When we hear the phrase social media marketing, social platforms like Facebook and Twitter hit your mind. However, messenger apps like WhatsApp have caught up to major social networks when it comes to the user base, and that is why we need a WhatsApp marketing strategy.
WhatsApp, with approximately 1.6 billion monthly active users spreading over 180 countries, is now the most popular mobile messenger app worldwide, outranking Facebook Messenger and other social giants. With such a vast user base and availability in more than 50 languages, WhatsApp is a promising platform for marketers to reach out to an engaging audience.
WhatsApp is a cheap alternative to carrier-billed text messaging via SMS and enables users to share text, images, voice messages, and supports video calling. Acquired by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014, WhatsApp is a driving place for marketing owing to its high market reach, interactive nature, convenience, and applicability.
WhatsApp marketing strategy is not new and has been used by many businesses to engage with their customers, much before the WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Business API was launched. Before moving on to the next section of the blog, let us see a few successful WhatsApp campaigns.
- Absolut Unique Limited Edition Vodka campaign on WhatsApp
In 2013, Alcohol company Absolut promoted limited-edition vodka bottles on WhatsApp by organizing a party, inviting celebrities, and reserved two seats for the winner of the campaign. The task was to convince fictional bouncer Sven to receive those two passes. The brand created a Facebook campaign and directed users to save Sven’s number to their contacts and send text/voice messages, photos, and videos. In merely a 3-day campaign, over 600 users contacted Sven, sharing more than 1000 images, voice messages, and videos. Considering the year 2013 and Absolut’s first WhatsApp campaign, these numbers are pretty impressive
- Hellmann’s WhatsApp campaign
Mayonnaise brand, Hellmann’s in 2014, set up a WhatsApp marketing campaign in 2014, wherein users had to enter their phone number on Hellmann’s “whatscook” website. Once signed in, they received a message from a human chef, prompting them to upload pictures of ingredients left in their kitchen. The chef then proceeds to suggest cooking ideas with these leftover ingredients using Hellmann’s. The campaign was a huge success, attracting 4 million people to visit the website and 13 thousand people signing up. The best part was the average time users spent interacting with the chef which was 65 minutes on average!
WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API
Since the launch of WhatsApp Business App and, later, WhatsApp Business API, marketing on WhatsApp is witnessing a steep rise. WhatsApp Business is a version of the messaging app which allows small businesses to connect with their customers. The way Facebook offers Facebook Business Profile, the same way WhatsApp Business lets you create a business profile.
With WhatsApp Business, small business owners can set up a profile, sharing business information like email address, store address, connect with customers using tools to automate, sort, and respond to messages.
For large businesses and Financial institutions, WhatsApp Business API, a paid service lets businesses send out receipts; boarding passes, and more. With API, businesses can communicate with customers all over the world in a secure, simple, and reliable way.
WhatsApp Marketing Strategy Features
- Business Profile: Offer more useful information to your customers like your business address, description, working hours, email address, and website by creating a business profile
- Messaging tools:
- Work less and message more with Quick Replies: Save time by reusing frequently used messages to answer common questions in less time. WhatsApp allows saving up to 50 quick replies
- Away message: Businesses can set an “ Away” message which will be automatically sent to your customers when you are away. You can choose when you wish to send the message by opting between “Always send,” “Custom Schedule,” and “Outside Business Hours.”
- Greeting Message: Whenever a new customer messages you for the very first time or after 14 days of inactivity on the profile, you can set a custom greeting message which will be sent automatically
- Labels: You can organize your chats and contacts with different color labels or add a label to a specific chat or entire conversation. The customers can be divided into different categories like “New customer,” “New Order,” “Paid,” “Order complete,” and “Pending payment.” Labels help in tracking your workflow with customers.
- Short Link: Your WhatsApp business link is unique for your account and can be added to social accounts, websites, or emails. Shortened links have a high click-through rate, and when clicked, the customer will be redirected to your WhatsApp Business account
- Green Tick for verified accounts: To maintain the authenticity of businesses, the official business accounts are identified by a green tick
- Whatsapp Business app is also accessible from PC which provides flexibility to manage customers and business via “web.whatsapp.com”
- Broadcasting business updates: You can send business-related updates on a WhatsApp business group (limit of 256 contacts)
- Statistics: This section tells about the number of Messages sent, Messages delivered, Messages read and received
- Catalog: WhatsApp Business app recently introduced “Catalogs” for small businesses, making it easier to get product information. With Catalogs, people can quickly discover something they would like to buy and businesses get to showcase and share their products right within WhatsApp
For each item, businesses can add product information like price, description, and product code. This makes connecting with customers more engaging without having to visit a website and eliminates the need for repeatedly providing product information and photos to customers.
Catalogs option is currently available on WhatsApp Business app for both Android and iOS in Germany, India, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, The U.K., and the U.S.
WhatsApp Marketing Strategy Tips
- Two-way communication: Consumers today want businesses to make real conversations instead of just directing messages at them. With end-to-end encryption and features like chat, voice or video calls, WhatsApp is a great channel to directly engage with customers in the same way as a two-way conversation that usually happens in a place like a physical store. WhatsApp is a reliable channel to engage globally, and businesses can send delivery alerts, purchase confirmation and establish customer support over the app.
- Status: Make sure you regularly update your WhatsApp status with business-related quotes, events, promos, and even video links to other social media sites. The status text should be short and catchy for the audience.
- Right time: Try to figure out when your target audience is most active on WhatsApp. Doing so increases the chance of opening your message or status.
- Promotion with link: Short WhatsApp messages with the website link has a high click-through rate. Remember to avoid bombarding your customers with same repetitive messages.
- Wish on occasions: Always make your customers feel valued and build a bond of emotions. Send personalized messages on special events and festivals.
- Keep the curiosity high: Boost engagement with customers in a fun and exciting way by creating a teaser of an upcoming campaign, sharing videos of a flash mob, or at your office location. The idea here is to leave the audience wanting more from you.
That’s all in relation to WhatsApp marketing strategy, so start now and get ahead of your competitors by applying these tips and features. Also, don’t forget to share your experiences with us in the comments section below.
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Vishal is a tech writer for Vidooly and a fan of everything related to Android. He loves exploring the nexus between tech, culture, space, and politics. He lies awake at night pondering over the myriad facets of life while also having an adventurous side to him. In his spare time, he enjoys watching sci-fi and drama series, reading psychology/politics fiction and playing brain games.