What comes to mind when you think of online marketing channels that could help you engage with your ideal customers?
Most likely Facebook with its 2.6 billion monthly active users. Or maybe Instagram with its over 1 billion monthly active users. What about Twitter and LinkedIn? They respectively count 330 and 260 million monthly active users. Well, if any of these platforms come to mind, you are not wrong.
But what if we told you there’s another platform with an active user base that is more than that of Instagram and Twitter combined?
This platform is called WhatsApp. With more than 1.5 billion active monthly users, its potential cannot be ignored.
On average, email marketing gets an open rate of 30% – a figure that is higher than what you could get with Facebook’s organic reach. Text messages, on the other hand, have an average open rate of 98%. Even more eye-opening is the fact that 90% of these messages are opened within three seconds of being received. Thus, it is no surprise that chatbots have achieved much success in recent years – and it is for this reason WhatsApp has become the world’s most engaging marketing channel.
You probably never thought about using WhatsApp as a marketing channel as it doesn’t have features that allow you engage your “followers”. Besides, WhatsApp does not allow advertising, so it is only natural that you use a platform that allows you pay for ads to increase your reach.
So, how can you really use WhatsApp? If it is impossible to track your success, promote your product / service or search for groups, how do you successfully leverage its user base? This guide is designed to help you take action NOW, build a strong following and engage your ideal customers.
Ready to use WhatsApp for your business?
WhatsApp is a free mobile application that allows you send messages to anyone you want to.
But I can do same with messaging apps like iMessage, you may wonder. Well, you definitely can if all your friends and target customers use iPhones, but the world has now advanced past this stage.
WhatsApp was developed by two former employees of Yahoo. The goal was to ensure people could communicate without any charges, so it was barely surprising when they quickly gained acceptance, even becoming the fastest company to hit the 450-million active-user mark. In 2014, it was eventually acquired by Facebook for $ 19 billion – twenty times the amount Facebook paid to acquire Instagram.
Over the years, WhatsApp has expanded even more; it is no longer strict text-based platform it started out as, but can be used to send images, GIFs, documents, videos, voice messages and even your location. It can also let you do voice and video calls and, in a sense, they are well placed to beat Skype as the go-to platform for voice calls.
The good thing about WhatsApp is that most of your ideal customers are already using it. Each day, over 60 billion messages are sent via WhatsApp. Nielson’s Facebook Messaging Survey tells us why: about 67% of those who use mobile messaging apps expect chats to become central to business over the next two years. What’s more, 53% of participants in the survey say they will likely do more business with brands they can message directly.
Plus, as noted at the outset, WhatsApp’s engagement rates are incredible. It is already key to the way content is shared via dark social – a term that describes people’s preference for sharing content through private channels, as against more public sites like Facebook. In fact, 84% of online content sharing is done via messaging apps, so if you are yet to use WhatsApp to market your product / service, you may be passing up a huge chance to extend your reach.
WhatsApp is mostly used as a messaging platform for family and friends to connect on a personal level. So, you need to craft a model that ensures you and your business can seamlessly fit into the kind of conversations WhatsApp users are accustomed to. One way to do this is by creating a brand persona that appeals to your target customers and allows you engage with them in a space where they are used to having informal conversations.
To make your marketing efforts even more productive we created Nick, a tool that allows businesses to automate, sort through, and respond to messages quickly.
Like chatbots, Nick allows you automate messages using a chatbot. This tool is particularly useful if you have clients in a different part of the world – and time zone – which could make it difficult for you to respond straight away. With the ability to automate messages, you can create a welcome message to your potential customers, introducing them to your business, no matter where you are.
Get tips and insights into how many messages were successfully sent, delivered and read.
Like Facebook, WhatsApp lets businesses create a business profile. This page will contain important information, such as your address, description, contact details and website. There is also a catalog tool that allows businesses upload their products in bulk, so your clients can browse your services via the app.
The catalog tool makes it easy for your clients to get an idea of what you offer as a business; with your business profile, you are able to increase the number of prospective customers who can engage with your business using the app.
WhatsApp has different organization options. First, it has a label system that lets you organize your contacts. Alternatively, you can use a CRM that can integrate with WhatsApp, like Zendesk, HubSpot and Intercom, to directly import your contacts from the CRM to the app, and use it to manage your conversations.
Integrating WhatsApp with CRM will eliminate the need to add contacts manually to your WhatsApp account. Both platforms will work in sync to import your contacts to your business dashboard. What’s more, you can save the conversations you’ve had using CRMs like HubSpot.
Customer feedback is key to the survival of any business. One of the amazing things about WhatsApp is that it lets you engage in personal interactions with your customers. By involving them in the creation and development stage of your product or service, you can strengthen this relationship and, at the same time, learn exciting things that could help grow your business.
Good news is, WhatsApp supports every kind of media. So, you can use text, video or even a quick call to gain insights from your customers and generate feedback.
Unsure about the offerings that can add spice to your service? Ask your customers.
In recent years, research has shown that consumers prefer to interact with brands before doing business. The increasing popularity of messaging apps and chatbots are proof of this.
WhatsApp’s simplicity has made it especially powerful today. Though it was primarily designed as a medium of communication for friends and family, it has since grown into a monstrous business tool. If you are looking to build your audience, develop strong connections and promote your brand, WhatsApp offers a cost-effective way to achieve this in real time.
The key to success with WhatsApp is quality, effective interactions. Avoid spamming your customers with messages. Measure the content of your message, so you can continue to provide value and scale your business to enviable heights!
One of our developers helps to set up your integration.
© 2020 Nick