WhatsApp Marketing for Modern Digital Marketers
Back in 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp, a free-to-use messaging platform for US$22 billion. The reason why Facebook bought WhatsApp was data. WhatsApp can now share people’s account information (not messages) with Facebook. This is all being done to match accounts for better ads and content recommendation.
Marketers, are you listening?
Facebook has done the same with Instagram, and now it’s time for some WhatsApp marketing.
WhatsApp has more active monthly users than that of Instagram, Pinterest & LinkedIn combined. WhatsApp alone has 1000 million active monthly users. The only competitor that WhatsApp has is Facebook with 1871 million active users, but now they are part of the same company.
Right now, the businesses that are using WhatsApp marketing strategies are the really small ones, like restaurants, concierge services, etc. It’s not that the big players have not taken advantage of WhatsApp, but right now there is very little competition. In the U.S. the popularity of WhatsApp is less because of the “unlimited” text model. But for you, that means less competition. You can target your audience easily. Moreover, you get to target users across the globe on the same platform. It’s like Facebook, but much more personal.
In the U.S. the popularity of WhatsApp is less because of the “unlimited” text model. But for you, that means less competition. You can target your audience easily. Moreover, you get to target users across the globe on the same platform. It’s like Facebook, but much more personal.
In the age of personalization, WhatsApp marketing might prove to be really effective. This will be a one-to-one channel where you can converse with your customer/lead directly. Moreover, you know that your message has reached. You do not have to worry about organic reach or the likes. Plus it’s free and you can also measure your open rates.
It requires a high amount of manual work right now. But if more marketers find it useful, marketing automation platforms might just add a WhatsApp marketing feature in the near future. But, if you are willing to put in that extra effort, your WhatsApp marketing strategy might just start winning loads of business.
WhatsApp’s broadcast is limited to only 256 people. That means you will need to send the same message multiple times for a target audience over 256. This is part of the manual effort that I am talking about. But it is worth it on a marketing channel where there is literally zero competition.
How Can YOU Benefit from WhatsApp Marketing?
Before you begin, make sure you know how WhatsApp works. It is a pretty simple application and also comes with a desktop version. Social media tactics do not work here, so you need to create your own WhatsApp marketing strategy. Make sure you are engaging and authentic. This is because you will be reaching out to your customers directly, one-on-one. Try to take lessons from the bigger brands that have tried their hands at WhatsApp marketing. Think about how you can tie this campaign with your other campaigns.
Let’s talk about one of the earliest examples of companies using WhatsApp. BBC used WhatsApp during the 2014 Ebola outbreak to keep people updated about the situation in West Africa. In recent times, BBC started another campaign called ‘Young, Angry and Connected’ to tell the tales of marginalized African youths using social media.
Here’s how you can use WhatsApp marketing:
#1: Customer Communication
You can ditch phone follow-ups and adopt WhatsApp follow-ups. It is much more effective, and people will reply when they are free. No one appreciates random phone calls at random moments. It’s better to leave a personalized text. On top of that, it gives you an opportunity to truly reach out to a lead or a customer. Instead of using the cold, formal text of emails, you can now immerse yourself in an informal, friendly conversation.
More or more small businesses are taking to WhatsApp to keep in touch with their clients.
#2: Customer Support
WhatsApp is a potential goldmine for customer support purposes. Almost everyone uses it and most people would prefer a text over a phone call. Companies like Wazapper are providing tools and API setup support via WhatsApp nowadays. But, for companies that receive thousands of customer support related calls, WhatsApp might prove to be a painful experience.
#3: Marketing & Promotion
WhatsApp is not only a platform to send text messages, but it also supports popular formats of images, documents, and audio. There is no restriction on format or size. Moreover, being a personal messaging platform, delivery rates, open rates and engagement rates are higher than usual marketing channels.
Of course, you need to draw a line between normal level of interactions and spam. The best possible way to kick off your WhatsApp marketing campaign is to connect with your best customers. Instead of experimenting with new ones, it is better that you reach out to old, trusted customers.
Right now, WhatsApp is an untapped gold mine. Yeah, few companies are using it, but no one has still taken complete advantage of what it has to offer. However, there are still a few issues that need ironing out. But, all in all, WhatsApp might prove to be a great channel for one-on-one communication for businesses in the future.