WhatsApp is the most popular mobile messenger App based on Monthly Active Users. As of February 2020, the platform hit the 2 billion user mark. They committed in a statement announcing their milestone, to continue connecting the world privately with their end to end encryption.
Although WhatsApp does not sell Ads directly, with innovative strategies, it provides a low-cost platform to market to your target audience.
Before we explore the possible marketing tactics that we may use, let's look at the smartphone penetration. The GSMA SSA Mobile economy report 2019, predicted smartphone penetration in Africa to rise to 66% by 2025. It means that Smartphone messaging Apps like WhatsApp are going to continue on their growth trajectory. As a business, you cannot afford to ignore the platforms where your customers spend their time.
Businesses can use any of these tactics to reach their customers through WhatsApp:
1. Use WhatsApp for business instead of the regular one WhatsApp for business is free to download and set up. With it, you can create a business profile, save quick replies from your Frequently Asked Questions, automate messages, using set business times and get stats on audience engagement.
2. Build your contact database- Although WhatsApp is not a marketer's obvious choice for marketing, brands can leverage this fact. For this audience to see your marketing messages, you have to have a mutual connection to them. Build a contact database to communicate. You can include a WhatsApp plugin that leads to your customer care number on your website. Your customers can click to chat with you on WhatsApp. This way, the people who contact you will opt into your contact database. Once you have a database, try running marketing campaigns like these.
3. Explore the option of WhatsApp groups- Groups are an avenue to reach segmented audiences with tailored messages. Each WhatsApp group can accommodate up to 256 members. Although, you should proceed cautiously. People do not like receiving notifications constantly and worse yet, having irrelevant content shared by group members. Nonetheless, this is a strategy that has worked for brands like MumsVillage and Still A Mum, that have WhatsApp groups to discuss different parenting aspects.
4. Use WhatsApp stories- Stories are a great way to have your brand advertisements seen by your contacts. WhatsApp stories disappear after 24 hours. You can use them to advertise limited offers, events, a sale; the options are limitless. The good thing is you can see the number of people who saw your story. An interesting metric is that WhatsApp has a 70% engagement rate.
5. How about WhatsApp for customer feedback? Feedback is vital for any business. WhatsApp is a great channel to collect customer feedback. Why not ask single question surveys, for you to improve your product or service? You can also use this as a strategy to improve your customer retention.
What other WhatsApp tactics do you think marketers can incorporate into their strategy? Please share, we would love to learn from you.