With over 2 billion users worldwide as of 2021, WhatsApp has firmly established itself as a leading platform in the realm of digital communication. Its simplicity, efficiency, and reach make it an invaluable tool for businesses to connect with their audience.
This article explores the potential of WhatsApp as a marketing tool and why it’s becoming an increasingly popular choice for businesses around the globe.
What is Whatsapp Marketing?
WhatsApp Marketing is a strategy that uses the WhatsApp messaging app to connect and engage with customers. Given the app’s features such as one-to-one messaging, group chats, voice calls, video calls, and status updates, businesses can leverage it to communicate promotional messages, customer support, and even conduct commerce.
Whether it’s launching new products, sending updates, or providing customer service, WhatsApp provides a more intimate, direct, and effective channel of communication compared to traditional marketing methods. WhatsApp’s Business API also allows medium and large businesses to integrate WhatsApp communication into their systems, enhancing customer interactions and support.
Benefits of Whatsapp Digital Marketing
- Unparalleled Reach
- Enhanced Customer Engagement
- Improved Customer Support
- Cost-Effective Marketing
- Rich Media Support
- Trust and Privacy
WhatsApp marketing offers a unique combination of wide-reaching impact, enhanced customer engagement, improved support, cost-effectiveness, rich media support, and trusted privacy.
By integrating WhatsApp into their marketing strategy, businesses can interact more closely with customers, resulting in better engagement, higher customer satisfaction, and ultimately, increased sales.
Big Brands That Use Whatsapp Marketing
Several major brands have recognized the potential of WhatsApp as a marketing tool and have integrated it into their marketing strategies.
Here are a few examples:
- Absolute Vodka
Below are examples of their successful WhatsApp strategy and how they went about implementing it:
Hellmann’s: The mayonnaise brand Hellmann’s created a campaign in Brazil named “WhatsCook” where users could send photos of their refrigerator contents to a dedicated WhatsApp number, and a chef would respond with a custom recipe using those ingredients. The campaign was a huge success, and it was rolled out in other countries as well.
Absolut Vodka: Absolut used WhatsApp for a promotional campaign for the launch of its Limited Edition Absolut Unique collection in Argentina. Fans were asked to communicate with a fictional character, Sven, via WhatsApp, for a chance to attend the launch party. The campaign received thousands of images, videos, and voice messages, showcasing the potential of WhatsApp for interactive marketing.
BBC: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) used WhatsApp as a channel to reach and engage audiences for their Ebola crisis coverage. The corporation sent public health information, audio clips, alerts, and images, establishing an interactive information exchange.
BookMyShow: India’s largest online ticketing service, BookMyShow, started using WhatsApp as its default ticket confirmation channel, sending users booking confirmation along with a PDF of the ticket.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines: KLM uses WhatsApp as a part of their social media customer service. Customers can get flight updates, ask questions, and even get their boarding passes via WhatsApp.
These are just a few examples, and there are many other big brands leveraging WhatsApp’s wide-reaching platform to engage with their customers in an innovative, personal, and effective way. This trend is expected to continue growing as businesses see the advantages of reaching customers where they are already spending their time.
Breaking Down The Benefits
After reading the above benefits, it is clear to see how Whatsapp marketing can grow your business with more ease and time efficiency. But let’s look at these benefits in more detail.
Direct and Personalized Communication
One of the key strengths of WhatsApp is the direct and personalized communication it facilitates. Unlike traditional mass marketing channels, WhatsApp allows businesses to have one-on-one conversations with their customers in real time. This opens up opportunities for personalized marketing and customer service, enhancing customer relationships and increasing satisfaction.
Businesses can use WhatsApp to send personalized messages or offers, respond to queries or complaints promptly, and provide after-sales support. This personalized approach not only improves customer experience but also fosters loyalty and trust.
Compared to many traditional and digital marketing channels, WhatsApp is extremely cost-effective. Sending messages on WhatsApp is free, and the only requirement is an internet connection. This makes it an excellent tool for small businesses with limited marketing budgets.
Despite the low cost, the reach and engagement can be highly effective. WhatsApp messages have an impressive open rate of around 98%, significantly higher than email or SMS, making it a highly efficient channel for communication.
Versatility of Content
WhatsApp allows businesses to send a wide range of content types, including text, images, videos, audio, documents, and even location pins. This versatility opens up endless possibilities for creative marketing. Businesses can use it to send product images or videos, promotional flyers, user manuals, voice messages, and much more.
Furthermore, with features like WhatsApp Status, businesses can share short-lived content (images, text, and videos that disappear after 24 hours), similar to Instagram Stories or Snapchat, to engage their audience in a more casual and interactive way.
Integration with Other Marketing Efforts
WhatsApp can be integrated seamlessly into your overall marketing strategy. For example, you can add a ‘WhatsApp Us’ button on your website or email signature, encouraging customers to reach out via WhatsApp. Or, you can use other marketing channels to invite customers to join your WhatsApp group or subscribe to your WhatsApp newsletter.
Customer Insights and Feedback
WhatsApp also offers an invaluable channel for gaining customer insights and feedback. By engaging with customers directly, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of their needs, preferences, and challenges. This can inform product development, marketing strategies, and customer service initiatives. Also, it allows businesses to gather instant feedback, conduct surveys or polls, and even test new ideas or concepts.
The WhatsApp Business App and API
To further support businesses, WhatsApp has introduced the WhatsApp Business App for small businesses and the WhatsApp Business API for medium and large businesses. These offer additional features like automated messages, labels for organizing contacts or chats, and a business profile where businesses can display essential information like their address, business hours, and website links.
In conclusion, WhatsApp offers a powerful and cost-effective marketing tool for businesses to connect with their customers in a direct and personalized way. Its versatility, reach, and integration capabilities make it a valuable addition to any digital marketing strategy. Given the growing popularity of messaging apps and the shift towards conversational marketing, businesses that harness the power of WhatsApp are likely to have a competitive edge in the digital landscape.