This is an overview of chatbots and digital marketing, how both efforts can work together to help businesses market their products and services.
With the sophistication of AI technology, businesses of all sizes are able to utilize these new tools to help incorporate them into their digital marketing strategies. While chatbots are still in a nascent stage and continues to mature, chatbots have become one of the most important tools in a digital marketer’s toolbox because it provides an additional layer of insight into a users needs.
Overview of Chatbots and Digital Marketing
While chatbots are still in infancy, big brands and businesses have incorporated some variant of chatbots with automating responses to customers through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Chatbots are getting easier to develop and implement thanks to cloud based service providers, but the real resource needs are in cleaning the data captured.
While chatbots can leverage machine learning, there is still a need to hire business analysts or data scientists to help train predictive models to better answer customer questions.
The interaction with chatbots need to be frictionless and provide a level of accuracy with the first interaction. What makes chatbots great is that they can provide 24/7 support even when a business does not have live human resources available, as it can kick off a handoff support ticket for when those resources are available.
A customer’s interaction with a chatbot however starts with being able to land into that conversation initially. Digital marketing strategies provide the first round of context about the customer, which can then lead to the initiation of the conversation with the chatbot.
About Digital Marketing
Digital marketing techniques are the ability to drive traffic to a page that will continue the customer on their journey into the products or services available for a business. These techniques include driving organic search engine traffic, paid advertising, social media traffic, and email marketing.
Digital marketing can provide layers of data from keywords and phrases that users are searching for. With this information, digital markers can use the insight on the search volume of those phrases to create better content and advertisements to help target customers using their languages.
While digital marketing data and insights can provide information about customers initially, where a customer goes from that handoff to the website is usually unclear. If a business has sophisticated techniques, sankey diagrams of website traffic and heat maps can provide clues into where a customer goes after the digital marketing techniques get the customer to the website.
Chatbots and Digital Marketing Working Together
When chatbots and digital marketing techniques are used together, the data and insights gleaned from customers can be enormously helpful. They can provide clues into new products that customers may want, ideas on how to enhance current products and services, and problem areas within a business’s current customer journey.
Chatbots can help bridge the gap between the marketing team and the sales team. For example, digital marketing techniques can help bring a cold customer to the website and provide information and insight on what they were initially looking for. Once on the site, a chatbot can appear to help a customer navigate to what they need if that handoff page did not provide the customer what they needed. The insight in a chatbot conversation can be used to further funnel the customer to the information, product or service they were looking for.
Chatbots can help automate a large part of the marketing process, which means that business resources can handle a higher volume of marketing conversations (i.e. conversational marketing). The ability for chatbots to streamline information gathering about users, qualifying them as customers, and providing context for the sales team allows digital marketing efforts and sales efforts to convert more potential prospects into paying customers.
Understanding the Role of Chatbots in Digital Marketing
The Rise of Chatbots and Branding Strategies
While most businesses are aware of sophisticated content marketing strategies like search engine optimization, social media marketing, email campaigns, they are also in need of finding more efficient and streamlined approaches to reducing the number of human resources for customer service. The need to automate customer service interactions have always been there, but the technology has been slow to mature. Now, with new AI technologies and cloud providers making it easier to spin up and start a new project without capital hardware investment, businesses are starting to realize that using technologies like chatbot, while nascent, can prove to be a valuable insight into understanding what is possible in terms of time and dollar savings.
The Growing Role of Chatbots in Digital Marketing
While chatbots could never replace live human agents due to the need of emotional intelligence and depth of conversation, there is an increased trend towards customers being favorable towards the use of chatbots for the initial interaction with a brand. Chatbots can revolutionize the way enterprises and small businesses interact with their customers in an age where everyone expects speedy, reliable, customer service that is available at any time of day and any day of the week.
Ways to Include Chatbots in Digital Marketing Strategies
Chatbots can use AI, algorithms, and predictive conversations to help customers navigate into a business or brand’s ecosystem. Chatbots can be configured to interact with both text and voice, thus allow customers to engage in whatever platform they are most comfortable on.
Personalize Content Automation
Chatbots can provide quick question and answers to customers. The questions don’t have to be exact because chatbot technologies can use the intent behind the utterance to provide the customer with information they are seeking.
Provide Pathways to Other Content
Based on where a customer navigates within a business website, a digital marketer can use those insights to create better retargeting and content marketing strategies if a customer doesn’t initially convert. The insights inside a customer conversation can help provide more content that will enable the customer to make more informed decisions.
Better Digital Sales Funnel
Chatbots can be part of the digital sales funnels. It allows businesses to determine the audience, define the specific business segment, feed content to the chatbot, and provide a good user experience to help convert customers into paying ones.
Increase Brand Awareness
Chatbots can boost brand awareness with digital marketing strategies because it allows them to start and continue higher volumes of customer conversations, which can result into more sales.
Tips for Effective Digital Marketing Strategies with Chatbots
There are several tips when combining your digital marketing strategies with the implementation of a chatbot. Below are some of the best tips in getting started with a chatbot strategy that will also enhance your current SEO, paid search, and email campaign strategies.
Determine Your Audience Segment
If you have a current digital marketing funnel, choose an audience segment that can be best served with a chatbot. Generally, this initial segment can be a pilot with returning customers who need help with products and services. This can provide great insight on the current needs of existing customers.
Provide a Good User Interface
A good user interface will increase customer engagement through your funnel. Being able to design a conversation with a chatbot and a customer will take effort, but it will be important to ensure that you gain customer trust and loyalty. One of the most important aspects of a good user interface for a chatbot is designing good methods for error handling. Being able to bucket those conversations as well as respond to them with related pathways will enable customers to continue on their journey for products and services that they need.
Provide a Handoff Process
Similar to providing error handling dialogue, providing a human handoff process is important. While a business may not be available 24/7, it is important to handoff to a triage or a queue that customers can rely on to get the information that they need.
Challenges of Chatbots and Digital Marketing
Chatbots and digital marketing can increase lead qualifications to provide valuable insight on customers and nurture them into the next part of the funnel. The challenge will be in understanding where you can streamline some of the current digital marketing processes, allow less click-throughs for the customer and an easier way to navigate inside of the funnel.
In addition, with the scrutiny on data privacy, security, and GDPR, customers are growing more sensitive and protective with their personal data. And rightly so. Chatbot that are implemented along with digital marketing strategies and the intent to provide customer service will need to ensure that the platform is safe to share information and that the information will be transmitted securely.
Check out this post for more information on implementation challenges when developing a chatbot.
Conclusion on Chatbots and Digital Marketing Strategies
Chatbots can help digital marketing strategies become more streamlined due to the ability to automate parts of a sales funnel. Automating interactions with customers seeking information, assisting them with the purchase process, or providing real-time customer service, digital marketing tactics along with chatbots can help provide insights while also reducing customer support costs at the same time.