Whatsapp! Have you heard about it? Before reading this article, you must have looked into your phone for any message over your whatsapp! That’s the popularity of this platform. So in this article, I am going to cover all about whatsapp- what it means, software used in its interface, tips, and tools for using it in business, and much more.
Whatsapp is an instant messenger which allows users to send text/voice/video messages, emojis, share documents/ live locations and stay connected with various groups. It is well integrated to work on different devices using the internet. Whatsapp was founded by two former Yahoo employees Brian Acton and Jan Koum, released in January 2009.
Some facts about Whatsapp:
- 18th January 2016: Whatsapp co-founder Jan Koum announced that it would no longer charge any annual subscription fees to its subscribers and that it will not show any third-party ads for feasibility in communication.
- 10th November 2016: Whatsapp launched its beta version of 2-step verification for Android users which asked users to use their email address for better protection. Whatsapp also ceased collection of Whatsapp data for advertising in Europe. It introduced video calls between two accounts.
- 24th February 2017: Whatsapp introduced the feature of “Status” similar to Facebook stories.
- January 2018: Whatsapp launched “Whatsapp business” for small businesses.
- September 2018: Introduced audio and video call features.
- October 2018: The “swipe to reply” feature was added.
- Early 2020: It introduced its “Dark Mode” for iPhone and Android devices.
- March 2020: Whatsapp partnered with WHO and UNICEF to provide help desks for people to receive information regarding the 2019-20 Covid Pandemic.
- October 2020: Whatsapp introduced a feature to allow users to mute individuals and group chats for “8 hours” or “1 week” or “Always”.
It is interesting to note that the name Whatsapp got its name as it sounds like “what’s up?”. The ownership of Facebook over Whatsapp led to its complete ban in China. In 2015, it was found that ISIS used Whatsapp to coordinate terrorist attacks. The founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos suffered a cyber-attack via whatsapp in January 2020.
Due to the immense popularity of the messaging platform, businesses started using them for promoting their services and products. This gave rise to the concept of Whatsapp Marketing. Whatsapp Marketing is the medium of promoting goods/ services and getting engaged with your target audience. When whatsapp is used to promote or market a product/ service or to reply to consumers’ queries, it becomes the most personalized form of communication and shopping experience.
Your social media strategy must have already included Twitter and Facebook. You may also add Whatsapp to the list for a better outcome. Whatsapp is not just about texting for personal use. It also can be used for business purposes. “Whatsapp Business” was created mainly for small businesses. It helps the business connect with their potential customers and provide immediate support services.
You may find a huge list of options which you may include in your marketing strategy which may or may not yield you the desired results. But with whatsapp that would not be the case. Whatsapp marketing has been proven to be one of the successful marketing strategies. There are many reasons behind it. Let us look at some of the reasons why a business shall use Whatsapp as one of their business strategies.
Why should Whatsapp or the Whatsapp business app be included in your business strategies?
- It is absolutely free, i.e. it has no subscription charges.
- Allows one to send images, documents, ebooks, brochures, videos, etc. related to your business.
- You can directly ask for feedback from the customer.
- You can create groups of up to 256 members and also conduct group discussions/ meetings.
- The whatsapp business app helps keep your professional life separate from your personal life by setting up a complete professional business profile having features like a business name, a profile pic, a business map, and other details.
- Allows you to send reminders about upcoming events/ sales.
- The offline message alerts let the user know when a message is waiting.
- It helps you collect phone numbers and other details of your target audience.
- You can see the status of your message like its delivery status, etc.
- The whatsapp business app allows you to set up an auto-reply option so that you stay connected with your customers even when you are not physically present.
- Whatsapp also allows you to send/ receive payments. You can generate a led, convert them into a customer and promote sales through the whatsapp business app.
How to get started with Whatsapp marketing?
- Step 1: Download the app Whatsapp Business from your play/app store.
- Step 2: Enter your business phone number to register and accept the terms and conditions laid down.
- Step 3: Verify your company mobile number by following the necessary steps.
- Step 4: Enter your business details like your business name/ image/ logo.
- Step 5: Fill in the required details and set up your messages to start with.
- Step 6: Click on the “Add Payment Method” in the “payments” sections in the settings to set up the “whatsapp pay option”. Set up a UPI ID for your whatsapp transactions which you can share with anyone who wants to have a money transaction with you.
- Step 7: Notify your professional contacts about your phone number.
Once you follow the above steps, voila you are ready to get started with whatsapp marketing.
Benefits of using Whatsapp business for your business:
- Offers 2-way messaging with customers: The app offers businesses a convenient and direct gateway to the customers for better communications and campaigns.
- Improve brand visibility: Your business profile can offer important information for the users like location, website, contact details, etc. You may also add a catalogue to your whatsapp business profile, which can contain details about your products/ services. This way customers can get an idea of what you are offering. You can use catalogues to display new product lines or feature your most popular product to entice your audience.
- Respond quickly to customer queries: The automated messaging feature enables you to attend to the customer queries quickly. Creating a welcome greeting to messages of new customers will help in promoting goodwill to your brand.
- Desktop and web convenience: The app allows you to get in touch with your audiences through mobile/ desktop devices. Getting access to different devices across various locations will ensure your better availability to your customers.
- Let you create a catalogue: You can create a catalogue of up to 500 products/ services which will be displayed on your professional business profile. For better discovery, you can share links to such catalogues through various social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc.
- Offers organization options: The app lets you organize your contacts using the label system. If you can integrate Whatsapp with your CRM (Customer Relationship Management), then your contacts will get added automatically.
- Provides better customer support: The app provides a personalized environment to chat with customers in real-time. This will foster loyalty and trust within your customers.
- Enhance branding: A unique business identity is created through the app which injects branding elements into your conversations like your contact details, list of products/ services you provide, etc.
- In-built security provisions: Whatsapp includes security features like end-to-end encryption and 2-way authentication to keep customers as well as businesses safe from spam and other threats. Customers can check your identity as the Whatsapp business app verifies your business identity upon registration.
Now let us look at some strategies to create a successful marketing strategy.
Tips for Whatsapp marketing:
- Create a resonating brand persona on your Whatsapp by creating a character which would reflect your brand and also connect with the potential customers. This will create a human feeling where customers can feel that they are getting connected with a human and not a robot.
- Build your contact database. Provide an incentive to your customers in exchange for their contact details. This will help you run promotional messages/ campaigns directly to them. Also strategize how to update your audience on their product journey, from placing the order, shipment details, and date of delivery of the product.
- Add all relevant business information to your business profile page. You may add a business website, location, business hours, business category, and description.
- You can share stories with your clients about your new products, those back in stock, your accomplishments, etc. This will enhance audience involvement thus promoting your business more easily.
- You can separate the high-value customers from the ordinary ones by creating special groups. In the group, you can share personalized discount offers to maintain loyalty. You can also ask them to share their feedback and request them to share their views for improving a particular product/ service.
- Broadcasting greetings and other information to your customers/suppliers at festivals can enhance brand recognition. Broadcasting is a good way to showcase your new products or if your business is closed on a particular date/ time.
- Whatsapp being compatible with mobile as well as desktop devices, provides better customer support by allowing customers to reach out to you directly anytime anywhere.
- You can make sales calls through their built-in version of VOIP. You can talk to your customer directly to resolve any issue.
- Share your contact details on your company website and other social media accounts, so that a customer can reach out to you easily. Using the Whatsapp Business app, you can develop rapport with your customers.
Tips to use Whatsapp Business:
- Send notifications and alerts like system outages, shipping alerts, itinerary changes, etc.
- Create your Whatsapp chatbox to let customers book appointments with your business.
- Send reminders of appointments made by the customer to help your customers avoid frustration over rescheduling.
- Encourage support agents to resolve any issue of the customer quickly.
- Whatsapp offers sending authentication messages like OTPs with enhanced security and encryption.
- Get valuable customer feedback to improve customer service.
Softwares for Whatsapp marketing:
To ease the process of Whatsapp marketing, you may use certain software/ tools.
- Whatso: Used by 25,000+ users globally. It has an anti-blocking technology which makes this whatsapp software one of the best marketing tools for businesses to increase sales and boost website traffic.
- Rap Booster: It is a whatsapp bulk sender tool for mobile messaging. It has 800+ million users globally. You can send text messages and also video/ audio messages to attract audiences.
- Kaleyra: A global cloud communications whatsapp marketing software which offers integrated communication services like messaging, voice and whatsapp. With 3000+ users worldwide, its user base includes top brands like MasterCard, Hyundai, Amazon, and many others.
- Bulk SMS India: It is an enterprise which provides SMS solutions in order to elevate the standard of express SMS services through a robust mechanism.
- Kubic: It is the best Bulk Whatsapp marketing software available in India which offers features like sending unlimited messages, multimedia messages, a number generator, and a number filter.
- SalesPanda: A multi-dimensional marketing software which ensures high-end engagement with customers through its multi-format support interface. It also helps in generating sales.
- Allwebmart: Easy to use and hassle-free marketing solution as it helps to send bulk whatsapp messages, videos, and images at affordable rates.
- WappBlaster: Helps to send unlimited bulk messages to your potential customers and the existing ones. With no character limit in sending text messages, you may pitch your ideas to your audiences easily. It has an anti-blocking algorithm to allow hassle-free messaging.
- Waam It: Provides hassle-free and easy-to-use solutions to marketing your business. You can send customized messages in bulk, using this software. It supports 60 languages so it can be adopted globally.
- WhatSender: One of the most user-friendly Whatsapp marketing software which allows you to send bulk whatsapp marketing messages from your PC. You can easily send personalized messages through your computer devices as it is supported by Windows XP, Windows 10, and Windows Vista 7/ 8. It can import data from TXT and CSV files by copy and paste options. Using this software, you can filter your contacts to drive in target audiences.
Note: Use of whatsapp marketing tools can subject to ban your whatsapp number from the side of whatsapp, so before going to use, always read the software disclaimer and get confirmed by the software company.
Let us now quickly have a look over some elements about Whatsapp.
- Whatsapp is one of the most popular message providers in the world with 2 Billion subscribers globally and is the 3rd most used social media network in the world. It is much higher than subscribers on other channels like 1.48 Billion users on Instagram or 1 Billion users on TikTok, etc.
- 58% of whatsapp users prefer the app on a daily basis. In the USA, on average people use it around 143 times a month.
- As of 2022, the maximum number of whatsapp users in the world belongs to the USA. Countries with the most whatsapp downloads were Brazil, the United Kingdom, India, etc.
- The average time spent by whatsapp users on the app is nearly 18.6 hours per month, i.e. 38 minutes per day. Whereas Youtube tops the list of “daily time spent on social media channels”.
- The most Whatsapp calls ever made was on the New Year’s eve 2020, i.e. 1.4 billion video and voice calls.
- Another interesting thing to know is that the whatsapp user base skewed slightly toward the male population. Males constitute 54.5% of the total user base and females constitute 45.5%. These stats can suggest businesses how to use whatsapp in their marketing strategies to target a primarily male demographic.
- 30% of whatsapp users age between 30-49 years which makes it the top age bracket amongst the whatsapp users. This shows that the messenger is slightly skewed towards the younger mass but is appealing to every age group.
- 27% of selfies are shared over the whatsapp platform making it rank 2nd in the list of social media channels where selfies are most shared. Facebook ranks 1st in the list with 48% selfie shares.
- The whatsapp business app ranks 17 in the group of app stores. It has emerged as a must-have tool for marketers. The app is listed among the most important business apps to have with other apps on the list like Zoom Cloud meet, Microsoft Team, etc.
- Whatsapp saw the maximum growth during the Covid-19 pandemic compared to other social media channels. The social media apps like Whatsapp, Tik Tok, Zoom, Skype, etc. saw massive growth as people stayed mostly at home and tried spending their time on downloading various modes of communication. Among all, whatsapp saw the maximum growth. It was found that users used the app for messaging and calling purposes the most. In April 2020, users were spending around 1.5 billion minutes per day on whatsapp calls.
Whatsapp marketing examples:
Klook: The online travel platform Klook thought of using whatsapp for customer satisfaction and to increase retention. Thus The company included within its marketing strategies, updates and notifications about bookings. Due to its widespread audience in the Asia-Pacific region, the app became a popular choice among the audiences. The app asked its visitors to subscribe to receive reminders and updates about their bookings.
Netflix: The streaming giant launched its campaign in India (the biggest whatsapp market) in January 2017. Netflix offers personal suggestions through its mobile app and decided to extend the same to whatsapp. Users who already had a whatsapp subscription found it easier to stay connected with the updates and notifications regarding Netflix. The motive behind integration with whatsapp was that the user can stay updated with Netflix even after they have cancelled their subscription.
Adidas: The top sportswear brand used whatsapp for its new shoe promotional campaign. The motive of choosing whatsapp was to choose a focussed narrow group of audiences comprising football amateur players to help them get their queries resolved quickly. Adidas made a deal saying that the players have to update their match details and in return, the brand will send a top-notch football player to their game. In a short span of 6 days, the brand got a lot of buzz in the football niche.
Hellmann’s Brazil: A marketing campaign was created by the team at the Brazil headquarters of Hellmann to teach the young masses how to cook. The reason behind selecting whatsapp to be the mode of the campaign was the immense popularity of whatsapp all around Brazil.
Toyota, the automobile company, created a campaign in 2012. It asked people to participate in a contest where they had to put the word “hybridized” in their whatsapp status. So from October 25 to November 28, an iPhone 5 was lucky drawn among users who had registered themselves with the contest. As a result, Toyota became popular and increased its audience engagement to a large extent.
Lastly, let us look at some tips which can yield benefits for your business through whatsapp marketing.
Tips for better whatsapp marketing:
- Assist your customers through chat, voice/ video calls, or effortless texts and resolve their issues in a short span of time.
- Use the benefit of creating groups up to 256 members, where you can share personalised messages or organise sales events for a particular target group.
- Use multimedia editing options to attract your audiences like catchy fonts or colours. You can also enrich your messages with GIFs, images, or links. Also, add relevant emojis to increase your expressiveness.
- Provide quality and respect into your messages by adding content which should be precise, clear, brief, and relevant to your topic.
- It is advisable to take full advantage of the features provided by the whatsapp platform. First, include a representative profile picture to your account which shall be related to your business. Also share contact details and address of your business location by implementing the “send exact location” feature of whatsapp. This feature will send the user an interactive map with a clearly marked Google Address of your business.
We now believe that whatsapp is an effective tool for marketing one’s business. It helps you promote your brand and reach out to a wider audience. An effective marketing strategy using whatsapp can convert potential clients in a cost-effective way. A new business can gain early recognition. Many companies have already set up their business well in the market and have started making use of this platform effectively. So leverage the tips and tools of whatsapp marketing and get the best out of it for your business.