Learn how conversational marketing strategies can help businesses better understand their customers while also achieving business outcomes.
In the age of technology and big data, businesses have an opportunity to personalize their marketing approach to build better relationships with their customers in a more intimate way. Large social media giants understand this and have paved the way in drastically changing the way customers are engaging with brands and businesses. Those that learn how to adapt and use conversational marketing techniques to better help their customers can learn how to use big data in a meaningful way to connect with their customers, which in turn will increase customer adoption of products and services as well as retention while also being able to deliver business outcomes impacting the bottom line.
All About Conversational Marketing
What is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing is the ability to leverage personalized dialogue to help improve brand engagement, build customer relationships, increase product/service adoption, and drive revenue. Incorporating dialogue and feedback from customers in a bi-directional communication channel with conversational marketing can help marketers better understand customer needs and respond to those requests while also driving towards a business outcome.
Why is Conversational Marketing Important?
Traditional marketing is often a one-way communication channel. However, as new marketing technology emerges, so do the opportunities for opening up two-way communications with customers. This technology can provide the ability to add more targeted conversations that drive high engagement and adoption rates. Marketing techniques combined with big data strategies provide companies with the ability to gather information about a customers needs and being able to personalize the response can become an effective tool for driving customer engagement.
Bi-directional customer conversations can lead to higher conversions, which can build stronger relationships with customers.This allows digital marketers to move beyond segmenting their customers based on interest, and now more deeply being able to personalize the experience of every individual customer. The value that conversational marketing brings is the ability to drive home the understanding of a customers pain points and what prospective customers are wanting your products and services to help solve.
Benefits of Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing has far reaching benefits for an organization. Below are a few highlights of the benefits that conversational chatbots can provide for both businesses and their customers.
Provide a better, personalized experience for customers.
Instead of cold, cookie-cutter responses from a business, the most effective digital marketing strategies can help provide a contextualized experience so that the customer feels heard, listened to, and understood. Offering customers the most relevant experiences will increase customer adoption and loyalty as it can help businesses engage with customers in a more human way.
Learning more about customers.
With conversational marketing, you have the ability to collect and gather data at scale while also increasing saving context. Dialogues that are saved within the analytics can help provide context to understand what the customer is expecting during an engagement.
Increasing sales leads growing pipeline.
Having a chatbot that engages in a dialogue with a customer and gathering information about the customer can not only help you capture their contact information, but it can also give you insight into their needs, goals, and challenges.
Decreasing sales cycle.
The previous benefit leads into this step, which is the shorter sales cycle. The handover from marketing to sales can be shortened because chatbots provide the immediate feedback loop with deep insights to the customer, making the transfer quick and more efficient.
Increasing conversion rates.
Being able to qualify customers based on the context provided can allow brands to better understand the needs of customers and provide the information they are seeking.
Scaling engagements at any time of day.
Conversational marketing with chatbots can help businesses keep up with volumes of conversations at any time of day, allowing small business to compete with large enterprise businesses. In this day and age, customers have an expectation of being able to connect with businesses whenever they want to and on whatever platform they choose. Conversational marketing with chatbots can help scale these engagements.
How to Implement Conversational Marketing Strategy Successfully
Conversational marketing strategies that include chatbots need a framework to start from. You can’t just implement a chatbot without a strategy and expect to be successful. Here are some of the key considerations when initializing a conversational marketing strategy:
Start with Better Email Marketing as a Pilot
Conversational marketing is not just for chatbots and conversational agents. Using lead magnets to understand what types of content customers prefer to opt-in for as well as segmenting the conversations is easier to manage than developing a chatbot an infinite amount of dialogue pathways. Email marketing can be the first foray into conversational marketing dialogues with your customers. Learn how to segment the one-way dialogue, and when you figure out how to tweak the messaging for higher conversion, that’s when your organization will be ready to implement a full-fledge chatbot to help customers.
The most important thing for marketing teams to remember is to ensure they are always thinking about the human touch. There is so much more to conversational marketing than a bot automating tasks and dialogues. While chatbot automations are helpful, it should not be the only way you communicate with your customers. Figure out what types of conversations your customers are having with your sales team, and design the dialogue pathways from there.
Provide Live Chatbot 24-Hour Customer Support
Meet your customers on their time. Being able to answer questions at their pace and at their time will help customers better engage with your company. Using a chatbot as a conversational agent, you can develop a chatbot to understand your product and service knowledge base which can then be used to help your customers at any time of day. However, organizations should consider also being able to pass off to a live agent when there are human agents available as second tier support. Being able to design a conversational dialogue to provide timely communication is important in order to ensure you are resolving customer questions as quickly as possible.
Create an Omnichannel Initiative
While it is possible to be everywhere all the time, it may not be practical due to the cost, resources, and time constraints required to keep up those engagements. While marketing automation is possible with conversational marketing, ensuring that you implement these automations effectively requires time to sift and clean the dialogue data to make educated decisions on new strategies to continue or old strategies to retire. Being able to prioritize the channel where a majority of your customers spend time will be the best practice for understanding where your efforts should be initially.
Provide Personalization Iteratively
Being able to personalize the conversation with customers is important to strengthen customer relationships in order to provide them with the most relevant information and experiences possible. Consumers today with Alexa, Google, and other digital assistants are now accustomed to expect personalized and relevant online experiences with businesses. Being able to leverage information that is internal as well as those collected from the customer will help you provide the relevant data points in order to design a two-way conversation that continues to engage your customers.
Interpret Analytics to Drive Business
Organizations can use analytics to help drive customer engagements in order to provide relevant insights about your customers and what they need from your products and services. Providing an easy way to gather this feedback will allow businesses to aggregate this data in a way that will allow businesses to optimize customer experiences, making them more effective and providing a mechanism for continuous improvement.
Questions That Conversational Marketing Interactions Can Answer
Questions to Ask Before Starting a Conversational Marketing Campaign
By using analytics from a brand’s conversational dialogue with their customers, businesses can collect insights that can help continue to understand customers. Conversational marketing data gathered from customers should start with the following questions:
- What does the business plan on learning from this campaign?
- How will success be measured?
- What is the timing implications of this campaign?
- What segments do customers generally fall into with the platform for this conversational marketing campaign?
- Will there be a live agent handoff for this conversational marketing?
- What is the implementation and maintenance cost of this marketing campaign?
- What kind of content do customers engage most with?
- What do customers currently read?
- What are the types of questions customers are asking most often?
- What are some complex problems that customers think our online chatbot can help provide that aren’t being provided currently?
- What type of information do customers need, but don’t necessarily ask for?
- What are some customer terms and internal terms that are used in the same manner?
Examples of How Conversational Marketing Can be Used
Organizations that understand the importance of meeting their customers where they engage will open themselves up to being able to drive their brand voice with these other channels that they have for getting feedback from their customers. The following are ways that businesses can use conversational marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy:
- Email Opt-In. Provide a conversational dialogue where emails can be sent to better help the customer.
- Customer Satisfaction Surveys. Implement a feedback mechanism to fix broken dialogue or add to the backlog.
- Help Lines. Provide another channel in which customers can seek help from the business.
- Lead Conversion. Gather contextual and relevant information about a customer to better streamline the sales cycle during the initial engagement.
- User Generated Testimonials. Collect testimonials to help provide referenceable information for future customers.
- Customer Loyalty. Build customer loyalty by meeting them on their time and at their pace.
Frequently Asked Questions About Conversational Marketing
How do you generate leads with conversational marketing with chatbots?
Chatbots can help generate leads by collecting emails from customer through a dialogue funnel. The initial dialogue can help the customer, and can then be followed up based on the information and attribution on allowing the customer to provide contact information for the next step of the funnel.
Online and digital marketing has entering a new era with the capability to new, proactive ways of engaging with customers on a very personal level. By leveraging the power of live, real-time dialogue with customers and moving them through the marketing funnel, businesses and brands will have an opportunity to deeply understand customers and their paint points. While chatbots are nascent, they are a powerful way to get customers more engaged and in parallel drive business results. Conversational marketing with chatbots deserves a spot on the podium next to email marketing, video marketing, and social media marketing.
Chatbots are still nascent, but as technology for this space continues to evolve, the ability to personalize your conversations and learn more information about your prospects can help grow an organization’s pipeline, increase customer engagement, and create high conversions to help your organization’s bottom line.