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Conversational marketing has become a major factor in today's growing digital landscape. Business owners are investing in it to help reach customers and generate leads. Out of the many applications that have been used to implement conversational marketing, WhatsApp and Telegram are the two that have gained popularity because of their inherent features and effectiveness. This article will discuss both apps to see how they can benefit your business.
WhatsApp Business: A game changer
WhatsApp Business was launched in January 2018 to provide superior communication support to businesses across the world. The app was initially launched to assist small businesses to interact with their customers by allowing the users to send and receive instant messages, videos, and voice calls. In addition, the application provides message automation, tracking and marketing solutions.
WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API (the application interface that was designed for medium-to-large businesses) have helped numerous businesses enhance their customer relations and further their marketing strategies. Since its launch, WhatsApp Business has had over five million users worldwide. WhatsApp data also shows that over 70% of Small & Medium Businesses using the application have registered a growth in sales. This has proven that the application has become one of the leading communication/marketing platforms currently.
Rise of telegram for business
Telegram was started in 2013 to provide instant messaging solutions to users. Much like WhatsApp, Telegram also offers end-to-end encryption support for chats & video/audio calls. Telegram can also be used on desktops to provide cross-device accessibility to users. While Telegram came to the market later than WhatsApp, it has quickly grown into a good digital communication & marketing platform for businesses. This is because it is free and it offers several features that help businesses to interact with customers on a 24/7 basis. Telegram’s freemium approach has enticed several small businesses
Head to Head comparison between WhatsApp & Telegram
WhatsApp vs Telegram: A detailed comparison
Now that we’ve seen a brief look at the major factors, let’s dive in to take a deeper look at how each app tackles some of the most critical features listed below:
Both WhatsApp Business and Telegram offer excellent customer support. However, WhatsApp Business has a slight edge over Telegram because of its support system. In addition to the traditional support system (both apps offer that), WhatsApp Business also has an in-depth self-service/tutorial database to help new business owners communicate & market better. Also, WhatsApp API customers will get much more personalized assistance in the form of their WhatsApp Business Partners. This ensures that business owners receive the best support to solve any customer concerns or challenges.
Further read: 8 Ways Businesses Can Use WhatsApp for Customer Service
Both WhatsApp & Telegram allow businesses to create custom bots to interact with their customers. In the case of Telegram, all bots can be created using free APIs provided by the platform. While medium-to-large businesses can create them using their in-house developers, small businesses might need to partner with bot providers. This can be a challenging & time-consuming process since most bot developers aren’t recognized by the platform.
WhatsApp chatbots can only be created by businesses using WhatsApp API. Therefore, businesses need to partner with WhatsApp Business Partners to create bots. While this might feel like a restriction, that might not be the case. Since WhatsApp Business Partners are all recognized by the platform, businesses can rest assured that their bots will work seamlessly.
Best - WhatsApp
Privacy and Security
WhatsApp & Telegram both offer end-to-end encryption options. This ensures that no third party can intercept and access messages sent & received through the apps. While WhatsApp allows end-to-end encryption for all messages, Telegram only offers encryption for Secret Chats.
In addition, both platforms enable users to delete messages from both the sender & receiver ends. (WhatsApp leaves a trace of the deleted message - Your Message Was Deleted, while Telegram leaves no trace). In addition, Telegram currently allows users to delete private and group messages shared by other senders, while WhatsApp is currently testing that feature and will soon roll it out to the public. Other privacy options include self-destroying messages & disappearing messages.
Best - Tie
Both Telegram and WhatsApp offer group messaging features through channels & groups respectively.
WhatsApp groups can be created by an admin and users can be added to the group by either adding their WhatsApp numbers or through links/QR codes. However, WhatsApp users can only add 512 members to a single group.
Telegram allows users to create channels (their own version of groups) that can have up to 200000 members. These channels can either be privately managed by admins (who can restrict access to users) or made public (users will not be restricted). While Telegram helps businesses create a much more versatile and broader group, it should also be noted that not all group messages are inherently encrypted. This might cause security and privacy concerns, especially in a group setting.
Both applications also allow businesses to broadcast their messages to a large number of people. (While WhatsApp’s basic broadcast list can have only 256 contacts, WhatsApp Business API allows businesses to create broadcast lists with unlimited users).
Suggested read: Tips to master WhatsApp Business Broadcast: Send bulk messages to your customers in a few easy steps
One of the major factors why businesses have started to move from WhatsApp to Telegram is because of its free nature. Since Telegram offers access to many features that WhatsApp offers without any additional cost. While the basic WhatsApp Business application is free, the Business API uses a conversation-based pricing plan to charge businesses. Since the API offers more marketing & automation options, that’s the option that many businesses choose. However, the catch is that Telegram’s free approach breeds many risks and concerns as businesses might need to partner with third-party service providers.
Reach & Popularity
WhatsApp stands heads and shoulders above Telegram and other competitors when it comes to popularity. With over 2 million active users, businesses will get excellent product exposure & marketing efficiency with WhatsApp. While Telegram is rapidly catching up to WhatsApp (with over 80,000 users and growing), there is no denying that the application lacks the market capability of WhatsApp. This is also compounded by the fact that Telegram is a growing platform in the experimental phase. So, WhatsApp Business is the best option.
Suggested read: Top 10 Advantages of a WhatsApp Business Account
Media Storage & Sharing
Both WhatsApp & Telegram allows businesses to use videos, audio files, images, locations and various other types of files on the chat screen. Currently, both platforms allow users to share up to 2GB. WhatsApp allows businesses to share 30 pictures or videos in bulk while Telegram only allows 10 files. WhatsApp stores data on the device so businesses need to backup data to the cloud and transfer the data to other devices when they change devices. However, Telegram stores all the data on the cloud so businesses will have access to all their data even if they change devices. While this makes it more accessible, it also means it's less secure.
Since WhatsApp has been providing business solutions longer than Telegram, it provides more marketing opportunities. In addition to the chatbots & chat automation features (available in both apps), WhatsApp allows businesses to create click-to-WhatsApp ads on Facebook & Instagram to expand their reach further. Both WhatsApp & Telegram allow businesses to create polls & surveys to collect customer feedback. However, WhatsApp API can also be used to create product catalogs that can be displayed to showcase products. Combining these opportunities with a higher reach will clearly show that WhatsApp is several steps ahead of Telegram.
Suggested read: How to use WhatsApp Business for marketing
Businesses can use links to attract customers to communicate through Telegram & WhatsApp by showcasing them on their website, social media & offline shops. In addition to links, WhatsApp also allows businesses to create QR codes that can be scanned by users for instant connections. In addition, WhatsApp’s ability to seamlessly process in-app payments is also a great assistance for small & medium businesses.
WhatsApp & Telegram data can be leveraged for various marketing uses. For instance, there’s the potential to reach large audiences through chat automation and marketing. While both applications provide basic analytics, WhatsApp API helps businesses track more data and come up with creative strategies using those insights. Telegram’s lack of a properly organized analytical platform could be a letdown for SMEs that are looking to penetrate new markets.
Why WhatsApp is best for your business today?
Based on the analysis in the previous section, we can see that both WhatsApp and Telegram have unique advantages that make them valuable additions to any business. However, WhatsApp has an edge over Telegram because of its extensive support network & prominence in the field. To start with, WhatsApp has more users and this translates into better reach for your business. In addition, WhatsApp offers more business options with its chatbots and integration with other apps. Therefore, WhatsApp is the better choice for businesses that are looking to grow and have the potential to reach global markets.
To ensure that you get the maximum benefits from using WhatsApp Business, it's important to choose the WhatsApp Business API. While the API might be a costlier option than Telegram, its inherent advantages surely add more value. For instance, the ability to market using click-to-WhatsApp Ads & QR codes add another dimension to the overall marketing strategy. Also, the integration of chatbots & in-app payments makes it easier for SMEs to receive payments.
Automate your business through WhatsApp with Gallabox today!
Gallabox, an award-winning WhatsApp Business Partner, can help you with WhatsApp API integration & marketing implementation. The Gallabox team is well-known for providing custom WhatsApp solutions for businesses in the real estate, education, travel & financial sectors. To automate your WhatsApp communication & marketing strategy, book a free consultation today.
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