Is your company missing the opportunity to reach 2 billion users?
WhatsApp is the third most used social platform in the world. In this article, I will explain how you can use it to grow your business.
Do you know that the average consumer checks the smartphone 150 times per day? WhatsApp is the second social media mobile app by global cumulative time spent. The average time per user is almost 20 hours per month and they can send more than 55 billion messages each day.
Some reports even say that WhatsApp offers higher response rates than emails. 98% of mobile messages are opened and read, with 90% of them getting opened within three seconds of being received.
According to Nielsen’s Facebook Messaging Survey, 67% of mobile messaging app users said they expect to use chat more for communicating with businesses.
Taking into account these facts, should your business jump on the WhatsApp train?
Don’t reply now and consider the following questions:
1. Where is your target market? WhatsApp is not the most popular messaging app in some countries
If you are in China, WhatsApp is not an option, and you should consider using WeChat. Japan is another example, where Line is the leading messaging app.
But if your business is in Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Nigeria, Russia, India or Indonesia, WhatsApp is your best option. These are huge markets where the population is highly engaged with the usage of WhatsApp.
Which is the most used messaging app in your country? Find below if your country is one of the 25 ones where WhatsApp is not the market leader:
2. Who is your audience? The use of WhatsApp varies by demographic groups
If you want to get in touch with your clients and potential clients, choose a platform where your audience operates.
Identify your audience and ask them what messaging apps or social media use.
You can also look for reports and researches about social media consumption. For example, the Pew Research Center in the USA provides this useful information.
Its last report about US adult´s social platform use shows that 46% of Hispanics use WhatsApp compared with 16% of whites and 23% of blacks. Whereas, less than 20% of people who live in rural areas use WhatsApp, and the lowest consumption of this app is among elder people.
This kind of information will help you to select the best social media in the USA. Below you can check its last report:
The previous research shows little or no difference amongst genders in the usage of WhatsApp. The research made by Hootsuite and We are Social also provides similar results.
3. What are your goals?
With 2 billion active users globally, brands leveraging WhatsApp’s reach have the power to revolutionize their communication with consumers.
But, before you decide to enter this huge network, you should define your goals. WhatsApp is especially useful if you want to:
- Improve your customer service
Your clients will reach out with complaints, questions, and concerns.
You can also send them reminders reducing the risks of missing out on important deadlines or ask them to review your product by sending a questionnaire.
- Reach out to new audiences
You will increase your brand awareness and expose your business to new people through this channel.
Younger generations are earning their way into decision making positions and 84% of millennials believe their mobile device is essential to their work, compared to 76% of Gen-Xers and just 60% of Baby Boomers (2016 Salesforce report).
- Manage pre-sales queries
You can offer consultation on this channel, people will text you and ask common queries. This is a great way to discover the needs of your potential clients and
- Get orders
Lots of businesses are now offering their users an option to make orders using WhatsApp.
- Provide after sales services
You can send their order status and keep the user updated on or after their transaction.
Besides, customers will appreciate messages about upgrades, new versions of the products and other valuable information.
4. The size of your company and the number of clients
You need to consider your current resources if you want to tap into this new channel.
WhatsApp is not a good option for all types of businesses. If your company receives hundreds of customers calls every day, this messaging app may not be practical for you.
In the case you only have a lesser number of customer requests, you also need trained and dedicated staff ready to answer and attend your clients’ demands and provide real-time feedback.
5. Your customer buying journey
You need to understand your buyers and the journey they take. Does the buying journey start on a mobile phone?
The Journal of Marketing researchers found that conversion rates are higher when consumers start on a mobile device and end on a less mobile device.
According to 2017 research from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), B2B marketing leaders reported that mobile marketing was already driving or influencing 40% of their revenues.
Marketers should create a buying journey that begins on mobile and ends with a desktop decision and designing a thoughtful, well-curated learning and buying experience for your market.
Get started with WhatsApp
Businesses can use two products from Whatsapp to reach out their audience.
WhatsApp for Business App
This product is designed for small businesses and it is similar to the WhatsApp mobile app with some additions like auto-responders and a basic product catalogue.
WhatsApp for Business App is used manually and cannot scale beyond a few 100 customers.
How to create and develop your WhatsApp Business account in 6 steps:
1. Download and install the app, you need to confirm your country and enter your telephone number.
The new WhatsApp allows businesses to use their landline numbers to register for the app.
2. Set up your account
Create your profile, enter your location, website, email, pictures, business description, opening hours and out of office, welcome messages and quick replies.
3. Verify your business
WhatsApp now gives business a green tick as proof of their authenticity. This is one way that users will know that they are not being scammed and are interacting with actual businesses.
4. Implement a WhatsApp button plugin
It will allow you to create chat via WhatsApp in your website and help you to create more awareness about the fact that your brand is reachable via WhatsApp.
5. Connect your FB account with your WhatsApp account
6. Encourage people to contact via WhatsApp:
For example, your company can provide a free coupon or discount for visitors who use the Whatsapp Button.
Another effective way is running call to action buttons on the Facebook ads that will open in WhatsApp. See the example below:
If your website provides useful content, install WhatsApp Share buttons in each post and help people to spread your articles.
Besides, you have to include your WhatsApp number in your lead
Finally, you should also run creative campaigns in order to get more telephone numbers.
WhatsApp for Business API
This product is designed for medium and large businesses and can scale beyond 100 customers.
It provides an API-based interface that allows brands to communicate using the WhatsApp platform. It means that there is no app that businesses can download, they need to setup a proper infraestructure.
The WhatsApp for Business API provides brands with the ability to communicate with customers in two ways, a notification message or a Session Window. In this window, a brand can communicate with a customer for a 24-hour window from their last message in a free-form mode. Companies can send all sorts of content, images, videos, and documents.
According to Facebook officials: “With the WhatsApp Business API, you can send messages to people who initiate a chat with your business (through a Facebook Ad) or who request that you send them information via WhatsApp.”
“When a person taps on an Ad that clicks to WhatsApp, they will be transferred to a pre-filled WhatsApp chat where they can message your business quickly.”
This is a perfect way to build and maintain customer relationships. You can send pictures, audio files, short video clips of your products, files, text messages, set alerts about new events and sales, and ask for feedback to users across the world.
Compared with SMS or email, there are less restriction on the format and the delivery chance is higher.
You can also create groups around your brand where members can receive important announcements and information.
The WhatsApp groups let you message with up to 256 people at once and make group voice and video calls up to 4 participants, these calls are end-to-end encrypted.
Businesses can use the WhatsApp Business API to respond to questions or comments for free up to 24 hours but will charge them a fixed rate by country per message sent after that.
How Hellmann´s used WhatsApp for marketing
Hellman’s, the mayonnaise brand, used WhatsApp to give Brazilian consumers a customized experience.
They launched a campaign called WhatsCook and encouraged users to take pictures of the contents of their refrigerator.
After that, the chefs who joined the campaign checked the pictures and offered some suggestions and recipes to make a nice dish with those ingredients.
The campaign was a success in Brazil with 13,000 signing up for the service.
This campaign proved that using WhatsApp enabled a much more direct and personal element, with questions being answered in the moment of need.
It is an ideal platform to solve
In conclusion, it is clear that consumers are now more willing than ever to interact with companies on messaging apps.
WhatsApp shouldn’t be ignored because of its potential for engaging consumers in a more intimate way.
This messaging app could be your best partner to move forward along the buyer´s journey.
For example, in the B2B sector, distributors, business partners, clients… can keep up to date and received personalized news about products or company information through WhatsApp.
What about you? Is your company using WhatsApp to promote your business?
Leave below your experience, it will help other readers.
P.S. Before you go, you may also be interested in the following articles:
POST WRITTEN BY
A Madrid Polytechnic University International MBA has worked as global marketing director in B2B and B2C international leading companies implementing global marketing and communication strategies to ensure business objectives and to optimize brands reputation and visibility on a global level.
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