Conversational Marketing is becoming an extremely popular and effective digital marketing strategy to increase customer engagement, retention and loyalty. As many as 90% of consumers now want to use it to communicate with businesses. One reason we see this trend is because of increased use of texting and mobile phone usage in order to have conversations with others, learn new information, and make purchases However, you may be asking yourself, “what is conversational marketing?”
Conversational marketing utilizes real-time conversations with customers that quickly addresses their pain points and needs, where they can receive immediate feedback. They can receive tailored content, site navigation instructions, and answers to inquiries. Popular forms of conversational marketing include website chatbots and instant messaging chatbots utilizing platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Email marketing can also be considered another form of conversational marketing when you utilize it in a certain way—like sending product surveys to customers. We’ll start by going over the benefits of using this strategy. Then, we’ll go over tips to be the most effective with this digital tool.
Benefits of Conversational Marketing:
Scale Your Customer Conversations
Conversational Marketing allows you to scale your customer conversations. It enables your business to maintain a high-level of interaction on a real-time and consistent basis. You don’t have to sacrifice employee time in order to talk to 50, 500, or even 5,000 website visitors. With website chatbots, you can now provide 24/7 service where website visitors can get instant responses to their questions.
Provide Tailored Responses Instantly
Using website chatbots and messenger apps to communicate with your customers enables you to give instant responses that are extremely tailored to the individual. Nowadays, consumers are more selective before choosing to interact with a brand. With generic emails flooding our inboxes and hundreds of advertisements filling our social media feeds, it’s more effective to provide a tailored message to the recipient so they will be more interested in responding or reaching out.
That’s why chatbots are so useful, because once a visitor lands on your website and starts interacting with the chatbot, the AI technology can start asking them questions a lead generation form would usually ask. Additionally, beyond asking form questions alone, chatbots can provide content or instructions on how to navigate the site or a special promotion based off the answers the visitor gives. They can also provide free guides, blog articles, and video, continually keeping them engaged with the brand’s content and solving an immediate need for the lead.
Another super nifty feature of chatbots and messenger chats is their ability to store and reference data about previous interactions with customers and leads. For example, if Virtudesk’s chatbot asked a new visitor about their professional works and interests, and found out that our new visitor was a real estate broker, then the next time they visit our site, the chatbot could recommend prospecting services or give them blog articles to read, like “The Top Ten Social Media Tips for Real Estate Agents”.
The chatbot’s feature to remember conversations enables a company to provide conversations with context. A customer wants their question answered or their problem solved as quickly as possible. So, if they have to repeat their situation every time they talk to a new customer service representative, then it will decrease the likelihood of customer satisfaction. Not only can the chatbots remember conversations and pick up where they left off with a customer but the response is instant—no waiting on hold to have someone pick up the phone.
Gain Further Customer Insights
Because chatbots are programed to ask a set of prequalified questions to learn who the visitor is and what they’re looking for, it can provide a wealth of stored data to inform your business of customer pain points and needs. This can provide better insights to guide content marketing, email marketing, and other marketing messages. This can also help your business modify your service or product to the needs of the customer, if they find defects or find it hard to use.
One example of real time feedback from customers can include an instance where many customers ask the chatbot where to find a certain product page on the website. This could signal that the site should be improved for easier navigation.
Save Company Time and Resources
Utilizing conversational marketing can save a tremendous amount of company time and resources, because customer interaction is automated. Chatbots can talk to hundreds, if not thousands, of leads and customers at the same time and any time of day. Chatbots can cater to busy corporate professionals that only have a spare moment at 12 AM or cater to the early 5 am riser. According to a report done by Juniper Research, they concluded that chatbots would save companies an estimated $8 billion a year in customer support expenses by 2022. As a business owner, imagine redirecting that money towards campaigns and efforts that will expand your company’s operation.
Improved Lead Generation
Because customers or leads are getting more tailored content or answers to questions faster, they will naturally be more interested in making a purchase from you. According to HubSpot, they experienced a 20% increase in lead generation at merely adding live chat as an additional communication medium.
Tactics to Enhance Your Conversational Marketing Strategy:
Adopt an Omnichannel Approach
Utilizing just one type of chatbot (like a website chatbot or Facebook Messenger chatbot) can transform how you as a business interact with customers, generate new leads, and save money. However, utilizing different forms of conversational marketing like WhatsApp, email, customer success and loyalty programs, and the methods mentioned above, can truly scale your business and take it to a new level of reach.
Using tools to help you aggregate, measure, and interpret all the data from chatbots is integral to making data-informed decisions utilized from the full context of the conversations you’re having with customers. Collecting and categorizing customer responses by pain point, concern, interest, demographics, and more can ensure that you are using stated customer needs to inspire your next campaigns.
Don’t Pretend Your Chatbot is a Human
Although using a chatbot is a great opportunity to establish and maintain an authentic relationship with your customer and provide them tailored responses, it’s important to not go overboard. Your website and social media visitors will be able to recognize inauthenticity from a mile away, and that will hurt you more than help you. Customers know they are talking to an automated chatbot, so if you program the bot to talk and act too much like a human, that’s going to turn away any potential customers you thought you could grab.
If you liked this article, learn more about other types of marketing that are growing in popularity, and are essential for marketing and propelling your business forward: