Stories are all the rage in 2018.
Everyone from Snapchat to WhatsApp has their own stories platform, and each has a very similar set of functions and structure: you can snap photos or videos, add text, and they're visible to your audience for 24 hours.
One of the newest players in the stories game is WhatsApp Status.
The platform launched in 2017, bringing the stories platform to the WhatsApp platform. And while many North American marketers haven't heard of the platform, it has gained a huge following internationally.
In fact, parent company Facebook recently announced that WhatsApp Status has over 450 million daily users. This makes it bigger than Snapchat and puts it in the same league as Instagram and Facebook stories.
And the platform is still scratching the surface. 450 million is still less than half of WhatsApp over 1 billion users worldwide, so there's no doubt it'll continue to grow over the coming years.
But even still, your brand probably isn't using WhatsApp Status in its marketing campaign.
So that begs the question: should you be?
Well, you're in the right place. Because in this article, we'll discuss whether or not your brand should use WhatsApp Status to market itself. We'll break down a few reasons why (and why not), so you can make the decision for yourself.
Sounds good? Great, let's jump in!
Look at where your customers live
First off, take a good look at where your audience and customers live.
As you already know—here in North America—WhatsApp isn't overly popular. In fact, only 20.5 million people use WhatsApp in the United States, accounting for just a small share of the worldwide user-base.
So where do WhatsApp users live?
The majority of WhatsApp users live in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Central America, South America, and Africa—so basically everywhere but North America.
Currently, more than 50% of people that live in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, and Turkey use WhatsApp. South Africa, Indonesia, India, and France also have massive WhatsApp adoption.
So if your customers live in any of these places, you definitely need to be on WhatsApp.
Note that WhatsApp is the most blocked app worldwide
One last thing to note: WhatsApp is the most blocked app worldwide.
Some of the countries that block WhatsApp include China, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Iran, and more.
So if you market to people in these countries, you may not find value in WhatsApp.
Do you already have a WhatsApp presence?
Remember, WhatsApp is more than just Status.
Lots of businesses use the network to provide support, a concierge service, or in other creative ways.
If your company is already finding success in these outlets, then definitely give WhatsApp Status a shot. This is a great way to expand on your WhatsApp presence and keep your existing audience engaged.
Likewise, if your brand is considering using WhatsApp Status, see if using WhatsApp for other purposes is viable. There are plenty of creative ways your brands can use WhatsApp and give value back to your customers.
Get in early
One of the biggest draws to WhatsApp Status is that it's a fresh platform.
Not many brands are using WhatsApp for marketing, so if your brand can get in early, it could mean massive successes later down the road.
Plus, if you're already creating stories for Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, you might as well repost the content to WhatsApp.
Just make sure to check out our best practices for Instagram stories before you start making content. Most of the best practices carry over.
As you can see, WhatsApp Status isn't a viable marketing platform for all companies.
However, if you cater to an audience in a region where the platform is popular, you can greatly benefit from a WhatsApp Status presence—just make sure it's well-implemented and provides value to your audience.
Now we want to hear from you. In the comments, let us know if your brand uses WhatsApp stories to market itself. If so, how do you do it?
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