What is a WhatsApp Business Account?
The last decade saw a ride of instant messaging services. Starting with chatrooms by websites such as Rediffmail and Yahoo, instant messaging has come a long way. With messenger services such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, businesses can now enhance customer reach and provide outstanding service.
Leveraging the popularity of WhatsApp, its Business Account helps businesses to utilise the platform to reach their consumer base. The main purpose of a WhatsApp business account is to connect businesses with customers and manage orders online. It is an ideal platform for marketing and managing communication between customers and businesses of all kinds, from local businesses to enterprises.
WhatsApp Business users have to create a business profile where they mention company name, contact details, website link, address, and so on. It allows businesses to quickly sort messages and provide automatic replies.
Why Use Business Account on WhatsApp for Marketing Campaigns?
Let’s have a look at the latest data released by Statista. This shows the pace at which the userbase of WhatsApp Status has increased (in millions) from the first quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2019
Not only the user base of WhatsApp is growing, but the new services and features introduced by WhatsApp, such as WhatsApp Status are being adopted more and more by the users.
Hence, businesses can utilise facilities like WhatsApp Status and Business account on WhatsApp to promote and expand their reach.
WhatsApp Business account provides several advantages to business for running marketing campaigns. A few of these advantages include:
- Safety: WhatsApp Business account allows businesses to communicate with their customers securely, within the platform. A plus-point of WhatsApp over traditional business messaging services is that it is connected to one phone number as the point of information.
Hence, with the help of its Business account, WhatsApp eliminates the possibility of fraudulent messages through multiple channels. In addition, businesses can customize their brand name and profile on the Business profile so that customers can easily recognize the brand.
- Delivery: In the cases of traditional methods of correspondence, delivery reports are the farthest a business can check to know the status of their sent messages. However, with WhatsApp Business app, companies can also check if their customers have read the messages sent to them or not.
- Communication: With the help of the WhatsApp business web service, companies can streamline their communication for all the stages in a transaction. From customer acquisition to sales and finally support, WhatsApp for business account assists with seamless communication at every step.
- Reach: As discussed earlier, WhatsApp business helps companies expand their consumer base. However, that’s not all; it provides the ability to create a personalised communication channel for a diverse range of consumer-base across locations.
- Feedback: WhatsApp business account is an efficient tool for survey management with the help of which businesses can receive productive feedback from their customers on the products and services offered. These surveys can be customisable to suit the requirements of a particular company.
- After-Sales Support: By using WhatsApp business account, companies can provide after-sales support to the customers, and address any queries or concerns raised by them.
What is WhatsApp Marketing
WhatsApp for Business offers a space for businesses to market their products and services to increase visibility. With the help of the platform, businesses can send links and multimedia files such as videos, infographics, brochures and catalogues to send proposals and promotional content.
It also helps companies to conduct Research and Development. On WhatsApp, users can create group chats of up to 256 contacts which is ideal for conducting focus groups. With that help of group chats, businesses can organise, coordinate and send invites to corporate events.
Businesses across the globe are realising the potential of WhatsApp marketing and are employing different methods to promote their businesses with the help of the messenger service. Famous brands such as Uber, MakeMyTrip, Singapore Airlines are utilising WhatsApp for Business for executing their marketing campaigns.
How to Use WhatsApp for Marketing
WhatsApp has potential customers of all ages, geographies and regions. Hence it is still an untapped area for any sector. But how to use whats app marketing optimally to make the most out of it? Here are some ways to do WhatsApp marketing and get best results:
- Creating Campaigns: With the help of online and offline campaigns and WhatsApp for Business, you can attract more people to discover and discuss your brand. Campaigns can be targeted and open to all, this will help in creating a buzz and generate more traction.
- Auto Responders: WhatsApp can be used as a great marketing tool to communicate with your potential customers. With the help of APIs provided by WhatsApp, you can automate messages so that less human effort is employed.
- Notification, Promotion and Retention: By using WhatsApp for business, you can use the platform to send periodic notifications to your customers who have opted for it. Messages like new offers, discounts, renewal and expiry of subscriptions, and new arrivals of products and services can be sent from time to time. These messages help in retaining customers and also increasing sales.
- Expanding Reach: With the help of WhatsApp Business, you can reach new customers who are interested. You can make them sign up with the help providing them promotional notifications through other channelssuch as Facebook or your website.
Once they subscribe to the WhatsApp promotions, you can inform them about offers and promotions just like in customer retention.
- Community Forum: You can create a group with your customers and experts, for more engagement. This will help new and old consumers understand about your brand, products and services as well as pitch new arrivals.
WhatsApp Marketing Strategy: Tips to Grow Your Sales
Apart from expanding the consumer base, there are several other strategies that you can employ to grow your sales. Given below are some of the tips to grow businesses using WhatsApp Business optimally:
- Automated Messages: WhatsApp for Business provides the option to customise set automated message templates. Welcome, information gathering, waiting, and away messages can be triggered depending on the query of the customer. This helps minimising the work of manually replying to basic queries of the customer and ensuring prompt response.
Automated messages can also be used to send personalised messages to customers wishing them on festivals, birthdays and anniversaries. This helps in customer retention and rapport building and as CTA reminders.
- WhatsApp Status: With WhatsApp’s ‘Status’ feature which lasts for 24 hours, you can reach a wider audience by broadcasting your products and services. Your customers can be regularly informed about new offers, events promotions and discounts with the help of this WhatsApp marketing tool.
You can also share links of your company’s page or other events through which, you can steer customers to the intended page.
- Informative Profile: As a business, you should keep your business’s logo as your profile picture. While you can periodically change the display picture to include promotional messages and discounts, ensure that your brand is recognisable by including the brand name or logo.
You should also enter the name of your business in the name field instead of your name. This helps users identify the business or brand. In the ‘information’ field, it is recommended that you include your address and/or working hours.
- Multimedia: Everyone loves videos and memes nowadays.Therefore, sharing entertaining videos promote an event or a new product or creating memes to tell them about seasonal discounts is a good way to create a lasting impression on customer’s minds.
You can also do something innovative with audio clips such as theme songs for promotion of your products and services. But remember to keep memes, videos and audio clips short and impactful.
- Voice/Video Conferencing: Lastly, create a WhatsApp video/voice call conferencing system to engage with potential customers or address the queries of existing customers. Video and voice calls provides a personalised experience to the customers and also helps in upselling products.
WhatsApp Marketing Campaign Examples
Case Study#1: The BookMyShow-WhatsApp Partnership
India’s online ticketing giant, BookMyShow partnered with WhatsApp business as their official ticket confirmation channel for the ticket buyers. Once the ticket is purchased, the user receives an M-Ticket, containing a QR-code that is scanned while entering the theatre for the show.
BookMyShow recognised the potential of WhatsApp, which has become a preferred online messenger app for millions across the globe.
BookMyShow leverages two APIs by WhatsApp; i.e. ‘Send API’ and ‘Receive API’ through which, the online boking platform detects whether the customer has a WhatsApp account or not.
If it is the case, BookMyShow send the M-Ticket to their WhatsApp Account. If not, then BookMyShow sends ticketing details as a text message to the user with a link to download WhatsApp.
How Does this Benefit BookMyShow?
The M-Ticketing system on WhatsApp not only helps in creating a database of the customers that buy tickets from the platform, but also helps in upselling. Upselling includes selling other products that moviegoers can buy in the theatre such as popcorn and food.
BookMyShow also benefits from cross-selling, i.e. promoting partner companies at the theatre by sending discount coupons through WhatsApp.
This shows how effective WhatsApp Marketing can be, to promote businesses of all sizes.
Case Study#2: The Netflix-WhatsApp Campaign
Netflix started a campaign partnering with WhatsApp to provide engagement to those who have been dormant for a while.’ In 2017, Netflix initiated this campaign in India and since then, have rolled this campaign in UK as well.
Netflix shares recommendation notifications on WhatsApp whenever a new show or movie comes up. When you enable it, you will receive periodic updates of new releases that suit your taste.
In addition, according to track.in, WhatsApp is about to roll-out a new feature where, Netflix users will be able to send each other links to shows and movies through WhatsApp, which can be streamed in the messaging app itself.
How Does this Benefit Netflix?
Periodic reminders for new releases help Netflix to retain their dormant customers. Even if they stop the Netflix subscription, they will be receiving notifications on their WhatsApp, which might pull them to re-subscribe to the streaming platform.
Hence, WhatsApp is used to increase engagement as well as retain users.
In addition, with this new feature, users will be able to send messages and watch shows simultaneously. This too will enhance engagement for Netflix.
Case Study#3: Absolut-WhatsApp Partnership
Absolut is one of the first brands to partner with WhatsApp for executing a campaign for its limited-edition vodka to increase its market reach. In 2013, Absolut partnered up with WhatsApp to create a marketing campaign for a party.
This was no ordinary party or an ordinary campaign. It included the top celebrities along with two winning tickets for their campaign. The campaign was meticulously designed to cover users across Facebook and WhatsApp. First, a Facebook Campaign was created to make users aware of the party and how the tickets could be won.
Next, Facebook provided the party’s doorman, Sven’s number on which participants could send messages through WhatsApp. On WhatsApp, participants could send videos, images and messages to convince Sven the doorman to give them the tickets.
How Did This Benefit Absolut?
This created a virtual buzz amongst users across Facebook and WhatsApp. Friends sent details of the campaign to each other and went creative with the videos, images and messages. All of this was uploaded on the Facebook campaign’s page and was talked about, across the globe. This resulted in an increase in sales and the campaign became a hit.
WhatsApp Marketing is especially beneficial for small businesses and start-ups and is emerging as the new-age way to promote, sell and expand businesses. People from across the world are discovering the potential of WhatsApp Business to make their brands stand out.
Also, you can check out our Latest List of 10 Free WhatsApp Marketing Software 2019