Remember Blackberry, ICQ and AOL? These were the first instant messaging apps to be embraced commercially. While they served as social connectors to help people communicate more effectively and promptly, few of these messaging apps gave much thought to how they could empower businesses and aid their marketing efforts until WhatsApp and, more specifically, WhatsApp business.
History of WhatsApp
WhatsApp is the brainchild of Brian Acton and Jan Koum – two former Yahoo employees- who created the messaging app for smartphones in 2009. Igor Solomennikov further developed it into the instant messaging platform that we have come to know today. In February of 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion, Facebook’s biggest acquisition to date and a very significant tech acquisition in history. This spurred the growth of WhatsApp as a platform and WhatsApp ads, with FB declaring at the FB developer conference in San Jose in 2018 that WhatsApp users make well over 34 million hours of voice calls and video calls on WhatsApp every day and send 65 billion messages daily. It was also discovered that people engaged with the platform by learning how to advertise products on WhatsApp and learning improved strategies on how to advertise on WhatsApp. In January of 2018, WhatsApp business was developed to help companies engage better with their customers and leverage WhatsApp’s services to improve brand communications via WhatsApp advertising messages. As a result, WhatsApp Marketing became an indispensable marketing tool for small and large businesses.
WhatsApp Use Cases for Businesses
The Inclusion of AI
The inclusion of AI in the form of a chat box can be used to respond to client requests, which helps raise customer satisfaction seamlessly and effortlessly.
Outside of the usual time for customer-started enquiries, organizations can use notifications or template Messages to deliver specific messages such as payment notifications, delivery confirmation, flight time changes, reminders for appointments and bill payments. These notifications are usually cost-based.
With Whatsapp API, customer enquiries can be answered using more visual media, like photos, videos and PDF files. This will help with a more speedy and efficient resolution of business communication concerns. Also, multimedia messages such as videos, gifs and voice messages lead to higher customer engagement and loyalty.
In terms of the WhatsApp business solution, it offers businesses (both small and large) several advantages. One major advantage is that businesses can now do more than customer service and transactional messaging e.g. send product recommendations, offer discounts and deals, notification of new inventories, purchase and order receipts, delivery tracking and notification and appointment reminders, and lots more. Another advantage that WhatsApp business offers SMEs is theIntegration with back-end systems e.g. CRM, payment solution, marketing automation platforms etc to cater to various business activities and needs. Finally, Messaging at scale – Connection to thousands of agents as well as bots to interact with thousands of customers programmatically and manually. Finally, the platform allows businesses to engage in Interactive messaging with various types of buttons such as:
List Messages: Messages including a menu of up to 10 options.
Reply Buttons: Messages including up to 3 options —each option is a button.
“Quick replies” or “Call to action” buttons that users can tap to respond.
Nigerians’ Favourite Social Media Platform
Research has shown that WhatsApp is the most utilized social media platform in Nigeria with about 91.9% (19.6 million) of the country’s population using the platform for daily communication, thereby boosting WhatsApp marketing in Nigeria.
So what makes WhatsApp stand out for Nigerians, and what strategies can help brands reach Nigerians where they are most active?
WhatsApp is exceptionally user-friendly as it allows for one-on-one conversations and engagement with customers.
It enables users to schedule messages to be delivered conveniently and at a later time.
With WhatsApp, users can send unlimited messages; this makes messaging via WhatsApp efficient and cost-effective.
Users can send multimedia messages, from videos to GIFs and other messages.
Messaging process is quick, and the message records stored in the cloud are accessible and reliable.
The platform possesses a non-intrusive feature where notifications can be adjusted to suit the user’s choice.
Businesses in Nigeria can now leverage WhatsApp in their marketing strategy with TerragonPrime in addition to other channels like SMS, Email and Facebook. TerragonPrime is an end to end marketing platform that helps aggregate, enrich and activate consumer data to drive targeted and personalized experiences for cost effective customer acquisition and retention.