Surely you have already seen WhatsApp Channels when you enter the application, but do you really know what they are about and what they are for? How can they help you if you have a brand or company and want to interact with customers and followers? Read this post and discover all the keys about WhatsApp Channels.
- What are WhatsApp Channels?
- Benefits of WhatsApp Channels in Digital Marketing
- How to Create and Use WhatsApp Channels for Digital Marketing
- Tips to create an effective WhatsApp channel
- WhatsApp Channels vs WhatsApp Groups
What are WhatsApp Channels?
WhatsApp Channels are a new functionality of the platform that allows public messages to be disseminated to large audiences . That is, it is a new function that offers you an easy and private way to connect and update yourself with news from people and entities (brands, companies, etc.). These entities share their content as if it were a regular chat, with the difference that people who join this channel cannot respond or send content, only react to these messages. That is, the information is one-way , including text, photos, videos, stickers and surveys.
The channels are found in the “News” tab of the application. With this functionality you can follow the statuses and channels that the user chooses, separating them from their personal chats.
The application itself offers you a series of channels in which you can enter and mark “Follow”, but it also gives you the option of searching for the channels that interest you through a search engine or filtering them according to some parameters (All, Most active, Popular , New or by country). Additionally, users can join channels via invite links shared in chats, emails, or any social media.
Benefits of WhatsApp Channels in Digital Marketing
Now that you know what WhatsApp Channels are about, you will wonder what benefits they provide in Digital Marketing and how they can help enhance marketing strategies. The truth is that this functionality provides various benefits for brands and companies. Let’s see them!
Direct communication with the client
WhatsApp channels allow companies to establish and maintain direct communication with their customers . Now you can send messages, promotions, updates, news specifically to your customer groups, adapting the message and communication according to particular needs and interests. In addition to increasing the relevance of messages, it strengthens the relationship with customers.
It must be taken into account that messages are sent in real time, which allows questions to be answered, surveys to be taken, information to be provided or problems to be resolved in real time and quickly, which creates a sense of closeness and trust. In the end, the experience is more unique and personalized.
Effective Content Distribution
WhatsApp Channels are a perfect opportunity to distribute content effectively in relation to the promotion of products or services. Messages and content can be sent directly to followers and customers, informing them about latest offers, discounts, news, product launches, news, etc. And all this by sending text messages, images, videos, links and surveys to generate a greater impact and capture attention.
High level of personalization and segmentation
WhatsApp Channels facilitate segmentation and personalization by allowing companies to send targeted messages to specific groups of customers who have chosen to enter that channel. Therefore, companies can adapt their message to the needs and interests of each customer.
How to Create and Use WhatsApp Channels for Digital Marketing
In principle, the idea of WhatsApp is that anyone can create their own channel, but at the moment only personalities, commercial brands and media outlets can do so. Little by little the function is being opened to all users.
Steps to create a WhatsApp channel
How can you create your WhatsApp channel so that other people can follow your publications on the application? We’ll tell you then.
Detailed list of steps to create a WhatsApp channel
- Enter the “ News ” section and press the “ + ” button.
- Click on “ Create channel ”. A welcome message will open giving you information about the process and what you can and cannot do with your channel.
- Include a name, description, and profile photo.
- When you press “ Create channel ”, your channel will be ready and will appear in the “ News ” tab.
- Invite other people to your channel. Share the link so they can join through any means (WhatsApp chats, social networks, websites, etc.). Within the channel the “ Channel link ” button appears ; clicking it allows you to share it or copy it to the clipboard.
- Publish content. Remember that subscribers can only read and send reactions. You can attach photos, stickers, animated GIFS, emojis, etc.
Content Strategies for WhatsApp Channels
As we mentioned before, WhatsApp Channels can help a company’s marketing strategy. The reality is that your target audience surely uses WhatsApp; In fact, these types of applications have very high interaction rates: 98% of messages are opened and read, and 90% of them are opened within three seconds of receiving them. Therefore, if you have a brand or company, you are interested in including WhatsApp Channels in your content strategies.
Ideas and strategies on the type of content that can be shared
- Content marketing. In addition to the content that is published on social networks or the website, exclusive content, offers or promotions can be shared through WhatsApp Channels with your subscribers, boosting engagement and conversions.
- Customer service. Fast and personalized customer support can be provided, solving problems efficiently.
- Sales. The channel gives the opportunity to connect with customers and offer a more personalized and efficient purchasing experience, taking into account that the opening and response rates are higher than those of other means of communication, which increases the probability of closing sales.
- Comments and surveys. Information for the company is gold and with WhatsApp channels we can use that relationship with customers to collect information, comments and conduct surveys to improve products and services.
Tips to create an effective WhatsApp channel
How can you optimize the use of WhatsApp channels? It is not only about sharing information, but there must be a clear strategy behind it, as if it were another social network. You can follow these basic tips:
- Share valuable content for your followers. If they have decided to enter your channel and start following you, make sure that you share original, different and exclusive content that increases their interest and makes them decide to stay.
- Make yourself known. If you create your channel you have the possibility of sharing the link to encourage your followers to follow you. Take advantage of your presence on other social networks to share the link and encourage them to follow you.
- Share content periodically and every so often. If the channel is active with relevant and interesting content, they will not get bored and will continue to maintain interest. In addition, every user who finds the channel will open it before joining and will be able to see all the content that has been shared up to that point, so if they see that there is regular and interesting content, they will increase their interest in joining. Basically, what you are sharing is also a showcase.
- It leads to interaction. Even if your followers can’t respond to your messages, they can react. You can create small surveys, ask them… In short, they like that you make them participate in your day to day life. The same thing happens with brands, which can show more closeness to their customers, and they will no longer see them only as a brand that tries to sell them its products/services.
WhatsApp Channels vs WhatsApp Groups
It is possible that when reading WhatsApp Channels you have automatically thought of groups. The truth is that there are some differences:
- One-way communication. WhatsApp Channels are unidirectional, that is, they are designed for influencers and brands, so they only allow the sending of content and the user can only react. There is no possibility for the user to respond as they can in a group where there is participation and conversation.
- Share news. A group can be created for many purposes, they are personal chats for groups (families, friends, work) to share information in which all users participate, simply to stay in touch, or to discuss a matter, etc. However, WhatsApp Channels are created to share news and keep informed mainly.
- Different location within the application. WhatsApp already gives us clues about the differences between groups and channels, which is why it places them in different tabs.
- Privacy. In groups we can see all the contacts that are part of the group, their phone number and even profile image. In WhatsApp Channels all this information is hidden and the participant does not know the information of the rest of the participants.
- Channel creation. Although it is designed so that the channels can be created by any user and changes are beginning to be seen, so far it is only available for brands and influencers. However, groups can be created by any user.
In summary, we can see that groups work best for a private environment where communication is between all members, while channels are merely informative and the focus is more on communication from company (or brand, or influencer) to user.
Now that you know everything about WhatsApp Channels and that they can be an opportunity to get closer to your followers and new users to share new content, are you considering including it in your marketing strategy? It surely brings you many benefits and helps you show your closest side. We want to know your opinion, we read you in comments!