How to use WhatsApp to improve marketing for your small business

How to use WhatsApp to improve marketing for your small business

Words: Belinda Connolly

No longer is WhatsApp simply an app for keeping in touch with friends and family. With 2 billion monthly active users globally, it has morphed into a powerful tool for businesses to engage with their audience quickly and easily. The app had 36 million downloads in October 2023 alone and its popularity shows no sign of abating.  

WhatsApp is hugely popular for marketing and business throughout Asia and Europe, and it’s only a matter of time before Australian brands recognise its potential. Read on for all you need to know about leveraging WhatsApp in your marketing. 

The rise of messaging apps for marketing  

WhatsApp provides a direct and personal channel to communicate with your audience. Its end-to-end encryption ensures conversations are private and secure, which builds trust with your customers. Plus, people love the convenience of messaging – it’s quick, easy, and doesn’t require them to switch between apps.  

WhatsApp Business is different to the family chat or friends group you’re in. The professional version has two options: 

WhatsApp Business Platform is for medium to large businesses communicating with customers at scale through programmatic access. 

It allows you to: 

  • send order confirmations and shipment updates, and share appointment availability or other reminders with customers 
  • optimise support costs and increase efficiency 
  • make promotions feel more personal 
  • create a friction-free buyer journey. 

WhatsApp Business App is for small businesses who personally manage conversations with customers. It is ideal for: 

  • communicating one-on-one with your clients throughout the purchase process 
  • showcasing your products 
  • building relationships. 

So, which businesses are embracing WhatsApp in their marketing to improve efficiencies and provide an improved customer experience? 

Despite being one of Europe’s oldest airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is one of the first to embrace these innovations to assist with creating a seamless customer experience. They integrated WhatsApp into their customer service strategy, allowing passengers to receive their flight details, check-in notifications, make booking changes and chat with customer service reps via the app. Result? Increased customer satisfaction and efficiency. 

How WhatsApp improves your ROI  

WhatsApp can be a robust driver of Return on Investment (ROI) for brands. Direct communication allows nurture of leads, guiding customers through the sales funnel and completing transactions within the app. It’s like having a 24/7 sales representative in your customer’s pocket. 

Hellmann’s Mayonnaise saw a way to use WhatsApp to help their customers in Brazil find recipe inspiration and use up leftovers with a side of mayo. With a paid media budget of just $900 they launched a WhatsApp campaign called ‘WhatsCook.’ The ten-day campaign involved users inputting the ingredients in their fridge, and the app would suggest recipes using Hellmann’s products. The result? A 65% increase in brand recall and a surge in Hellman’s sales.  

Creating conversations 

WhatsApp isn’t just about broadcasting your marketing messages; it’s about creating meaningful conversations. The app allows for one-on-one interactions, fostering a sense of exclusivity and personal connection with your brand. 

Absolut Vodka used WhatsApp to deliver their ‘Unique Access’ campaign in Argentina. As part of the campaign, customers were required to contact an AI bouncer called Sven to let them into an IRL celebrity-filled party. People sent texts, photos and videos begging Sven for an invite, resulting in 1000 messages to Sven and a personalised customer experience that resonated with Absolut’s audience. 

Building communities and fostering loyalty 

A feature that boosted WhatsApp’s popularity as a messaging app is also a key strength of its use as a digital marketing tool. WhatsApp communities are topic-based groups where users share information and updates, allowing everyone in the group to respond.  

Brands can create communities where customers with similar interests can engage, share experiences, and become part of a larger brand family. WhatsApp communities have been used by fans of the Korean boyband BTS in Indonesia. The group shares announcements and news, and even launched a successful fundraiser on the app.  

Whether you’re a small business or an established brand, the opportunities for using WhatsApp are endless. Start creating authentic conversations, nurturing leads, and building communities. Connect with your audience where they are, and watch your ROI skyrocket.  

The era of WhatsApp marketing is here – don’t get left behind! We can help you create a digital marketing strategy that uses WhatsApp to personalise the customer experience while creating efficiencies. Find out more today. 

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