Beginner Guide

Everything you need to know about WhatsApp Marketing

Remember the feeling of “being a regular” somewhere? No shopping experience can be compared to spending money with a company that knows who you are and what you love.

In this age of accelerated digital transformation, the concept can feel like a thing of the past. The truth is, it’s not gone; It’s just resizing. The distinctive customer experience still hinges on creating a sense of familiarity and personalization. Now, marketers can pull this off in a big way with 1:1 messaging tools like WhatsApp.

WhatsApp marketing is one of the priorities of today’s always-on, digital-first consumer. As of 2021, WhatsApp is the most popular global messenger app worldwide. With over two billion active users, WhatsApp is more than likely where your customers connect with family, friends, and even your competitors around the world.

Marketing with WhatsApp can modernize your approach to customer service, helping you create great experiences that people remember and repeat. Keep reading to learn more about WhatsApp marketing and its role in your social media strategy.

Why you should incorporate WhatsApp marketing into your social strategy

You are likely to experience frustration because of an impossible-to-find Help Center hotline.

Or boredom brought on by seemingly endless customer service wait times.

These common customer experience pain points seemed inevitable. Now, people can and will avoid them.

Your customers want to connect with businesses the same way they connect with their friends and family. No special hotlines or single-use platforms. Just fast, simple and convenient messaging.

WhatsApp marketing favors seamless customer experiences, encourages retention and even evangelism. If you are still on the fence, here are three major reasons why you need to incorporate marketing with WhatsApp into your social media strategy:

This is how you will beat your competition

As I said above, customers can and will avoid unsatisfied customer experiences. The latest Sprout Social Index™ found that answering customer service questions in a timely manner is the easiest way to get customers to buy from a brand over a competitor.

A chart that describes the actions a brand can take to get a consumer to buy more than a competitor.  At all ages, timely answering of customer service questions is top-notch.
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With WhatsApp, your brand can gain a competitive edge which makes a measurable difference to your bottom line. The WhatsApp Business account allows you to set up messaging tools that guarantee quick response times with little effort. When 77% of consumers expect a response in less than 24 hours, speed is what will make your business stand out from your competitors.

This is where your customers are most responsive

WhatsApp marketing open rate is much higher than traditional email open rate. In fact, many estimate that they are on par with SMS marketing’s open rates, which hover around 90%.

This responsiveness opens the door to more meaningful conversations that go beyond support requests. Now, customers are using social messaging to ask questions, provide feedback, and chime in about products. These behaviors empower your social media and customer care teams to act as digital sales floor associates, giving them real-time impact on purchasing behavior.

A chart showing the top five reasons consumers reach out to brands on social media.
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this is the future of commerce

According to Meta’s Head of Messaging Developer Partnerships, Martha O’Burn-O’Reilly, messaging is here to stay. He believes that this influx of 1:1 messaging, combined with social commerce, is creating a new wave known as conversational commerce.

,[Conversational commerce] O’Burn-O’Reilly says, “Encapsulates the full range of reasons people chat with businesses, from asking about store hours to booking appointments, tracking deliveries, and resolving issues.” Is.” “And it’s happening all over the place where people are spending time online, which is primarily social and messaging platforms.”

New technologies like machine learning, chatbots and messaging are ushering in a new era of customer experience. In fact, 77% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase from their brand if they can browse through or get questions answered via messaging. Incorporating WhatsApp marketing into your social strategy today can help you secure your marketing strategy for tomorrow.

3 best examples of WhatsApp marketing we’ve seen (so far)

A quarter of the world’s population, mainly in Latin America, Asia and Europe, uses WhatsApp. It is no surprise that brands from those regions lead the pack when it comes to WhatsApp marketing strategies.

If you are planning to incorporate WhatsApp into your social marketing strategy, here are three brands you can look to for inspiration:

1. World Health Organization

In March 2020, the World Health Organization launched a dedicated COVID-19 WhatsApp hotline for service users in seven languages.

A screenshot of the World Health Organization COVID-19 hotline, created using WhatsApp.
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Users can access the hotline via WhatsApp by sending a message to a location-specific number. They are then given several pointers to choose from for more information on the disease, vaccines, etc.

This automated chatbot provides users with a solid middle ground between self-service and live support.

2. Lidley

Lidl, an international food retailer specializing in discounted goods, has been riding the WhatsApp train since May 2020.

Initially, in response to the pandemic, the brand created a “quiet time” chatbot that allowed shoppers to check store capacity before heading to the store. Now, Lidl has built a full-scale customer service strategy on the platform to provide a seamless support experience to its customers.

Screenshot of Lidl customer service exchange on WhatsApp.
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The company uses the platform to provide immediate support with automated greeting messages. When a customer sends a question or request, they get a message thanking them for their business. The message also shares that a live support agent will be with them soon.

3. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Flight information typically resides in two different places: in a password-protected account or somewhere in an email. Neither of these options is especially helpful when you’re speeding to the airport, trying to catch a flight. KLM is using WhatsApp to offer something better to its passengers.

When a person books a flight with KLM, they can opt for WhatsApp communication. This allows them to centralize their booking, baggage and flight status information into a single, searchable conversation thread.

Incorporating WhatsApp into your social media strategy

WhatsApp marketing isn’t a magic solution to connecting with your customers. A bad messaging conversation will drive a customer away just as a bad personal experience can. Like all marketing strategies, you get what you put into it.

If you’re ready to start marketing with WhatsApp, here’s everything you need to do before jumping in.

Decide on your team’s goals and operational criteria

Your WhatsApp marketing goals will be different from your goals for traditional social media networks. Instead of engagement and impressions, you’ll want to start by tracking customer care metrics.

KPIs like average reply time and total response volume can help you benchmark your initial WhatsApp marketing efforts. Ultimately, you will be able to use that data to inform commerce-driven channel decisions.

You would also like to use this time to decide on operational parameters. WhatsApp Business accounts allow only one active user at a time, so creating a clear channel management schedule is essential.

Fortunately, you won’t have to experience this problem for a long time. Sprout is bringing WhatsApp messaging to its product suite before the end of 2022.

Sign up for WhatsApp Business

You will not operate your business account outside of the normal WhatsApp app. Instead, you have to use WhatsApp Business.

WhatsApp Business is available for both iOS and Android devices. Once you have downloaded the app, you will notice that the account setup is very easy. All you have to do is verify your phone number and update your business information. For the full walkthrough, watch the video below.

craft template message

WhatsApp Business offers several messaging tools to streamline your workload and customer response time. All you have to do is prepare your message.

These templated answers are designed to help you take action on important conversations in advance. WhatsApp’s messaging tools include:

  • message away: When an away message is enabled, customers who message you will automatically receive a reply indicating whether you are busy or offline for that day.
  • greetings message: Your Greeting Message automatically warms up when customers interact with you for the first time or without any activity for 14 days.
  • prompt reply: These packaged responses can be used to provide quick answers to frequently asked questions. They can be accessed in Message conversations using specific shortcuts and you can save up to 50 at once.

Create product list

Catalog is a powerful WhatsApp marketing feature that allows customers to browse your products or services directly within the app. Once a product is in your catalog, you can share its link anywhere for more discovery.

Android mockup of WhatsApp's Catalog feature.
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If you offer multiple products, try to start with your most popular items. As you continue to build your product offerings on the app, you can sort them into collections for easier browsing.

Promote your presence on other channels

WhatsApp is not a “if you build it, they will come” platform. Knowing your WhatsApp number is essential to reach customers.

Once your business profile is set up, run a light awareness campaign to let people know that you will be providing customer service through the platform. This may include emails to existing customers, promotions on other social media networks, and quick updates to the “Contact Us” section of your website.

And tell what is happening?” for WhatsApp Marketing

Marketing with WhatsApp sits at the intersection of marketing and customer care, opening up new ways for brands to connect with fans and prospects. If your approach to messaging is more responsive than strategic, it’s time to step into the new normal using WhatsApp Business.

If you want to learn more about messaging as a channel, check out this guide we created in partnership with your friends at Zendesk. Use it to learn how to effectively integrate social messaging into your customer experience so you can prepare for the future of customer experience.

Everything you need to know about WhatsApp Marketing This post first appeared on Sprout Social.

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