It’s 2019. Pretty much everyone has a smartphone, and everyone with a smartphone uses messaging apps. The most popular these apps is undoubtedly Whatsapp…
so why isn’t it a key player in marketing?
In 2020, this is going to change. Whatsapp marketing is set to become a growing trend. Here’s how brands can make use of the chat platform’s untapped potential.
Though Whatsapp is (currently) ad free, that doesn’t mean you can’t advertise through it – you just need to get creative! Take Toyota as an example. Toyota ran a competition through Whatsapp for their ‘Hybridized’ campaign. People who registered on their website, and changed their status to “Hybridized” were automatically entered into a weekly iPhone raffle.
The outcome? Thousands of people interacted with the campaign, simply by messaging their friends and families. Essentially, they got a ridiculous amount of free PR, for as long as they wanted to run the weekly draws.
“Hey… why’s your status ‘Hybridized’?”
“Because it enters you into a weekly raffle for an iPhone. You should do it!”
*goes to Toyoto website*
Whatsapp have an option for users to upload posts as temporary 24hr statuses. This can come in handy for brands who want to announce flash sales and offers, or who want to launch less invasive campaigns. It can also be a great way to run an A/B test on the effectiveness of a tagline or call to action. 24hrs of tagline A, versus 24hrs of tagline B.
On top of this feature, brands can also directly share their location with customers. Once shared, the location link will automatically launch Google Maps.
WhatsApp’s Business allows companies to communicate with their customers on an automated scale – to an unlimited number of people. This means brands can provide instant responses at all hours of the day, making Whatsapp a kind of accessible on-hand chat-bot, that they don’t need to integrate and manage on their own websites.
Prepare for Whatsapp marketing to take off
Before working in Food & Hospitality, I worked for a University. Just before I left, we had started experimenting with WhatsApp to receive applications internationally. At the time I thought this was a little out of left-field, but it looks like we were heading in the right direction.
WhatsApp will be officially introducing adverts some time next year, as confirmed by Facebook (who owns them). The ads will appear within WhatsApp statuses – which are similar to the 24hr Instagram stories. The ads would take up the entire screen of a smartphone, and allow users to find out more by swiping up.
Right now is the perfect time to start engaging with your customers via WhatsApp. Brands have a great opportunity to become early adopters, and get ahead of the curve.
Whatsapp marketing is definitely a trend that will keep on growing.
(This post was informed by an article on martechseries. Give them a visit!)