Being a startup always pressures you to find new and unconventional ways for standing out of the sheer mass of competiting offers and to take a stand against their huge marketing and sales budgets. But, while big corporations act and develope rather slow – some have barely started their social media campaigns yet -, clever startups long since perceived the possibilities that lie in WhatsApp & Co and already generate significant results for their company.
It doesn’t matter if they run an agency or a blog, a tech startup or “something with … media, fashion, food oder healthy living” – many young companies already use messenger marketing by now and are about to take their first steps with chatbots.
On the occassion of WhatsBroadcast performing at the innolution valley 2017 event, we have made a startup special in which we take a close look at startup companies and their offers and of course we took the chance to engage in conversations with experts and founder’s consultants.
Startup marketing: mobile first, close relationships and innovation as essential driving forces!
We at WhatsBroadcast are still kind of a startup ourselves. Eventhough we may have the performance of an medium sized company, we may have found our business case and also are currently supervising more than 800 customers and over 40 employees – and still growing! – , we too have to step up in the game to compete with the big corporate’s visibilities – especially when it comes to marketing, service and sales.
The challenges startups have to face are enormous. Besides financing, product developement, sales and the constant quest for finding suitable employees, marketing is a permanent construction site.
But startups have big competitive advantages in comparison to established corporations: startups are brave (at best), fast and communicate in the same channels as their customers. What seems like a drawback, such as a small budget, often proves to be an advantage in the end: they focus on actual solutions with real benefits and don’t waste money only because “we have always done it like this”.
Following parameters should always be kept in focus:
- additional value over advertisement
- dialogue over monologue
- breaking new grounds over ancient ways
- relation over reach
- easy & fast
- close & on eye level
- efficient, measurable and sustainable
This and more can be provided by well prepared and considerate messenger marketing!
Tu-Lam Pham, expert on digitalization, startup coach and founder of Digital IQ in Munich:
“Startups are always in search of marketing channels which are scalable but affordable at the same time. These channels are mostly near their breakthrough but yet are an insider tip. In this matter, I find messengers such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger extremely intriguing. We have to take a look at China’s WeChat to understand which direction the further developement will take in this business: mobile only + messenger only! Regardless if it concerns content, customer service or shopping: especially young customers want to have it all in one messenger. This is a huge opportunity for startups to establish themselves as first movers in their sector and to approach their customers where they stay all day round anyway – the messenger platforms!” (You can watch the whole interview with Tu-Lam Pham here.)
With Facebook I can’t reach my target group anymore!
Over a long period of time Facebook has been the top dog and measure of all things in content distribution, because only Facebook enabled reach and conversion in means of traffic. In contrast, Instagram may be a great plattform for reach and engagement, especially for visual content, but you can hardly sell any products with. What’s more, on Facebook there is almost no reach possible if you don’t pay for it! Currently ongoing tests show that companies can’t gain any reach for free nowadays.
— OMRockstars (@OMRockstars) 23. Oktober 2017
Time to take a look at the advantages of messenger plattforms, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger!
Because the benefits of content distribution and sales promotion via messenger are evident.
no dependencies on Google or Facebook algorithms:
You can reach all subscribers via messenger and you don’t rely on any algorithm or a certain amount of money you have to spend.
real time communication directly onto lock screen:
Messengers offer siginificant advantages for customer communications. Messengers are seen as a private channel and therefore users accept notifications displayed on their lock screen in general.
widest target groups and high reach potential:
Most are familiar with the fact, that messengers gain ground on a global scale. But it is worth noting that every month more than 1.3 billion people use WhatsApp and 1.2 billion people use Facebook Messenger worldwide. In Germany, a share of 70 percent communicates via messenger and WhatsApp leads in the messenger market with user shares up to 60 percent. In comparison, Snapchat only ranks one of the last positions – with only 2 percent user share.
high opening rate and CTR (click-through-rate):
Messengers achieve opening rates of up to 90 percent and click rates up to 30 percent on average. Figures which can’t be reached by any other channel long since.
The rate of unsubscriptions for messenger services is below one percent on average. In communication via messenger you can establish a direct connections to your subscribers – this way, the user’s loyality to your service remains unchanged.
direct channel for business communications:
With messengers, users can contact companies directly and engage in personal one-on-one communication with public audience excluded. Shitstorms, hate speeches and other troubles in public communication can be prevented by using these direct channels. Ergo: the customer’s satisfaction will improve.
content can easily become a part of the users daily communication:
Via messenger, content can be shared much simpler. As a result, business content finds it’s way to the potential customer’s private communication much faster.
The awareness for messengers as marketing channels has just risen. By now it is still very easy to reach a high visibility and to establish stable customer relationships in this channel.
“For startups, messenger marketing is extremely interesting since it supplies high engagement and a channel which isn’t as “crowded” as other social media channels. Especially if one manages to convey a strong feeling of personalization, good response rates will follow as it enhances the brand and the customers loyalty.This direct channel allows you to distribute your content directly into your user’s pocket“ says Joel Kaczmarek, founder & editor in chief at digital kompakt (klick here for a very recommendable german newsletter via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger).
How can startups use messenger marketing right now?
1) distributing content: no other medium brings you this close to a customer like WhatsApp does. Especially particular and brand-new content can be somewhat difficult to distribute via Facebook or with methods of conventional PR – but these contents have a legitimate fan base too, which can be served via WhatApp. Our customer Springlane sends fresh cooking inspirations via WhatsApp to her subscribers daily.
2) inform about daily offers: No other medium competes with messengers in delivering messages to it’s subscriber this fast, this fitting and this relevant. The Holiday Pirates recognized these advantages early, now they reach over 750.000 subscribers with their error fare messages via WhatsApp and record incredibly high click rates.
3) customer support via one-on-one chat: Many small businesses already use WhatsApp for their customer communication. “It is easier than communicating via e-mail, which won’t be read most of the time and communication by telephone is often not appreciated” an employee recently told when asked why she wanted to contact me via WhatsApp. I have made similar experiences recently, for example while going to my hairdresser, the dentist or to the pharmacy. Looking at big corporations, the situation looks different and often seems disappointing: While they have largely optimized their service center via telephone and e-mail, service offers via Facebook or even Twitter is rare to find and offers for one-on-one communication with big corporations are almost nowhere to be seen. But here lies an enormous potential for startups – because offering a decent and fast customer service, as seen at Brille 24, ensures valuable competitive advantages.
4) chatbots instead of campaigns: There are many chatbot cases, which started primarily as PR or innovation cases and are still subject to a certain campaign logic – instead of adding value. If your startup builds chatbots or has way too much budget – congratulations! But for every other startups, we strongly advise against and recommend to truly think about the value which could be added by offering automated customer communication. Service instead of campaigns!
5) Chatbots in customer service: of course, the effort required for customer services with one-on-one communication is immense, but by building a simple chatbot it requires much less. In the light of past experience, 80 percent of the customer’s questions remain the same and can therefore be answered – static or dynamic – by a chatbot effortlessly. And if the chatbot reaches it’s end, the customer service staff can still take over the conversation.
Be fast, be brave and take extraordinary paths – that’s what startups and messenger marketing have in common. Founders and their marketing expertes are well-advised by investing in customer service and content distribution with WhatsApp and messenger and therefore receiving serious competitive advantages. Feel free to contact us! We gladly offer special prices and special conditions for our fellow startups, and of course you can test us for free whenever you want!
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