How to Win More Customers With WhatsApp Channels

whatsapp channels

bySimon Kahiga

WhatsApp Channels is the newest German machine in the world of marketing. As a business owner who wants to attract more customers, WhatsApp Channels will be a game-changer for you.

Whether your business is in the remotest village in Kisangani in Congo or you have a space in one of the skyscrapers in Upper Hill, Nairobi, WhatsApp Channels is a new way to be discovered by customers.

Let’s dive in and discuss how you can leverage the new platform.

What is WhatsApp Channels?

WhatsApp channels is a one-way broadcast tool to update people. It’s different from the chats and communities tab with a layout that looks like this:

The layout of WhatsApp Channels

6 Features of WhatsApp Channels

Here are some of the features as described in the official WhatsApp blog.

1.    Anyone Can Create a Channel

When channels started a few weeks ago, they were limited to only a few people. However, WhatsApp is rolling out the feature to more people — I got the feature 2 weeks ago and created my first channel for a business I manage.

To find out if you have the feature, click on the updates then scroll down. You’ll see the channels you’re in and a plus button to create your first business channel.

2.    WhatsApp Channels is Private

Here’s what WhatsApp says, “As a channel admin, your phone number and profile photo won’t be shown to followers. Likewise, following a channel won’t reveal your phone number to the admin or other followers. Who you decide to follow is your choice and it’s private.”

Since you and your followers can’t see each other’s phone numbers, then you can see channels is like a television or radio for your business. Your work is to post updates while your followers watch like they do on television.

3.    WhatsApp Will Delete Data After 30 Days

Channels are different from groups and private chats in that the platform will delete data from its servers after 30 days. WhatsApp is working on a way to make updates disappear even faster from followers’ devices.

We celebrate this feature because imagine joining fifty channels, then all their data is saved on your device. You’ll have zero memory left to store your gorgeous photos and videos. Also, this means you’ll be using channels mainly for updates only —t’s not a place to write blogs.

4.    You’ll Decide Who Follows Your Channel

As the admin of your business channel, you can choose who will follow your channel. Since channels will also be discoverable, you may also choose to not be discovered. However, unless you’re operating a very private business like a non-profit organization, making your channel discoverable will enable you to create build relationships with your potential customers.

5.    WhatsApp can Change How Channels Work Any Time

WhatsApp may change how channels work in the future. They say their core business is to promote private messaging between family and friends. Therefore, with that being their priority, don’t be surprised if they change how channels work.

6.    WhatsApp Will Introduce Payment and Monetization to Channels

In their own words, WhatsApp says, “We also believe there is an opportunity to support admins with a way for them to build a business around their channel using our expanding payment services as well as the ability to promote certain channels in the directory to help increase awareness.”

Now that you know how channels work, it’s time to find out how it will benefit your business. To get you started, here’s a list of 10 businesses that I believe will benefit from channels. If yours is not on the list, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll share how to use channels to gain exposure to more customers.

7 Businesses That can Benefit From WhatsApp Channels

Image of WhatsApp Channels

1.    Digital Marketers

As a digital marketer, you’re the captain that steers your client’s businesses. You should know about WhatsApp Channels before your clients do. If you learn about such updates and become the first person to tell your clients about it, they’ll want to keep working with you.

The clients will also trust the marketing strategies you create for their businesses. So, if you still haven’t created your first channel, do it today and send your clients a link to join. Use the platform to update your clients on what’s changing in the platforms they’re using.

2.    Sports Teams

The first day I joined channels, all I could see were sports teams. It makes sense for these teams first because they have fans around the world. With channels, they can update fans on the day and time they’ll be playing next, which players they’re buying or selling, and so much more.

Nick from Bleacher Report says sports fans have a need to know everything all the time. So, if you become that team that updates their fans about important things on WhatsApp channels, I’m sure they’ll become even more loyal.

3.    Gym Instructors

Gym equipment in a discussion about how to win More Customers with WhatsApp Channels

Clients who go to the gym and those who wish to train often want to know when the gym is open, when fitness classes will be ongoing, how much they’ll pay for each session and new exercises that they’ll learn.

Therefore, don’t sleep on channels. Launch your first channel and share it with your clients and anyone else who might be interested. Then start updating them about what’s happening at your gym every week.

4.    Software Companies

Software users often want to know the updates you’re releasing that will benefit their businesses. Even consumers want to know how they can use personal software better.

So, you have every reason to start a channel and give them these updates as soon as you release them. For example, I always want to know when Microsoft releases a new version of Windows so I can update my devices.

5.    Local Government Offices

Local governments have a duty to take care of their citizens’ welfare. If you’re operating a local government office like KRA, eCitizen, or Huduma in Kenya, launch a WhatsApp channel and update your citizens about important deadlines, new regulations, changes in regulations, and other important things people should know.

6.    Mobile Apps

Every WhatsApp, Facebook Lite, and Twitter user would like to know when there’s a new feature like the WhatsApp channels. Launch your channel today and start telling your customers about those updates you’re releasing to increase their privacy or make their experience better.

7.    E-commerce Businesses

Have you ever walked by a fuel tanker and seen the ‘proceed with caution’ written in bold? I believe e-commerce businesses should proceed with caution when using WhatsApp channels.

No one wants to receive a hundred notifications of the products in your store. People will exit your channel for good. Some of those who leave may never go back to buy from your website or other social media platforms when they see you as a spammer.

So, here’s what I believe you should be posting on your channel:

  • When you launch a new product
  • When a fast-moving product is out of stock
  • When you change or introduce new payment methods
  • When you’re giving discounts
  • When you launch a giveaway

Don’t replicate everything from your store.

Note: WhatsApp Channels are not limited to these businesses only. Coaches, churches, mechanics, chefs, restaurants, and other businesses can use channels. Ensure you limit the content to important updates only so you don’t put off your followers.

Try out WhatsApp channels if your customers love the app to keep that segment of your audience informed and engaged with your brand. Not on WhatsApp, check out this blog about building a personal brand on Twitter.

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