WhatApp is the most popular messaging app in the world (see Figure 1). Businesses use WhatsApp for commercial purposes, such as building their connections through Whatsapp marketing campaigns because it provides several benefits to businesses in reaching out to their existing and new consumers.
Figure 1. Most popular global mobile messenger apps as of January 2023
In this article, we will explain WhatsApp marketing for business, its benefits and the best WhatsApp marketing strategies to successfully implement it.
What is WhatsApp marketing?
WhatsApp marketing is a multi-dimensional marketing approach that leverages the features and capabilities of the WhatsApp messaging app to achieve marketing and communication objectives. Given that WhatsApp is a platform with over two billion users worldwide and the number one messaging app across the world, it presents a significant opportunity for businesses to reach a large and diverse audience in a direct and personalized manner.
Businesses use WhatsApp Business app as one of their marketing channels to:
- Advertise products, services, or brands
- Directly engage with customers
- Send promotional messages
What are the benefits of WhatsApp marketing for business?
1- Large user base
WhatsApp has a huge global user base. It’s one of the world’s most popular messaging apps with over two billion users. This presents a vast pool of potential customers for businesses to reach out to.
2- Direct communication
WhatsApp allows businesses to communicate directly and instantaneously with their customers. This creates an opportunity for real-time engagement, personalized customer service, and immediate resolution of queries or issues.
3- Multimedia support
WhatsApp supports a wide variety of content types, including text, images, videos, voice messages, and documents. This enables businesses to deliver rich and engaging content that can effectively showcase their products or services.
4- High engagement rates
People tend to check their WhatsApp messages regularly, leading to high engagement rates. This means that businesses can potentially get their message seen and read quickly.
Compared to traditional marketing channels, WhatsApp can be a more cost-effective solution, especially for small businesses. It’s free to use, and even the business version incurs minimal costs.
6- Trust and credibility
WhatsApp is a trusted platform that people use to communicate with friends and family. By being present on this platform, businesses can leverage this trust and build credibility with their audience.
7- Customer preference
More and more, customers prefer quick and convenient communication channels to reach companies. By adopting a WhatsApp marketing strategy, businesses can cater to this preference and improve customer satisfaction.
What are the best practices for a successful WhatsApp marketing strategy?
1- Define your goals, target audience, and KPIs
As any other marketing strategy, your WhatsApp marketing strategy should start with clear goals. Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, generate leads, improve customer service, or achieve other objectives? Or all of them? Decide which points you want to improve and set up your agenda and content accordingly.
Next, understand who your target audience is. Learn about their needs, preferences, and how they use WhatsApp.
Then, establish KPIs (key performance indicators) to measure the success of your strategy. These could include metrics like:
- Message delivery and read rates
- Response rates
- Customer feedback, etc.
2- Create a good WhatsApp Business profile and a brand persona
Your WhatsApp Business profile is the first point of interaction that customers have with your brand on the platform. Therefore, it’s crucial that you take the time to create a detailed and engaging profile. You should have a WhatsApp Business account that leverages WhatsApp Business API for many reasons (see Figure 2). For more, check out our articles on WhatsApp Business API and the best WhatsApp Business partners.
Figure 2: WhatsApp Business API vs Business App
Your business profile should include all the necessary information about your business such as:
- Your business name
- A profile (ideally your company logo or something that is instantly recognizable and connected with your brand)
- Contact details
- Business hours
- Website URL
- A brief description of your business
Ensure that all the information provided is accurate and up-to-date to prevent any confusion.
Remember, your WhatsApp Business profile and brand persona reflect your brand identity. A well-crafted profile and a consistent brand persona can significantly enhance your brand image and credibility on WhatsApp.
3- Build a contact list and segment your customers
Start building a contact list of customers who have opted in to receive your messages. It begins with gaining consent from your customers to send them WhatsApp messages. This can be done through various touchpoints, such as your:
- Social media platforms
- In-store communications
- Email campaigns
When collecting consent, be clear about what type of content you will be sending. This transparency can help in reducing opt-outs and maintaining a healthy contact list.
Segmenting your customer base allows you to tailor your messages to specific groups, making your communications more personalized and relevant. You can segment your customers based on various parameters like:
- Demographics (age, gender, location, etc.)
- Buying behavior (purchase history, browsing behavior, product preferences, etc.)
- Stage in the sales funnel (new leads, loyal customers, etc.)
- Their interactions with your previous WhatsApp messages
4- Send personalized messages to each customer profile
Personalized marketing messages are powerful to improve engagement and build stronger relationships with your customers. When you send personalized marketing messages, you’re showing your customers that you know and understand them, and that you value their unique preferences and needs.
This involves tailoring your messages based on the customer profile or the segment they belong to. For example, if you have a segment of customers who have shown an interest in a specific product category, you could send them personalized messages about new arrivals, special offers, or content related to that category.
Personalized messaging could be as simple as using the customer’s name, or more complex like sending product recommendations based on their past purchases.
5- Automate WhatsApp reminders and notifications
Automation can save time and improve efficiency. Use the automated messaging feature of WhatsApp Business to send reminders, order updates, appointment confirmations, etc. But remember, while automation is useful, it shouldn’t compromise the personal touch in customer interactions.
6- Deliver automated WhatsApp customer support powered by chatbots
An important part of a marketing strategy is to also offer excellent customer support when your customers need it. However, handling a large volume of customer queries and issues in real-time can be challenging. That’s where chatbots come in.
- Answering FAQs
- Providing information about products or services
- Taking orders
These are also the reasons why customer support and marketing is intertwined.
Implement a chatbot to handle common queries and provide instant support. However, ensure there’s an option for customers to connect with a human agent when needed.
7- Get feedback from your customers
Customer feedback is a valuable source of insight for improving your services. Regularly ask your existing customers for feedback on your products, services, or their experience with your WhatsApp service. This will not only help you make necessary improvements but also make customers feel valued and listened to.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us:
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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