Looking to make your marketing efforts more personal and conversational for your customers? Conversational marketing might be the perfect way to shift your marketing strategy.
Conversational marketing is a marketing approach based on customer feedback. It utilizes tools such as personalized email marketing, chat bots, live stream video, and live chats with customer service representatives.
The main goal of conversational marketing is to keep a seamless exchange going across all touch points with your customer. Conversational marketing can help you qualify leads, schedule calls, recommend products, and close sales.
What is Conversational Marketing All About?
At its heart, conversational marketing is all about information gathering. This method creates a real-time conversation between your brand and the customer that serves them right when they want answers and doesn’t require the stop-and-start of surveys or intake forms.
When you utilize conversational marketing strategy, you do so by incorporating a series of questions in your marketing content to move your customers through your funnel. Then, your customers’ next steps are dictated by the answers to those questions.
Essentially, conversational marketing works by first engaging your customer, then understanding what they need based on where they’re at in their journey. Once it’s clear what your customer needs, you can then make appropriate recommendations based on that knowledge.
Conversational marketing works faster, builds trust, and feels authentic to your prospective customers. Making your marketing more conversational makes the buyer’s journey feel more personal. Additionally, it’s mobile-friendly, convenient, and easy for them when they’re on the go. It’s also highly scalable as your business grows.
Conversational Marketing Tools and Methods
There are a number of ways you can utilize conversational marketing for your brand. Much of this process can simply be executed through making your marketing copy and content feel more like a friendly, casual conversation than a sales pitch or tactic.
Chatbots are an incredibly popular way to leverage conversational marketing. They use pre-programmed, automated responses and conditional logic to carry on conversations that feel natural with customers. You’ll often find chatbots on brands’ websites, but they can also be utilized through Facebook Messenger.
Using AI chatbots for conversational marketing is a great method for brands on a budget, as well as startups and solopreneurs. A chatbot is more affordable than hiring customer support associates to be available via chat, and it also offers ‘round-the-clock support.
Some of the chatbot tools available to brands include:
If you’re going to apply conversational marketing through your content, you can do that through:
- Email marketing
- Social media
- Virtual and in-person events
- Forms or surveys
- Sales or landing pages
- Frequently asked questions
Additionally, larger brands with a bigger budget might prefer to hire customer support personnel to chat directly with visitors to their website or social media channels.
For our purposes, we’ll focus primarily on using chatbots, and what these tools can do to help boost your sales and bring more leads into your funnel.
How to Utilize Conversational Marketing for Your Brand
Businesses of all sizes are incorporating conversational marketing into their sales strategies. Household names such as Domino’s Pizza, Sephora, and HelloFresh use chatbots to interact with their customers throughout the buyer’s journey.
Using a chatbot allows your brand to start a dialogue with your customer in real time. You don’t have to wait for the customer to reach out to you, and your customer doesn’t have to wait for your response to their questions. This expedites the customer’s relationship with your brand, meaning they’re that much closer to making a purchase or taking the next action step in your funnel.
Chatbots can help you deliver answers, recommendations, and even free content to your visitors. Your bot can schedule an initial call with a prospect, whether that’s a discovery call or a product demonstration. Having a chatbot on your website can dramatically reduce your bounce rate and act as a back-up CTA.
When building your bot, consider the kinds of typical conversations you have with your prospects and customers. Map out these conversations, plus the answers and potential follow-up questions. If you have a team working with you, survey them and have them supply the questions they normally get asked when interacting with potential customers.
Make sure your bot gives your prospects actionable next steps that match their needs in the moment. Your bot can:
- Recommend products, services, or content
- Connect to your calendar so the prospect can schedule a call with you or someone on your team
- Let your audience know about upcoming events, special offers, and more
- Direct your prospects to customer support if they have a more complex issue or question
Best Practices for Conversational Marketing
The number one consideration for your conversational marketing strategy is to make the customer journey simpler for your prospects. Conversational marketing should remove barriers to entry and feel like a natural exchange.
Conversational marketing shouldn’t necessarily replace your other marketing methods, but instead complement them. You can implement a hybrid marketing method that continues to utilize forms and other tools in addition to your chatbot.
Adjusting your marketing automation to make the language more casual or relatable can help make the addition of a chatbot feel more seamless. In addition, you’ll want to make sure your chatbot is fully integrated and “hooked in” with your marketing tools.
Like every marketing method, you’ll want to A/B test and compare your results to find what works best for your audience and your brand. Monitor your analytics to see how conversational marketing is impacting your brand. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments where needed.
Finally, make sure you don’t leave it to your tech tools to close your sales. Even though chatbots and other marketing tools are getting smarter by the day, you’ll still need to make contact with your prospects and customers yourself.
Conversational marketing can help your brand maintain a personalized, more human experience across your channels and platforms. It helps draw in customers and potential buyers through tailored, real-time interactions that direct each individual to what they need in the moment.
Do you use conversational marketing for your brand? Do you have a chatbot, or are you planning to add one to your site or social media presence in the near future? We’d love to hear about it, so give us a shout in the comments.
Article featured image by VectorMine / shutterstock.com
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