Holly Eddleston, Head of Influencer Marketing at BIG little LDN, has been in the influencer marketing game for over 12 years. Holly’s one of the OGs who swapped lipstick for social posts, years before ‘influencer marketing’ became the million-dollar industry it is today.
Holly’s our go-to for sourcing the latest industry news, trends and updates to keep us hot on all things social and marketing.
In this article, Holly unravels how brands are communicating with their loyal communities through digital platforms and the growing popularity of brands using WhatsApp to connect with their consumers.
As is the nature when you work in marketing, especially on digital platforms, things change all the time. Staying up to date with online trends is key to making sure you’re meeting your audience where they are and with the content types that they respond to.
The way in which we communicate and connect with each other is evolving on a rapid scale, as is the way that brands communicate and connect with their consumers. A standout example in the UK is the beauty industry. In recent years, influencers and like-minded beauty enthusiasts have built close-knit communities on platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
Beauty giants like Rare Beauty and Fenty have thrived by collaborating with influencers, reaching an engaged audience and leveraging their authenticity to connect with potential customers. These communities connect people, foster loyalty, feedback, and brand advocacy.
97% of Gen Z shoppers look to social media for their primary shopping inspiration (Forbes, 2021). The hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit boasts a staggering 2.3 billion views on TikTok alone, while #amazonfinds reigns with over 6.7 billion views.
WhatsApp by Meta is meeting the needs of consumers looking for seamless retail experiences by broadening its service offering to cater for highly personalised shopping experiences. The expansion from regular WhatsApp to WhatsApp Business, and WhatsApp Business API now allows brands to create digital communities of customers who naturally feel closer and more warmth to the brand, as communications occur within a platform synonymous with private chats with friends.
Spanish fashion brand, Zara, has capitalised on this by making use of WhatsApp's highly personalised shopping experience. Customers can join WhatsApp groups to receive tailored notifications and updates, making them feel valued and appreciated, therefore becoming increasingly engaged. This level of personalisation strengthens the customer's connection to the brand, creating brand loyalty and affinity. Allowing customers to shop directly through the WhatsApp platform streamlines the buying process, making it even more convenient to make purchases. It aligns with the modern consumer's desire for easy and efficient shopping.
WhatsApp has billions of monthly active users and there are currently over 50 million companies worldwide using WhatsApp as a marketing and sales tool, yet it still isn't a mainstream method in the UK.
The brilliant Hellmann's "WhatsCook" campaign is content-driven and focused on engaging customers in a meaningful way. By allowing customers to send photos of their ingredients on WhatsApp, the brand fosters a sense of interactivity and participation. By responding to customer-submitted ingredients with tailored recipes, Hellmann's actively engages with its audience. This interactive approach makes customers feel heard and valued, building a positive brand perception.
The importance of WhatsApp groups in brand marketing varies depending on your specific goals and the preferences of your target audience. They can be a valuable addition to your brand marketing strategy but need to be used wisely. While they offer direct, personal communication, community building and cost-effective marketing opportunities, this must be balanced with content quality, relevance, privacy, and a commitment to actively engaging with your audience if brands are to turn this into a successful community building channel.