WhatsApp is one of many communications channels that are worth exploring for wider brand communications and campaigns. Here’s why, says Luke Henshall:
With a young family in tow and a busy job, it’s hard to have proper conversations these days.
Yes there’s verbal transactions in day to day life, but full exploratory conversations full of inane and random inputs, the sort that you used to have with your flatmates on a Sunday morning, not so much.
This has all changed however since I discovered WhatsApp (only three years later than the rest of the world, sigh). But, now I’ve found it, I think it’s going to become my new favourite social media platform.
As a group chat function to re-live moments from the wedding I went to last weekend or in the build up to the cricket game I attended last week, it’s hard to beat. The ability to have those random conversations has improved all be it in a more staccato manner than in-person dialogue. It also offers huge value when trying to connect with friends and family across the globe proving a lot more seamless and less clunky than the likes of Facebook Messenger.
None of these benefits will be lost on those who use WhatsApp for personal use, but less well known is the virtues of the app as a marketing comms tool.
With 1 billion users daily and 55 billion messages sent per day, and the launch last month of a new version of the app for businesses, it’s certainly worth keeping WhatsApp in mind as part of your digital comms strategy.
Increasingly we’re seeing brands using WhatsApp as part of a call to action in competitions, providing punters a chance to participate and submit entries by most often by image, audio or video format.
Radio stations have been known to use it - for instance as part of talent hunts where people are invited to send, via WhatsApp, videos of themselves singing.
2. Internal Communication
With its group chat function, WhatsApp can be a powerful tool in team building and for internal comms. Similar to the popular method of creating email groups but with the simplicity and agility has made it an appealing option for communication between company owners and employees.
3. Publicity Campaigns
One of the most interesting uses for WhatsApp is the personalization of publicity campaigns for consumers – and particularly for deepening relationships with customers you’ve already connected with, as you’ll have to have their phone details to have them on your WhatsApp radar.
Take a look at this Absolute Vodka campaign for instance:
By enabling direct and two-way interactions with audiences, these campaigns promote higher engagement and innovative methods to deliver message and drive engagement.
As an example, a Brazilian chocolate maker Lacta created a marketing campaign for a brand of chocolates during Valentine’s Day, where users could ask for suggestions of places to go or receive customized gifts, like photo montages or wallpapers, to present to their loved ones through WhatsApp.
4. Customer support
Offering personalized contact with customers, whether through individual product suggestions or serving as a channel to receive purchase feedback and offer customer support, WhatsApp can be invaluable.
As indicated earlier, the new Whatsapp Business App is set to dramatically improve how SMEs can do this and, while it will only be rolled out in a few countries this year - it won’t be long before it makes it to Australasia.
If you'd like some more to read on this topic, take a look at these links for some practical examples of how companies are using WhatsApp to engage with their audiences: