Posted: Wed 9th Feb 2022
At present, nearly 90% of the world’s smartphone owners use a messaging app. And that number is still growing. Indeed, WhatsApp is used in 180 countries and has over two billion users every month.
Naturally, this creates exciting opportunities for anyone who runs a small business. You want your business to be where people are already engaging with each other and be able to communicate to them directly, in real time.
The WhatsApp Business app makes this simple. Over 50 million businesses worldwide already use the app to connect with customers, manage customer service and take orders. But there are lots of other ways to use the app to better engage customers and grow your business in the process.
Here are some tips on creating engaging content that will help you boost your sales and build long-lasting relationships with your customer base.
Why content is so important
When WhatsApp surveyed a number of online shoppers, it found that nearly one in three said they chat with businesses to determine whether they’re trustworthy and credible.
The ongoing connections customers develop with businesses via messaging often bring about more tailored recommendations and lead them to spend more.
As a result, knowing how to construct the messages you send to your customers is crucial.
Working out what you want your content to achieve
Before you start to create your content for WhatsApp – menus, or price lists, for example – it’s important to define what you want it to do for you.
Begin by building yourself a brief, outlining the key aspects of your business and how your content serves each one. No-one knows your business, or your customers, as well as you.
So, try to consider them when thinking about your targets. Having this clarity will allow you to create WhatsApp content that meets your business’s needs and keeps you focused on the direction you want to head.
Here are five questions to ask yourself:
How would you describe your business to a friend?
What makes your business stand out?
Who are your customers as people?
What do you want to tell them about your business, product or service?
What’s the goal of the content?
Thinking about your audience
When communicating with your customers, it’s important to have your goals and your audience in mind. That way, you can create messaging that is not only authentic, but that your customers find engaging.
Finding your creativity
You may believe you don’t have what it takes to create great WhatsApp content for your business, whether that’s down to a lack of:
In truth, the power to be creative is within everyone. Think of the small triumphs you’ve had in your business. These are probably down to your creativity.
As a business owner, you’re already someone who took a challenge, and that involved creativity. And really, the activities and tools you need to immerse ourselves into creating content are well within your reach.
Let’s break down these perceived barriers one by one.
Lack of equipment: All you really need is a phone and some creativity to create good images.
Lack of money: You don’t need to hire someone to create content for you. You just need a little practice and to look at what other businesses do that appeals to you.
Lack of confidence: If you don’t feel confident about creating your messages and images, why not spend some time looking at what other businesses are doing? That’s one easy way to get inspired. It could be on Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms.
Lack of knowledge: We’ve compiled a few best-practice tips below to help you create great, engaging content.
Best practice for creating engaging content
Here are some tried-and-tested tips to consider when creating content for WhatsApp.
Using high-quality photos and videos is paramount in getting people to pause and interact with your messages.
Keep messages simple but attractive. Offering too much content can make your messaging overwhelming or messy.
Make messages visually pleasing. Keep a balance between the amount of text and image that you use. Don’t overload people in your chats!
Stay focused on what you want to communicate, or what you’re hoping to achieve with the message.
Make content actionable – in other words, prompt the person you're messaging to take action. That might be sharing links from your page or website, or asking a question.
The more relatable your content is, the more you'll be able to connect to your audience.
And keep timing in mind. Regular messages can tell your audience that you’re active and legitimate, and that you care about them as customers.
Elements you can include in your content
There are many! How you decide to mix and match them is up to you and the message you want to send across in each conversation or opportunity.
Remember, always keep messages simple but attractive. Don’t overload your posts with content.
Start with this. Even if the picture or video you’re sending seems self-explanatory to you, consider your text as a headline to your content.
Also, some people may not have automatic downloads activated for their images and videos, so your headline may be the hook to encourage them to download and engage with what you’ve sent.
Try to make headlines clear and concise. And with other text, remember it’s best to be crisp and clear on what you want to communicate. Keeping it brief will help you focus on what is relevant.
To make your WhatsApp messages more appealing, consider using fonts and emojis. Using fonts in different colours, sizes and weights (like bold) is an eye-catching and simple way to capture attention. But always choose a font and colour that fits well with your business.
With emojis, accompanying your words with emoticons can help add emphasis to your message. However, emojis do have a time and place. They can come across as very casual, so consider whether they’re right for your type of business. And don’t overuse them.
Pictures and videos
Adding visual elements to your WhatsApp chats is recommended – as humans, our eyes are naturally drawn to them. So, consider trying to include pictures, videos, GIFs or stickers.
Make sure pictures and videos are high-quality. That means not fuzzy or pixelated, not shaky or blurry, and of a small file size so they can be downloaded easily and quickly.
GIFs have gone from something mostly used by teens to the cultural online staple they are today. They allow us to express complex messages in a matter of seconds, and that makes them a powerful strategy for businesses that want to engage with their target audience online.
When sharing GIFs or stickers (which you can create yourself), it will help the person you’re messaging relate to your business on a more personable level. Instead of interacting with a business, they’ll feel they’re sharing fun GIFs with a friend.
You can include various types of documents, like PDFs.
Be creative but be relevant
Making the WhatsApp Business app work for your business means making sure your interactions are high-quality. Don’t just bombard people with content, as they’re likely to block your messages and go elsewhere for their purchases.
Remember: good creative is good, no matter what the medium. But good creative is also 'relevant creative'.
Your smartphone gives you all the tools, but you need to come up with the idea that helps you deliver on your objectives. You need to send the right message, to the right people, at the right time.
If you can do this, you’ll likely have a stronger connection with your audience.
Use the WhatsApp Business app to: