Have you noticed that users have started demanding more from their online experience? For many, a website is the first and only way a potential customer will interact with a business. What they experience online can be fundamental to their perception of your brand or a purchase decision. Now, would it not be fantastic to offer your customer the same opportunity to have a great experience online, as they do in your physical store? Enter: Conversational Marketing.
What is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing is an online marketing method that engages your customer base via dialogue-driven activities. With digital conversational marketing, you can match a customer to a product or service through an online experience. This can take place in any platform with a chat functionality such as live chat, voice assistants, chatbots or other forms of conversational AI. These experiences can be positioned on social media, websites, advertising, and even in offline stores or connected home devices.
Traditionally, live chat functions have been focused solely on customer service, providing existing customers with post-sales support. However, due to developments in linguistic AI – chatbots are more and more being put to work in the buying experience of customers. This type of inbound marketing focuses on two-way authentic communication which builds trust by making the customer experience as natural as possible.
How does conversational marketing complement traditional marketing?
The characteristic of conversational marketing that sets it apart from other forms of digital marketing is that it’s carried out in real time. You should think of it not as a new marketing funnel, but rather a new way of moving people through your funnel.
A real time solution can shorten the time needed to complete the customer journey because it reduces the time spent waiting for a response. Instead of forcing a customer to fill out a form and wait days for a response, a chatbot can identify the customers’ needs and assign them to the correct sales representative right away. This means taking your potential customers right to the last stage of the buying process without having to send them chasing through hoops to get the information that they need.
Why should you integrate conversational marketing into your strategy?
Conversation marketing is about creating a more human experience when shopping online and should be used by companies to learn about their customers. This customer-centric approach will create genuine interactions between a buyer and a brand that will shorten the sales cycle and increase revenue in the long term.
People are demanding more from the buying experience than ever before. Customers have an abundance of choice for a single product, and therefore the buying experience plays a large part of the ultimate purchase decision.
Why should you use automation in conversational marketing?
A typical customer journey can include several online touch-points in the space of a few minutes, like switching between the webstore, checking for new products on social media, watching unboxing videos on YouTube, reading customer reviews on Google etc. Furthermore, customers expect brands to provide an immediate response to their questions on whichever platform they are on. Depending on the size of your business, this could quickly stack up to several platforms. In order to meet the customer wherever and whenever they want to ask a question, you will need to use a tool that holistically links up all chat platforms in one allowing for conversational marketing to flourish. This can be done either through implementing an automated chatbot that serves pre-determined answers or with live agents that attend to users’ questions, or a combination of the two.
How can conversational marketing benefit your business?
Conversational marketing can bring countless benefits not only in terms of the customer experience but also to your bottom line. We’ve summed it up into 5 key points:
- You can learn more about your customers and leverage what you know for future marketing efforts.
- You create more human interactions with your customers and build trust in your brand.
- You can shorten your sales cycle by removing unnecessary lag time between form submission and first contact.
- You can differentiate leads from quality leads and focus your time on people who are ready to buy.
- You can grow your customer database and leverage first-party data for email or remarketing campaigns.