WhatsApp marketing could be one of the most underused yet most accessible forms of digital marketing that’s out there at the moment. The free messaging service is used by so many people not just in the UK but all across the world partly due to the fact that it allows practically any type of message or media to be sent to users, regardless of location as long as they have an internet connection. Owned by Facebook, the figures for WhatsApp are huge, making it possibly one of the most influential platforms out there. This is how the numbers look:
- WhatsApp is available in 109 countries
- Nearly three quarters of users check or access the app on a daily basis
- 100 million voice calls are made via the platform every day
- 55 million video calls are made every day
- It’s second only to Facebook for the number of users across the planet
The platform itself offers such a variety of options to communicate to users and best of all, it’s free. Due to the fact that it has so many users with such a wide demographic, the chances are that whoever your target audience is, they will be on the WhatsApp platform. The nature of the communication is also such a huge bonus, WhatsApp marketing allows you to communicate directly to your audience, on to their mobile device, in real time. Whether you have a timely message or a reactionary campaign or even a live development then it can be placed in front of your customers within minutes. The development of groups within the application also means that you can target messages too to a particular demographic making it even more effective. To cap it all, on average text messages have a 98% open rate and the base age range of users is 25-44 years which again covers a wide demographic for many businesses.
There are a few limitations to using the platform for marketing though. There is no overall dashboard on the platform to manage, monitor and control any activity. There are no monetising options either so no actual adverts and no boosting of any posts like on other platforms. Equally there are no opportunities to search out and approach your audience, you have to have them in your database already. There’s no prospecting for customers, it’s very much a case of building up your customer database, them engaging with you and the you can communicate to them – this does mean though that they are open and willing to receive any messages that you send and, in theory, already engaged with you.
WhatsApp Marketing With Video
What makes WhatsApp marketing appeal to us so much though is the ease and availability of communicating videos on the platform. It’s incredibly simple to distribute a video link where a simple click by the recipient can allow them to view the video on their mobile device at their convenience. And that is the key element – convenience. WhatsApp is a non-intrusive application that users operate and use on their terms so any communication on it is viewed (or not) when they want to watch it. There are some brands that are already using it to really good effect such as Netflix who use it to personalise their communications based on the viewing habits and interests of their subscribers.
Other brands like Absolut Vodka, Hellman’s mayonnaise and KLM are also embracing the personalised elements of the application to communicate and respond directly to their audience. There is no cost to adding video, weblinks, images and voice messages so it’s the perfect way to offer very specific and dedicated content to users.
The power of groups also needs to be utilised because it allows you to segment your audience. Putting them in groups according to interest, age, activity or whatever segment you require means that you can tailor messages to that audience too. Video content could literally be aimed very specifically at smaller groups of customers in much more targeted and personalised campaigns. The added benefit is that there are no additional costs to communicate to contacts overseas too. There are literally no boundaries to where you send messages within your WhatsApp environment.
The scope for engagement is huge too. If you compare this type of message to an email for example, it plays perfectly into the convenience and usability factor of the audience. It lands on a device that they are using all day every day, it doesn’t intrude because they have asked or agreed to receive your content and it is available to be viewed when they want, making it information on their terms. This last point is particularly key to the activity that you choose to activate and why we are so excited about from a video point of view. If you are targeting the messaging specifically to your audience and you send creative, engaging and interesting content that resonates then there is no better digital method of talking directly to your audience. Producing this via video gives huge scope for creativity, personalisation and relevance to your audience.
The possibilities have also increased with the WhatsApp Business app too. This is a simple extension of the personal version but allows businesses to have a full profile with all the relevant information that their customers would need to know. It also means that you aren’t sending marketing messages from an employee’s phone account, ths again giving a more professional impression.
You can also save replies for messages that are most often sent to customer questions, as well as set up an ‘out of office’ type message. WhatsApp marketing is also especially interesting because you can view statistics on sent messages allowing you to track how many messages were sent and how many were opened.
For us, any platform that allows the easy transmission of video is always welcome. When you factor in the elements of specific targeting, zero cost, tracking and, best of all, it’s pretty much non-intrusive to the end user then WhatsApp marketing is definitely a route that should be considered by brands for all types of marketing communication. It has the possibility of actually building relationships with the audience where you can talk to the end user rather than talk at them. Future developments will surely see a monetisation of the application with ads and paid messages being transmitted, it remains to be see what effect this will have. In the meantime we would encourage any business to take a look at distributing their promotional messages to their audience with a WhatsApp marketing campaign.
Blog writer: Adam Snelleksz is a director of CMA Video and has worked in marketing for over 20 years. He has worked in video production in Birmingham for seven years with CMA Video and has been using video for marketing for nearly 10 years. He also set up the video TV channel Blues TV, the official online channel of Birmingham City Football Club. Some of the projects that Adam has used promotional videos for include the Birmingham Half Marathon, the European Gymnastics Championships and the World BMX Championships.
Our video marketing blogs have been recognised as one of the Top 50 Video Marketing Blogs on the internet. We hope you enjoy reading them and gain valuable insights into what we do here at CMA Video and show that we’re not just another Birmingham video production company but we do more from animation videos to event filming, video strategy to social media video campaigns.