• DIGITAL MARKETING
  • SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
  • SOCIAL MEDIA PROMOTIONS
  • ONLINE BRANDING
  • WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT

WhatsApp Marketing

When you think of social media, sites like Facebook and Twitter probably come to mind immediately. But messenger apps have actually caught up to social networks in terms of users. And increasingly messenger apps are being used for marketing. The leader in most of the world is WhatsApp (a pun on the phrase “what’s up”), with 1.5 billion monthly active users around the world.

That kind of market penetration can’t be ignored. But how can you effectively use WhatsApp for marketing? Like all relatively unexplored frontiers, there are equal measures of risk and reward for early adopters.

WhatsApp is rarely a marketer’s first choice when it comes to digital marketing. However, at 1.5 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is a platform that has unparalleled reach.

It’s also a platform that most users prefer for daily interactions, which can offer great potential for brands who want to increase their reach and customer satisfaction, albeit in a non-intrusive way. In this article, we talk about what WhatsApp marketing is all about and how brands can leverage it smartly.

Reach and Power of WhatsApp

WhatsApp has 1.5 billion monthly active users, which is larger than any traditional social media platform, except parent company Facebook. Even more importantly, as the world’s largest messaging platform, WhatsApp has a level of intimacy and engagement that is missing in most social media platforms.

That’s mostly because it has stayed away from involving brands in the platform until very recently. Plus, apart from China, where WeChat is the predominant messaging app, WhatsApp has loyal users all over the world. There are three main ways of using WhatsApp’s messaging service:

One-on-one chats

This is the most common way in which WhatsApp is used. Individuals who have each other’s phone numbers can use WhatsApp to text each other without incurring traditional SMS charges. You can also call each other, share images and videos, and even send recorded voice messages.

Broadcasting

With a broadcast list, you can send a message to 256 people at once. They will receive the message as long as your number is saved in their phone book. Much like a BCC email, the message comes to them in the form of a one-on-one message.

WhatsApp Groups

WhatsApp groups have become a ubiquitous feature of WhatsApp. From school friends to family members, WhatsApp groups allow people to stay connected as a group. A WhatsApp group can accommodate up to 256 people and allows sharing of text messages, videos, photos, and audio messages.

Why has WhatsApp Marketing emerged as a viable marketing channel lately

WhatsApp launched their WhatsApp for business feature around two years ago. This has given brands an inroad into WhatsApp like never before. If you don’t have a WhatsApp for Business account, chances are you’re one of the few marketers not leveraging the power of the messaging platform. Here are some reasons why WhatsApp for Business should be a part of any comprehensive Digital Marketing strategy.

Most of your customers are already on WhatsApp

60 billion messages are sent through WhatsApp every day. In India alone, there are more than 200 million users. So chances are your customers are already on WhatsApp, which will make it that much easier to reach out to them.

Customers are actually engaged on WhatsApp

Unlike other types of social media, WhatsApp actually shows phenomenal engagement rates. In fact, 98% of WhatsApp messages are opened and read, while 90% of them actually get opened within just 3 seconds of being received.

When you compare that to engagement rates of other marketing channels like email, Facebook, or even SMS, WhatsApp is far ahead. Having an inroad into a channel which people are hooked to can be a huge plus for any business.

A lot of content gets shared through “dark social”

Dark social refers to private messaging channels like WhatsApp and email. Close to 84% of sharing now takes place on private messaging channels like WhatsApp instead of public social networks. So even if you don’t use WhatsApp for marketing, customers are probably sharing content related to you anyway. WhatsApp marketing gives you some measure of control over the narrative.

Customers are ready for chat-based services

In a recent survey, 67% of the respondents said they expect to use chat for communicating with businesses they use. In fact, 53% said they are actually more likely to shop with a business that they are able to connect with directly on a messaging platform.