Guest Post by: Andre Oentoro
Let’s say you are interested in a product you just saw on your Instagram explore page. You click on the post and scroll through the brand’s profile page, but you don’t find an answer to the question you have. Being the curious, savvy potential customer you are, you send them a DM, asking them everything you want to know.
Then, two days later, they reply with a template-like, robotic chat. Would you still be interested in the product, or would you even remember that you asked something? Uh, maybe not.
It’s an extremely fast-paced world we live in. Today’s customers don’t have time to wait for hours just to get the answer to their questions — let alone a whole day. And yes, the impersonal, mediocre reply only makes them more sure that they should not continue their buying journey.
More than 82% of consumers look for an immediate response from brands on marketing or sales questions. Leaving them hanging? There goes your potential loyal customers.
In this case, conversational marketing comes in. Not only does it allow you to cater to your customers instantly, but it also gives them more personal and meaningful responses.
We’ll break down this type of marketing, why your business should care, and how you can use it to create a more human experience for customers.
What is conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing is all about engaging customers in conversations. Instead of bombarding them with ads and shoving all the information you have down their throats, you talk to them one-on-one and answer their questions. It’s simply showing that you’re there for them, whenever they need you.
This, in turn, helps build trust and credibility and makes it more likely that they’ll buy from you.
However, conversational marketing isn’t only focused on providing an instant, quick reply. But it’ll also help you to give your customers personalized, more human-like responses.
Now you’re asking, “It’s great and all. But isn’t it just too much for our marketing and sales team to be able to cater to our customers quickly, 24/7?”
Thankfully, now you can do all of it without burning your team out, thanks to the internet and the rapid growth of technology.
There are some conversational AI that can help you provide instant replies to your customers’ questions, without the need for a human being involved. Popular conversational AI includes:
- Automated instant messaging (social media)
- Voice-assisted websites
Here’s one of the best conversational marketing examples from Domino’s:
They allow their customers to send a pizza emoji through SMS or even a tweet on Twitter to place an order. Then their bots will take care of the customer’s information. Ordering a pizza has never been this fun before. If you’re an introvert who gets anxious just to order food over the phone, this must be a breath of fresh air.
That is what conversational marketing is all about — it makes your service quick, fun, and engaging so the customers get their best experience.
Benefits of conversational marketing
At this point, the valid question might be, “Okay, so why are conversations important in inbound strategy?”
If you’re a marketer yourself, you know that old-school marketing methods like emails, call services, or FAQ pages no longer satisfy most customers, and 87% of senior marketing decision-makers agree with that.
Now that you understand what conversational marketing is, it’s time to break down some essential reasons why your business should care more about this type of marketing than ever before.
#1. Make data-driven decisions
Conversational AI like chatbots can save your customers’ essential data.
You can use it to understand frequently asked questions, how customers interact with your brand, what they expect more from your brand, and more.
From all that insightful data, you’ll be able to make adjustments to your overall marketing campaign performance. As a result, you’re able to attract more qualified leads and widen your customer base faster than with any other online sales process.
This is how you can be a relevant brand — by constantly giving your customers what they want and need.
#2. Increase customers’ engagement
The fastest and most effective way to guide your potential customers through the sales funnel is to provide an authentic experience and real value for them.
In other words, when you provide your customers with a quick answer and show that you really care, they’ll engage with your brand effortlessly.
Remember, engaged customers play such an important role in business longevity. They stick around, keep your sales funnel full, and keep your business going.
#3. Build a rapport
With conversational marketing, you can also boost your online reputation and create authority around your brand.
You know that conversational AI can help you engage customers. And when you engage them and make them feel special, they’ll share their positive experience with their peers.
This word of mouth can build trust for people who, at first, don’t even know your brand.
#4. Reduce customer service cost
According to a report, utilizing chatbots can help you reduce your customer service cost by up to 30%.
AI-powered virtual agents and chatbots not only help businesses slash the call center costs, but they also do a great job of increasing your customer service team’s productivity.
They no longer need to answer the same queries over and over again, which becomes such a mundane and repetitive task. Conversational AI can help them with that. Thus, they have more time to do more important, prioritized tasks that can bring more revenue.
#5. Boost conversion rates
Conversational marketing is a customer-centric solution, which means the aim is always to add a human face to your brand and give your customers the best experience. It’s a fantastic way to make your brand approachable, answer any questions, and sell the best solution for any given problem.
The best experience your customers get will result in an increase in your conversation rates. Customers will become more confident in taking action that can help you to achieve your objectives. You can also opt for personalized content like product demo videos to help you give further information to potential customers.
Best ways to humanize your brand with conversational marketing
Conversational marketing might sound too technical and complicated for some. The fact that techy words like artificial intelligence (AI) or chatbots are involved is intimidating enough.
But, don’t fret. There are always some handy and actionable ways to utilize this type of marketing strategy, and we’ve listed them below:
Use a conversational tone
As the name suggests, conversational marketing should be conversational. Even though AI is involved, it doesn’t mean that you should neglect the human touch and use that robotic, impersonal tone in the conversation.
You can set the automated messages to be more personal, so it would be much more comfortable for them to interact with you. Avoid using a bulky, huge chunk of text. It can only overwhelm your customers.
After all, it’s always best to talk to your customers like you would talk to a friend — because they are one.
Always go with soft-selling
We’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth repeating: a great conversational marketing strategy is one that is available for customers whenever they’re ready to make conversation and have their problems solved.
That means you should utilize this type of marketing for soft-selling — not to brag about your brand, not to be too demanding to your customers, and simply not to be too desperate. Your customers have seen enough marketing messages each day.
Show off your personality
By leveraging conversational marketing, you have the opportunity to show off your brand personality and add flair through your brand voice.
So, feel free to add stickers, emojis, and even GIFs to your responses. That way, you put a human face on your brand and your customers see you as a human-like brand rather than a faceless brand.
Time your interactions wisely
Conversational marketing should not be intrusive. Rather than putting up a chatbox and making it immediately pop up on-site, think about the most effective uses that won’t annoy your visitors.
Below are some potential pages you should consider to put your chatbots in:
- Landing pages
- FAQ page
That said, the most important thing here is to understand the page that has the highest traffic, and place your conversational AI there.
One thing you should bear in mind is that every page has its own purposes.
For instance, the homepage is the best place for your visitor to get to know your brand and have a first impression. When you want to place a chatbot here, you can set the automated conversation to help your first-ever visitor so that you can familiarize them with your brand. Consider adding media, like explainer videos.
Conversational marketing can be such a powerful way for marketers to stay relevant and appeal to today’s customers. But, of course, it doesn’t mean you have to rely on conversational AI alone and completely eliminate the real, breathing human in your marketing strategy.
Conversational marketing should complement your marketing and sales team. When a query gets too specific, your team can take it over and continue to give personalized answers.
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).