Marketing is so much more than just selling products. There is an entire process and cycle to be completed before reaching the end profitable result. Social media lead generation has become a significant part of marketing strategies. Apart from the major social media platforms to search for leads and other marketing practices, messengers are also catching up.
Social media platforms and messengers like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp among many are making huge waves as primary means of marketing by organizations. Messenger apps like these are being used more and more for marketing and there is a surge in marketing strategies across the social media. But, WhatsApp being the leader of social media messengers for the simplicity and features is leading in this field.
What is WhatsApp?
Whatsapp is the leading mobile messenger app that uses only your internet connection to send and receive messages. The ad-free platform is the most used messenger with over 1.2 Billion active users per month! The reason is the app’s power to replace SMS and MMS with a basic app that lets you send and receive texts, images, files, and so much more. Despite being acquired by Facebook quite recently, WhatsApp exists as a different platform and not integrated into Facebook, unlike Facebook’s dedicated Messenger.
The app is available for all major mobile platforms like iOS, Android, Nokia, Blackberry, among many others. There is also the web version available to access via the desktop but for that one needs to have the app installed and active on the phone. Using your contacts to show the contacts using WhatsApp it displays you all the contacts you can message. The three ways to communicate on WhatsApp are mentioned below:
Broadcast Lists: To send a message to a broadcast list or to be able to send to a list of selected people it is possible to ‘broadcast the messages’. This feature is similar to the bcc feature in email and doesn’t let anyone else know about the announcement. It appears as a normal text only and replying back to the same is one-to-one also. It is limited to 256 contacts at a time.
One-to-one messages: This is perhaps the most basic function that WhatsApp offers. Being the primary function of the app, it allows you to send text, images, files, and other available options. Even calling and video calling is now possible because of a recent update.
Groups: Groups are a collection of people you can text to all at once. Much like an email or other basic group function, all group members can join in discussions in real time and see all messages posted. All the features of one-to-one messages also apply to groups and broadcasts. A user can also opt for applications like Bulk WhatsApp Sender to reach-out to more prospective WhatsApp member.
Why and how to use WhatsApp for business and marketing?
The first thing to be aware of about WhatsApp is it doesn’t sell or get involved in any marketing promotions. There are no Ads or any marketing tools to start your marketing. But since it is a private app, you can send messages and other material through WhatsApp in groups as per your messenger marketing strategies. As at most in groups, you can reach most 256 contacts, and not many may open it, it is not exactly an ideal platform to start your marketing efforts in. Also, as a mobile and such apps are also only meant for private and personal use instead, it is important to know that people may not be interested in marketing here. But, in groups that are dedicated for such purposes and any other way that respects privacy, it is a good option to do one-to-one marketing.
Creating a brand persona to chat and build buzz:
Taking an example from the Vodka brand ‘Absolut’, they wanted to launch an exclusive product at an exclusive launch party. Only two invitations were available for the public and to get these people using Whatsapp had to contact an imaginary bouncer, named Sven to let them pass or win the invitations. People generated the buzz themselves in an attempt to impress this figure and created a lot of images, videos and audio files which led to a massive buzz in the country. Such attempts that people take part in themselves are successful and give better results than email newsletters or even online competitions.
Offering one-to-one product support:
Offering people different ways to use their products by asking experts one to one is another way of WhatsApp marketing. By asking users to submit their WhatsApp numbers on the site link provided, companies have tried getting people in touch with experts. By teaching and reaching out to customers in such a way it is possible for the company to build a better brand image as well as sell more of their products by training the experts.
Offering discreet advice to high-value customers:
By offering interested clients special privileges and discounts through WhatsApp is another way to do successful marketing. By being engaged one-to-one with people who want such updates the company can take better care of customers. After all, retaining special customers and improving customer care is what marketing is about. It also leads to super high conversion rates as only people interested in such marketing sign up and bound to convert more than any other marketing strategy being used.
Future of WhatsApp marketing:
Even though WhatsApp isn’t as business friendly as the Facebook Messenger, one can expect business-friendly updates in the future. It is a good time to lay the groundwork for such strategies now to reap the benefits later. Peer-to-peer payments will soon be coming out in an update and then one can transfer money securely to their contacts. Such efforts may help in marketing directly from within the app. It is a good way to seek out more ways in which you can improve WhatsApp marketing and therefore get more leads, prospects to convert.