How to develop a working content strategy for your newsletter marketing
What content is suitable for a WhatsApp newsletter? Great content strategy, choice of media, interaction, timing and target audience are what matters the most when it comes to newsletter marketing.
The increasing popularity of WhatsApp and other messengers offer great potential for all those who want to distribute their content effectively to their target group. Not only publishers but also increasing numbers of brands are looking for new ways to distribute their content via messenger services. An increasing number of factors need to be taken into consideration to ensure that relevance and sufficient reach are achieved within your content marketing strategy.
As with every other new medium in the development stage, the beginning of a messenger marketing campaign starts with the search for compelling content. It has always been this way – for example, if you think about the early days of cinematography at the turn of the 20th century: nothing but operas were shown in each cinema, because no one could imagine any other form of entertainment. Early television programmes broadcasted just theater performances and news reports – again at that time, this was the limit of the broadcaster’s imagination.
If there is one thing these past experiences demonstrate, then it is the realisation that every medium deserves its own content!
Companies have always benefited from a strategy of waiting and gaining insights and understanding how their target group uses new media. In the evolution of radio and television reliable audience data was unavailable, but with WhatsApp you can now benefit from user stats that can be relied upon: Messengers are the leaders amongst the most favourite Apps in the majority of countries – especially in the UK. More and more companies are now discovering the potential of this new medium.
A word in advance: unlike classic e-mail newsletter broadcasting and Social Media there is no single content strategy for messenger marketing! On the contrary, WhatsApp should be an inherent part of every multichannel strategy.
Don’t lose that money! Visitors and customers must reach a business quickly online – via voice, SMS, Facebook Messenger…
Every Company is different, has its own topics and target groups – that’s why you should address these questions first:
- Who is the recipient of the WhatsApp newsletter and what do I want to achieve by delivering this message?
- How can I offer added value, what content can be offered by my company exclusively and therefore generate greater relevance?
- Which of my content is especially suitable for distribution via WhatsApp? What content must be broadcasted quickly, easily and is also suitable for a mobile user scenario?
Top priority for creating a WhatsApp newsletter (as with every other channel) is providing relevant content, avoid spamming and not advertise too aggressively!
Here are some tips for creating valuable content relevant for Messenger Marketing:
1. Seek a personal approach in your newsletter, start every message with a friendly “Hello…”.
Since we are used to the more personalized approach through using WhatsApp as a channel for family and friends, the content you create should be made in the same style.
2. Use our features for profiling and targeting to distribute relevant content only.
Categories for WhatsApp newsletter
By using WhatsApp, you can reach 100% of your subscribers. This sounds promising at first, but it comes with its own challenges. All your distributed content must be relevant, otherwise your users will soon unsubscribe. By using targeting and categorisation your customers can choose for themselves the topics in which they are interested in. German Sport News broadcasters such as ran.de use categories to let their subscribers choose the types of sports on which they want to receive information on – upon subscribing you can choose from different category topics such as NFL, football or martial arts. This can also be applied to a wide range of other uses, such as the deal alert services, used by the HolidayPirates in the travel segment. In this way you can choose the type of holiday you are interested in and want to receive offers for.
3. The more specific your content is, the more valuable it will be for your target group.
All social networks use algorithms allegedly to make sure target groups receive only relevant content according to their interests. This works well for major topics with high engagement rates. But with special interest topics you won’t be able to gain any reach.
Our English speaking customers benefit from offering specialized content which is tightly matched to their customer’s needs: Beauty Bay offers its customers daily news concerning the beauty industry. Their target audience are young women, interested in affordable and fashionable products, who receive exclusive offers for high class cosmetics and information about the newest product releases. Vision Cruise offers a newsletter for all those who love specifically cruise holidays. Their subscribers receive top deals and special offers directly via WhatsApp alerts. Save the Student Deals takes care of its subscriber’s financial needs. Students receive interesting offers especially made for them, they can get free items with a student ID and receive information about vacant student jobs. In this channel everything revolves around the student’s needs. Aspen Woolf serves the real estate market notifying its subscribers of deals in the property sector ensuring the best opportunities are shared.
4. We recommend a maximum of 3 news broadcasts per day.
Always be relevant in your newsletter, less is more if you have a shortage of valuable content at hand. Some of our customers send newsletters just a few times a week on set days. For example, Hanser Publishing House sends a nice literary quote every Friday to inspire its audience for the coming weekend. Their newsletters are well received because they stay close to the style and natural way that WhatsApp is used for private communications.
Of course, major news broadcasters use messenger services quite differently for delivering breaking news alerts. For media outlets, every second counts when it comes to deliver breaking news. And of course deal platforms such as MyDealz take advantage of the direct and fast communication with users via WhatsApp. Because special offers must be distributed very quickly before they are sold out or invalid.
Best Practice: Just ask your users! A regional newspaper made a survey of their users 600 took part in this survey and it turned out that 85% of them wanted to receive even more news a day!
5. Just one topic, a short teaser and link per newsletter? – or do you prefer a more classic variety of topics?
Social media teams tend to send just one headline with picture, link and a short teasing text as a newsletter. Representatives of the CRM or e-mail newsletter department tend to bundle up more content of related topics in one newsletter, with this kind of newsletter your user can choose which content seems interesting for him. Both ways of creating content have some merits and companies should evaluate, which serves them and their target audience best.
Pro Tip: With our analytics tools and link shortener you can measure clicks and easily compare which method of offering the content results in the highest audience reaction.
6. Short texts and clear, teasing pictures help your customers understanding the key contents fast and clearly.
WhatsApp has been created for the fast exchange of information. This concept is still highly relevant. The best newsletters are those which can be understood within 2 seconds and can be classified as interesting to the audience. But still, exceptions can be made here as well. Thus the diocese of the city Essen told the whole Christmas tale in 24 parts via WhatsApp and therefore needed somewhat more space.
7. Use WhatsApp’s distinct capabilities – for example by sending voice mails!
Of course, you can distribute your Facebook posts, your YouTube videos or your Snapchat stories in your WhatsApp channel. But to generate added value and to create something interesting, you must use the channel’s distinct and individual features. For example you can send voice messages via WhatsApp and use this feature for commenting on recent events (e.g. Christian Lindner from the political party FDP), as a personal greeting (e.g. fashion blogger Luana Silva or pop singer Vanessa Mai), or even as kind of a podcast (e.g. German bank Commerzbank or newspaper publishing company Rheinische Post) – which other media could provide this kind of personal and interesting message?
8. Use WhatsApp exchanges in order to obtain more information and content.
One of the main advantages and most distinct features of WhatsApp in customer communications is the fast way of interaction and prompt excange. Competitions with photos about the first snow of the year, users as reporters for on-site information or fashion scouts in foreign countries – it has never been so easy to get the thoughts of your users than it is with WhatsApp now. Take advantage of this chance to obtain feedback from your customers about your product or gather input for your content, as the newspaper SHZ does: they have inspired their WhatsApp users to create a FAQ section on their own and now use this site to answer questions.
9. Regularly Host personal chat sessions
Personal one-to-one chats are the essence of messenger communication and many subscribers welcome offers for personal chats. Sure, there are limited resources availabe for most companies to answer each and every customer request at any given time. But you can offer chat sessions for some clearly defined amount of time, where you – or some expert or celebrity (chief editor, CEO, anchorman, founder etc.) – are hosting a question & answer session for your customers.
Tip: Stage these chats regularly and promote them prominently. For example: Our expert on gardening is available every Monday from 1 – 2 pm for you and provides you personally with advice and assistance in our WhatsApp channel – send us your questions now! This works well for gaining new subscribers and is well received among regular users!
The lesson is clear: As with any other newly developing media channel, suitable and distinct content has to be found. Every company and every target group thinks differently and have their own expectations. That’s why you need to test, measure and ask your audience so that everyone can benefit from this promising channel. It is certain, that messenger marketing is relevant for every kind of company that creates content and needs to distribute it to their target group. Those who already own e-mail newsletters or social media presence can benefit straightaway from messenger marketing.
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