Users of WhatsApp and similar messaging services are willing to engage with businesses. According to Nielsen’s Facebook Messaging Survey, 67 % of mobile messaging app users said that they expect to use chat more for communicating with businesses over the next two years.
- Research tells us that 7 in 10 businesses surveyed
think they are communicating effectively with customers still in just 2 in 10 consumers surveyed agree.
- Since your brand is targeting millennials, they are likely to be more comfortable using messaging apps for their daily communication. In a study by Pew Research 42% of smartphone owners aged between 18 and 29 years choose messaging apps as their favorite communication channel
- WhatsApp has amazing engagement rate: 98% of messages are open and read, with 90% of them getting open within three seconds of being received.
- WhatsApp is probably a keyway for your brand audience to share their content via social media – a term to describe when people choose to share content private.
What Limitation I should be Aware of?
• There is no business account! if your brand is to create an account it will face
the same limitations as any other user.
• Since each WhatsApp account is coupled to a single mobile phone number—
and you can only message with up to 256 WhatsApp users at once it is a
good choice for large scale or you could say one-to-many marketing.
• To start engaging with users, you need to have them add your number to their phone’s contact list.
• Mobile phones are more personal to us than other devices, marketing efforts
should reflect and respect personal space.
Are there case studies available for brands?
• Case Study of the first WhatsApp campaign to communicate the exclusive
Absolut Unique launch party in Argentina.
• Case Study of WhatsCook. The first live recipe service via WhatsApp,
Hellmann’s brand activation. An alternative recipe storytelling through a
service that connects real people to real chefs.
• Case Study of Cafe TC Liquor Ticker – The World’s First Ad Ticker on
• Case Study of BurgerKing – For its Halloween campaign, Burger King
asked their fans to send Whatsapp audios with their best paranormal
stories in order to win free Whoppers if their cases resulted to be real.
WhatsApp brand Activation Ideas
Inspired by case studies above particularly in South America, here is a list of brand activation ideas.
- Create a brand persona to build up for an event and create an
For the upcoming flagship Launch events: Host an exclusive party. Invitations
will be made available to the public. Those who wish to win these tickets have to use WhatsApp to contact an imaginary persona and convince them through audio files, videos and/or photos to let them go. The output: engagement with the community and online buzz.
- Offer one-on-one tutoring to inspire new uses for a product
To inspire millennials to use their cameras as pros. Fans on social media get invited to to submit their phone numbers, a picture of their own and a request to turn it into a professional one. They will be connected through WhatsApp with real professional mobile photographers, who will guide them on WhatsApp through text, video and pics on how to turn their pictures to pro.
- VIP clients – sneak peak, Invites…exclusivity.
High value clients, can opt in to receive WhatsApp messages informing them of new launches, event invites, etc. or respond to inquiries.
- Personal Shopper
WhatsApp users could invite a personal into the group conversation with
their partner to discuss what they wanted for Christmas and/or New Year’s.
A challenge during football season will ask social media users to enter a
challenge to win a grand prix, this challenge will involve multi-steps,
starting with online sign-up, predicting score of certain matches and finally,
get to dare a football star on WhatsApp to answer questions related to the game.
- Exclusive Group
Fans who are so much into technical details, can be invited to an exclusive club, where they get to know earlier release date, info, etc. that are not available on other platforms. Users can also share insights, and opinions about their favorite features, and what they wish your brand can offer, this can be passed on so you let your most advanced users choose the features of e.g. a coming release. Customers will feel empowered and they won’t feel that they are just part of an automated push messaging campaign.
Are there any WhatsApp marketing tools?
WhatsApp Business App
Yes! WhatsApp has a Business App they say was “built with the small business owner in mind.”
- Set an away message
- Set up a greeting message
Where can use it? In-Store, events build up.
Click to Chat/Invite on WhatsApp
Since WhatsApp doesn’t offer any large-scale business tools or an API yet, small scale targeted campaigns like the examples above are the best strategy.
WhatsApp does provide a way to add a click-to-chat link to your website, email signature, or social media pages that makes it easy for people to start a conversation with your brand.
*Alert Note! 3rd Party WhatsApp Marketing Tools
There are third-party WhatsApp marketing tools and services offering to set up
multiple WhatsApp accounts and groups for marketers, but using them can lead
to you being blocked temporarily or banned entirely from the service. Plus, mass
messaging in this type of environment can do a lot of damage to your brand.
While WhatsApp is not as marketer friendly as Facebook Messenger, it is moving in that direction. Marketers can work with WhatsApp special and very unique features will have an advantage.
Brand Persona, exclusivity, VIP service and Challenges. Messaging Apps are slowly but surely over-taking regular social media platforms, so get the ball rolling as soon as you can. Creativity, respect to customer’s privacy and building bridges of trust with the customers are the name of the game. Thelack of advertising and corporate presence on WhatsApp means that—if you do it right, your brand will stand out.