WhatsApp, the messaging service acquired by Facebook for $19bn in 2014, is arguably the world’s fastest-growing communication app. As on January 2017, WhatsApp has about 1.2 billion monthly active users. These users are sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day.
In the last week of February 2017, WhatsApp rolled out a big update – the story feature! WhatsApp said more than a year ago that it was looking at ways that businesses could send messages to its users in an unobtrusive and useful way.
About the new update
In the latest version of WhatsApp, you will see a Status tab on the top bar. Just as in Snapchat, you’ll first see your own updates in the bar. Below that, you can see your friends’ new updates and viewed updates.
You can add a status update by clicking the new update button on the bottom right corner which opens the camera. At the bottom, you will find all your recent photos, videos and GIFs in a strip as well. So you can either click a photo or hold for video or add an existing item.
By introducing WhatsApp story as status, Facebook wants you to tell more stories to almost all of your contacts. The messaging app has over a billion users worldwide and so, right away, this new feature will have a larger audience for every post.
The question business owners are now asking is: How can I use WhatsApp and its new feature for marketing in business?
1. Build brand awareness with Status
The status feature, where you can upload snaps is a great way to catch the attention of your ideal audience. A Status is a 10-second, full-screen photo, and video that you can upload. There is no limit to the number of images or videos that can be uploaded and thus, you have an opportunity to add as many as you want!
If you have a small business and manage orders through WhatsApp, this feature is a boon for you.
2. Make offers and promo codes
Bringing in some offers and want your customers to know about it – upload the offers. Brands have had success using promo codes on a rival messaging app because of how high the engagement rate is. Using it on WhatsApp is sure to be a success owing to a large number of users.
3. Unveil the products
What a creative way to unveil or launch new products! You can give your followers a sneak peek of your product line before it is released.
One of the unique benefits of this new feature from WhatsApp is that it gives you permission to create low-budget, informal videos. Letting your customers see you “behind the scenes,” where you might be raw, will help build a deeper relationship over the long term.
The advantage WhatsApp has over other messaging app is the easy-to-use UI and the familiarity amongst the people. It would be difficult to find anyone amongst your target audience who is not familiar with WhatsApp.
The new story-as-a-status feature has predictably opened the marketing and advertising floodgates. All you need to have is a contact number and WhatsApp activated for that number – such a low-budget, yet effective marketing ploy! So you too can now start using WhatsApp to boost your brand.