The most popular messaging app in the world today is WhatsApp. It’s used by 500 million people every day and boasts two billion active users monthly. It’s omnipresent in a lot of people’s daily activity and connects millions of people around the globe with instant messaging capabilities.

For brands, putting yourself in the same space as your audience is a business imperative and with so many active WhatsApp users – 12 million in Australia alone – missing out on the capabilities this communications platform has to offer can mean missing out on new business.

Brands now have the ability to harness the influence and reach that WhatsApp can offer, allowing greater engagement, connection and accessibility to drive loyalty and customer retention.

Meeting your customers where they live

Today, more Australians use WhatsApp than Facebook Messenger. Globally, it outranks WeChat in its user base, with 1.2 billion users, and overshadows Facebook Messenger at 988 million users. WhatsApp handles more than 100 billion messages daily, with many of these communications being personalised and direct marketing messages from brands to their existing or potential customers.

Who’s using WhatsApp though? Research shows that Millennials and Gen Z are the most invested in the free messaging and video call app, with 54 per cent of Millennials and 51 per cent of Generation Z using WhatsApp daily.

With newer generations engaging online from young ages, digital natives want to interact with brands in the ways they feel comfortable with. That means meeting them where they reside with instant messaging that answers questions and delivers a sublime customer experience.

 How To Make Friends And Influence People

In addition to building your brand, WhatsApp can also be used for sending and receiving payments. Business owners can use the in-app store to offer truly mobile storefronts, complete with products, pricing, location information, opening hours, and website and social media links. WhatsApp stories can even be used to inform clients of new product launches, awards won and client success you have achieved.

To handle this wealth of different customer interactions, brands are turning to Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) systems to manage their WhatsApp engagement and other instant messaging needs.

Cloud-based multi-channel marketing platforms and APIs are used to programmatically send and receive messages. CPaaS providers integrate workflows with brand operated CRMs or other customer care system while also providing end-to-end encryption to enable better communications through WhatsApp and other messaging channels.

Engaging And Informative Messaging

WhatsApp is first and foremost a personal messaging app, meaning that marketing content shouldn’t be too promotional or salesy and not frequent. Enabling one-to-one interactions and personalised marketing content, WhatsApp can be utilised by brands to build and engage audiences.

It’s simple to celebrate significant occasions, such as New Year, Diwali, Ramadan, or Christmas, with greetings to your customers, suppliers, and partners. WhatsApp marketing delivers one-to-one interactions and personalised marketing opportunities enabling the customer to feel like they are enjoying a chat with a friend.

This casualised style of discussion suits generations used to texting as their primary way of communicating. Instead of picking up the phone and making a call, instant chat messages, which became normalised through the rise of SMS, suit quick fire communication from people who don’t want to be placed on hold, left to linger on the line or forced to leave a voice mail and hope for a call back.

Taking It To Another Level

WhatsApp can also facilitate conversations between a brand ambassador and consumers. These types of influencer marketing activities build a full-spectrum marketing experience that reaches customers in a convenient way.

To encourage two-way communication in these situations, CPaaS platforms let brands build a series of automated conversations and journeys in the voice of an influencer or spokesperson across a range of channels, to build authentic interactions with the help of chatbots.

Customers can even become part of the experience with users choosing the type of content they want to receive, from themed videos to exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, exclusive links to purchase limited edition products and access to special features and events.

This Is Only The Beginning

And this is only the beginning. With CPaaS platforms brands can communicate with customers over WhatsApp using a massive range of content types.

From images, videos and files to web links, audio files and buttons – Cloud-based CPaaS platforms ensure that you can communicate using the type of content and calls to action that can help your business develop lasting customer relationships, improve retention, and ultimately drive sales.