the most important requirement for all paid content, premium and club models. Only those who know their users can monetize them efficiently with appropriate offers.

The interplay of content and personalized live communication in a separate app offers different opportunities to make such premium offers more attractive and to make a significant contribution to marketing and sales.

For the users of your content or your apps, the extension to a chat can mean the following in concrete terms:

  • to register any added value at all
  • paying added value for an offer (more)
  • a motivation to use the offer more frequently, regardless of the content (keyword: retention)
  • a new innovative format that gives you the opportunity to get involved yourself (keyword: empowerment)
  • a format that also shows new perspectives and options

The integration of an independent chat platform can not only have a positive effect on usage, monetization and customer satisfaction. It also opens up completely new possibilities in terms of user experience that only exist if both take place for the user in one app.

8 suggestions and ideas

The connection of content and real-time chat communication is an exciting new field and the possibilities are varied and quite different depending on the application, target group and content. We have collected some ideas as inspiration:

  1. Chat as a feedback channel: Users can use open groups on current topics to give feedback or openly discuss relevant developments and details. Users get a direct line to the creators. The ability to link groups with content and to provide appropriate titles gives an editorial team much more options than a classic comment column. In addition, it is possible to control down to the individual user who can write in the chat or who can only read (for example, the writing could only be withheld from certain Premium Club members.
  2. Editorial “chat interviews” with guests: a format that is already used extensively on platforms such as Twitter is chat interviews with guests. In a public read-only chat, users can follow an exchange of ideas with one or between several guests virtually live. After the exchange there is always the possibility to read everything again from the beginning. The editors can use “highlights” and quotes elsewhere. In a simultaneously open public chat, users can make question suggestions so that nothing gets in the way. Corresponding interviews can of course be linked to current topics, mixes and news.
  3. Coordination with “reader-reporters”: User-generated content plays an important role in many “verticals” but also in the local area. With its own tchop app, reader reporters can not only deliver content directly but also 24/7 via apps. The editors can also exchange information on special topics or content in secure 1:1 chats in private live chat. In group chats, the reporters can exchange ideas and pass on tips. For the reader-reporter, the app becomes a mobile switching and communication center with a direct connection to the center.
  4. News Bot: Using our “integrations”, tchop Content Feeds can be automatically integrated into content mixes. Integrations can not only be used editorially, they can also be linked to individual chats. In this way, just like with a chat bot, special news feeds can be created in chat format, which the user can follow. In addition to the classic news format, users are offered an alternative form of presentation of their own content in the content section, which is particularly interesting for younger target groups. This can be controlled dynamically and flexibly by the editorial team.
  5. Added value for top customers: The club concept in terms of paid content plays an important role today, especially for premium offers. The focus here is on exclusive content, services and events. Top customers who have subscribed to more expensive subscription packages can be granted special rights and options using the chat function. Such customers can ask questions or provide suggestions in confidential chat groups. Invitations to exclusive chats, when used correctly, are an attractive “money can’t buy” added value.
  6. User Support: Users can contact the provider at any time with any concerns. Instead of a classic, tedious email, a few lines are enough. Not only can existing customers be looked after efficiently and comfortably (and “upsell”) in a test phase, of course. This saves money, time and resources on the support side compared to other support channels such as the telephone. It has been proven that it ultimately increases customer satisfaction (see some data here).
  7. Live event coverage: Many premium club models are now closely interlinked with event series. Live chats can be used wonderfully before and especially during the event to provide additional content, comments and perspectives – both for participants of the event and for all other users.
  8. Sponsored Chats: Live communication is of course also an exciting topic and a sought-after environment for advertising customers (precisely because Facebook is now starting to market itself). Live chats in your own app can be marketed in different ways. As a special “Branded Chat”, which gives users the opportunity, for example, to get test drives or something else. As a “branded themed chat” that uses a relevant content in the sense of “native advertising”. Or simply as a marketing of native advertising space within the chat experience (as is already the case in the content section).

These are just a few suggestions. Depending on the application and target group, there are a lot more. The first experiences in concrete use show the potential and we are happy to share this experience as far as possible.

Are you interested in your own news app? And would you like to discuss the potential of adding realtime chat? Talk to us at any time. We are looking forward to an exciting, creative exchange!