With the roll-out of WhatsApp Business App and API, the popular messaging app has finally dipped its toes in the marketing game. Facebook’s click-to-WhatsApp ads were supposed to be part of the app’s transition to the world of business. However, since the feature’s announcement in December of 2017, its use is still limited and many businesses don’t have access.
Hence, numerous brands, despite having an official WhatsApp Business API, solution are still not able to take advantage of this service. Even if they do, it’s only available on Facebook.
Let’s look at why these shortcomings pose a considerable setback for your marketing campaigns.
More importantly, let's look how you can work around them to achieve exceptional results.
Why Combine Online Ads With WhatsApp Business?
In the past few years, conversations have been returning to the center of business communication. With the rise of the experience economy, consumers transformed from a passive audience to active participants. Businesses were forced to break down the barriers. The experience trend urged them to start a dialogue, bringing transparency and human touch back into the equation of increasingly automated digital processes.
Messaging has been one of the key mediums that enabled this change to happen. It allowed businesses and customers to connect and interact in ways that have never been possible before.
Fast forward to today and messaging apps marketing is a phrase that surprises no one. In fact, interacting with customers using messaging could not be more normal.
Furthermore, people’s use of messaging apps shows no signs of slowing down. Facebook business insights demonstrate that in 2018, 78% of the world’s smartphone users message every month and the predictions say that by 2021, the global user base of messaging apps will have increased by a further 23%.
And that’s not just about personal communication. Facebook IQ also recorded most consumers are using messaging to talk to brands already:
Also, more than half of the surveyed consumers expect to use messaging more to not just chat but make purchases:
Messaging engages people from the first click and gives them a sense of control of their experience.
Plus, giving your potential customers, the click-to-chat option from the start sends a message that you are listing.
So Why Is Facebook Click-to-WhatsApp Taking So Long?
In January 2018, the company launched WhatsApp Business App, and in August of the same year, WhatsApp Business API. Still, despite thousands of businesses being officially active on WhatsApp today, the notorious click-to-WhatsApp ads are missing from many Facebook Business accounts.
With their initial announcement, Facebook rolled out the feature gradually starting with North and South America, Australia, Africa, and most of Asia. Europe was not on the list since sharing data between the two platforms posed an issue for the European data protection laws.
Facebook planned to observe how the feature was doing in other regions while trying to work out the kinks of WhatsApp and Facebook collaboration. Here we are a couple of years later and not much has changedNo news, no information. Were the trials unsuccessful?Well, our results tell a wholly different story!
How to Create Click-to-WhatsApp Campaign: Simple Workaround
If Facebook doesn’t offer you the option to create a click-to-WhatsApp ad despite having an official WhatsApp account for business, there is a way to work around the limitations of your ads manager.
To take users to WhatsApp conversation without the official setup requires an intermediate step.
However, using a static landing page with a Whatsapp opt-in can have a negative impact given that the users are promised conversation but instead land on just another page.
1. Create a Conversational Landing Page
To avoid this hiccup and ensure a smooth transition, we decided to use a conversational landing page design to mimic WhatsApp chat to gain the opt-in needed to transition to WhatsApp.Using our easy chatbot builder, we created a short transitional opt-in conversation:
The conversational nature combined with a design created a smooth transition. In fact, if you accessed the chatbot landing page on mobile, the experience was almost indistinguishable from WhatsApp experience.
2. Connect it to a WhatsApp Bot
If you are a smaller business and do not expect an overwhelming number of users to contact you, you might be fine with live chat support or quick replies. However, on a larger scale, it’s best to have a WhatsApp bot in place.
Since our campaign was targeting audiences interested using WhatsApp for business we created a WhatsApp bot to not only collect lead information but also demonstrate the capabilities of the service.
We designed the bot to collect the necessary information, update our database and score the lead in the process.
It also provided users with the choice of how they wish to be contacted; giving them control over the process.
Now, the great news is that this approach is not exclusive to Facebook ads. You can use the full scope of social media marketing and advertise on a social network where your audience hangs out or even apply the click-to-WhatsApp ads to Google ads.
What about the results?
The click-to-WhatsApp conversational workaround campaign more than tripled the conversion rate produced by the traditional campaign. The traditional campaign yielded 21 conversions while the click-to-WhatsApp produced 78. While additional follow up and reruns are necessary to ascertain the results, it’s clear that the interactivity and convenience brought about by the WhatsApp marketing campaign has a strong advertising potential.
With click-to-WhatsApp ads, business owners, marketers and sales teams are standing on the doorstep of a great opportunity.
WhatsApp marketing brings advertising into a comfortable and convenient environment. Furthermore, it transforms it into an engaging conversational experience that invites consumers to become active participants in their customer journey.
Whether you want to increase conversations and post engagement on your Facebook business profile or any other digital platform, Click-to-WhatsApp campaigns workaround allows you to do so, easily without coding.
If you haven’t tried it yet, learn how to create a chatbot today!