As the largest messaging platform on the planet, WhatsApp can give your brand the global reach it needs to becoming a household name.

How Brands Can Use WhatsApp To Connect With Gen-Z

As the largest messaging platform on the planet, WhatsApp can give your brand the global reach it needs to becoming a household name.

Staff Writer

WhatsApp has and always will be the king of messaging apps.

From its ease of use to safety and security, it’s got every aspect we could want on lockdown. While it surprised many when Facebook paid $19 billion for it in 2014, years later, it’s seemed to be a wise investment, as the chat platform’s global reach is outstanding.

For years, advertisers all over have tried to figure out how to capitalize on the worldwide presence of WhatsApp. Being able to tap into a market that big could do wonders for any business, especially with how easy and cheap using the platform could be. However, when it comes to something so personal, it can be hard for companies to tap in.

As a brand, starting a one-on-one conversation can be tough, as you’re already at a disadvantage in your approach. Elements like authenticity, honesty, and trust can be hard to convey, but with the right steps and knowledge, it’s not only possible but you could host a dialogue with potential customers anytime and anywhere. Here’s how:

Sparking A Global Conversation

With over 1 billion active users, WhatsApp’s reach can largely be credited towards how intuitive of a product it is. Friends from anywhere can call, text, or send files for free to one another or in groups (which, to this day is widely considered one of the best group chats out).

When it comes to the point of connection, your brand could possibly utilize the app for a number of different purposes, including support, feedback sessions, and even public relation events such as AMA-style interviews or product release questions. These strategies can help connect with consumers on an individualized level (after all, they’re most likely talking to their friends or family in the next bubble), something not too many other apps have been able to touch. And as it’s the most popular app in places like Brazil, India, and Mexico, this can be an excellent opportunity to test out your global reach.

What They Want To Talk About

Generation Y and younger gravitate more towards an individualized experience online. These are the people that have never seen a time without the internet, so the relationships they build on these platforms are sometimes their first point of contact. And with WhatsApp, it doesn’t matter what country you’re trying to reach, the principle of connecting with them stays the same.

Whether you’re taking a group or individualized messaging approach with your campaign, it’s important the dialogue you’re having is authentic. No one wants to be thrown into a conversation that feels salesy or forced. Remember, the goal here isn’t necessarily to close the deal right away, but to start building a relationship.

As I mentioned above, there are many different routes you can take in terms of executing your strategy, but what you choose is going to be largely contingent upon your brand’s fit. For example, let’s say you’re an American based FinTech company looking to expand its global reach, but want to figure out the specific needs of customers in other countries. In this case, I’d recommend having yourself available for individual chat sessions and promoting the primary questions you want to ask with a link to your chat.

Although most companies have been steadily laying the groundwork for how to utilize WhatsApp to their advantage, this is only the tip of the iceberg. As new technologies start integrating with the messaging platform, it’s going to open up the floodgates on what the future could hold.

Let Technology Do The Rest

Although popularized on Facebook’s messenger for a couple of years now, this past year saw the introduction of chatbots to WhatsApp. This is huge, as now that you’ve figured out how to connect with consumers, you can start letting your bots take care of the rest for you. Not only is this going to save a tremendous amount of time, but you’re also going to save tremendously on the efforts of expanding your global outreach.

Don’t be surprised if in the next couple years there’s going to be some competition for chatbots that plug into WhatsApp to let your brand test markets abroad. Who knows? With how smart AI has been getting, perhaps these tools can even help land more sales without any effort.

As WhatsApp is going to grow its massive reach, the potential for the technology built around it could be tremendous and teach marketers a thing or two about connecting with their base. Considering they’ve never sold advertising on the platform, brands have to get creative with how they can engage with users. And if it’s making them step their game up, that’s a win for everybody.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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