Who knew what started as a mere messaging service would one day also evolve into a marketing platform that could generate leads with little or no costs? Yes, we are talking about WhatsApp, which you have been using until now for just communicating with your friends and family members.
When a business thinks of marketing and generating leads online, it usually resorts to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Considering their popularity, it only makes sense. WhatsApp is usually ignored when marketing strategies are being crafted. This undermined platform, however, is a hidden treasure when it comes to reaching out to customers.
The potential of WhatsApp can be judged from the fact that it is the most popular global mobile messaging app
with 1.6 billion active users, surpassing Facebook messenger and WeChat users that stand at 1.3 billion and 1.1 billion, respectively.
The question however is how businesses can utilize this plethora of users to their own benefit?
WhatsApp for Business
Seeing WhatsApp’s potential to help out businesses, Facebook has specifically launched WhatsApp for business. There are two types of apps: WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API. WhatsApp Business has been specifically designed keeping in mind small business owners while WhatsApp Business API caters to large businesses and allows them to directly contact their customers in an efficient manner.
Get Started With the App
Once you have decided which app out of the two is best for your business, all you need to do is just go to the App Store or Play Store and download it. Once you are through with the installation and setup, create a business profile. Your business profile includes a photo that represents your business, your business name, email address, web address and a small description of what you do.
Now that you have setup your business profile, you can go on using WhatsApp just the way you usually do. The people who you connect with will however see it as a business account. Other than that, you will get some functionalities that will help you promote your business.
The business version allows you to create a catalog of the products or services that you offer. Moreover, you will also get the option of saving and sending quick replies, and away or greeting messages to your customers when you are not available. An interesting feature is that you can label your customers to sort them into different categories such as “New customer”, “New order”, “Payment Pending” etc.
Setting up WhatsApp Business API is a bit complicated, but you can follow step-by-step instructions
and get started in no time. There are some advantages and downsides attached with both accounts. The first issue is that you cannot use your personal number for WhatsApp Business, you need to purchase a separate SIM for that. Secondly, you cannot send promotional messages on WhatsApp API. On top of that, once a customer initiates a conversation, you only have a 24-hour window to chat with them, after which you will be charged.
WhatsApp for Marketing and Promotion
You must be wondering why WhatsApp would diversify itself as a marketing tool when it was perfect as a messaging app. Well, there is a good reason behind it. 60% of the Gen Zers
surveyed said that they wish they could converse with more businesses and what is better than conversing with them on WhatsApp?
WhatsApp, however, is not just a messaging tool that is limited to answering queries and offering customer support only; you can also use it to generate good leads. Marketing on WhatsApp is similar to SMS marketing. WhatsApp Business account offers broadcast messages feature through which you can send any sort of messages to your contacts. The only drawback, however, is that you can only broadcast to 256 people at a time. With some organization, you can handle it well.
To get in touch with those people who haven’t shared their contact with you yet, you can share your WhatsApp link on your website and social media. Use a call to action button such as ‘Call Now’ on your website so that your potential visitors can contact you immediately.
Holiday Pirates is doing a great job with WhatsApp. It has created a bot that sends out promotional offers and packages to customers on a regular basis. It also sends customized messages including videos and articles to customers who subscribe to one of its categories.
Another great thing about WhatsApp is that it allows you to create groups so that you can segment your target audience according to their interests and target them accordingly.
Take Your Business to New Heights
With widespread availability of high speed internet such as that provided by Spectrum bundles
, people are finding it convenient to connect with businesses directly. Moreover, customers are impatient than ever before; they want their questions answered immediately or else they have an alternative waiting for them that they can switch to. If you don’t answer them promptly someone else will. This is where WhatsApp business comes to your rescue. Many businesses have already jumped on the WhatsApp marketing bandwagon and given the rate at which it is gaining popularity, it is high time that you should too.