WhatsApp Marketing: the next big thing?

In the internet age and with digital tools and services becoming exponentially prominent, digital marketing is more important than ever. Regardless of your demographic, you’re being digitally marketed to. But traditional marketing means can no longer reach younger generations, and marketers are turning towards online platforms. To reach new, younger, and tech-savvy markets, it is important to think outside of the box and experiment with new or non-traditional marketing techniques.  

Many social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and more are already used as marketing tools, and many more are still being explored. You’ve seen marketing campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and more, but what about WhatsApp?

When you think of the messaging application WhatsApp, do you think of a digital marketing tool? If you said no, you’ll be surprised to learn that the messaging app is gaining steam in that regard. According to Statista, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app with over 1.5 billion worldwide users. It’s about time marketers start waking up on its capabilities.

WhatsApp is a messaging application that is very popular across the entire world. It is more popular internationally rather than in the United States, but it is steadily growing in popularity stateside. WhatsApp allows users to send free SMS (short message service) text messages to anyone in the world, making international communication simple. 

This messaging capability, along with other positives, is what makes the app desirable for marketers. WhatsApp allows marketers to build personal relationships with customers on behalf of the brand, growing brand presence. The app also houses other helpful features such as groups, making it easy to segment your user base.

How to use WhatsApp for marketing

Here are some tips to consider if you’re looking to try WhatsApp as a marketing tool for your business, services, or products. 

  1. Create your business profile on WhatsApp 
    1. This is the first, and one of the most important, steps that you’ll take while using WhatsApp for marketing. When creating your account, make sure that your business name and phone number are correct. Once you create your account, these cannot be changed. You should also create a distinct brand voice to use while texting users on the app. It is important to remember that you are representing your brand and not one individual person.  
  2. Get potential customers to add your number, or you can get their number and add it 
    1. The easiest way to grow an audience is to get customers to add your WhatsApp number or get their number and add it yourself. You can get them to add your number by including it in your social media posts and on your website. You can get their number by creating posts on social media saying that you’ll add anyone who wants to be added or by creating a pop-up ad on your website with an entry form. Once you have customers added, you can start on the next tip.   
  3. Utilize the app to its full capabilities 
    1. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, meaning that it has huge brand backing and an international presence. sumo.com says that Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp combine for 79% of the entire online messaging audience. In addition to SMS text messages, WhatsApp also allows you to send images, videos, audio recordings, documents, and more. By taking advantage of all the possibilities for content you can send, you’ll be able to drive more potential customers towards a purchase.  
  4. Do market research on your WhatsApp audience.
    1. Market research is a very useful and important part of the marketing process. By growing an audience on WhatsApp, you’ll open many doors for your business. Besides the actual marketing for your products/services that you do on WhatsApp, you can also gain insight on your audience and their preferences. Instead of sending emails asking for feedback, send the user a quick text to see what you can improve on. You are more likely to get a response to a personal text message rather than to a generic looking email.  

These aren’t the only ways that you can use WhatsApp for marketing. Check out these articles for more ideas of how to use the application for your business.

Use in marketing campaigns  

If you are still a bit skeptical about the success of WhatsApp as a marketing tool, look no further than a recent Adidas campaign. Though this campaign took place recently, WhatsApp isn’t anything new for Adidas. They’ve been using it as a marketing tool since 2015 and it has allowed them to build closer relationships with customers. Adidas’ utilization of WhatsApp has boosted the company’s image , making them appear more personable and caring.

Recently Adidas launched the “100% Unfair Predator” campaign for their new shoe model, the Predator 20+. The campaign had the company receive WhatsApp messages from consumers who needed an extra soccer player for their team. Through Whatsapp, Adidas then asked the players for details such as when and where the game was taking place. If the request was accepted, Adidas would send some of their sponsored players to play with the customers in the latest Adidas gear. The campaign took place in London, where WhatsApp is growing in popularity.  

The tips above and this Adidas campaign shows us that simple conversations with users on WhatsApp already has marketing power and will continue to develop.

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