Whatsapp status: What it means for Brands and Snapchat?

The launch of Whatsapp status has transformed the positioning of the brand from being a pure messaging application to an entertaining platform. It allows users to share photos, videos, sketches, emojis and even gifs as status updates. Sounds similar, eh?

A clone of Snapchat and Instagram story, Whatsapp status creates a marketing opportunity for brands to tap into its mammoth size user base of over 1 billion. Facebook owned Whatsapp’s move into the social media landscape is more upfront than ever against Snapchat.

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How can the brands turn this into a creative marketing opportunity?

Whatsapp with its user base of over 1 billion has been every marketers’ dream to tap into. Many have been unsure of dealing with this as it involves a high risk with the positioning of whatsapp as a private messaging application without any intrusion from third parties. Some brands have been bold to make a move entering the whatsapp community and have attained high ROI in taking this risk. Absolut hosted an exclusive party to celebrate the launch of ‘Absolut Unique’ and had only two invites for the general public. To bag these invites, the people had to interact with Sven, the virtual doorman. The campaign was a huge success with people sharing videos and convincing Sven in unique ways.

With the new whatsapp status feature, brands can have interesting content that could be shown as statuses for their whatsapp followers. They can make use of one of the below mentioned commonly used techniques:

Give access to some exclusive content

Hold a competition or offer perks and promotions

Send private personalized messages

Provide access to live events

Partner with influencers to promote your brand

While there are pros of joining the whatsapp community for marketing, there are cons of intruding in the personal space of the people. Brands might want to consider the risk to their brand image while evaluating this option.

How is Snapchat affected and how should it react?

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Snapchat’s concept of sharing ephemeral videos is now available on consumers primary messaging application after being offered by Instagram in the form of stories last year. Snapchat’s IPO filing last year showed a whopping drop of 82% in the user growth. The user growth percentage in Q4 2016 of Snapchat was beneath that of Facebook which grew daily users 4.2%. With the move of whatsapp into the social media zone, we can expect the increase in Snapchat’s user base to be further hindered.

It is highly important for Snapchat at this stage to take steps to push its user base numbers. It needs to create more value for users and brands to use this application over the other similar features offering applications.

 Create unique content

Snapchat has its own content in the ‘Discover’ page on the app that is based on the location and interests of the person. This feature is unique to snapchat and the application has been successful in showing interesting content in a very attractive fashion. Snapchat must continue building this feature and make the app indispensable.

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Value its shared live events story

Currently, all other applications allow the users to see content of only people who they follow. Snapchat offers the users a live sneak peak into events. The sneak peaks into the Fashion shows of the big brands make the users feel included into the world events. The application must focus on building this feature and create value for brands and users.

 Build partnerships with influential personalities

Users love following the lives of influential personalities and a sneak peak into their daily lives is an interesting value addition to the users. Snapchat must work on building partnerships with some of these personalities and providing some exclusive content on their application.

Facebook’s senior executive in marketing and advertising, Matthew Idema, was hired as Whatsapp’s COO hinting that the messaging app is getting serious about monetizing. Perhaps they come with full video ads shown in between the statuses. One will only have to wait and see what Whatsapp’s next move would be.

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