The business-customer communication scenario has been going through a lot of changes, which have only picked up speed in the last couple of years.
The ever-growing digitalization of our daily lives has been forcing companies to adapt their operational areas to be able to keep catering to customers' expectations. But with virtually the whole business world moving online, the digital space has become extremely crowded, and cutting through the competition is difficult.
If there was ever a need for adaptation, now is the time.
For marketing, one of the go-to strategies is to adopt conversational marketing and do so via the most popular messaging platform — WhatsApp.
What is WhatsApp Marketing?
WhatsApp Marketing falls under the conversational marketing category, a marketing strategy that focuses on building a two-way communication street between businesses and (prospective) customers. By turning the experience of being marketed to into a natural extension of day-to-day conversations happening on messaging channels, a conversational option is much more engaging and authentic. This, in turn, translates into more leads, higher conversion rates, and, ultimately, happier customers and businesses.
WhatsApp can be used for marketing via the WhatsApp Business API, and it offers businesses the chance to not only engage in conversation with their customers, but also to automate certain interactions, send out newsletters, run contests, and more — all on an app people are already familiar with and use in their day-to-day lives.
Benefits of WhatsApp Marketing for Your Business
The no-brainer benefit of turning to WhatsApp marketing is that WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world, with over 2 billion users. And it’s not just the sheer number of users that’s impressive; they also tend to be very active on the app, exchanging 65 billion daily messages. What’s more, WhatsApp is currently the leading messaging app in 133 countries around the globe.
For businesses, WhatsApp offers an incomparable reach opportunity, as well as a product catalog to choose from that best fit their needs and allow them to connect with their target audience.
All this means:
- Strengthened customer relationships, by establishing a closer connection and improving brand visibility thanks to 24/7 availability with chatbot automation.
- Increased conversions and opt-ins, as a result of closer relationships and a two-way conversation experience on a beloved app.
- Improved sales, due to WhatsApp’s product recommendation capabilities and the option of retargeting customers on their mobile devices.
- Lower costs, since WhatsApp can take on many marketing tasks such as lead generation and newsletter sending.
How to Use WhatsApp for Marketing
As mentioned above, WhatsApp for marketing can be applied in many different ways. Let’s have a look at the main use cases.
Using chatbots in WhatsApp for marketing allows you to take your strategic efforts to the next level, thanks to the power of automation. So, you’ll not only be able to meet (potential) clients on their preferred messaging app, but you’ll also be able to do that 24/7, with no extra human effort.
Immediacy is something customers have come to expect, particularly in regard to customer service, but the comfort of interacting with a business on an app like WhatsApp has extended to other areas as well. Marketing is no different.
With chatbot automation, as WhatsApp marketing expert Antony Chacko explains, “the beauty of [marketing with WhatsApp] is, it’s 24/7, and you have a phone number to follow up the next day or next week or next month.” And what exactly does that entail? Not only the possibility of following up on an ongoing conversation, but also sending out regular messages or campaigns at any given time.
What’s more, chatbots for WhatsApp allow for another important aspect of customer-business communication — personalization. In this day and age, simply promoting your product or service won’t cut it among ever-demanding customers who expect personalized and memorable interactions in addition to timely attention to their queries.
How do chatbots achieve this?
No-code, rule-based chatbots give you full control over the conversation, since they follow a pre-designed script they cant’ steer away from. In terms of making it memorable, you can write the script to showcase your brand’s personality, add touches of humor, and use visual components like GIFs or videos. When it comes to personalization, Landbot, for example, allows you to use Variables that collect and store data in real-time, which can then serve to personalize your chatbot interactions.
Click-to-WhatsApp ads are ads that run on Facebook and Instagram that, when clicked on by a potential customer, initiate a conversation on WhatsApp.
The great advantage of using this type of ad in your marketing strategy is that they allow for an instant connection between brand and audience, and they spark a high-intent conversation that the user initiated. As such, they help drive more conversions and boost sales.
Once the conversation is going, you can decide if it’s going to be led by a human on your end, or if it will be automated thanks to a chatbot.
About a year ago, WhatsApp (re)introduced broadcast messaging as an official app feature. Up until that point, it was possible for businesses to send the same bulk message to a great number of people. However, with the user experience being at the forefront of WhatsApp’s priorities, the practice was frowned upon since it often turned into businesses spamming people with content.
Today, though, WhatsApp’s broadcast feature allows businesses to send out newsletters on WhatsApp that can either stand on their own, or complement an existing email marketing strategy.
These messages need to follow certain rules. First, they need to be in the form of non-transactional messaging — a type of message that abides by certain rules and processes that protect the user experience. As such, bulk messaging templates need to be approved by WhatsApp before businesses can send them.
What’s more, users need to actively opt-in to receive this type of message on WhatsApp.
It might sound like a labor-intensive process, but it’s worth it. WhatsApp boasts a 98% open rate, while email open rates lie at around 20%. The numbers speak for themselves.
Contests are a great way to acquire new leads and boost brand awareness through a fun and engaging activity. And, you guessed it, you can run them on WhatsApp.
In addition to the broad benefits of using WhatsApp for marketing, WhatsApp contests are very helpful in growing contact lists, doing audience research, and boosting engagement.
It’s simple — the possibility of earning a prize.
With that option on the table, users are much more likely to opt-in to receive messages from a business, which adds them to your contact list. They’re also more willing to share information beyond just contact details into more personal aspects like their hobbies and interests. This, in turn, can be leveraged to create more personalized marketing campaigns. And when it comes to engagement, contests are simply more interactive than most other marketing tactics.
WhatsApp contests come in many different shapes and sizes, like “caption-this” games or fill-in-the-blank.
WhatsApp Marketing Software
So, how do you get started with WhatsApp Marketing?
The first, and very important, step is to select the software that better suits your marketing needs.
When talking about WhatsApp marketing software, we’re referring to an all-encompassing tool that offers an interface where you can create, send, and manage your WhatsApp content. The WhatsApp Business API itself doesn’t have an interface, it only enables you to connect WhatsApp to the CRM you’re already using. Hence the need for third-party software.
The two main things to look into when selecting your WhatsApp marketing software are:
- WhatsApp Business API integration: applying for the Business API is complex. When picking your WhatsApp marketing tool, your best bet is to select one that also doubles as an official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) — like Landbot. This way, you’ll have an intermediary that oversees the whole process, from application all the way to setup.
- A user-friendly, no-code interface: to make the best use of WhatsApp for marketing, you’ll want to be able to easily build and implement chatbots, send out newsletters, and schedule campaigns. Make sure to choose software that offers an easy-to-use interface with a no-code chatbot builder, a testing channel, and a campaign manager. This way, you’ll be sure to make the best of WhatsApp for your marketing operations.
Other features you can look into are, for example, pre-built templates for specific marketing use cases, that make your life even easier.
WhatsApp Marketing Tips
When it comes to giving tips on how to do something, there’s no one better than going to the experts on that something for advice.
Antony Chacko is the founder of Alpha Marketer, an agency specializing in WhatsApp marketing. One of his main tips is to create a great conversational experience that will add value for the customer. At Alpha Marketer, he achieves this by first analyzing previous interactions between customers and various departments, building a word cloud to upload information to, and get a clear understanding of the words and phrasing customers commonly use.
After that, he follows a three-step conversation design framework that consists of:
- Asking a question to engage with the customer and get the conversation going;
- Creating the reply buttons for each question that is not open-faced;
- Pointing to the solution, depending on what customers click on throughout the conversation.
If you’re just starting out with WhatsApp marketing and conversation automation, another important tip is to keep things simple, at least at first. Having a basic chatbot with a simple flow that gets the job done is better than trying to start off with a complex build that ends up crashing and hindering communication.
Then, because it is a conversation taking place on an app people use to talk to friends and family, make sure to include elements from those types of conversations in your WhatsApp marketing strategy. Emojis and other rich elements could and should be used to make interactions more engaging and natural-sounding. Similarly, messages should be short and stick to spoken or conversational language. Even though it’s a written medium, the way people communicate on WhatsApp is not the same as they would, for example, on an email to your business. So, be sure to be as conversational as possible, allow for turn-taking, and don’t forget your initial greeting and then goodbye message.
As you can see, there’s a lot to be said about WhatsApp marketing, and it might seem like a daunting task to take on. However, with WhatsApp marketing partners like Landbot available, adopting it into your strategy is made simpler.
WhatsApp is already the most popular messaging app around the globe, and it’s on its way to becoming one of the strongest marketing channels on the market.
So, don’t fall behind and get started with WhatsApp marketing today!