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WhatsApp Marketing Strategies, Tips and Campaign Examples

Jamie Landry
November 30, 2023
Last Updated On
whatsapp marketing blog header

WhatsApp is an extremely popular messaging app used globally —  in fact, it’s the third-most used social messaging app worldwide. While many marketers might see WhatsApp solely as a direct communication tool, there are many opportunities for brands to leverage the app in their marketing tactics.

This blog explores: 

  • What WhatsApp is. 
  • How to use WhatsApp for marketing. 
  • Benefits of WhatsApp marketing. 

What Is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is a free, central instant messaging software owned by Meta. They offer reliable private messaging worldwide and the ability to call and send photos and create group chats, voice memos, videos and message reactions. 

WhatsApp is widely used globally, especially by friends and family members spread across different countries. It provides a unified platform for communication, allowing people to connect easily, regardless of their mobile phone plans or the devices they use.

It's also a valuable tool for marketing teams, thanks to the availability of WhatsApp Business. This platform is designed for teams aiming to expand their marketing efforts and effectively use WhatsApp for marketing.

WhatsApp Marketing Tools

What WhatsApp marketing tools are available for marketing teams? WhatsApp Business caters to brands of various sizes with two distinct packages, each tailored to meet different business needs.

WhatsApp Business Platform

The WhatsApp Business Platform is for medium to large businesses that want to scale their communication.

Each plan within WhatsApp's Business Platform is equipped with a unique set of features. Marketing teams can access a variety of tools designed to:

  • Send order confirmations and shipping updates. 
  • Offer appointment availability and reminders.
  • Send promotional messages. 
  • Provide shopping opportunities directly from the app. 
  • Push customer issues and queries to your conversational commerce software. 
  • Provide multi-factor authentication and one-time passwords. 
  • Craft custom conversation flows. 

WhatsApp Business App

The WhatsApp Business App is for small businesses that want to manage customer conversations directly. This plan for small businesses doesn’t have quite as many capabilities but is a great way to connect with your customers. Here are some of the features on the WhatsApp Business App: 

  • Sending messages to build relationships and manage customer communication. 
  • Set prices and share e-commerce products directly with customers. 
  • Send new customers a welcome greeting when browsing products. 

How To Use WhatsApp for Marketing

How does WhatsApp marketing work? Brands can use WhatsApp marketing to reach more users and nurture relationships with their existing customers. Here’s how brands can leverage WhatsApp marketing features in their social and e-commerce strategy. 

Group Relevant Demographics 

Brands on WhatsApp can group similar demographics to send bulk messages. Groupings could be made for specific campaigns, remarketing efforts or other specific groups of people you’d like to market to and communicate with.  

Create A Channel For Your Brand 

When brands are on WhatsApp, they create a channel rather than signing up for a personal account. Here, you can send regular messages to people who follow your channel. This is a great way to share blogs, news, memes and other visuals and links you want to get in front of users. To create a channel for your brand: 

  • Open WhatsApp on your mobile device.
  • Click ‘New channel,’ then ‘Get Started.’ 
  • Navigate through the prompts, then name your channel. 

You’re now ready to share communications with your audience. 

Repurpose Content 

We briefly touch on it above, but repurposing content is a great way to market on WhatsApp. While the platform offers great ways to nurture leads, it’s an excellent place to share content with your followers. Share resources, blogs, news, compelling visuals, gift guides and other lists, recipes, and other content relevant to your brand. While visuals can help capture your audiences’ attention, sharing links and quick updates through WhatsApp is a great way to share communication quickly.

Benefits of WhatsApp Marketing

Using WhatsApp for marketing offers brands an additional touchpoint for connecting with customers, along with these added benefits:

  • Expand Reach: In 2024, there were over 47 million WhatsApp users in the United States, presenting a large base of users to speak to. 
  • Lead nurture and generation: Marketers can leverage WhatsApp’s audience to reach more users. Plus, WhatsApp integrates with Meta’s Ad Manager, allowing you to target specific demographics and open a direct line of communication with your audience with a simple prompt. 
  • Product discovery: Share new products and direct-to-purchase links with your audience. 
  • Assist sales: Use WhatsApp to prompt customers to reach out so your team can provide direct, one-on-one customer support. 
  • High open rates: Not only does WhatsApp present a large user base for social teams, but the platform also boasts a 98% open rate for messages. 

WhatsApp Brand Examples

How are brands using WhatsApp marketing in their social media strategy? Here’s how three brands use WhatsApp to communicate with customers and drive sales effectively. 

Absolut

Absolut used WhatsApp in an exciting and creative way to build anticipation and hype for a launch party in Argentina to celebrate their new collection. Absolut created a personified bot named ‘Sven’ to act as the doorman of the party — the catch? Those who wished to attend had to gain an invitation from Sven through chatting and convincing him via WhatsApp. Overall, the campaign received over 600 interactions with Sven via images, texts and audio messages.

Netflix

To amuse and connect with its audience, Netflix uses WhatsApp to share updates on new television shows and movies along with fun seasonal updates for their followers, like the Thanksgiving message shown below. 

netflix whatsapp screenshot
Image credit: @netflix

Chéel 

Chéel is a company that makes sustainable bags. They used WhatsApp to boost brand awareness via QR codes on item tags, which shared more detailed product information with customers when opened. Chéel saw a 70% boost in sales during the campaign, while 80% of new customers used a WhatsApp QR code during the campaign. 

How To Send Marketing Messages on WhatsApp

Sending WhatsApp marketing messages to customers is a great way to speak directly to consumers. Here’s how to send marketing messages on WhatsApp. 

  1. Open the WhatsApp app. 
  2. Tap on the ‘+’ in the top right corner. 
  3. Search for a name, number, or group related contacts in your 

How To Create a WhatsApp Business Account 

Marketing on WhatsApp is a great channel to share campaigns and reach users directly. For brands looking to use or develop their own WhatsApp marketing campaign or use it as a tactic within their broader strategy, they should use a WhatsApp Business Account — here’s how to create one. 

  • Download the WhatsApp Business App from your App Store. 
  • Verify your business phone number with a code sent to your phone. 
  • If you already had a WhatsApp account from which you were sending business communications, you can restore your account in this step. 
  • To name your business, navigate to ‘More Options’ (found in the three dots in the top right corner), then ‘Settings,’ followed by ‘Your business name.’ 

How To Create a WhatsApp Marketing Strategy

Developing a WhatsApp marketing strategy means tapping into the potential of this widely-used messaging platform to interact with customers and showcase products. WhatsApp offers businesses a unique opportunity to connect with their audience meaningfully. Follow these steps to craft a successful WhatsApp marketing strategy:

1. Define Your WhatsApp Demographic

WhatsApp lets you take existing customer data and make custom groupings. If you want to create a new WhatsApp campaign, defining your target demographic is a great idea. Determine their preferences, behaviors, and how they use WhatsApp, and generate custom groupings based on similarities. This insight will guide your tone, content, and message timing. 

2. Align Campaigns With WhatsApp Messages

Define what you want to achieve with your WhatsApp marketing campaign. Whether your goals involve increasing sales, improving customer service or boosting engagement, having clear goals helps you measure success and refine your strategy. 

To effectively incorporate WhatsApp as a tactic in a broader marketing campaign, ensure that your WhatsApp strategies are in sync with the overall campaign objectives. If you’re crafting a campaign around a particular product, use this opportunity to share relevant blogs, use QR codes to let users access more product information, integrate WhatsApp messages into existing product ads and more. 

3. Developing Engaging Content

Content is vital in WhatsApp marketing. Plan content that is engaging, informative and relevant to your audience. Content can include product updates, exclusive offers, event information or helpful tips related to your industry.

4. Personalize Communication

Personalization can significantly increase engagement. Use customer data to send personalized messages or offers. Addressing customers by name and acknowledging their previous interactions with your brand can make your messages more impactful.

5. Monitor and Analyze Performance 

Regularly track the performance of your WhatsApp marketing efforts. Analyze metrics like message open rates, response rates, and customer feedback to understand what works and what doesn’t.

FAQs

How effective is WhatsApp marketing?

WhatsApp marketing can be highly effective, especially for businesses seeking direct customer engagement. Its widespread use — with over 2 billion users globally — offers a vast audience. The platform's personal touch and high open rates, often exceeding email, enhance message visibility. However, effectiveness depends on strategy, content relevance, and adherence to privacy norms. Businesses leveraging personalized, timely messages while respecting user preferences tend to see better engagement and customer loyalty.

How does WhatsApp marketing work? 

WhatsApp marketing enables businesses to communicate directly with customers through the app. Companies use WhatsApp Business to create a professional profile and send messages, such as promotions, updates and customer service communications. They can engage with customers individually or use broadcast lists for broader reach. The platform supports various media types, like text, images and videos, to enhance message appeal. Success in WhatsApp marketing hinges on personalized, relevant content and respecting user privacy and consent.

How do you get WhatsApp numbers for marketing?

The most common way to get numbers for WhatsApp marketing is by including forms on your website when users sign up to request their phone number and consent to talk to them. This can be done by including an opt-in option on your website, during purchase processes or through sign-up forms in-store or at events. Customers must be aware that they're opting in to receive WhatsApp messages and to respect privacy laws and WhatsApp's terms of service. Buying or harvesting numbers without consent is not recommended, as this violates user trust and can lead to legal issues.

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