Ultimate Creative Ideas For Marketing Through WhatsApp – Tip to Toe

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Sawai Jangid

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: August 26, 2020

Most companies fail because they are unable to find and interact with their audiences. 

If you want to succeed, you need to understand a simple fact. And that is, engage with your customers on the device they are paying attention to the most. 

We all know the growing popularity of smartphones. With it, there has been a tremendous increase in the use of text-based applications such as WhatsApp. 

A study revealed that messaging apps are 20% more popular than social networking apps. 

Clearly, Whatsapp has over a billion active users — more than Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest combined. This kind of market penetration cannot be ignored.

number of monthly active users by social media

I have put together this guide about marketing through WhatsApp to help you grow your interaction with target audiences

Take a look at the findings from a study conducted by Facebook IQ on the use of mobile messaging, wherein they interviewed 12,500 people worldwide:

  • 63% of people had noticed that communications with companies via messaging apps have increased in the recent past
  • 56% preferred to simply send a message, rather than calling a company and dealing with customer service channels
  • 61% said that they appreciated personalized messages from businesses
  • Over 50% said that they were willing to shop at a company that communicated through messaging apps

While there are a variety of messaging applications like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, etc. available in the market, in this article we will talk about creative ideas for marketing through WhatsApp. We hope that it serves as a WhatsApp marketing guide for your business.

Why Is WhatsApp Marketing Important? 

Some Stats that will reveal why WhatsApp Marketing is essential

With 1.5 billion active users around the world, WhatsApp is a clear market leader when it comes to messaging apps.  

A 100 million voice calls and 55 million video calls are made through WhatsApp every day. 

500 million people actively use the WhatsApp Status function.How Many People Use Whatsapp Vs Other Messenger apps

This indicates that there is a higher probability that your customers and prospects are already using WhatsApp. 

Besides, messaging apps like WhatsApp have excellent engagement rates. 

98% of mobile messages are opened and read, and 90% of them get opened within three seconds of being received.

Despite all its popularity, WhatsApp wasn’t a preferred marketing tool amongst brands. 

However, things changed when the WhatsApp Business app was introduced. The app is so designed that it makes it easy to handle the communication of the business with its consumers.

Let’s look at how you can leverage it and conduct effective marketing through WhatsApp.

Available in over 53 languages, it is used in 109 countries or 55.6% of the world.

It is estimated that over 60 billion messages are sent through WhatsApp every day.whatsapp user by countryWhatsApp is ideal for customers and prospects that are young since they are more won’t using messaging apps for day-to-day communication. A study found that 42% of smartphone owners that were 18-29 years old used messaging apps like WhatsApp as opposed to only 19% of smartphone owners who were 50 years old or more.

Messaging apps like WhatsApp have excellent engagement rates. 98% of mobile messages are opened and read. 90% of them get opened within three seconds of being received.

WhatsApp can enable your audience to share your content via dark social. In other words, people may share your content through private channels such as email or chat apps like WhatsApp, and not just more public networks like Facebook. Even if you are not marketing through WhatsApp, it is likely that your prospects are already using it to share your content. About 84% of sharing that is done online now takes place on private channels like messaging apps.

Looking for WhatsApp Marketing Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best WhatsApp Marketing Software solutions.

Features of WhatsApp

WhatsApp can be used both on your mobile and desktop. However, you will have to install it on your mobile phone first.

Installing and using WhatsApp is quite easy: 

#1: Download the app

#2: Enter your country and phone number

#3: Set up your profile — adding a name and a display picture

There are primarily three ways to share content and carry out marketing through WhatsApp:

Personal Chat

You can interact directly with another WhatsApp user who is in your contact list.

Broadcast Lists

You can create a broadcast list with up to 256 contacts and send a single message in one go to all of them. The recipient, however, will receive this message as a personal message. Any interaction thereafter will occur in the form of a one-on-one conversation.

Groups

You can create groups with up to 256 people at once. You can share messages, photos, and videos, etc. with everyone in the group. People can take part in the conversation, see everyone’s responses, and even have a full-fledged discussion.

Marketing on WhatsApp

Unlike social media platforms, there were no obvious tools to carry out sales and marketing through WhatsApp. 

Besides, there is no advertising on WhatsApp. So there was no way of businesses to simply buy the ad space and display their products. 

But things changed when in 2016, WhatsApp announced that they would be testing tools to help businesses engage with their customers. 

A year ago, WhatsApp officially launched its new WhatsApp Business app in select markets, including Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K., and the U.S., ahead of its planned worldwide rollout. 

It was built with small business owners in mind and was available for Android devices only. Recently, a year after the launch of the Android-only app, WhatsApp released an iOS version.

Features of WhatsApp Business Tool

WhatsApp Business has all the original features of WhatsApp with a few additions:

Business Profile: Set up a business profile for your company. Add an email address, office address, and a description of your business. It adds a touch of professionalism. 

Labels: Add labels to active chats to keep track of customer requests. For example, you can create labels for new customers or even order statuses.

Quick Replies: Save and send pre-set messages that you are likely to use frequently.

Away Messages: Compose messages to let customers know when they can expect a response if you will not be able to respond soon enough.

Greetings: Set up a greeting message for your customers that can share preliminary information.

Statistics: View statistics related to how many messages were sent, delivered, opened, and read.

While the business app does show promise, it is still not a full-fledged marketing tool. It is more suitable for smaller businesses. You may also use third-party apps that come in the form of WhatsApp bulk sender tools. 

However, while they may offer convenience, to properly leverage WhatsApp as a business tool, businesses must think out of the box.

Tips for Effective Marketing Through WhatsApp

Now that we have discussed the various features that are available for marketing through WhatsApp, here are some tips for using all these features to create a successful WhatsApp marketing strategy:

 1. Create a Brand Persona

When you have a private, one-on-one conversation with your customer, you have an opportunity to strengthen your brand’s identity. 

How you converse with the customer — your tone, choice of words, and content must reflect your brand’s image.

Take how the Australian beauty brand, Frank Body, talks to its customers. The brand created a character named Frank, who is very relatable. The voice and personality of Frank are very distinct and consistent across all their communication. 

By using personal pronouns such as “me” or “I,” they regularly refer to the brand or the product in the third person.

You may also create a character as a part of your WhatsApp marketing campaign. One of the best examples of this is when Absolut Vodka launched its Limited-Edition Absolut Unique bottle collection in Argentina. They used WhatsApp to build buzz.

For the launch, they announced a very exclusive party. There were only two invitations that were available to the general public. 

Anyone who wanted to score these tickets had to contact an imaginary bouncer named Sven via WhatsApp and convince him to let them attend the party. 

People created over 1,000 unique images, videos, and audio messages in a bid to persuade Sven, and he responded in a characteristic manner.

2. Create a Buzz

Create WhatsApp campaigns that build a buzz around a new or an upcoming product. 

If you are launching a new product or reinventing an old one, you may devise an interactive campaign for marketing the new product or service through WhatsApp. 

The campaign must encourage participation and build excitement around the launch.

Absolut’s unique WhatsApp campaign definitely built a buzz around the launch of their product. The exclusive party, the slim chances of entry, and Sven’s characteristic standoffishness — all created a buzz around the launch.  

By building excitement around the launch party, the campaign was fun, interactive, and successfully conveyed the “limited edition” and “unique” aspects of the Limited-Edition Absolut Unique bottle collection.

3. Incentivize Participation

There are two ways to add more prospects to your contact list when you want to do marketing through WhatsApp. 

You may either ask them for their number or give them your number and hope that they add you to their contact list. 

For a customer to share their personal number, they will have to have a certain level of trust in your brand. Giving your number out also does not guarantee that the customer will take the trouble to add you.

Giving your customers incentives in the form of offers, freebies, and even competitions may ease this process. 

For example, Heineken fans and WhatsApp users were invited to take part in a competition. They had to take part in a football quiz to win a free trip.

Customers battled through the rounds of trivia to win. Just like the Absolut campaign, this was a fun and interactive incentive that helped the business get in touch with customers on WhatsApp while also creating a buzz about the brand.

4. Offer Personalization

Fast-paced lifestyles and technological advancements have eliminated human interaction from the buying process to a great extent. 

Most consumers would love to have a human connection with the brand. Marketing through WhatsApp can potentially bring back the personal touch to engage customers.

A great example is Hellman’s mayonnaise. They used actual chefs as a part of a fun recipe challenge to interact with their customers. 

Customers had to sign up with their WhatsApp number and take a photo of the contents in their fridge. 

A chef would then come up with a recipe using Hellmann’s and the other ingredients in their fridge. They taught the users how to cook the meal through pictures, videos, and other WhatsApp features.

5. Create the Feeling of Exclusivity

Consumers are always attracted to exclusivity; it makes them feel valued. 

Marketing through WhatsApp is the perfect opportunity for businesses to create this feeling of exclusivity for their customers. It has the potential for high engagement.

Leading high-end lingerie brand Agent Provocateur is known to use WhatsApp to offer their top clientele updates on new arrivals and events at the stores for a while now. 

They also encourage customers to ask them questions from the privacy of WhatsApp. They also initiated a campaign during the Christmas shopping season that provided couples with a personal shopper. 

Couples could add the personal shopper to a WhatsApp discussion as they decided what they wanted to purchase from the brand for Christmas.

6. Use WhatsApp Stories

WhatsApp Story is a great way to give away special offers and capture your audience’s immediate attention. 

Since WhatsApp stories don’t last for more than 24 hours, it can create a sense of ‘fear of missing out.’ 

When you frequently provide special promotional offers via your story, your prospects and potential sales leads will pay more attention to your story. You can use the story to direct them to your personal chat or a mobile landing page. 

The page will contain information about how to proceed further. 

Moreover, WhatsApp stories can be quite useful in building a relationship with your customers. 

For instance, you can give them a sneak peek into the latest project you are working in. Or, if there are any new products to be launched. 

7. Maintain Content Quality

Since the manner of interaction with the customer is conversational and quite open-ended, it is easy to get carried away and miss the point as you interact with them. 

All content — whether it is a private message, a broadcasted one, a picture, a video, or even a document — must be brief, crisp, and impactful.

Do not restrict yourself to sharing just original content. You may also share curated content. Use all of WhatsApp’s features to make your content attractive. 

Enhance messages with videos, GIFs, photographs, links, and even emojis.

8. Integrate With Third-party Applications

Even though we talk about how WhatsApp has vast potential for building engagement, it limits brands to send bulk messages to only 256 users at a time. 

This could be a drawback for companies with a large customer base. 

Given the rising popularity of WhatsApp marketing, many vendors came up with WhatsApp marketing software. 

This software enables businesses to send bulk messages at one go and expand their reach. Bulk WhatsApp sender is one of the most popular third-party applications. 

9. Provide Superior Customer Service

WhatsApp offers you the opportunity to assist your customers and resolve their doubts in real-time. You may use chat, voice calls, or video calls. 

By marketing through WhatsApp, you can provide direct and personalized customer support to your customers when they need it the most.

While WhatsApp was created for mobile devices, it is compatible with desktop devices. You can use it along with the other desktop applications such as your webcam, keyboard, and microphone to provide powerful customer support.

10. Build a Community

Choosing to conduct marketing through WhatsApp has the advantage of letting you build a huge loyal customer community. 

Back in 2015, the brand named Persil ran a WhatsApp campaign — Persil Kufua Expert Campaign in Kenya. 

Users had to send in 15 seconds video of their best washing tips via WhatsApp. The best suggestions were offered gift vouchers and various hampers. 

This whole campaign was so simple that a lot of people participated in it. It resulted in increased interaction with a big brand following the community.  

What to Avoid When Marketing Through WhatsApp?

While we have discussed how you can effectively carry out WhatsApp campaigns, there are a few things that can backfire. 

1. Separate Personal and Business

Do not use your personal number for your business. You not only risk exposing your personal number for the sake of your business, but it also makes it difficult to manage business activities in the long run as you add more customers.

2. Do Not Spam

Do not bombard customers with messages. Send them information within a reasonable limit. Check how they feel about it. Customers are bound to get annoyed with constant broadcast messages.

3. Follow Up

Sending a private message from their personal numbers to an unknown number can be unnerving for most customers. When customers add you, it may be a good idea to send them a message thanking them for adding you and letting them know when they can seek you out for assistance.

4. Respect Boundaries

Whenever you call a customer, ensure that you have taken their permission to call them. Do not place any unsolicited calls that will make customers dismiss you as another telemarketer.

5. Secure Customer Information

Ensure that you use the customer’s number only for what the customer intended. You must take all steps to secure their private information so that it does not fall into the wrong hands.

Wrap Up

With hundreds of millions of monthly active users, low data prices, mobile devices for every budget, and feature-rich applications, mobile messaging apps have immense potential as new-age marketing tools. 

WhatsApp is inarguably the most popular messaging platform across the world.

Businesses can now use this platform to provide customer service, share content, advertise their products and services, and even sell. 

They serve as a means to have a two-way, one-on-one personal interaction with customers, that can effectively strengthen the customer relationship. Ready or not, conversational marketing through WhatsApp is here to stay.

Are you already using WhatsApp for your business? The above tips will help you craft and run a WhatsApp marketing campaign effectively. 

Wish you good luck!

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Sawailal Jangid is a Content Analyst at SotwareSuggest. He does researches and analyzes software to educate and advice to the business managers to streamline their business. In his spare time, he loves to do sports activities.

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