Let’s check out some numbers first.
WhatsApp has more than 1.5 billion monthly users.
1 billion daily active users on WhatsApp.
You must be wondering, even with such amazing stats why WhatsApp marketing isn’t that popular? That’s because many companies are still skeptical about the benefits of WhatsApp for marketing.
The reason being the inability to measure the effectiveness of their marketing activities.
In truth, there has never been any real tool to help you manage your account. However, things have changed after the introduction of WhatsApp Business tool. Companies are now trying to drive more traffic to their website using WhatsApp Business. It gives you useful insights into your customer’s activities and also allows for automated messages.
How do we use it? Before we jump right into it, let’s give you a brief introduction.
What is WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is a free mobile application that allows you to send messages, share images and videos with anyone you want. In fact, you can also do voice or video calls using WhatsApp.
It was introduced in 2009 by two ex-Yahoo employees who wanted to make free communication available to all. And that’s how WhatsApp was created.
So How to Use WhatsApp for Marketing?
We all know how crucial is email marketing. It has an average open rate of 32 per cent, but only when it is effectively done. On the other hand, the average text message gets an open rate of around 98%.
Clearly, WhatsApp has a lot of potential for any business, regardless of their niche. However, there are no ads or any type of gimmicks. So how does a marketer engage with their customers using WhatsApp?
Here are four easy steps that will help you crack through millions of users on WhatsApp.
1. Getting Started With WhatsApp
Creating a WhatsApp account is a pretty straightforward method. You install the app, type in your name, put on a profile picture, and most importantly write a small intro.
It may sound simple but there are certain things you need to be careful when using WhatsApp for business.
You can’t keep changing the name
Whether it’s a brand or people’s name, we don’t keep changing names very often. Names are a permanent thing. That’s why you need to understand that once you choose your name of WhatsApp, you can’t change it.
Use the brand’s image as your profile picture
You would be tempted to use your own photo as the profile picture. However, when it’s for business use, you might want to think again.
Have a permanent phone number
Don’t just install WhatsApp on some employee’s phone or number. What if that person leaves the company? You can’t change your WhatsApp number for your company again and again. It is bound to only one single number.
2. Building Your WhatsApp Contact List
If you ask us, this is the trickiest part. WhatsApp is the permission-based app. That means if you want to effectively start a conversation, people should have your contact number saved. Otherwise, it can backfire and the customers might even block you for it.
We’re sure that’s not a risk you might be willing to take.
Building an audience on WhatsApp is not an easy task. You need to get creative to collect the phone numbers of your prospect and have them accept you to contact them directly.
How to reach your audience on WhatsApp?
There are two ways to do that. Either you give them your number and they add you or it’s the other way round.
Both cases require some appealing ideas. But the real trick is to build a brand persona to engage with your customers.
For instance, WhatsApp gives you the opportunity to provide real-time customer support. We would suggest you get a unique number for this action. Once done, create virtual assistance to add a personal touch to it.
When the queries would be addressed immediately, you will find more customers ready to initiate the conversation with your brand.
Another great way is to offer something of value in exchange for their phone number. It could be offers, promotions, giveaways, or any valuable information. When you add them on your WhatsApp, try to have a real conversation with them. Don’t just send them automated messages.
3. Sending Messages Using WhatsApp Group or Broadcast List
Of course, you can have a one-to-one conversation with your customers. But the ideal way of communicating with a large group of people at once is by creating a WhatsApp group.
Whatsapp enables you to create groups of up to 256 members, in which all the members can interact. You can use it to share information about your new product launch or organize sales event.
You can also use the broadcast list to do it. The broadcast feature lets you send messages to multiple users at once, without adding them in a group. You can gain the attention of your customers by sharing posts that might pique their interest. It works in a similar way as the BBC function in the email. Yet again, it is restricted to only 256 users.
Companies with huge consumer base can find this as a drawback while trying to use WhatsApp for marketing. It limits their reach to mass audience at once.
It can be solved by using third-party applications. Vendors are developing WhatsApp marketing tools that enables them to send bulk messages and increase their reach. There are both paid and free versions.
4. Interact With Your Audience
Your customers have trusted you with their phone numbers. That’s why it’s essential that you provide only quality and relevant messages. Communication needs to feel real to grab your audience attention.
As we have mentioned earlier, text messages have a high open rate. How can you use that to your advantage?
You can send them messages with a link to articles, landing pages, product pages, or videos. They will see your message, click on the link, and there you have a visitor to your website.
But you need to be careful that you don’t spam and annoy your customers. You don’t want to come out as invasive.
So that was it. The bottom line is by effectively using WhatsApp for marketing, you can drive more traffic to your site. The market is growing fast and now is the best time to take action.
Frequently Asked Questions About WhatsApp For Marketing
1. How Much Does WhatsApp for Business Cost?
Both the WhatsApp — regular and business tool — are free. The only expense that might occur is of setting up a distinctive mobile number that will be used exclusively for your business. And there are chances that WhatsApp may start charging businesses in the future for their service.
2. How Do I get Followers on Different Platforms to Join us on WhatsApp?
You can do it by simply tweeting with your number on Twitter, asking them to join. Or, post a status about it on Facebook. Nowadays people are also sharing their WhatsApp group link to invite customers to join. You can simply share the link as the bio of your Instagram account and ask them to join for specific sharing of information.
3. How Can you Grab Your Customers’ Attention on WhatsApp?
To keep the attention of your audience, you should make use of all the resources WhatsApp has to offer. When writing messages, you can enrich your text experience by using bold and italics as a way to highlight the information.
You just need to select the text you want to highlight, long press on it. And then choose from the option of how you want to display the text.
Or you can put the word or phrase between low hyphens to italicize it. For eg, _WhatsApp for marketing_. And to bold the words, place them between asterisks.
Furthermore, you can enrich your messages with the use of emojis, adding GIFs, links and photographs.