This article is contributed by Sumit Gupta, Founder - Whizard API (Whatsapp Business Solutions).
The meager mention of social media marketing rings the bell of the names of our preferred apps. However, in this era of instant messaging, what often goes unnoticed is that WhatsApp can be an equally beneficial marketing platform. As per Statista, with a global monthly user base of 2 billion, WhatsApp is one of the most popular instant messaging apps outranking Facebook, Instagram, and WeChat. This is one of the major reasons why WhatsApp marketing is gradually gaining prominence amongst businesses as an innovative route to reach their customers!
WhatsApp Marketing: The new fad
Customers across age groups prefer chatting over voice calls especially for connecting with businesses and their query resolution. According to a joint study conducted by Nielsen with a leading conversation media marketing platform, young Indian customers specifically prefer chatting over audio and video calling. Half of the respondents (50%) surveyed shared that chatting over messaging apps is easy and fun to communicate. As per Outgrow’s survey, 69% of consumers at the global level prefer chatbots because they provide quick and simple responses to their queries. 56% of users prefer chatbots for query resolution rather than calling customer support.
As per industry estimates, the engagement rate of WhatsApp is over 70% and an open rate of approximately 97-99%. These stats are indicative of the fact that WhatsApp is the most widely used and preferred messaging platform amongst customers. They trust brands with chat apps and chatbots all the more and would be inclined towards purchasing from the brands that reach them via chats. Businesses are thus considering WhatsApp Marketing via the assistance of WhatsApp chatbots as the new-age marketing strategy for promoting their offerings as well as for seamless and effective communication with their customer base.
Benefits of WhatsApp Marketing for businesses
Tapping customers across geographies
The concept of WhatsApp Marketing works with a chat marketing principle and a customer-centric strategy. It helps businesses to scale their venture and have a robust digital presence thereby empowering them to connect seamlessly with their customers spread across urban as well as rural areas. To ensure this, they are adopting multilingual WhatsApp chatbots that enable ease of communication and allow businesses to reach linguistically and culturally diverse target audiences effectively.
For businesses, ‘the customer is the king’. WhatsApp Marketing works with a customer-centric approach and helps businesses take decisions and operate keeping their preferences, demands, and behaviors into consideration. Contrary to the notion that WhatsApp Marketing is intrusive, it is in fact one of the best permission-based marketing channels where customers possess the power to share the contact number or refuse the offer!
The messaging app provides a plethora of opportunities for the personalization of messaging experiences. The WhatsApp chatbots offer personalized experiences to the customers by capturing data and offering smooth automated conversations. This ensures that the customers are satisfied, happy and engaged. This also allows businesses to expand their customer reach and enjoy a competitive edge in the market.
Fostering valuable relationships with customers
Leveraging the power of WhatsApp chatbots, WhatsApp Marketing helps build deeper connections with the customer base. The valuable connections with the customers eventually help reduce operational costs for businesses since customer retention is perceived to be financially feasible as compared to acquisition.
A diverse set of features
The app comes with a diverse set of features. WhatsApp broadcast and group allowing businesses to share a variety of content including brochures, catalogs, and videos to 256 people at once, status sharing along with audio and video calling; all of these features can be leveraged to reach out to the existing customer base as well as tap the potential customers. WhatsApp Business API’s integration with chatbots is also being used for facilitating effective customer interaction with their automation, speech recognition, and image recognition features.
The bots manage multiple customer queries in real-time and allow live interaction experiences to the customers helping in instant resolution of their queries. They allow seamless online payments as well by facilitating integrations with third-party payment gateways.
The transition from notification-based to conversation-based model
WhatsApp will soon be transitioning from a notification-based model to a conversation-based pricing model and will also be introducing new features. These innovations will further help in fostering meaningful conversations between businesses and customers.
On the whole, it would be appropriate to say that WhatsApp Marketing allows businesses to offer superior customer experiences. This further paves the way for customer satisfaction and loyalty. Once the customers are engaged and happy, they tend to stick around for long. This customer satisfaction and retention eventually carve the path for greater conversions and boosted sales.
Businesses, in order to have a competitive edge, need to adopt new-age marketing strategies. WhatsApp is popular amongst the customers and is preferred for communication with brands and query resolution. With the right tools in place, the marketing capabilities of the most popular instant messaging app can be enhanced significantly. Due to the growing prominence of the messaging app, WhatsApp Marketing is thus emerging to be the ideal solution for businesses to connect and engage with their customers!