The Rise of Chatbot Marketing
Last year, Google made headlines with its virtual assistant’s newest feature. Addressing a significant crowd at Google’s 2018 I/O Developers conference, CEO Sundar Pichai demonstrated how the AI assistant could make phone calls to schedule appointments and make reservations.
An impressive feat in itself, what amazed the world was the uncanny way in which the assistant could mimic human speech patterns, making it difficult to distinguish from a ‘real’ human phone call. The moment sparked a glimpse into the near future, which will see us interacting more with AI to assist with everyday tasks, perhaps without us even knowing.
It was certainly a defining moment, heralding a new era of AI. But what many may not realise is that the rise of AI and humanlike bots long predate this event. Tactics that simulate human responses had been actively put into effect through other channels and other means, with great success, for a couple of years.
The reality is, bots have been around for a while. Ever since the ‘bot boom’ in 2016, Chatbot marketing has been leading the way in human to AI interactions, becoming an increasingly popular tool used by businesses and marketers.
What is Chatbot Marketing?
Chatbots use AI software to converse with your audiences via chat interfaces such as Facebook messenger. By using pre-programmed conversational sequences and collecting user data, Chatbots are able to answer questions posed by the user. The more conversation a Chatbot has with the user, the more they are able to learn about them, allowing the Chatbot to provide more relevant answers to user questions.
What’s the Appeal?
Businesses and marketers are becoming increasingly aware of the many benefits that Chatbots can contribute. Below are just some of the reasons why you should consider adding Chatbot marketing to your integrated mix:
Facebook Is Changing
Early last year, Facebook made changes to the news feed algorithm by prioritising posts by family and friends over brands in an effort to promote ‘meaningful personal connections’. This change indicates a growing shift in user preferences on social media, presenting challenges for brands and businesses to think of new ways to reach, communicate and engage with online audiences. Chatbots are effective solutions, as they act as personable middlemen between users and brands, appealing to the desire for more ‘authentic’ interactions. Chatbots are highly sophisticated in their ability to represent a brand with friendly, conversational language and one-to-one conversations. This allows brands to advertise their products or services directly to users in ways that aren’t overtly advertorial in nature. Customers take a self-directed journey to learn more about a brand’s offering, whilst being guided by leading questions and prompts from the chatbot.
Learn More About Your Consumers
It’s believed that the typical CTR of a Chatbot ranges between 15 – 60 per cent. The direct, one-to-one nature of Chatbots is to thank fo r this. The more that your Chatbot interacts with your consumers, the more it can respond with content and/or solutions that cater to their needs and therefore drive conversions for the business.
Save Time and Money
Chatbots can provide fast, automated answers to consumer questions. They are also able to service multiple people and requests at the same time, increasing your business’s productivity for more challenging work and decreasing costs.
Greater Customer Satisfaction
Chatbots are able to answer product/service questions and satisfy consumer needs no matter the time of day. Operating 24/7, Chatbots are available when your consumers need them most, allowing them to trust that your brand will always provide a swift response.
How to Achieve Chatbot Marketing Success
Before setting up your chatbot, it’s vital to understand that Chatbots aren’t just an extension of digital marketing, but an entirely distinct channel of their own. To achieve ROI from your Chatbot, you need to create a comprehensive strategy that addresses the why and how behind it.
The Power of Personas
The foundations of a successful Chatbot marketing strategy come down to the effective utilisation of personas.
Why use Personas
To create a successful Chatbot strategy, the first step is determining why your business would benefit from a Chatbot, such as the examples mentioned above.
From there, it’s all about discerning why your potential consumers would want to interact with your Chatbot at all. Why would they relate to them and turn to your Chatbot for advice? Why would they want to continue conversing with them and what would prompt them to make any purchasing decisions? To address these questions, consider key personality traits of your online demographic and acknowledge their motivations to purchase through consumer decision journey mapping.
How to use Personas
After establishing what kinds of conversations will resonate the next step is creating a Chatbot persona that aligns with your user personas and incorporates consumer decision journey mapping. Many Chatbot cases have failed due to poor conversational planning and the inability to create a realistic and likeable personality. Chatbots that are void of personality will fail to facilitate long-term engagement and prospects. Instead, it’s worth developing a strong identity and well-thought-out communications guide for your Chatbot. Develop an appropriate tone of voice that aligns with your brand while also mimicking human interactions through the use of colloquialisms, humour, emojis and gifs. Designing a character that appeals to the human end user, encourages sustainable interaction and incorporate decision journey mapping will be key to conversion.
The popularity of Chatbot marketing continues to rise and successful real-world cases are upstanding of its ability to drive engagement and conversions. However, the application of Chatbot marketing must be supported by a solid strategy.
As certified agency partners with leading conversational marketing platform, ManyChat, we’re your trusted Chatbot marketing experts. If you’re interested in bolstering your business’s success with Chatbots, get in touch today!