The useful apps brands can use for instant engagement

Enjoy Digital
By Enjoy Digital
5 minutes to read

There are now 4.77 billion mobile phones around the world and by 2019 that number is expected to top 5bn.

We’re also using our phones to message each other more with messaging app users increasing by 15.5 per cent in 2017.  It’s no wonder that some of the most popular messaging apps are looking to harness the power of their communities for businesses to put to good use.

Here are some of the most popular apps and mobile messaging platforms that are enabling brands to instantly connect with their customers.

One-on-one engagement with WhatsApp

Used by more than one billion people worldwide, WhatsApp is a free and secure messaging and calling app. Seeking to expand its user base and reach, WhatsApp has launched a version, specifically for businesses.

The app has all new profiles and messaging tools to help brands communicate with customers. This is especially good for customer service. It’s perfect for smaller businesses who are looking for a cost-effective way to stay on top of queries and manage orders.

As with social media, verified accounts will have a green checkmark to reassure users that they’re communicating with the real deal.

Brands can set up quick replies to provide fast answers to frequently asked questions. Greetings can also be sent to customers connecting with the business for the first time and status messages let customers know when the service a busy; a boon for customers who expect instant replies!

An absolutely unique campaign

Always seeking to push the envelope, Absolut had a unique way of developing a guest list for the launch party of its new ‘Absolut Unique’ range.

The marketing campaign featured a fictional doorman called Sven. Users were invited to WhatsApp Sven with a convincing reason as to why they should be added to the guest list with the chance of winning an invite to the party.

Absolut was inundated with thousands of creative messages, pictures, videos and voice notes all looking to convince Sven to let them in, so it's fair to say the campaign generated a lot of buzz and subsequent coverage. They even had a voicemail from the Queen of Holland… or so they claim. 

Need more reach? There’s a Snap for that

Now this isn’t by any stretch a new innovation. Snapchat and its quirky filters have been entertaining us and keeping our selfies on point since 2011. But its sponsored filters have only been around for three years.

You might think these filters are expensive and that only brands with the big bucks can afford them but that’s actually not the case. Snapchat filters are incredibly accessible for businesses.

Sponsored Snapchat filters are as expensive as you want them to be and anyone can create one. All you need to do is upload your design (there are loads of templates!), set your geo-location, pick your dates and you’re good to go.

It’s a fun way to expand your reach and demonstrate your brand personality. And Snapchat’s flexibility means you can add a website link to generate traffic and cement the app’s usefulness in engaging with consumers.

Filters are viewed more than three billion times every single day and Snapchat has more than 300 predefined audiences so it really couldn’t be easier to put your business in front of potential consumers.

Admittedly, this type of social advertising is still finding its feet and doesn’t have quite the same proven stats as Facebook. But it lets you be incredibly specific, its accessible, its creative and you can also reach audiences instantly.


Universities are getting Snappy

Snapchat’s core audience is without a doubt millennials; 53 per cent of US users are under 34 and 77 per cent of university students use the app. So it makes sense that universities would take advantage of Snapchat’s core demographic and utilise the platform to attract potential applicants for open days.

Loughborough University put Snapchat geofilters to good use and encouraged students to get involved and share content. Branded targeted filters were accessible in key parts of the campus during open days and graduation. The university invited students to share their very first and last Snapchats of their university careers to capture memories in a fun and engaging way.


Engaging the customer every step of the way

Push notifications, in their current form, have been around since Apple introduced them in 2009. For businesses, they help to keep you at the forefront of your customer’s minds and can act as a useful reminder. But you do have to have your own app first.

Push notifications can prompt a purchase, showcase new features, promote special offers and much more. But they’re an often ignored bit of messaging and can be perceived as quite boring and subsequently annoying.

However, push notifications are worth your time and effort. A study in 2014 found that push notifications increase engagement by a massive 88 per cent. It also found that apps with users who have enabled push notifications see a three times higher retention rate than those who don’t.

Don’t underestimate the power of the push

Statistics clearly show that push notifications work, but how can you make a small snippet of copy memorable?   

Amazon has mastered the art of the push notification by packing its digital offering full of personalisation. Users are notified along every step of their journey from the dispatch of items to the expected delivery period. Customers are always kept in the loop without having to proactively find the information out for themselves.

Amazon’s push notifications also entice shoppers before they even know they want to buy something. The notifications are used to announce new, anticipated releases and build excitement.

Take 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens release. It was the first addition to the Star Wars franchise since Revenge of the Sith in 2005 and was eagerly awaited by fans all over the globe. Amazon’s push notification announcing the shipment of the Blu-Ray added to that excitement while providing a practical purpose, letting users know when to expect their package. It’s also creative and memorable to boot.

Amazon has all bases covered for its customer journey – from notifying users about a product to confirming when a package has been delivered; it keeps users informed from start to finish and then repeats the process all over again.



What interesting brand interaction have you seen through these apps? Share your stories with us in the comments below!

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