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 see how more customers will discover you with this new feature.
What are WhatsApp Channels?
WhatsApp says channels is a one-way broadcast tool that admins will use to update people. It’s different from the chats and communities tab. I’m sure you’ve already seen it if you’re on WhatsApp.
If you’re not here’s how it looks:
6 Features of WhatsApp Channels
WhatsApp channels has a lot of features. 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 are 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 give followers updates while they 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 says they’re working on a way to make updates disappear even faster from followers’ devices.
You should 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. It’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, you should want people to discover and follow your channel.
5. WhatsApp may 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 be discovered by more customers.
7 Businesses that Should Use WhatsApp Channels
1. Digital Marketers
Everyone looks at the captain when sailing on a voyage, and even when flying to a new continent. In fact, we all pray for the captain before the journey starts because that man or woman’s skills will determine whether we arrive safely.
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
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.
Let Us Manage Your WhatsApp Channels
In the past, we could connect with only the people we knew on WhatsApp. However, today, WhatsApp channels have made it a search engine. And more businesses will connect with their customers through channels.
Add WhatsApp Channels to your marketing strategy and experience the benefits firsthand. Get in touch and we’ll help you manage WhatsApp channels, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.