What first comes to mind when you think of different marketing channels to connect and communicate with your target customers?
The most probable option is Facebook, which has 2.167 billion active members. Maybe Instagram, with its 800 million active users? How about the 330 million people who are active on Twitter or the 310 million users who are active on LinkedIn. You're probably also advertising on there.
What if we told you that a third text-based website had more users than Instagram and LinkedIn combined? And we're quite sure you haven't joined already.
It goes by the name WhatsApp.
Even if email marketing is crucial, you should still anticipate an open rate of around 30% (if you're doing a decent job), and even that 30% is still far more than you would ever get organically on Facebook. 98% of the time, a text message gets opened.
It discusses how and why chatbots are so successful. And for that reason, WhatsApp is the most intriguing marketing channel on the planet.
You probably never thought about using it as a marketing channel since there has never been a real tool to help you manage your account and start engaging with your "following" unless you have that one mobile phone on which the client with your company number was installed.
Also, WhatsApp doesn't have any advertising, so taking the simple and natural route of simply buying some ads won't be effective.
What must you do right away? Since you can't even gauge your success, why look for organisations to automatically join and promote your work?
Prior to other marketers realising they are missing out on this great potential and ruining it for everyone, the moment has come to get going, build up a significant following, and engage with your actual fans.
The (mobile) messaging app WhatsApp allows you to send messages for free to anybody you want.
But wait, isn't iMessage also capable of doing this?
True, if every single one of your friends and customers had an iPhone, but that's not how the world now works.
WhatsApp was developed in 2009 by two former Yahoo employees with the goal of enabling unfettered communication for everybody. Because they surpassed 450 million active monthly users faster than any other company in history, they then took a train voyage, and Facebook eventually acquired them in 2014 for $19 billion.
That comes to roughly twenty times what Facebook spent on Instagram, given how important it seemed to Facebook at the time.
And it seems that the bet was successful since WhatsApp has developed over time and is now helpful for more than just sending and receiving messages.
You are in videos and documents.
GIFs—some of our favourites (our favourite)
In this manner, they are fighting to displace Skype for audio discussions, and it seems like they are succeeding. It is even capable of supporting voice and video communications.
The most popular mobile messaging apps worldwide as of January 2018 according to monthly active users in millions
According to Statista, the most popular mobile messaging apps have millions of monthly active users worldwide as of January 2018.
Both chatbots and the market share that Facebook Messenger enjoys have been previously explored. But take into account this: WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger together account for 79% of the worldwide messaging market (sending three times as many messages per day than SMS already in 2016).
If incorporating WhatsApp into your marketing strategy isn't a strong enough argument, it soon will be.
But, before I continue, I should point out:
One of the most important needs is that they maintain your contact information if you want to start using WhatsApp to successfully communicate with your customers and prospects.
It used to be possible to use email marketing to send out cold emails to prospective clients by simply purchasing a third-party database. Now that everyone knows it's wrong and not the way to start a relationship, What do you think would happen if you started utilising the considerably more private WhatsApp to send unpleasant messages?
The reply would probably be "BLOCKED FOR LIFE."
You don't want to take a gamble like that, not even for a business. With WhatsApp, you go beyond the email marketing authorization by requesting that your customers and leads add your phone to their contact list.
This level of intimacy with your customers must be taken seriously. To get phone numbers and persuade them to allow you to contact them directly, you must be creative. If you violate their privacy, you are doing improperly.
Who makes use of WhatsApp?
Now that we have that out of the way, let's look at who utilises WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is the most extensively used chat app in a number of countries, including Brazil, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Turkey, but especially Argentina, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, and Spain, where user penetration exceeds 50%.
best messaging apps by country
WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in several countries.
Of course, one of the causes of this is that, in practically every country outside of the US, sending text messages has always been costly and not included in carrier bundles. When WhatsApp became accessible and just needed data to send messages, it became popular right away.
The majority of WhatsApp users in the US are adults between the ages of 25 and 44, despite the fact that teens enjoy the app in Germany and the UK:
The age breakdown of adult WhatsApp users in the United States as of February 2014
Ages of adult WhatsApp users in the US as of February 2014, as reported by Statista
Customers seem to want to communicate as a consequence, and WhatsApp may wind up becoming THE platform for them. if you want to be creative or if your customer is international. WhatsApp is the platform you should start taking seriously.
What makes WhatsApp for Business superior than the standard WhatsApp app?
If you're still reading, it means we at least piqued your interest in WhatsApp's possible business advantages. Suddenly, downloading WhatsApp through the Google Play Store or the App Store makes sense.
But first, let us help you effectively set up your business account on WhatsApp.
If you currently use WhatsApp for personal use, there is no option to use a second account on the same phone (and for scalability reasons, you shouldn't want to link your business account to your personal number).
What do you then? In the past, you would get a second phone and SIM card and set up an account that way. Yet WhatsApp announced a brand-new initiative called WA Business in January 2018. (WhatsApp for Business).
WhatsApp for Business app
However both iOS and Android users may use the WhatsApp Business app. Since WA Business was developed with small business owners in mind, utilising WhatsApp at your company should be the de facto norm.
Businesses may connect with their customers successfully by using technology to automate, sort, and quickly respond to messages, which is an advantage over the "normal" consumer version.
Business profiles: You may create a profile for your business that contains information that clients would find helpful, such your address, a brief description of your business, your email address, and your website.
You may save and reuse messages that you often need to send by using Quick Replies. This method enables you to react to your most common questions in a brief and straightforward manner.
Automated Messages: Automated messages may be set up in the same manner as chatbots are. We understand that even if you have customers all over the world, you sometimes need to sleep as a business owner or that it could be difficult for you to answer during a conference. Your leads and customers, on the other hand, are anticipating a rapid response. To introduce potential customers to your business, you might use automated messaging or even create a welcome message.
Learn about important indications like the proportion of your messages that were sent, delivered, and viewed by using message statistics.
You may more easily organise your contacts or discussions with the use of labels so that you can find them again.
creating a corporate profile with a regular landline and no phone number
Not to mention, you may now register using your landline number if you still have a landline phone. Overall, selecting WA Business over a regular account has a number of advantages.
How to contact your target demographic using WhatsApp
After you've finished setting up your WhatsApp business account, it's time to think about how you might reach your target audience. We gave you an overview of the platform so you could have a better picture of how people are use the app.
WhatsApp is mostly used by people, families, and friends as a messaging service to stay in touch, discuss personal issues, and try to talk that beautiful person into going on another date with them. You must first think about how you and your business may contribute to these discussions.
Maybe you need to make a few minor changes to your brand identification or develop a virtual spokesperson for your company. Nevertheless, if you want to interact with your (potential) customers in a situation where they are used to informal conversations, you must create a compelling brand persona for them to connect with.
Hence, if you want to start using WhatsApp to handle customer support, you may establish a unique number only for that. Then you could create a "real person" to deal with it, like "Steve from customer service." By doing this, you instantly raise the interaction's degree of personalisation. Even if there are many people handling customer service, it still gives the idea that your customers are conversing with a real person.
Talking to "Steve from customer service" lowers the conversational barrier, and (busy) consumers find it far more comfortable to exchange photographs of items they are interested in, ask questions, etc. with a real person rather than a chatbot.
Start growing your audience
Even though you may already have a sizable contact list of people you've spoken to in the past stored in your phone, you won't be able to push any messages to them if they don't have your (new) business number registered in their device.
One strategy to begin communicating with your audience is to provide a button on your website that enables them to get in touch with you straight away.
Setting up WhatsHelp is quite simple.
GetButton may be set up quickly.
For instance, to do this, you may make the small widget button using GetButton. You may set up a way to engage with your clients even more rapidly than it takes to set up your WhatsApp for Business account by just following the instructions on their website.
Another terrific and well-liked strategy is to provide them with something of value in exchange for their phone number. This might be a lead magnet, a campaign, a freebie, or some insightful data they would find interesting. You may be as creative as your imagination will allow you to be, and by coming up with an enticing campaign, you can get them to give you their phone number.
By using the automatic SMS option, you can promptly provide them with the promotional offer. Instead of just sending them an automated message with the promo offer, try to engage with them straight away to start building these relationships.
Divide and conquer
As questions start rolling in and your contact list begins expanding, it's time to start scaling things up. You have a few alternatives with WA for enhancing audience engagement, which is crucial.
A CNET report from a few years ago claims that Mark Zuckerberg bought WhatsApp in part for the reasons listed below:
Only WhatsApp, one of the most popular apps ever, has more daily users and a greater rate of interaction than Facebook itself. The ratio of daily active users to monthly active users, or engagement rate, is an amazing 70% for WhatsApp whereas it is probably around 61% for Facebook.
Considering the high levels of participation, it follows that you must continually provide top-notch content on relevant topics that promote debate.
So how can you do this?
There are two approaches you may use, but before you choose one, make sure your contacts have the proper labels. There are a few distinct labels included in WA by default, but you are free to add additional if you so choose.
The typical labels include;
new customer new order
Payment is pending.
Payment Order successful
After you've labelled your contacts in the application, it will be easy for you to find the right person to carry on the conversation.
But, a group or broadcast list may interact with your contacts using one of the many wonderful options available. You may find them both by tapping the three little dots in the chat screen's top right corner.
Similar to the groups you're used to from the original WhatsApp, a group gives a company the opportunity to enable its customers to interact with one another.
A Facebook group may be used to provide customer support and have your customers assist one another, and a WhatsApp group is a fantastic way to make a group of individuals feel special.
They can speak about your company "behind the scenes" because they have access to it, and they often do so.
For enterprises, WhatsApp groups and broadcast lists
There is no reason to be concerned since you can create an infinite number of these groups. A group may have up to 256 members, much as a broadcast group. On your smartphone, first choose "Create group" and then give the group a name.
Make sure it appropriately conveys the name and objective of your firm. For instance, remember to add your company's logo as a group symbol if you want to say "Inbound Rocket Pro members" (or maybe create a special version of your brand logo just for this WA group).
Don't forget to create group guidelines; this way, you can make sure that nobody puts anything in the group that isn't appropriate for it. And make sure that everyone follows these guidelines. If they start sharing objectionable content, give them a warning or immediately remove them from the group.
Last but not least, remember to strike up talks by asking them about their goals for the week or their plans for a long weekend at the beginning of the week. Both requesting their opinions and giving entertaining material are effective ways to keep the conversation continuing.
Broadcast groups are the second option available to you.
A broadcast list works similarly to sending a newsletter or email to everyone in Blind Carbon Copy (BCC). Every person on a broadcast list who has saved your phone number in their phone's address book will get your message when you send it to that list. Yet, the message will appear to them on WhatsApp as a typical message.
When they hit reply, the message returns as a regular, one-to-one message on your chat screen as well, so only you will see their reply in the broadcast list. Similar to groups, a broadcast list is limited to 256 contacts at a time.
Among the things WhatsApp Business enables you to do
assistance to clients
Whether you run a small business or a startup, it may be challenging to provide a comprehensive customer service desk for your customers. Even small firms may afford to utilise WA Business to quickly answer to customer queries.
Of course, the app's support for a wide variety of media is also nice. According to this, you may provide excellent customer care in addition to text by using audio, video, and even a quick call.
KLM, the first airline with a verified account, is a wonderful example of this. Even though travelling might be stressful enough, KLM has found that its customers prefer a faster way to get their questions handled. Because of this, they created a unique customer service account where you may obtain updates on the status of your flight, a boarding pass, and a ticket confirmation.
For the best experience, give your customers what they anticipate as they are used to real-time communication on WhatsApp. To make sure you can respond more readily, be sure to utilise the WA desktop programmes as well (or use the automated messages when you're not there).
Getting feedback and doing consumer research
One of the main advantages is that having a stronger contact with your customers may improve interest and participation. By actively including your customers in the creation and development of your product or service, you can quickly strengthen that relationship and discover a wealth of exciting information.
Of course, the app's support for a wide variety of media is also nice. According to this, you may provide excellent customer care in addition to text by using audio, video, and even a quick call.
Utilizing WA Business might be a quick and inexpensive way to gather data and hear from customers.
Unsure of the flavours you should provide for your store's customers? Let your customer to choose from a variety of options.
Do you want to discover what aspect your company should next concentrate on? Talk to your customers.
Instead of having to call every customer or send an email and hope they read it, you may create questions inside your different segmented groups. Engaging with your consumers is always a great method to get information that is relevant to your business. The greatest part is that using WA Business is free, making it a quick and efficient option to do marketing research.
You may change your offering and set up promotions for certain products based on the feedback you get from these discussions. Keep the conversation as natural-feeling as you can to prevent becoming intrusive and having them start to block you once again. Remember:
Individuals like having conversations with others.
TWEET BY CLICKING
Of course, don't forget to thank your most loyal responders for their continuous support of your business by providing them with special discounts and incentives.
to locate reviews and rankings
Customers' opinions on your products or services may be requested. Provide them links or other survey answer options.
The fact that WhatsApp is a well-liked communication medium may even inspire your customers to provide you more detailed feedback. They will interact with you if you provide them unique chances to offer input.
to remind those who
In addition to informing your customers of the status of their purchases, you can utilise it to send reminders.
Similar to (or maybe even less often than) reading the newspaper, millennials and even members of Generation Y have become used to checking WhatsApp every day.
This suggests that you may text them to remind them to do anything, like renew their insurance or go on a trip the next day. You may also reduce the likelihood that they will miss important deadlines by doing this.
Making use of the WhatsApp Status feature in a novel manner
Remember how in 2017, every company tried to imitate Snapchat's "stories" feature? Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and certainly Facebook could not be excluded.
For your business, you may utilise WhatsApp Status in a number of ways, such as:
Offer merchandising goods
Special offers easily come to mind as one of the first options when thinking about them in connection with the specific features of a WhatsApp narrative. The fundamental argument being made here is that there isn't a narrative (a story is only live for 24 hours).
With a high open rate, it makes WA Business the ideal platform for couponing. Your WA Business article should include a "coupon" that expires at the end of the story's 24-hour duration.
Then you may direct them to a private one-on-one chat that will take them to a landing page that is mobile-friendly so they can learn more about how to take advantage of the offer. If the story is time-sensitive, customers and potential leads for sales are more likely to experience FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). As a result, they will be far more inclined to pay attention and pay heed to your message.
Show off your creativity
It may be a video of you visiting your manufacturing facility to get a glimpse at your product from an insider's perspective, a sketch from the product's early design phases, or the first item to be manufactured.
These thorough examinations of your business's creative process may inspire more confidence in you among your connections.
If you own a web design business, you may be able to increase client loyalty by providing a sneak peek of a brand-new, unpublished product or service (for example).
Sharing your work with your contact might be a great way to show off your company's expertise. (Of course, before promoting early work in your WhatsApp Status, make sure you have your client's permission.)
Provide a direct, unfiltered view into your business.
A company consists of a lot more than simply its products and services. WhatsApp is the finest platform for showcasing the human side of your company. In order to humanise your brand, it's crucial to employ (un)polished status updates that provide potential customers and existing clients a true insight into your business.
Even if the status changes are just temporary, they nonetheless have an effect on your brand.
Take control of internal accounts.
The majority of the time, each social media account is handled by a dedicated employee of the office. Moreover as a result of the WA Business account for your company.
Give the phone to a different employee each week to give them a real, unvarnished view into your business.
This will demonstrate your diversity and provide staff members from various departments the opportunity to see how genuine customers react to your products or services since the whole organisation will be able to read the messages as they arrive one at a time. Those that would traditionally be far away from your consumers' chats are now nearby and providing a whole other set of information.
Consider the scenario when you hand the phone to one of your engineers and the support calls begin to pour in. As they don't want to be bothered by a particular issue any longer, she or he may move more swiftly in the direction of a solution. A win-win scenario for the whole company!
a few stellar instances of marketing
We want to share two amazing WhatsApp campaigns with you before we finish this essay (next to the examples already giving in the article). The first is from the British lingerie brand "Agent Provocateur."
As part of their 2016 Christmas campaign, they introduced a "Ménage à Trois," or personal shopping service, using WhatsApp. To maximise the level of personalisation, the service required a couple to engage in a three-way discussion with an Agent Provocateur agent. Depending on your personality and preferences, this agent would then provide a lingerie suggestion.
While it may seem a touch risqué, Agent Provocateur made sure that only those who were interested would participate by asking people to actively seek out the service. Here is a great example of how to use WhatsApp to obtain immediate customer service and purchase suggestions. Also, they cleverly benefited from the 26% rise in mobile traffic that occurred during the same holiday season as people turned to their phones to look for gifts.
Hellman's offers a second top-notch example. Hellman's Brazil capitalised on the fact that many people lack culinary imagination. They already have certain parts at home, which is the issue.
You were asked to take images of the items in your refrigerator after registering online for their "WhatsCook" campaign. The chefs at The Hellman's would then provide recommendations for meals you could prepare using ingredients you already have at home.
WhatsApp was used to supplement the service currently provided via social media platforms. Nevertheless, by using WhatsApp, it enabled a much more direct and personal component, with questions being answered just when you needed them.
This is a fantastic example of how content marketing can be utilised successfully, in our view. Although the product itself offers assistance, you can still help your clients by giving an area for educational content.
Customers' propensity to interact with businesses has grown over time. Excellent examples of this include the creation of chatbots and messaging software.
WhatsApp is robust and well-liked because it is simple. WhatsApp is now used for business reasons as well, despite the fact that your first impression may be that it is just for personal use.
The finest tool for interacting with your audience, letting them know about your company, advertising your products and services, and having in-person dialogues with them is WhatsApp. Why are you holding out? Why wait when it is also inexpensive and simple to get started? Check it out and start communicating with your clients and prospects in a fresh way.
The key to effectively utilising WhatsApp within your organisation is to make it about having quality discussions rather than abusing the connection by continuously spamming people with things. Your interactions may be measured to assist you learn how to provide value over time. But be aware that the person on the other end of the chat line may ban you and delete all of your messages with a single click.