WhatsApp Marketing Basics

WhatsApp is taking the world by storm! The little messaging app that could shocked us all when it appeared seemingly out of nowhere and started gaining hundreds of millions of users per year, only to be acquired by Facebook for an unprecedented $19 billion. Currently, it is the number one messaging app in the world – small wonder, then, that many companies are exploring its potential as a marketing vector. With that in mind, we’d like to introduce you, dear reader, to the basics of WhatsApp marketing with WhatsApp business api.

WhatsApp’s rise to prominence

WhatsApp was originally founded all the way back in 2009 – in those dark, dark days before the mass adoption of smartphones. Could you believe it was once available on BlackBerries? It was one of the very first instant messaging apps designed specifically with phones in mind.

It quickly found mass adoption across the globe, especially in developing markets, where pre-paid phone plans without unlimited free texting are still the most popular form of service. By offering an almost free alternative (requiring a nominal subscription fee of $1 every year), WhatsApp quickly captured the hearts of hundreds of millions of users. By 2013, the company announced it had almost half a billion users.

Examples of WhatsApp marketing campaigns

While WhatsApp may enjoy massive popularity – 60 billion messages sent every day, 40% market penetration amongst users aged 18-29 – its potential as a marketing vector still hasn’t been realised. It’s a largely unexplored area, even after many years of market dominance.

As such, there is no single recipe for success when it comes to WhatsApp marketing. The best we can do is learn from good examples set by other brands.

The WhatsApp campaign by Hellmann’s is one of the most well-known campaigns to make use of WhatsApp. In order to promote mayonnaise as a cooking ingredient rather than just a simple condiment, Brazilian WhatsApp users were invited to take a photo of the contents of their fridges and send them to Hellmann’s. These photos were then looked at by actual chefs, who suggested recipes based on the contents of the photo – naturally, all featuring Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

This campaign was a smash hit – around 13,000 people used the service, spending an average of 65 minutes interacting with the brand. This, in turn, led Hellmann’s to roll out the campaign in other South American markets.

Or perhaps the campaign ran by Absolut Vodka in Argentina – who decided to launch their new bottle collection with a very exclusive party. Said party only had two invitations available to the public – and it was up to Sven, the bouncer to decide who got them. WhatsApp users were invited to talk to Sven and convince him that they deserved the invites. The campaign was a hit, generating over a thousand photos and videos of people vying for the invitation.

WhatsApp marketing tips

Gather your contacts

There are ways for you to gather contacts. You can hold a seminar or exhibition and make sure the participants fill in a form with WhatsApp contacts. Your seminar/exhibition may not bring in sales, but you can follow-up those WhatsApp numbers and convert them to sales later.

You can also gather contacts with other social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Run a simple promo on social media that requires your customers to fill in their WhatsApp contact.

Ask customers to save your contacts

The purpose is making sure your customers can receive your broadcast message. Make sure the participants filling in the form and remind them to immediately save your contacts on their mobile phones.

Send broadcast regularly

Remember, do not annoy your customers by spamming messages after messages. Set the delivery time properly so the recipient will not block your contact because you send them too often.

Keep messages short, but interesting enough. Customize the message content with your customer demographics. For high school and university students, use unique pictures, GIFs, or stickers but still relevant.

Utilizing social media as a marketing tool is an effective way to boost your sales. WhatsApp as one of the most popular chats and social media platforms in the world can also be utilized by businesses to market their products and services.

To improve their customer service, some businesses also integrate WhatsApp service with ERP software or such. For example, integrating WhatsApp with a CRM or Helpdesk system to provide your customers with better services.