Conversational Marketing: Why Your Brands Need It?
In today’s marketing landscape, no one ever wants to be a target for advertisements. Social media and the internet at large have forever changed the way that customers interact with brands. Customers want to buy something from the brands they love and go through the buying process on their own terms. Those hard-selling product descriptions, cold emails, and cold calls are outdated and no longer relevant.
As a savvy marketer, you need to stay with the times and try to meet customers where they are. No need to brag too much about your products or services, simply being there and talking to them like an old friend is enough for engaging them.
That is the basics of conversational marketing.
Conversational marketing is a technique that has been around for decades, but in this world where customers have limitless options, it has recently become very important to marketers. It involves interacting with customers in an authentic and personal way via social media platforms or other digital channels.
In this post, we’ll dive more in-depth into conversational marketing and why your business should care about it.
What Is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing is the practice of treating customers like people instead of leads. It’s an age-old concept that has never been easier than what it is now thanks to technology advancements and social media platforms.
With conversational marketing, brands engage with their audience by having personalized conversations via any digital platform they prefer to use.
It mostly relies upon real-time, casual conversations to build a more meaningful relationship with your customers. The aim is to inspire trust, improve customer experience, and ultimately, bring in more sales.
Chatbots are probably one of the most popular examples when we talk about conversational marketing. With this type of conversational AI, customers can ask questions and get their queries answered 24X365.
Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook Messenger have also used conversational marketing quite successfully with their updates to the platform that allow brands to send direct messages (DMs) directly to user’s inboxes.
Take a look at this example from Sephora who provides a bot for their Facebook store page.
In this case, the company can give 24/7 customer support, which offers consistent, immediate, and personalized responses, regardless of working hours and even geographic locations.
That’s what customers want right? Instant reply and relevant and straightforward response. This way, you can engage them quickly.
After all, more than 71% of customers expect companies to communicate with them in real-time.
So, by making it easier for people to engage with your business, you can convert more of the right leads within a short period of time. Meaning, conversational marketing will not only bring you new customers, but it will also bring you relevant ones as qualified leads.
Why Does Your Brand Need Conversational Marketing?
From the points above, you might already know the quick answer to the question.
Conversational marketing is a strategy to interact with the customer and attempts to provide human-like, real-time customer support.
That said, the benefits of conversational marketing are so much more than creating meaningful interactions with customers. Here are some of the other benefits that your business will see from conversational marketing.
Attract New Customers
Attracting new customers and making them trust your brand is hard work — especially in this fierce market competition where customers have unlimited options from brands. Conversational marketing allows you to make them feel comfortable and convenient to interact and explore your brand.
In other words, conversational marketing is a great way to humanize your brands. And people love to interact with brands that act like a person rather than a robot. By talking to them in a casual and friendly way you can help them build rapport with your brands.
Increase Brand Awareness
Conversational marketing helps your brand become more visible and recognizable as it provides a personalized customer support experience with each conversation.
This style of communication allows you to share valuable content with prospects at their convenience rather than forcing them to go through a sales pitch or landing page.
Conversational marketing makes your brand more human, which helps you to stand out among the numerous brands and products competing for consumers’ attention.
Move Buyers Through the Sales Funnel Faster
Conversational marketing helps you respond and answer customers’ questions or concerns immediately. They don’t have to wait for hours to get a reply through emails or wait for minutes to get an answer from your sales team phone calls.
With chatbots or other instant messaging forms, the moment they click the enter button, they have a human-like response they’re looking for. When you give them a quick answer, then they should have no problem moving through your marketing funnel.
Increase Lead Generation
Conversational marketing can help you generate more leads as it allows prospects to interact with your brand on their own terms. That is how you can optimize customer experiences and convert more visitors into paying customers.
Not to mention that conversational marketing forms like chatbots and other instant messaging also creates a channel that is easy to use, affordable and scalable so everyone from small business owners or entrepreneurs who are just starting can take advantage of it.
Cultivate Relationships With Customers
Conversational marketing is the best way to stay connected with your customers and build relationships that create trust, boost loyalty, and eventually increase sales. It’s all about building a connection between you and your prospects so they not only talk to but also put trust and engage in your messages.
As you might already know, trusts take time to develop, but they can be built by listening and addressing your customers’ problems in real-time. By understanding your consumer needs and pain points, you can begin to build a stronger relationship.
Better Insights, Data, and Analytics
You can use chatbots and other conversational marketing tools to track your customer’s behavior time after time. They can provide you in-depth customer data, which you can use to predict future needs.
Let’s take a chatbot for example. This conversational AI can help you analyze and learn from your customers, automate processes, and capture important information.
You will understand how your customers interact with the chatbots; the questions they often ask, when they ask questions, and more. This will help you adjust your customer service strategy better.
Boost Customer Service Team Productivity
Conversational bots/AI eliminates the need for manual entry, repetitive tasks, and can help your team respond to customers’ questions quickly. Your customer service team doesn’t need to answer the same questions over and over again. But, the bot/AI will do that.
It would be faster than traditional customer service, which requires at least one employee to process orders or provide support information. When you can answer the requirements or answers automatically, it means you can boost customer service team productivity as they can be more focused on other important tasks that can lead your business to quicker growth and development.
How Can You Leverage Conversational Marketing?
Leveraging conversational marketing is going to be so much more than incorporating a chatbot or live chat in your website and waiting for visitors to interact with it.
You also need to consider other things, like the place, the conversation flow, and the answers you will need to provide. Here are some best practices you can try:
Think About Where You Are Placing Your Bots
If you work with a team in charge of developing conversational marketing bots for your website, it is important to choose where these interactions will take place.
It’s always better to put them on the pages that have a lot of traffic and have visitors with a high intention of buying, like landing pages or products pages.
You might also consider putting conversational bots/AI on the homepage since it’s a page where you can create the first impression for the visitors.
Decide Your Conversation Flow
Define what kind of information or guidance you want to provide based on the stages of the customer journey of the page visitors.
Every conversational bot/AI has its own unique flow and it’s up to you to define where they will go. For example, on the landing page, when visitors don’t book tickets for your webinars or other specific events, your chatbot can ask them if they want additional information or help in finding an alternative option like another date or time option.
If you are using multiple chatbots across your websites, it is important to use deep links so that the conversation will not start over again.
This way, companies won’t have to invest in customer service technology for each of their websites or apps; instead, they can funnel all conversations through one bot.
Keep Everything Concise and Accessible
When it comes to conversational marketing, less is more. The key is to keep everything concise and accessible. Remember, your conversational bots/AI should help your customers interact with your brands easier — not to complicate it.
Keep the conversation short, but also make sure that your chatbots are capable of understanding complicated queries or requests from customers.
In today’s rapidly changing world where customers have a million choices at their fingertips, it won’t be easy for your brand to stay ahead without engaging in meaningful conversations with consumers.
From all those points we’ve talked about above, it’s safe to say that the future of marketing is conversational and you need to be ready for it. Your business will not only benefit from increased customer satisfaction, but also receive more leads, sales conversions, and higher revenue thanks to engaging in meaningful interactions with prospects via chatbots or other conversational AI.
About the Author!
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order). You can follow him on Twitter: @breadnbeyond.