WhatsApp Business: An Essential Marketing Guide

As of October 2020, WhatsApp hits 2 billion users around the globe with the number is still rising. The market penetration of WhatsApp is astonishing in some countries. For example, over 95% of Netherlands smartphones have this instant messaging app installed (Statista, 2020).

instant messaging apps

Obviously, WhatsApp is massive. The high number of WhatsApp users indicates there are enormous potential audiences ready to be reached. In 2018, WhatsApp released a standalone business version, allowing companies to interact with customers via greeting messages, quick replies, and business profiles. From that moment on, many started scrambling over each other to explore this opportunity. However, jumping on the bandwagon is never easy. Let’s check out these helpful tips and tricks for getting the most out of the world’s biggest messaging platform!

WhatsApp vs WhatsApp Business

Although the user interfaces of WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business are pretty similar, they serve very different purposes. Given that WhatsApp Business is for businesses to connect with their clients instantly in an official manner, there are a few exclusive features that are currently not available in WhatsApp:

  • Automated Messages

  • Quick Replies

  • Business Profile

  • Label Chat

Why WhatsApp Business for Marketing?

Of course, you can use your personal WhatsApp account to communicate with both of your friends and customers, but, it will undoubtedly be hard to differentiate between private and business relationships. Not only can WhatsApp Business help you to stay organized, but it can also assist you in offering customer service options, showcasing products and services and most vitally, creating a strong brand connection with every single customer.

In today’s instant messaging (IM) era, customers prefer having a real-time and interactive conversation rather than the one-way communication of just leaving a message. Quick and instant response is crucial in attaining customer satisfaction. According to the research published by HubSpot, 82% of customers expected an immediate response to a sales or marketing question, while 90% expected an immediate response to a customer service question. In such cases, automated message reply is an extraordinary way to address this issue: it allows your customer to feel heard. You can also make good use of the automated greeting message to gather more information from the customers, which will help you to identify their particular needs easier and save some effort of going back-and-forth.

Customers' responses

With the WhatsApp Business, communicating with your customers is now easier than ever. Sometimes, customers’ enquiries are complex and challenging to solve straight away. Instead of spending extra time digging out all the information from customers, you can customize the WhatsApp pre-filled messages to reduce the number of these follow-ups to a minimum. Moreover, the predefined text can encourage your audiences to engage with your company on certain topics. This can potentially contribute to your revenue growth, as well as improve customer satisfaction and streamline your operations.

In addition, businesses can utilise WhatsApp links, which make it even easier for customers to contact them, and use a WhatsApp Manager to better manage the surge in conversations!

How to use WhatsApp Business?

WhatsApp Business is a free app available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. 

To get started, you have to create your business profile by entering details under Settings > Business Settings > Profile. Make sure you get these accurate since any misleading information can cause you trouble.

WhatsApp business profile

Followed by the most important step, is setting up the messaging tools. You need to go to Settings > Business Settings and check the messaging options available there. There are 3 options: Away messageGreeting message, and Quick replies and you can set each of these depending on your requirements.

Business setting

Apart from 1:1 support, you can also remind your customers about your latest promotions in one go. To create a WhatsApp broadcast message, you have to go to the WhatsApp > More options > New Broadcast. Search or select the contacts you want to add, then tap the checkmark. You can select all the contacts you wish to send a broadcast to and send it, or you can organize your contacts with labels and then send a broadcast to one or more than one set of labeled broadcast lists.

WhatsApp broadcast message

For more app features, you can refer to Sleekflow’s complete guide on using WhatsApp Business.

How to Grow and Manage your Audiences?

Creating a WhatsApp Business account is definitely not the hardest while establishing a presence in customers’ minds is. How can you keep in touch with your audiences without annoying them?

The key is to continuously deliver great content on relevant topics. Thus, it is of utmost importance for you to label all contacts, or else it will be very tricky to find the right person to stimulate a conversation. The default setting already has included a couple of different labels, but you are always welcome to add your own as well.

After putting your customers into different categories, you can start interacting with them via either a group or a broadcast list. 

A group is a place for your fans and customers to bond together. They can learn about your products and get access to exclusive knowledge through chatting with other like-minded people. It is also a handy channel for you to tap into some real insights.

Another practice is to send out a broadcast message to every individual in the broadcast list as mentioned above. It is very similar to a marketing email but with a much higher open rate – the text message on WhatsApp gets an average open rate of 98%. Unlike group chats, recipients will see the message as a standard conversation appearing in their WhatsApp chat list. With this one-to-many conversation feature, you can keep the conversation private and personal. All replies will be visible to the broadcaster only and no one else will get to see the reply.

WhatsApp Business Marketing Strategies

1.Present an Attractive Brand Persona

It’s 2020 now. If you want your brand to rise above the digital noise, a cold and sterile approach is not the strategy you should attempt. To make sure your customers can spot your brand quickly, you need to develop a strong, impressive, warm-blooded brand. For instance, including jokes about your brand on the business profile or sending festive profile pictures on special occasions. Quick reminder: don’t hesitate to use internet slang such as “btw” and “LOL”, speak with your customers like the way you speak with your friends.

2. Build a Contact Base

Due to WhatsApp’s anti-ad philosophy, cold call messages are not allowed. Businesses can only send messages to customers under 2 scenarios – either the customer initiates the conversation or the company’s phone number is on the customer’s contact list. In exchange for the WhatsApp number, you, therefore, need to offer them something of value. An exclusive coupon, promotional code or a giveaway campaign can all be good incentives for the users to start building relationships with you.

3. Offer Relatable Content to Customers

Customers may come to you for specific reasons, in other words, you can’t use only one type of content to keep every audience member engaged. Don’t forget to make good use of the Label feature. You can create labels with different colours or names, and add them into an entire chat, group, or certain messages within a chat. By targeting those who are interested in particular topics and feed them with relevant content, you can eventually expand your customer base.

4. Deliver Excellent Customer Service

A 24/7 customer service used to be very luxurious, but with WhatsApp, even a small business can now provide real-time support with a limited budget. No doubt, speed matters in customer service. Fortunately, WhatsApp Business can send quick replies. With quick replies, you can create keyboard shortcuts for the messages, which is especially useful when you have to answer the same question over and over. This provides a considerable benefit of saving time but still being able to actively connect with customers. 

5. Conduct Customer Research

You must first have an in-depth understanding of who your buyers are, your specific market, and what influences the purchase decisions and behaviour of your target audience members before achieving the goal. Generally, people react more positively to images than blocks of text, so do try using visual aids in your questionnaire. Polls are also fun as they can give the respondents a glimpse of how they compare to others. By integrating a poll midway through a survey, the respondents can be immediately informed with the overall polling results, rendering them a sense of wider engagement with other respondents.

6. Utilize WhatsApp Status

Like other social stories, Status Feature allows you to share an image or video that lasts for 24 hours with your contacts. You can create and share special and limited promotional offers to your customers and incentivise them to redeem. Using the instant photo and location feature, Status can let everyone in your group know about the ongoing promotions. If you want to drive in traffic and create buzz, you can even launch a two-hour flash sale or a one-day special.


Introduction to the Official WhatsApp Business API

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