If you’re like every other forward-thinking business owner in today’s digital day and age, you’ve probably invested in a social media strategy.
Seeing that most of the world—or, your customers and sales—are online, it makes perfect sense. And after doing all the much-needed research and setting your pages up, it seems like everything’s in place…
But it seems you’ll need to add one more platform to your set-up, right?
Of course, as helpful as Instagram and Facebook are for reaching out to customers and showing them what you have to offer…
You still need something that’ll help your business have conversations with the people who need your products and services.
Well, this is where WhatsApp comes in as a strong candidate for your marketing mix.
Although WhatsApp is mainly known for being a space for family and friends to chat, it’s expanded over to more formal applications in recent years.
Over the years, it’s demonstrated its potential for not only letting teams work and communicate together…
But also shows just how much of a difference it can make in how companies:
While there are other available options, WhatsApp continues to make a strong case for why any business should use it. Considering that thousands of businesses are turning to the once-limited platform to accelerate their marketing and sales, it’s safe to assume that there’s lots of potential ahead.
If you want to learn why marketing on WhatsApp works (and how you can start using it), here’s everything you need to know:
Released in 2009, WhatsApp is a messaging application available on mobile and desktop devices. It was created and developed by two former Yahoo employees that had one goal in mind:
Making communication both free and available to as many people as possible.
Today, the application has over two billion users relying on it for their communication needs—making it the biggest platform around. Over time, this number continues to grow thanks to several developments made with continuous backing from its parent company, Facebook!
With WhatsApp, users can communicate with other people on the application by using an internet connection. This, in turn, provides anyone with access to a much more cost-efficient alternative to international calls or texts.
Every year that passes marks continuous development for the digital communication giant. With more developments in store for coming years, WhatsApp has been able to win over users from other platforms like Telegram and Viber.
For businesses, this application is one to keep an eye on because it's responsible for billions of text exchanges and calls globally. Most prefer to use it because it puts consumers first with convenient features, unlimited connectivity, and a well-developed user interface.
Now, to give you an idea of what makes WhatsApp such a dominant force in the digital world, here are some key points to consider:
Together, these advantages provide Facebook’s flagship application with a competitive edge that’ll remain for years. Beyond user experiences, these benefits also yield opportunities that businesses need to keep an eye out for if they want to strengthen their marketing strategies.
One of the biggest concerns that businesses have before using WhatsApp has a lot to do with its consumer base. Although most marketers expect alternatives like Telegram and Viber to be stronger matches for their ideal users, looking into the app in question’s market says otherwise.
For starters, WhatsApp’s user base is as large and diverse as it is because of one main reason:
People want free messaging—no matter who they’re talking to, where they are in the world, or why they need to communicate. This is the same universal need that allows WhatsApp to penetrate a wide range of market segments as well as it does…
And we’re only seeing the start of the first ten years of the app’s development at work.
A deeper dive into WhatsApp’s two-billion-strong pool of users reveals a lot about two things:
Let’s look into the two key factors at play that will give a much better idea of who uses WhatsApp (and why they use it):
There’s one fact about WhatsApp that surprises lots of businesses (and discourages lots of them—even when it shouldn’t):
It’s not as successful in the United States as it is in other parts of the world—and there’s a reason for it:
Most carriers in the country already offer free messaging and voice calling in their bundles. This means that the app in question doesn’t resonate as well in the US because its citizens are used to such services being free of charge.
While the United States is a big target for most messaging apps, WhatsApp isn’t in a rush to chase after it either way.
Well, because it’s the top messaging app choice for people in almost every other country in the world.
When you look at the different countries that are using WhatsApp, their common denominator is evident:
All their citizens are tired of absurd data charges and prioritize free texts and calls above all else.
Now, if your business wants to be more accessible in European or Asian countries, this means that it’s best to get on the messaging platform ASAP. Here’s a quick rundown of which countries use it the most (and how much of their adult population can be found on it):
(Data taken from the Business Insider)
But, does this mean that you shouldn’t use it if you want to penetrate the US market?
Currently, WhatsApp is picking up steam in the United States. Over 22% of its citizens (and counting) use it because more people are realizing that it’s a great way to talk to people in other countries.
The uptick in American WhatsApp users also shows that marketers wanting to advertise in the US can expect huge changes next few years!
TL;DR: WhatsApp is a strong choice if your business wants to target customers in the Asian and European markets. It’s also important to note that it shows much potential when tapping into the American market (especially if you want to be the first to hop on a growing trend).
Another key factor to look into when understanding WhatsApp’s user base is age.
From a general perspective, its users are broken up rather evenly in the 18 to 24, 45 to 54, 55 to 64, and 65-plus age brackets. But, the 25 to 34 and 35 to 44-year-old age brackets tell a different story.
Compared to other apps that work endlessly to target users aged 15 to 24, WhatsApp sets its focus on users aged 25 to 44. The app’s focus on being a top choice for adults pays off with the help of value propositions of free calls and texts, accessibility, and ease of use.
In a little over a decade, the percentage of online adult WhatsApp users has shot up significantly. Some countries even have more than half of their online users—a few examples being:
(Data taken from the Global Web Index)
TL;DR: If your target market falls between the ages of 25 to 44, then it’s ideal to use WhatsApp so your marketing strategy can reach more of them!
Also known as “WhatsApp Marketing”, marketing on WhatsApp revolves around using the platform to promote your company, products, or services. It’s also a broad term that pertains to building any marketing or promotion strategies that are tailored to how the app works.
Catering to a rise in marketers wanting to use it, WhatsApp offers two tools that help businesses adopt the app into their strategies:
This tool functions as a separate mobile application from the platform that over two billion users are familiar with.
Compared to the standard version of WhatsApp, WhatsApp business focuses on helping small to medium businesses connect with their customers in real time. This means that it comes with additional features that streamline the entire process of marketing on the app—such as:
Aside from the features above, WhatsApp Business also has several functions that make it easier for SMEs to communicate with customers.
The Quick Reply feature, for example, lets you set up automated responses to questions that people have about your products, services, or company. Additionally, the Broadcast Message function lets you send up to 256 messages at a time—which helps a lot with tasks like:
But, do you want to know what the best part about this spin-off app is?
Like its traditional counterpart, WhatsApp Business is free!
Aside from WhatsApp Business, the digital communication giant makes marketing easier for SMEs with WhatsApp Business API.
Businesses can use this tool to access WhatsApp’s full suite of marketing tools—all of which offer a deeper way to interact with it. You can use it to connect your Business account on the app to a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) or email service provider…
And this, in full effect, allows you to manage a much larger number of conversations simultaneously from one place.
Using WhatsApp Business API, in turn, means that:
Compared to WhatsApp Business, the API add-on has no front-end interface since its primary purpose is to connect WhatsApp with other programs in your marketing system.
Usually, using this business extension comes in handy if you want to take your WhatsApp marketing to the next level since it provides access to different advanced features. Together, these functions help any business:
WhatsApp Business API also has key differences from its simplified counterpart mentioned above.
For one, it isn’t a free tool. When using the API, you can expect to get charged for every message that you send after 1,000 in a month.
Another key difference that the API has from the standard Business App is that it’s more difficult to access. To use it, you’ll need to verify your Business (and its account) with an official WhatsApp partner—meaning that you can’t just sign up or download the add-on to access it.
Investing in a WhatsApp marketing strategy comes with an assortment of advantages that you can look forward to. If you’re thinking about setting your profile up and putting the right tools in place, here are some benefits that will convince you to take the leap:
Nowadays, the average online user expects one thing when they message businesses to buy or ask about products and services:
Without the right tools, you won’t be able to deliver responses as quickly as your customers can expect. This eventually leads to missed opportunities to get leads and make sales…
And no business owner in their right mind would want that to happen.
When you start marketing on WhatsApp, you won’t have to worry about this since it has different features that can help you catch up. Tools like the “Quick Replies” and “Labels” features allow businesses to not only reply instantly but also keep everything organized in a few clicks.
So, if you want a platform that’s convenient and helps you deliver lightning-quick responses, then WhatsApp is the way to go!
As mentioned before, WhatsApp has over two billion users in 180 countries worldwide—a testament to its unmatched market share.
With its features and accessibility, the app fetches even higher levels of demand every year. This points to a valuable opportunity that businesses of all sizes and industries should be well aware of:
Marketing on WhatsApp provides more opportunities to reach wider demographics than any other communication platform out there.
Once the app is in your marketing strategy, you’ll get to communicate with almost every person online in the world. No matter what your target market looks like, WhatsApp makes it easier to link your business with people of all age brackets, locations, and genders.
Getting your offers across well enough to make a sale all boils down to tailoring your messages—and it so happens that WhatsApp simplifies this process.
Thanks to various functions, the application makes the process of personalizing interactions more accessible than ever. You’ll never have to worry about running out of communication styles and set-ups to tinker with because WhatsApp Business and Business API:
(If you want to learn more about how WhatsApp helps tailor how you communicate, here’s a quick guide to Customer Service Personalization!)
While setting up a marketing strategy is one step in the right direction, keeping track of how it’s doing is another crucial aspect to act on.
WhatsApp maintains its competitive edge as a communication platform because it provides valuable consumer insight that businesses need. The Business extension’s “Statistics” feature, in particular, makes it easier for marketers to gauge market sentiment with metrics like:
Together, all of WhatsApp Business’s insight-related tools can help you understand how people engage with and experience your brand. When used correctly, they can even help your strategy succeed because they offer valuable insights that will help you fine-tune your approaches better!
This is one key tool that can help businesses convert more customers while edging out the competition. And while most people might think that incorporating it into their strategies is difficult, WhatsApp makes it straightforward—which is an advantage worth looking into.
The WhatsApp Business app grants users access to features that let them automate conversation with the help of instant responses. You can easily set auto-replies up by building single-response templates for frequently-asked questions and common requests.
If you want to personalize your interactions with users, then you also set up automated messages when you aren’t available to reply. By drafting customized “Away” and “Greeting” responses, you’ll make potential customers feel visible—which helps attract more sales!
(But if you’re looking to squeeze as much as possible out of WhatsApp’s message automation feature, the Zoko WhatsApp Business API can help. Click here to learn more about the different kinds of communication our solution can set your business up with!)
So, you might be weighing WhatsApp against other alternatives before choosing a platform to add to your marketing strategy. But, here are three selling points to consider that may sway you to add Facebook’s biggest messaging platform to your marketing toolkit:
Beating the competition in our ever-digital world is all about giving customers the best experiences possible.
With WhatsApp, you’ll have all the tools that you’ll need to present your offerings as attractively as possible. On top of this, the platform’s automation tools also help you satisfy every user’s need for instant replies—which helps because 77% of consumers expect replies in 24 hours!
By using these two features to your advantage, you’ll draw in more customers and close more sales with far less effort!
Getting successful by marketing on WhatsApp is a two-way street.
Unlike other platforms, Facebook’s top messaging app makes it easier for businesses to get sales because its users reply much faster. This means that you won’t have to put out effort with a chance of not getting an answer back from potential customers—making sales much quicker.
WhatsApp currently ranks at the top of responsiveness rates among platforms online, besting that of other mediums like traditional emails. And now that more people rely on social messaging to inform their decisions, you’ll have more room to influence purchases with it!
Another reason you shouldn’t wait up any longer before adopting WhatsApp is that it presents opportunities to prepare marketing strategies for the future.
At this very moment, WhatsApp is ushering in a new era of what’s known as “Conversational Commerce”. According to Martha O’Byrne-O’Reilly, Head of Messaging Developer Partnerships at Meta, it’s developing in every place users are spending their time online—mainly messaging platforms.
Adding to this, she believes Conversational Commerce is a step forward toward a future of deeper customer-business relationships, saying:
“[It] encapsulates the full range of reasons people chat with businesses, from asking about store hours to booking appointments, tracking deliveries, and resolving issues.”
With more customers looking for personalization, WhatsApp and its involvement in the future of e-commerce serves as a stepping stone toward future-proof marketing. In your case, this means that adding this platform to your strategy will put you ahead of the curve!
(Interested in learning how to use conversational commerce to your advantage with WhatsApp? Check out this guide on Conversational Texting for E-Commerce!)
Congratulations you’ve finally decided to dive head-first into WhatsApp marketing. To help you hit the ground running and set the right foundation for your strategy, here are tried-and-tested practices well-worth practicing:
One thing that most marketers get wrong when marketing on WhatsApp is that they set up their strategies without considering one thing:
The kind of experiences that their users have (and, more importantly, want to have).
Instead of tweaking their descriptions, photos, and conversations according to their user’s experience, marketers tend to focus on what they want. This eventually leads to everything backfiring because potential customers don’t get engaged or interested as much as they should.
So, if you want your WhatsApp marketing strategy to work, you’ll need to consider user experience above all else. This usually entails doing things like:
As its user base increases every year, WhatsApp remains committed to providing the best experiences possible. One testament to this is the app’s strict stance on maintaining its guidelines on WhatsApp Business and holding owners accountable to them.
Considering that there’s an endless stream of customers on the platform, it helps to keep your profile published to keep them coming your way. By being mindful of guidelines (such as these basic ones), you won’t need to worry about WhatsApp restricting or removing it!
At this point, you’ve probably heard of the saying “value is what sells”—and this applies to the platform in question, too.
If you want your WhatsApp marketing strategy to fetch you conversions and sales, then you’ll need to add value in every way possible. Whether it’s providing specifications in your product descriptions or providing freebies, giving users something in return for their time always works!
Compared to other messaging apps, WhatsApp has a few nuances when it comes to its content. As a marketer, this means that you’ll need to make material that’s specifically geared for the app’s features and functions.
Aside from compliance with guidelines, crafting WhatsApp-specific content is a must because it affects the overall effectiveness of your strategy. So, if you want your marketing efforts to pay off, it’s best to research (and use) the following:
One of the best parts about marketing on WhatsApp is that it simplifies the process of refining the kind of interactions you have with customers. It has three main tools you can use to improve your customer service—namely:
(ICYMI: If you don’t know where to start with using WhatsApp to improve customer service, here’s how Zoko can help you out!)
One feature, WhatsApp Catalog, makes marketing on WhatsApp efficient by showcasing products conveniently and attractively.
As simple as it may seem, this tool helps rake in more sales by leading users to your offerings and doing all the selling for you. This is because it allows people to see products, services, and special offers in full detail without having to leave the app—catering to customer convenience!
Like the “shop” function on a website, WhatsApp Catalogs come with the following features:
(To learn more about using WhatsApp Catalog for your marketing strategy, check out this quick and easy-to-follow guide!)
With the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Law in place, businesses are expected to safeguard customer data. This need also applies to WhatsApp Business users since they’re required to collect explicit opt-ins from customers.
Instead of going through a long, complicated process of collecting opt-ins from customers, WhatsApp’s “Thank You” pages simplify it all. This makes it easier to keep users engaged while significantly speeding up the data collection process.
To use Thank You pages to collect explicit opt-ins, all you’ll need to do is:
Even though WhatsApp Business makes it easy to set up a profile, it pays to be proactive if you want to see the right results. For the most part, this means that you should keep your strategy sharp by testing your approach often.
Monitoring your pre and post-launch progress with your WhatsApp Business profile and marketing strategy is essential for success. Running A/B tests for your newsletters and designs, in particular, is especially important because it allows you to optimize your strategy.
Fortunately, different tools help with applying the different results, tweaks, and recommendations coming from your tests. Here’s a list of options that you can choose from!
WhatsApp is a viable platform for any business that wants to invest its resources in a messaging platform that works. With the largest user base in the world, a host of convenient features, and constant growth, it can help exponentially boost any marketing strategy’s returns.
By using the right approaches and tools, your business can maximize WhatsApp’s potential to leverage more sales opportunities. This also spills over to more openings that will help you develop a stronger bond with customers and a bigger presence in your market!