For most businesses, the products or services we provide have a low-frequency demand. Conversely, content is a high-frequency need because customers are constantly looking for new information to educate themselves.
WhatsApp-Led Growth (WLG) is essentially a content marketing strategy that leverages high-quality content to nurture and engage with customers throughout their entire buyer journey.
By positioning the business as the domain expert via the content it shares. The content doesn't need to be tied to any specific use case either. According to our WLG 2023 Report, users are open a variety of business interactions—and so, by default, a variety of content— on the channel.
The responses shown in the graph above provide only a general overview of consumer preferences regarding WhatsApp content. In fact, these preferences can vary significantly depending on the specific circumstances.
For example, Plum, an employee benefits platform that offers group medical insurance, built its entire strategy by allowing customers to file insurance claims through the platform. This particular use case involves the uploading of sensitive data and documents, which received the lowest percentage of votes at just 9%. However, despite low ranking of sharing personal information among content preferences in general, Plum managed to achieve an impressive 85% opt-in rate from users who wanted to file claims through WhatsApp. In fact, Plum continues to handle 80% of all claims via WhatsApp.
This example highlights the importance of developing a WhatsApp-based growth strategy and content that focuses on addressing customer pain points. High-grade content has the ability to generate trust in buyers, steering them along the relationship spectrum and getting them from a place of merely knowing about a product or service to trusting, respecting and, in the end, admiring the business behind it. The more advanced a customer is in the relationship stage, the easier it will be to sell them something.
Let’s have a look at how to generate content for your WhatsApp-Led Growth strategy.
Who to Talk to: Defining your Target Audience
The first step to defining your WLG content strategy is identifying your target audience.
Who are the people you want to talk to and share your content with?
In principle, you’ll be looking to target your Ideal Customer Profile — companies that are a perfect fit for your solution.
Here is an example of Landbot’s ICP:
- Roles: Founders and C-level
- Departments: Customer-facing teams like marketing, sales, success, and support
- Industry: financial services, healthcare, education, consulting, etc.
- Regions: Countries with high WhatsApp penetration
But how do you know who your ICP is?
One of the keys lies in segmentation.
Segmentation refers to the practice of organizing customers into different groups based on what they have in common. It can be based on demographic data such as age, gender, or education; it can be geographic, or location-based; it can also be behavioral, based on the actions customers take towards your product or service, for example, if they’re frequent or infrequent buyers.
If you’re using WhatsApp as a growth channel, you can segment your audience by their opt-in entry point. Did they do so through a paid ad, a landing page, or a blog article? This will tell you a lot about the people choosing to receive your content via WhatsApp, as well as offer insight into which of the entry points is working best for future reference and investment.
Now, when talking about customer segmentation, you should also be looking at which segment retains the most and pick that as your ICP.
In my previous article about creating a WhatsApp-Led Growth strategy, I already mentioned why you should focus on retention instead of acquisition, but the numbers bear repeating.
The likelihood of selling to new leads is 5-20%, while that of selling to existing customers is 60-70%. Not just that, but your existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products or services and spend 31% more when compared to new customers.
So, remember — retention is key to building a sustainable growth model, and that includes a WhatsApp-Led one.
What to Talk About
Once you have defined your ICP, you need to understand what type of content your audience is looking for.
In the past, content marketing was all about creating content for SEO ranking, which doesn’t always offer real value to customers. To be truly customer-centric, you have to craft your content from the customer's perspective. Meaning you need to ask customers what kind of information they need most during the buying process.
So, how do you do this? Where should you go to learn what customers want to know?
By analyzing your customer journey, you’ll be able to better understand who your customers are and what problems they might face at specific stages of their buying journey.
You can also schedule customer interviews for direct feedback, analyze your support team’s data to identify common queries, look at product reviews on third-party websites, and more.
From there, you can identify the solutions to those problems and present them to them in the form of a relevant piece of content.
After putting all this into practice at Landbot, we came up with the following content formats to tackle different needs:
- Company-focussed pieces: customer case studies, and blog articles about product updates and partnership announcements.
- Industry news: blog articles on general chatbots, conversational apps, and messaging experience topics to share industry knowledge with our audience.
- Podcast: interviews with seasoned operators in different business areas, including in the WhatsApp space.
- Thought leadership: WhatsApp-Led Growth playbook that positions us as experts in the field.
How to Generate Content
Apart from doing customer research, coming up with relevant content might be challenging.
Which is why we have to define a content generation process to consistently offer high-quality content to our customers. Depending on the resources and the type of business we have, we can differentiate between three types of content.
Company Generated Content (CGC)
This type of content is produced in-house by the company’s internal Editorial/Content team.
A dedicated team means you’re most likely to be able to produce different content formats for different channels while having the most knowledgeable people (your own!) working on it.
That’s what we do at Landbot, and here are some of the things that enable us to include in our content generation process on top of the actual content production:
- Collect and share company info: coordinate with other teams to get interesting updates.
- Stay on top of industry news: set up Google alerts for keywords like “Chatbot” or “WhatsApp” and search for them on social media to get current industry information.
- Connect with experts: search on Linkedin for people with real experience in the WhatsApp business or get references from our network.
- Generate thought leadership pieces: run dogfooding experiments with WhatsApp and transform our learnings into content.
User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content, as the name suggests, is content created by your user base. Although the source isn’t directly related to your business, it’s an effective way to reduce content production costs.
An interesting example would be SaaS companies with customer-facing products like SurveyMonkey, which leverages all the surveys customers have built, that include SurveyMonkey branding, to get free exposure to new potential customers.
In China, many businesses are resorting to paid communities to crowdsource relevant content and then distribute it through different channels. One such way to do this is, for example, by rewarding users for the content they produce with a free subscription to your service or a discount for each X new users they bring into the community. This way, they have the incentive to keep producing content businesses can leverage.
Professional Generated Content (PGC)
In case your business doesn’t have a dedicated Editorial Team, one option is to outsource that task by hiring an agency to produce your content.
This is a great way to speed up your WLG implementation project and test the results while you don’t have an internal team to do it. And once you have an initial content engine built by your agency partner, you can always internalize the process by hiring new staff or training your existing marketing team to run the process.
WhatsApp is on its way to becoming a business messaging solution in the likes of WeChat.
So, suppose you’ve already started laying out your WLG strategy by shifting your mindset to retention instead of acquisition, building relationships with customers, and enabling team collaboration instead of fostering competition. In that case, your next step is to outline your content generation strategy.
This article should offer you a jumpstart into it, but you can always learn more about WhatsApp-Led Growth and stay on top of the latest updates on the topic by joining our WLG newsletter.