Oyemaja Executives, a division of The Oyemaja Group.
When you’re thinking about different social media platforms to talk and engage with your ideal customers, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
Is it Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with their combined active users of over 500 million. But what if we told you there is another platform out there; it is text-based, has more users than Instagram and LinkedIn combined. And we’re pretty sure you’re have not considered marketing on there yet.
It’s called WhatsApp.
The average text message gets an open rate of around 98%. That is the reason why chat-based platforms work so well too. And that is precisely the reason that makes WhatsApp the most engaging marketing channel on the planet.
The reason you probably never thought about using it as a marketing channel is that there has never been any real tool to help you manage your account and start engaging with your “followers” unless you had that one mobile phone on which the client with your business number was installed.
There’s also no advertising on WhatsApp, so the natural and lazy route of just buying some ads will get you nowhere.
So what do you need to do when you also can’t track your success? When you can’t search for groups to automatically join and promote your stuff?
But first things first, how important is this platform for your business?
Importance of WhatsApp Marketing
It is advisable to start planning a WhatsApp marketing campaign immediately because there is no barrier to entry on WhatsApp. All that is required that you have is just a smartphone. And there is plenty you can do on it to market your business. For example, you can:
Use it as a messaging app to send event updates and exclusive offers.
Send multimedia content.
Use it to survey and get customer data.
Record your data and messages by backing them up to Google Drive.
Are you convinced yet? If not, here are benefits of using the platform:
1) Profound Relationships with Customers
Great customer relationship is a very germane benefit of WhatsApp. On the side of the buyer, it allows them to have build a level of trust in whom they are buying from, there is a certain assurance you get when you want to buy a product form someone you met on WhatsApp. Although that doesn’t really determine if the person is genuine or not.
2) Higher Conversion Rate
This allows you to know the accurate amount of the item you want to buy in your currency. This prevents excessive stress on both parties.
3) Better Sales
WhatsApp is a platform which allows people who are on your contact list to see what you have to offer. You can consider WhatsApp a stand-alone sales channel for your business. It’s possible with the growing tendency for people to buy through messaging apps. Roughly 60% of consumers believe they will use messengers more to make purchases in the future.
4) Lower Cost of Marketing
WhatsApp is still a very affordable marketing channel, which makes this platform enticing for small businesses. All you need to get the ball rolling is to install an app and connect to the internet.
WhatsApp Features That Make it An Effective Marketing Tool
One of the first things you need to do before you start building your marketing campaign on WhatsApp is to stop thinking of it as a messaging app. Think of it like any other marketing platform like Facebook, where you can post messages and statuses. There are three main ways you can use it as part of an effective marketing strategy:
1) Broadcast Messages
Using the broadcast messaging feature, you can send a single message to multiple people on your contact list. Think of it as an SMS marketing campaign. However, WhatsApp currently only allows you to send to 256 contacts per message.
2) WhatsApp Status
If you’re already using Instagram and Snapchat stories, you are probably familiar with how the status feature works in WhatsApp. Using it, you can post videos and images to engage your audience with your brand for 24 hours. After 24 hours, your stories delete themselves.
3) Group Chats
Group messages are shared with members of a group, and also include responses from group participants. That comes in handy when you need to conduct focus groups or market research before launching a product or service. The group feature is also the best way for you to grant exclusivity to specific customer groups. It is also a way to encourage your customers to interact with one another and perhaps introduce other existing customers to try a new service or product that they’ve never tried before.
4) WhatsApp Calls
In addition to interacting and marketing to your customers via messaging, you should directly engage with them via phone calls.
For example, when you get a customer request (perhaps someone is interested in talking to a salesperson or simply wants more information), you can respond right away, within the app, by calling them.
Tips to Consider With WhatsApp Marketing
Effective marketing underlines a well-thought-out marketing strategy. It enables you to clearly define the goals, outcomes, and roadmap to achieve them.
Although not exhaustive, here’s a checklist you should follow while creating a WhatsApp marketing strategy for your business.
1) Build a Contact List
If you’re going to use WhatsApp as a marketing channel, you need a contact list. A highly relevant contact list is the key to a successful campaign. WhatsApp requires customers to save contact before they can view status updates. As a result, you need to get a list of people who are already interested in your products and services. This will lead to a highly relevant contact list you can use for different campaigns.
2) Pin Down Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience underlies all your marketing efforts and defines their success. You can try several approaches to determine your target audience. Start by asking yourself these questions:
Why do people use my product?
What value do they want to get from it?
What outcomes do they want to achieve?
3) Create a Brand Persona
People prefer to communicate with other people, not an impersonal business. Thus, to undertake successful WhatsApp marketing, you need to form your brand persona. A brand persona is a kit of traits, attitudes, and values your brand shares. Remember market leaders? All of them have personas. For instance, Apple appears to be creative and intellectual, Fanta – jolly and easy-going, Nike – passionate and vigorous. Your brand probably also has some personality; try to explore it and spot the most distinctive traits. This persona would give your product a voice.
4) Define Messaging and Build Content
WhatsApp has an incredible open rate of 99%, however, if you provide irrelevant or poor content you’ll end up wasting the opportunity of using WhatsApp as a marketing channel. As much as open rates decide the success of your campaign, actions people take after seeing your message are equally important.
And to make sure they open your messages and take action, make a note of the following things:
Keep your communications short and to the point
Reinforce your messages with multimedia files, such as videos, animations, or pictures
Use emojis wherever appropriate.
Don’t spam your customers. You can stick to sending updates at lease 3-4 times weekly.
5) Good Customer Service
Many brands tend to neglect this part because they seen it as being insignificant but it is in fact one of the most important thing customers look out for in a brand. Your first time interaction with your customers create an impression in them, if they would later come back to patronize your brand.
6) Get Customer Feedback and Improve
A well-thought-out marketing strategy does wonders when it is coupled with a feedback mechanism. Having a feedback mechanism in place helps you:
Validate your efforts
Identify unhappy customers and work towards improving their experience
Measure customer satisfaction
Know areas to improve and the areas which are working well for them
With WhatsApp business, you can use its message templates to get feedback from your customers and use that feedback to take important business decisions.
Right now is the moment to start taking action on WhatsApp. Build a massive following because the chances that your message will reach lots of people is very high save you have lots of contact on your phonebook. Also, do not neglect the importance of engaging with your contacts and form a nice customer relationship with them before all marketers all over the world start to figure out they are missing on this vast opportunity and spoil it for everyone.