As we enter another year and decade, one of the patterns that digital marketing specialists all over the world have been discussing is ‘WhatsApp Marketing’ and how it can assist brands to reach out to their consumers successfully.

With more than 1.5 billion users over the globe, the Facebook-owned application is one of the most popular and frequently used Apps on the planet.

At a recent Facebook Marketing Summit (FMC) 2019 in the Netherlands, the organization declared that it will show 'Status Promotions' to its clients where they will have the option to see the name of the sponsor alongside their related ad. This is expected to open a conduit of opportunities for brands keen on getting up-close and personal with their purchasers.

WhatsApp Key Statistics

  • 1.5 billion users in 180 countries makes WhatsApp the most-popular messaging app in the world – 0.2 billion more than stablemate Facebook Messenger
  • One billion daily active WhatsApp users
  • India is the biggest WhatsApp market in the world, with 200 million users (it’s estimated in some quarters that this has increased to 300 million)
  • 120 million WhatsApp users in Brazil
  • US WhatsApp market relatively small, at 23 million
  • WhatsApp market penetration highest in the Netherlands, at 85%, followed by Spain (83.1%) and Italy (83%)
  • 450 million users of WhatApp Status, eclipsing Snapchat Stories
  • Three million users of WhatsApp Business
  • 65 billion WhatsApp messages sent per day, or 29 million per minute
  • Two billion minutes spent making WhatsApp voice and video calls per day
  • 55 million WhatsApp video calls made per day, lasting 340 million minutes in total
  • 85 billion hours of WhatsApp usage measured May-July 2018
  • WhatsApp acquired by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014

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How Marketers Can Utilize WhatsApp’s New Features for Digital and Social Media Marketing?

Today, there are two services from WhatsApp that can be utilized by marketers to reach out and get in touch with their consumers. The first one is the Whatsapp for business app, that can be utilized by private companies and the other being, WhatsApp for Business API that has been intended to be used by medium and huge organizations to inform their consumers about their services and products.

For a very long time, one-way interaction with the customers was the only way advertising could function. The development in the services available on the internet has permitted brands to get more and more personal with their consumers and have allowed for increasingly interactive and two-way communication. The most important aspect in driving a successful marketing campaign is knowing how the customers are reacting, and tailoring the ads as per the individuals' needs. The new Whatsapp feature allows the companies to do exactly this.

With the Whatsapp for business app, small companies can maintain a simple product catalog and have features like auto-respond which helps them respond to their customer's queries. It is similar to the normal Whatsapp application and can be simply installed on the devices without much hassle. The limiting factor is that it needs to be controlled manually and cannot cater to more than 100 consumers.

The WhatsApp Business API, on the other hand, caters to large and medium enterprises. It allows dealing with consumers on a large scale, having much fewer restrictions and providing enterprises with more tools to customize their advertisements. It also requires more commitment, as the companies have to invest in setting up a dedicated infrastructure to use WhatsApp business API.

It’s Already Showing a Huge Promise! 

Considering the wide user base of the app, it makes for a platform where the companies can reach out to an already engaged audience. The initial survey data shows a very promising result that has been unprecedented in the realm of marketing.

According to a study by Hootsuite, a social media managing platform, the early engagement rates of WhatsApp based advertisements are distinctly high. 98% of the messages were interacted by the consumers, 93% of them being open and read under 3 seconds of being received.

The wide reach of the app can be leveraged by brands to tap into an untouched consumer segment on a personalized level.

Moreover, the messaging interface of the app makes it very susceptible to getting clicked on and checked by consumers, and as the nature of the ad is personal it evokes a desire in the consumer to interact with it. As the services are conversational in nature and can be interacted with, a lot of sectors like travel, hotels, and niche news channels are already successfully utilizing it to reach out to their customers.

You too can benefit from this and become a leading marketing expert on Whatsapp. We provide the Executive Programme on Digital & Social Media Marketing Strategy (EPDSMMS) by IIM Calcutta which is aimed at honing your skills and making you ready to fully utilize the new emerging platform. The six months long course with live online classes is designed to hone the digital marketing skills of the learners and help them in planning and implementing the digital and social media marketing activities to create awareness, and ultimately drive sales.