With over 1 billion active users and with more than 1 million users registering every day, advertising through WhatsApp can help you reach more customers and engage with them.[VA1] To take full advantage of this medium, marketers must think outside the box. In this article, we will discuss a few examples:
1. Reactivate Dormant Customers:
Irrespective of the nature of your business, the easiest place to find your customers is WhatsApp. Emails and phone calls can be ignored. WhatsApp offers a less intrusive way of reconnecting with your dormant customers.
If you have registered on Netflix with the same number you use on WhatsApp, Netflix will, from time-to-time, send you suggestions via WhatsApp marketing software on what you could watch next. You are more likely to receive these messages if you have been a dormant customer for a while. They use the same personalized recommendation engine that works so well on the app. This is one of the more indirect, convenience-based methods of advertising through WhatsApp.
2. Add a Personal Touch:
People love connecting with brands on a human level. In essence, WhatsApp is a perfect platform to forge such connections.
Hellmann came up with an innovative WhatsApp business marketing campaign way back in 2014 in its bid to acquire more customers in Brazil. This campaign was one of the earliest and most successful examples of advertising through WhatsApp. People were required to register on a website and opt into the WhatsApp campaign. The 13 thousand people that registered were then messaged by a human chef. The chef prompted them to upload a picture of the ingredients that they had in hand. The chef would then go on to recommend a recipe that would be based on those ingredients and would also include Hellmann’s mayonnaise.
3. Use Group Chat:
The group chatting feature of WhatsApp allows you to bring a set of people who think alike or have a common goal so that you can engage with them in one single place.
This WhatsApp business marketing campaign ran for a few days in December of 2016, when people were shopping for Christmas. It was a part of their larger campaign called Naughty or Nice. The campaign was designed to encourage people to give their partners their lingerie as a Christmas present. It was called Ménage a Trois because it involved a WhatsApp group that would include you, your partner and an Agent Provocateur shopping assistant. The three participants would then go on to unabashedly discuss what they could buy based on their personal preferences. One of the more subtle ways of advertising through WhatsApp, this campaign was surely out there in terms of creative audience engagement.
4. Offer Unique Offers and Promotions:
Everybody loves discounts and freebies. Offers, promotions, and contests have been one of the most effective ways to create a buzz around a product or service.
In 2013, Absolut came up with a few limited-edition vodka bottles and decided to throw a party to promote these bottles. They invited A-list celebrities for the party and reserved 2 tickets for winners of a very creative WhatsApp campaign. As a part of this unique campaign, Absolut created a character called Sven The Doorman. To win the tickets, people would have to add Sven’s number on WhatsApp and send him a message, convincing him to let them attend the party. The 3-day campaign saw over 600 users who contacted the hard-to-please Sven and sent him over 1000 images, videos and voice messages. Absolut surely paved the way for creative advertising through WhatsApp.
5. Give Your Customers The Gift of Convenience:
It’s not just about your product or service anymore. It is also about customer experience. Customers will always appreciate a convenient experience.
Sometimes, the best solutions are the simplest ones and OYO’s WhatsApp booking and notifications feature is a good example of that. The Indian hotel booking company allows its users to use WhatsApp to receive booking confirmations and hotel directions on the day of check-in. They can even cancel their bookings over WhatsApp.
6. Help Your Customers On-The-Go:
Travel is a stressful proposition as it is. It is usually accompanied by a frenzy of activities- packing, last-minute shopping, beating the traffic to reach the airport on time. Make things easier for them by pre-empting what they may need.
With KLM’s WhatsApp Business API, passengers can receive their flight information and related notifications directly on WhatsApp. Flyers are prompted to opt in to this feature as they book their flight. Flyers can then receive booking confirmations, boarding passes, check-in notifications, and flight status information as WhatsApp messages. Not only will you receive automatic reminders when it is time to check-in, but you will also receive a boarding pass that can be scanned at the gate. Flyers can also ask questions and carry out basic amendments such as changing their seats etc.
7. Bring About Social Change:
With so many people on WhatsApp, it only seems fitting that it can be a great platform to bring about change for the betterment of society. When organizations attempt to contribute to a social cause, they automatically gain credibility in the mind of the consumer.
The Delhi Police came up with a great solution to combat bribery and corruption by allowing people to report such instances on WhatsApp. All people had to do was send images or video/voice recordings of a police officer acting inappropriately or illegally. The sender would then be asked to submit a written complaint at the office. The images/recordings were checked at a forensic science laboratory to verify its authenticity. The campaign found many takers with the number receiving over 3700 messages from August 6 to August 10 in 2014.
8. Create a Network To Reach More People:
We have discussed how WhatsApp is more of a personal messaging app as opposed to a full-fledged social media platform. It naturally comes with some limitations. For example, you can only broadcast a message to no more than 256 at a time.
The BJP used WhatsApp marketing tools to reach out to constituents and connect with them on a personal level. You may wonder how they managed to do that when WhatsApp’s business app allows only 256 contacts per broadcast group. They used about 900,000 cell phone ‘pramukhs’ or party volunteers that man polling stations. These volunteers would add potential voters to broadcast groups. Party election materials and content would then be shared on these groups.
9. Know Your Audience:
Understand your consumers. Tata Sky recognized that people who watch TV after a long hard day at work may not feel inclined to use a computer or call a number or navigate through an app to make amends to their subscription. In this case, they truly understood the meaning of “couch potato”.
In early 2018, one of the leading direct broadcast satellite providers in India, Tata Sky enabled a WhatsApp number that allowed users to check their account balance. Since then they have expanded the scope of services offered on the WhatsApp number, allowing users to add or remove channels and change their channel packs and top up their account balance. In other words, people do not need to leave the couch to use their computers in order to make changes to their accounts.
10. Make The Most of The Festive Season:
People are a lot more willing to loosen their purse strings during the festive season. Take advantage of all the festive cheer and cash in on it by engaging the customer accordingly.
A South African big box store, Makro is running a WhatsApp business marketing campaign called ‘WhatsApp to Santa’ for Christmas 2019. Users can participate in a Trolley Dash competition via WhatsApp. Should they win even 1 of 3 of them, they could win merchandise worth over R100000. Makro also offers various services such as ‘Check My Order’ and “Store Finder” among others on WhatsApp.
11. Get In On The Emoji Action:
When you think of WhatsApp messaging, one of the first few things that come to mind is the WhatsApp emojis. They have become iconic and taken on a whole new meaning altogether.
The Tikkie app was created by ABN AMRO in the Netherlands and uses stickers as a part of its creative WhatsApp business marketing plan. Talking to someone who owes you money and chasing them to pay you can be quite awkward. By adding the sticker pack to their WhatsApp messenger with just a click of a button, users can use a variety of fun stickers that are all about lending money, splitting the bill and getting their money back and save users all the awkwardness, plus it gave the brand a great opportunity for advertising through WhatsApp, without the campaign being too in-your-face.
12. Create a Brand Persona:
You can tell a lot about a person just from a text message based on various things- the tone of the message, the slang or the lingo that is used and so much more. WhatsApp gives you the opportunity to create fun personas and engage with your customers like never before.
In 2015, footwear brand Clarks launched came up with an offbeat way of advertising through WhatsApp with a campaign called Rats to Rudeboys. It was an interactive storytelling campaign designed to engage millennials. Clarks created three personas using chatbot like marketing automation tools. Users could then add a WhatsApp number to their contacts and could then interact with these personas. For example, they could speak to a character called Steve Barrow, a writer from the 1960s and Steve would tell them an interesting story about how the Clarks boot helped shape their times.
As is the case with all marketing channels, advertising through WhatsApp requires strategic planning. However, compared to other channels, it requires a more creative approach. Use the examples in this article as a jumping board to create unique marketing strategies for WhatsApp and engage with your customers in a whole new way.
Author Bio –
Nikunj Dudhdat – Digital Marketing and Content Curator at SoftwareSuggest – a software recommendation platform. I am passionate about Digital Marketing, and all things digital. also interested in technology and innovation. In spare time, enjoy playing cricket, and Badminton.