WhatsApp Marketing: how to develop a powerful campaign today?

The Digital report in 2019 – Capital Smart City Islamabad by Hootsuite and We Are Social reveals that WhatsApp is the second most used social network by Spaniards, after YouTube. Which means that it is the chat app with the greatest market penetration, an important fact if it is considered that 85% of Spaniards communicate via mobile messaging.

What is WhatsApp Marketing?

WhatsApp marketing is a digital marketing strategy that is based on the use of the WhatsApp mobile application. This strategic use consists in fully exploiting the features that this platform offers in terms of instant messaging.

In this sense, a WhatsApp marketing strategy involves actions that range from mere direct communication with users to the sending of valuable content.

Thus, campaigns through this platform can be part of global inbound marketing, customer service and even inbound sales strategies.

Although WhatsApp is not a tool designed for commercial contexts, the innovative approach of brands has allowed it to expand its use beyond the social and the familiar.

In this way, companies have begun to sow their seeds in a very fertile territory, as a platform that offers so many advantages cannot be left out of a digital marketing strategy, don’t you think?

WhatsApp in the world: numbers speak for themselves

In 2014, the WhatsApp company was bought by Facebook for $ 19,000 million. The reason? The giant of the blue social network saw in the mobile app all the potential it could develop in the market. 

Since then, WhatsApp has had a constant, accelerated and unstoppable growth. Some data that prove it are:

  • In 2016:
    • More than 1,000 calls were made per second (100 million a day).
    • The number of monthly users was 1,000 million .
  • In 2017:
    • The number of daily users was 1,000 million .
    • Daily 55,000 million messages, 4.5 billion photos and one billion videos were sent.
    • The “WhatsApp status” was used by 175 million people every day .
  • In 2018:
    • The sum of 2,000 million minutes per day was recorded in calls .
    • The number of monthly users was 1.5 billion .

These high success rates are not fortuitous. Behind them is the entire financial, technological and communicational background of one of the most powerful corporations in the world (Facebook) , which makes this application a digital marketing channel with unprecedented potential. And we are here so you can get all your juice. You add up?

WhatsApp Business: what is it and why is it causing marketing fury?

WhatsApp Business is the “commercial brother” of WhatsApp, an application that is originally designed for the deployment of WhatsApp marketing campaigns. This means that it has multiple functions that are helping companies communicate better with their customers and sell much more.

Some of its characteristics that cause more commercial fury are:

  • Company profile: it is the option to add important information about the organization, such as the location on Google Maps, hours of operation, description, email and a web link.
  • Broadcast lists: they work similarly to email lists, but instead of emails, contact lists are created to which messages can be massively sent.
  • Automatic replies: it is possible to configure automatic welcome, absence or other messages. These are sent every time a user writes by chat.
  • Statistics dashboard: although it is basic and limited (for now), there is a panel with statistics on messages delivered, sent, read and received.
  • Business API: The API WhatsApp is a very powerful and versatile resource, allowing, among others, creating a personalized chatbot to automate interactions.

While it is true that WhatsApp Business is specially designed for customer relations, it is also true that the standard version of WhatsApp is still extremely useful for marketing. Even the latter has more market penetration than the business version. Did you know?

8 advantages of executing WhatsApp Marketing strategies

WhatsApp is a completely different communication channel from everyone else. It is direct, practical and fast like no other. These features give you a series of exclusive advantages for your WhatsApp marketing campaigns. Eight of the most important advantages are:

  1. There are no algorithms that harm you.
  2. You get more visibility than any other channel.
  3. You can check the success of your shipments.
  4. You have a wide variety of content formats.
  5. There is little competition in the market.
  6. You optimize the use with the WhatsApp Web version.
  7. You improve the experiences through the person to person.
  8. You distribute any type of strategic content.

Discover more advantages of these types of strategies with our Inbound Marketing Results report of Blue world city Islamabad.

1. There are no algorithms that harm you

Neither in standard WhatsApp nor in Business there are content positioning algorithms, so your organic reach is 100% assured. This means that there is no system that classifies your content as relevant or irrelevant or distributes its scope from it.

This is a big difference between WhatsApp marketing and SEO positioning or social media marketing. In the latter, their algorithms sometimes become a difficult enemy to overcome.

Google, for example, applies changes to its algorithm every day . The same goes for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And that is a great advantage over them, don’t you think?

2. You get more visibility than any other channel

Smartphone users check WhatsApp notifications more than any other application. This is because, beyond being a social network, WhatsApp is a telephony application. It has become the basic and essential tool for messaging communications and even for calls or video calls.

Thus, the messages sent through this application are much more likely to be read than through other channels, such as emails or social networks. Even better is that CTR rates on sent links are also higher compared to other channels.

3. You can check the success of your shipments

One of the challenges in developing an advertising campaign is to overcome the uncertainty about whether or not audiences are receiving advertising messages.

In the case of WhatsApp marketing, this uncertainty is reduced to almost 100% thanks to the popular double blue check, which indicates which recipients read the messages and at what time, data of great importance to check the effectiveness of shipments.

4. You have a wide variety of content formats

More and more content formats can be sent and received through the application. Today, WhatsApp allows formats such as videos, images, audios, GIFs, stickers, emoticons and, of course, texts.

In addition, and that very important for business , you can send PDF files, documents, spreadsheets or presentations, among others.

These formats allow you to communicate a creative, clear and direct message, according to your WhatsApp Marketing strategy. 

And now the question is: what formats will come in the future?

5. There is little competition in the market

The level of competence in terms of strategies by WhatsApp can be analyzed from two perspectives:

On the one hand, the WhatsApp application is a world leader. Reach more users than any other messaging app. This means that if you are in WhatsApp, you are with the champions.

On the other hand, there are few companies that are developing marketing campaigns on WhatsApp. This means that you can take the initiative in your sector and take advantage of your lagging competitors.

6. Optimize the use with the WhatsApp Web version

WhatsApp Web is the version of the application that you can use on your computer through a web browser (Mozilla, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, among others). By doing so, the convenience of use is multiplied by being able to count on the functionalities of your hardware: microphone, webcam and keyboard.

This allows you to work more comfortably in the interaction with your contacts and stop depending on the limitations of your smartphone. 

7. Improve the experiences through the person to person

53% of people feel more confident to do business with a company if they can contact their staff directly by courier ( Nielsen and Facebook ). In this sense, interacting with WhatsApp with your customers generates high levels of satisfaction and trust.

The reason for this is that communications by this application are 1: 1, that is, from person to person directly, humanized and with confidence.

8. Distribute any type of strategic content

WhatsApp is not only about sending messages, but about the ability to exploit the tool as a service, interaction and promotion channel. Thus, through the application you can, among other things …

  • Inform about offers and promotions.
  • Make draws and contests.
  • Notify about news and news.
  • Provide a customer service.
  • Confirm orders, shipments or reservations.
  • Promote the visit to your website or social networks.
  • Send interesting content for users.

8 keys to developing a powerful WhatsApp Marketing campaign

A very wise statement by HubSpot is that “the biggest threat to your company is not competition, but to offer a poor customer experience.” This premise applies to all types of business strategies, including those for digital marketing by WhatsApp.

Therefore, you must take into account a series of keys when conducting a WhatsApp marketing campaign that is satisfactory for your customers and profitable for your business.

The 8 keys to achieve this are:

  1. Clearly define the goals of using WhatsApp.
  2. Promote the registration of your telephone number.
  3. Lean on the statistics of other channels.
  4. Keep the clarity and freshness of your messages.
  5. Design attractive and fast-consuming audiovisual content.
  6. Use the “state” for non-invasive information.
  7. Create and manage a group that brings value.
  8. Respond immediately and set schedules.

You can learn more about it with the guide How to launch an inbound marketing campaign . Do not miss it!

1. Clearly define the objectives of your marketing on WhatsApp

As in any high impact marketing plan, having clear objectives is something absolutely necessary. This brings coherence and organization, avoids mistakes and promotes good quality.

Before you start using WhatsApp as a marketing channel for your business, you must ask yourself (and answer) issues such as:

  • Why am I going to use it? (The benefits you expect to achieve).
  • How will I use it? (Choose the function you need: customer service, sales processes, sending promotions, collecting opinions, etc.).
  • When will I use it? (Only on weekends, only during the week, 24/7, by seasons, etc.).
  • Who am I going to address? (Define your buyer specific person for WhatsApp).

2. Promote the registration of your telephone number

Because WhatsApp is based on the person to person interaction, trust is fundamental. People do not want to receive messages from strangers, as this application is still a social network in which users prefer to admit only to their circle of interest.

For this reason, you must design tactics to promote your customers or potential customers to register your number on their respective smartphones. So you become a contact of his and enter his circles of trust to more effectively deploy your WhatsApp Marketing strategy.

From InboundCycle we give you some tactics that you can put into practice:

  • Generate traffic from your social networks and website to your WhatsApp. Let your audience know that, through this channel, you can serve them in a more direct and personalized way.
  • Create offers, contests, promotions or raffles in which people should contact you on WhatsApp.
  • Set more flexible hours of service by WhatsApp compared to your other channels. If on Facebook you only attend from 8 am to 4 pm, by WhatsApp it can be from 8 am to 8 pm.

3. Lean on the statistics of other channels

WhatsApp Business offers a statistics panel that, for most cases, is not as functional as we would like. Therefore, you must use your email marketing and social media marketing analytics to be able to determine in WhatsApp aspects such as:

  • What days and at what time users are usually more receptive to emails and publications.
  • What are the types of content that people most like to receive.
  • What are the content formats that attract the most attention in users.

With data like these you can better design your inbound marketing content strategy by WhatsApp.

4. Keep the clarity and freshness of your messages

Although you can rely on your email marketing analytics, you should keep in mind that WhatsApp is not an email platform. Here, the messages you send should be:

  • Short: remember that it is a chat, people want to be able to read each message at a glance.
    • Direct: say what you have to say, avoid generating uncertainty or confusion. 
  • Sure: do not wander into ideas, make your message understood very well at the first reading.
  • Relevant: focus on the interest of your audience, not in your personal or commercial interest.
  • Compact: send all content in the same message, not in several messages, because these are annoying:

5. Design attractive and fast-consuming audiovisual content

WhatsApp users are usually very good audiovisual consumers, because the text is not among their favorite options. You can get high levels of engagement if you send content in formats such as:

  • Compact infographics
  • Short videos
  • Explanatory images
  • Audios with good quality

If your content is interesting, then these formats make it easy for them to be shared and viralized by your audience. This allows you to achieve an unprecedented organic reach.

On the other hand, when using texts you can enrich your design through different formats: italic, bold, strikethrough and monospaced .

You can also create your own custom GIFs , use emoticons to convey emotions and share links to encourage interactivity and generate traffic.

The secret of the contents in WhatsApp marketing is to adapt to your audience, to your style and personality.

6. Use the “state” for non-invasive information

In some opportunities and contexts direct messages can be invasive. If the users have not started a conversation with you, then they are not waiting or want you to start it.

Let, then, that they themselves make the decision to consume your content. The ideal method for this is to use the “WhatsApp states” (the equivalent of Instagram stories).

Through them you can publish any type of information, audiovisual and interactive, available only for 24 hours.

7. Create and manage a group that brings value

WhatsApp groups can include up to 256 members. If you have your contact list well organized and segmented, this option is extremely useful for your WhatsApp marketing strategy.

As long as your contacts agree, you can add them to different groups according to their topics of interest. In each group you have to share valuable information for both your audience and your company. This implies encouraging and generating collective conversations around new product launches, invitations to events, technical support or raffles, among others.

8. Respond immediately and set schedules

Unlike other channels, WhatsApp users expect to receive immediate responses to their messages. They know that you have your smartphone always at your fingertips, especially if they see the typical “online” notification. If you do not respond to them on time, they will feel that you are ignoring them.

However, this situation is very common in communications between companies and audiences, which generates high rates of dissatisfaction. This represents for you an opportunity to provide differentiating experiences, increase the reputation of your brand and generate empathy in your audience.

Do not see as an obligation to respond quickly, assume it as an opportunity to build customer loyalty through WhatsApp marketing in real time.

On the other hand, a very viable technique to be able to better manage your time is to establish “business hours”. In the description of your profile you can place the time in which you are available (to attend quickly).

Real cases of successful marketing campaigns on WhatsApp

‘Hybridize’ by Toyota

Even before the purchase of WhatsApp by Facebook, Toyota had already begun to execute WhatsApp marketing strategies on a massive level. In 2012, it launched the “Hybridize” campaign, which consisted of raffling an iPhone 5 among users who placed the word  hybridized” in their states.

The result? Traffic of more than 33,000 visitors and about 6,500 users registered in the contest only during the first month.

Toyota’s WhatsApp marketing strategy is repeated. In 2015 and, instead of raffling a smartphone, the prize is a Toyota Aygo model vehicle.

To participate, people had to use the messaging app to “flirt” with a company representative. In the attempt of seduction everything was valid, from the use of creative texts to the sending of images, audios or videos.

The result? Figures above 17,000 participants and 89,000 conversations generated. Plus extensive media coverage.

WhatsApp Marketing in SMEs: “Casa Ana” and Taxis in Almería

  • Casa Ana: Casa Ana is a grocery store that doubled its sales thanks to a WhatsApp campaign. This consisted of giving students in the area the option to place orders through the app before recess time. Thus, when leaving, they could go looking for them without delay.
  • Taxis in Almería: Taxi lines in Almería implemented the option to receive unit requests through WhatsApp. One of the keys to the success of this strategy was the functionality of geolocation offered by the mobile app. This served so that taxi drivers could know exactly where the customers were.
WhatsApp Marketing taxis in Almeria

Source: La Edition newspaper

Get inspired here with more success stories of inbound marketing in Spain.

WhatsApp marketing strategies are characterized by their levels of effectiveness and unprecedented cost reduction. No other communication channel has all these benefits detailed throughout the article.

However, for your campaign to be 100% successful it must be planned under the best practices of inbound marketing. Otherwise, you run the risk of affecting the reputation of your brand, driving away your potential customers and generating such annoying spam. 

And you, have you already integrated WhatsApp in your marketing strategy? Tell me in the comments!