Conversational Marketing: What Is It And How Does It Work?
Updated on: 12 November 2021
With the abundance of chat applications, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Telegram, it is not surprising to find most people conversing via text today. However, as a digital marketer, have you ever considered using this trend to your advantage and using it as part of your digital marketing strategy?
At first, you might be thinking about how such platforms that are used to facilitate conversations between various parties can help you with your marketing goals. However, you will be surprised to learn that there are tons of opportunities on related platforms to build awareness for your brand and connect with a large target audience.
In fact, as digital marketers, we need to think outside the box and think of these tools as more than just a platform to exchange texts. After all, these programmes are designed with communication in mind, and most have already implemented various features that allow users to share video and content, like memes and gifs, among their multiple contacts.
However, before we dive deep into how we can successfully incorporate conversational marketing into our digital marketing strategies, let us take a quick look at what this marketing tool is all about.
What is conversational marketing?
For the uninitiated, the first image you may think of when someone mentions conversational marketing to you might be something along the lines of the picture below.
Well, that might not quite paint an accurate picture of what conversational marketing is about. It relies on conversations in real-time to build a relationship with your customers. The aim is to build trust, improve customers’ experiences, and in the long run, bring in more sales.
There are various ways digital marketers can go about implementing this marketing tool into their marketing strategies. This can even be done with conversational AI such as chatbots and live chat, which you can implement on your company’s social media platforms and websites.
How is conversational marketing done?
One of the most popular ways we have seen businesses implement conversational marketing is through the use of chatbots on their website. Think of them as the AI equivalent of your customer service representatives.
You might even have encountered such features when browsing the web. One of the most famous examples is Ask Jamie, which has been featured on plenty of statutory boards’ websites. This virtual assistant even has several template questions pre-programmed into its database to make it more convenient for users to find the answers they seek.
The main aim of programming multiple questions into a chatbot beforehand, besides making it convenient for users, is to initiate a conversation between the consumer and your business – represented by the chatbot. You can even programme the chatbot to request relevant information that can better help it answer consumers’ queries.
With such programmes readily available, it is no surprise that numerous companies are integrating these features into their websites. However, the planning phase necessary for implementing them requires extensive research, as you will need to have a clear understanding of the questions consumers will have for your brand and the keywords they will use so that you can programme them into the chatbot.
Let us share some of the questions you should consider:
- What is the objective of your chatbot?
- Who is the chatbot for?
- What questions should the chatbot be able to answer?
- How should the conversational flow be designed?
- What personality should it have?
It is similar to how you will go about creating unique titles and meta descriptions for the content on your webpage by basing them on the key terms pertaining to your industry that consumers are searching for.
However, it is also vital for you to remember that every company is unique, so you should prioritise what makes your brand stand out and provide such information to consumers.
The advantages of conversational marketing
Let us share a comparison of what conversational AI can do for you:
It is not uncommon for businesses to utilise an online enquiry form so that clients can indicate their interest in their products and services. In fact, this is still a viable way of gathering leads.
However, by pairing a chatbot with the conventional ways of gathering leads, you can reduce the time it takes for you to obtain substantial leads. Furthermore, you will have an easier time collecting crucial data and improving your market research in a short amount of time.
Let us share several stats that hint at chatbots’ efficiency:
- 72% of consumers find chatbots helpful and informative;
- 80% of customers’ enquiries can be answered via chatbots;
- 83% of consumers said they would be more loyal to a brand that has a chatbot that can handle tasks, like making appointments or handling customer service enquiries;
- 9 out of 10 consumers wants a messaging option to contact a business;
- Chatbots can cut down on customer service costs by 30%.
As the stats have shown, implementing chatbots is an excellent way to improve your business’s standing with consumers. But that is not all. There are still a couple of ways your business can benefit from conversational marketing.
Learning about your customers
Through your chatbot, you can gather information from your customers to better understand what they are looking for in your products and services. This is a more efficient form of market research compared to a survey since it is more personal.
Furthermore, consumers generally ignore surveys when they are prompted to do one, making it more challenging for digital marketers to gather the concrete data they need to form an understanding of what consumers are looking for.
You can also learn a lot from analysing the consumers’ questions, allowing you to adjust your response to better fit what they are looking for. Plus, these questions can provide you with critical insights into what your customers are expecting from your brand.
Immediate response time
Another excellent benefit of implementing a chatbot is that it is available to answer consumer queries 24/7. Compared to a conventional approach, where your company representatives will require a specific number of working days to reply to a question, chatbots can respond instantaneously.
Some consumers can be impatient, or they require an immediate solution to a problem. As such, they might not be willing to wait for a response and will look to another source, likely your competitor, for the information they seek. When this happens, you end up losing a prospective customer. But a chatbot can help you eliminate this concern.
There are various benefits to implementing conversational marketing tools, like chatbots, into your existing digital marketing strategies. With sufficient research and the right execution, your business can obtain promising leads at a reduced timeframe and better understand your customers’ behavioural trends.
However, it is crucial to note that integrating a chatbot into your existing infrastructure is just the first step. You will need to continue updating the AI to produce relevant information that consumers are seeking. After all, change is constant, and the information provided by your chatbot may be inaccurate or redundant in the future.
If you are not updating your chatbot regularly, you are missing out on opportunities to grow your business. If the information provided is irrelevant to what consumers are looking for, they will not engage with your brand and patronise your products and services. Additionally, optimising your chatbot is crucial if you want to build engagement with customers who are already eager and interested to know more about your brand.