When the cross-platform instant messaging service, WhatsApp was launched by 2 former Yahoo employees in 2009, nobody would have offered 1 in a million odds for its current popularity. From being a rage amongst smartphone users for its brilliant chat, media sharing and integrated mapping features, this platform is now a powerful marketing tool as well. The impetus to the worldwide recognition of WhatsApp had a lot to do with its acquisition by Facebook for a whooping 9$ billion in 2013. And today, renowned brands like Klik and Absolut have used this platform to their advantage with highly creative marketing campaigns. Let us take a brief look at how they reached out to their respective market segments using WhatsApp:-
The Absolut Unique Launch Party in Argentina that centred on the production of 4 million uniquely designed bottles to celebrate the launch of their Limited Edition Absolut Unique Collection was a huge success owing to the innovative videos, images and audio messages that the brand tactically made use of to create a buzz on WhatsApp, and needless to state, the launch party was a huge success.
In early 2013, the Israeli Chocolate Giant Klik came up with an innovative WhatsApp campaign to target teens, by inviting them to join the Klik chat group, and thereon engaging them with a number of fun games such as posting photographs of their faces when they run out of chocolate, their favourite Klik moments and so on. This campaign effectively grew their engagement levels, which the brand effectively channelized to increase their Facebook fan base.
Advantages of Using WhatsApp for Digital Marketers
While many brands are yet to cash in on the huge potential of this platform, it is important to note, that as compared to renowned brands, WhatsApp can prove to be of greater help for marketing small and medium sized companies, local businesses and start-up brands, owing to the following advantages:-
- Highly convenient platform for two-way communication
- Real Time and Hassle-Free Communication
- Minimal Financial Investment
- Great for sharing information, fostering engagement as well as Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Flexibility of disseminating text, pictures, audio and video clips
- Being a cross-platform too, the user-base is massive and gradually expanding beyond youngsters to encompass all age groups
- Instant tool for introducing new brands, finalizing deals and complaints resolution
- Your WhatsApp account is fairly easier to manage as compared to your conventional social media accounts.
The Way Ahead
WhatsApp had started off as a ‘no ads, no games, no gimmicks’ platform, which is probably the key reason for its phenomenal success today. But despite these limitations, the host of advantages and unbound potential of this instant messaging service is bound to make it go a long way ahead in the realm of digital marketing. Its massive ease of use, cost-effectiveness and superb interface has earned it a massive fan base of smartphone users.
So what do you think? Is there an opportunity for you to use the Whatsapp user base?