Is there life outside the web? 3.8 billion people use social networks. This data should be more than enough to convince us of the importance of focusing our digital strategy on social media, but there is more.
Changes in user habits make the digital plane evolve constantly, so our strategy must adapt accordingly. In 2020 WhatsApp was positioned as the third social network with more users in the world, only surpassed by Facebook and YouTube, making it clear that it should not be ignored.
In February 2020 it already had more than 2 billion users according to data from the messaging application itself and it is a tool that we use on a daily basis and on numerous occasions. It is used to talk to family, send memes to friends and in some cases, even as a line of communication for work-related issues.
Contrary to what many may think at first, Whatsapp can be much more than a simple instant messaging application. Its usefulness goes much further and can be as effective a marketing tool as applications such as Pinterest or Tik Tok.
Automatic responses, broadcast lists, company profiles... The possibilities offered by Whatsapp are more than it may seem and even a parallel application has been created to manage it in a much simpler way, its Business version.
What is Whatsapp Business
If you want to make your company's communication with its customers easier, Whatsapp created a free application designed for small companies and businesses. The idea is to facilitate communication and promotion of products and services, in addition to helping in the purchasing process because it has built-in tools to automate, organize and respond to messages.
What possibilities does your company profile offer you? You can publish information about your business such as opening hours or website, offer a product catalog, organize chats and contacts with different tags, set up quick replies (messages that you send frequently and that allow you to answer frequently asked questions faster), and automatic responses, for example welcome messages. It also has access to application statistics that allow us to check whether or not our actions are working, something fundamental in any marketing strategy.
Focused on larger companies, you can use the WhatsApp Business API. KLM, Uber or Booking are some of those that have integrated Whatsapp in their marketing and customer service campaign.
How we can use Whatsapp in marketing
A direct and personalized customer service
One of the advantages of Whatsapp is the customization it offers. It is a means of communication with your customers face to face that can allow us to provide customer service and support in real time. In this way we build customer loyalty and provide faster solutions to our users.
A means of communication
Whatsapp offers the possibility of sending promotions, offers, news through groups or mailing lists, which could be comparable, for example, to an email marketing campaign but with a difference: the opening rate of Whatsapp marketing is much higher. Think that we open the application an average of 25 times a day, so it is complicated that they do not see our message if we send it by Whatsapp.
It is an ideal spokesperson for your company to communicate with regular customers and allows us to take advantage of it for different types of content, because it allows us to send from videos to text messages through PDFs, photos or audios among others.
A channel to increase traffic
Not only can we send ads via Whatsapp, but we can use it as a means to generate traffic to other media, such as the blog of our website, for example. If we offer relevant and interesting content to our users, we can increase traffic to our website.
One more way to sell
Whatsapp allows you to adapt your catalog of products or services to the tool and since its implementation, and according to WhatsApp data, every month more than 40 million people consult them. Users who enter a company profile can share both the catalog and the products at the click of a button.
In addition, recently the shopping cart has also been implemented to facilitate the purchase process that is done through the application. Here is an example of how it would work.
A small movie and series merchandising store in Valencia has posted its catalog on Whatsapp. We passed by their shop window on a Sunday and fell in love with one of their products, but the store was closed so we went to their phone for inquiries via Whatsapp. It is a quick way to communicate with them and when we get to it we see their complete catalog and fall into temptation adding to the cart a Baby Yoda stuffed animal, "The Godfather" movie poster and an "ET" mug. When we complete the order we receive a single message to the company with the three products, two more than we thought we would buy when we passed by their shop window.
How to start using Whatsapp as a marketing tool
As with any marketing strategy, before we start sending messages to our customers, it is important to study not only the competition but also our own customers. What can we offer that will be interesting to them? There is no point in bombarding them with messages through a channel if the message is not well targeted. Once it is clear who we are going to target, we can get down to work following a series of guidelines:
- Establish the objectives to be met. Each of the social networks we work with must have independent objectives. For example, on Instagram you want to increase your number of followers, on Pinterest you want to increase traffic to your website and on Whatsapp your goal may be to build customer loyalty. Think about what you want to achieve so that your actions are directed there.
- Increase your database. If we want to communicate through Whatsapp we have to have phone numbers. We can work with other social networks to increase that number of data, but looking for the customer to include us in their contact list. This way the communication will be more accepted since it comes from someone we already know. One way to achieve this is by creating sweepstakes and promotions that are only active via Whatsapp, for example.
- Plan your content. If we are going to use Whatsapp as a means of communication, it is important to do a little pre-planning of content, just as we would do with any other social network. And be careful, it is not good to overdo it. We run the risk of being annoying and becoming a spam account from which everyone avoids.
- Use clear and quick messages. Whatsapp is an ideal medium for fast content, so use simple, impactful and catchy messages, and stay away from long commentaries and podcasts that no one will listen to.
- Use valuable content. If we create a group or a mailing list to share information, it must be relevant information for the user. If we do not comply, we are likely to end up on the blocked list. If during registration for example on our website the customer chooses which topics are of interest to them, we can create different groups according to those interests. For example, a chat for offers and promotions, and another one for news and novelties.
- Speed is vital. If you are going to use Whatsapp as a means to improve your customer service, think that your response must be quick, even if it is to answer that you are already studying their case. Think that it is instant messaging and the customer demands speed in its use. Few things are as annoying as someone leaving you on hold and not replying until three days later.
- Use all the means at your disposal. You can use not only chats to communicate, but also Whatsapp status, for example, or the application's status or stories. A more discreet and even less invasive way of communication.
- Analyze your results. To know if any action or campaign on social networks is effective, an analysis of its results is essential. This step will tell us what does not work so that we can change and improve.
Using a medium that continues to grow is a new opportunity. And if you are not sure what your strategy should be, we can help you along the way. Just contact us to get started and start making the most of an application as common in our daily lives as Whatsapp.
Main photo: Dany Zheng