Chatbot marketing: Why chatbots are a fantastic marketing tool
Before we discuss chatbot marketing technology, here’s something you would like to think about.
Remember the time back in 2004, Zuckerberg’s Facebook reign took the world by storm? 6 years later, Facebook lost its thunder to Instagram but quickly took the photo-sharing networking site under its wings within 2 years. In parallel, we saw the rise and fall of Orkut, Yahoo, MySpace, Google+, to name a few, while the others - YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Skype, LinkedIn - stood out. In the battle between these various social media channels, who is the biggest capitalist? Someone who simply watches the show from the outside but takes great advantage out of every possible situation that is available.
As a content marketer myself, I am glad that the battle for social rise occurred in the first place. Just when spam became another term for marketing emails and cold calling lost its charm, social media emerged as the true winner. It has helped in keeping work active, happening, competitive yet, fun. Now everybody wants to reach out to everybody to market their products and services.
It’s funny how marketers are the followers of the followers. Wherever the majority goes - Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp - marketers follow.
Then we learnt to move ahead with applications, which did a great job in keeping business up. Messaging apps overtook social networks in popularity long back but what can we say? On an average, a person has only 5 applications tops in their mobile phone. This is when there are thousands of apps to compete with. As a result, we now have chatbot marketing to serve as the perfect marketing tool shining bright.
Before we take this further, chatbot marketing will rule as long as it doesn’t repeat the mistakes of other marketing tools and stands out on its own. Chatbots can provide some real returns on your investment as long as you play by the rules, but just enough.
Chatbot Marketing 101
You cannot afford to spam your audience with a chatbot
A chatbot is not a service that your customers pay for. In fact, you either build a chatbot on your own or look for a paid chatbot building platform. Either way, it’s your money but a free tool for your customers to look for information. If you share constant messages with them, try to sell them something, follow-up with them on an unnecessary frequent basis, they will leave. It’s as simple as that.
Chatbots were built to help customers and not spam them. So, this is one of the methods where you have to play by the rules. If you really want to reach out to your customers through chatbot marketing, what you can do is-
- Keep the messaging useful. For example, share discount offers, best deals, special coupons, etc.
- Share informational follow-ups like, “Your free trial is about to get over, would you like us to renew it for you?”, or something along these lines. However, don’t even try to go ahead and renew the subscription on your own. That’s a dead deal.
Customers won’t like talking to your bot if it’s not interactive and conversational
In many cases the chatbot openly asks the user to put a random input. It’s like asking an English-speaking person to begin talking to someone who is Spanish, Russian or Japanese. Similarly, the bot can’t always understand you because human language per se is foreign to a machine. Therefore, training your bot to understand natural language and context is necessary.
Contextual Conversations is one such chatbot feature that allows the bot to develop memory, understand and remember the context and respond to the user accordingly.Many intent prediction models, which focus on deep learning, make use of RNN (recurrent neural network) and CNN (convolutional neural network) to automate semantic understanding.
There are many other ways to make your chatbot more interactive and human-like, like integrating voice feature for chatbot, offering multilingual chatbot support, etc. Once you create an easy to use, interactive platform, it becomes more simple to create a chatbot marketing channel.
Build a bot not just to generate leads but to retain paying customers
This is another aspect of marketing that most marketers don’t worry (or should we say care) about. Let’s not forget that it’s all about making connections, just like the old saying-
“Make new friends but be close to the old ones. The new ones are silver but the old ones are gold.”
Now I don’t know who said it but whoever did, did a good job. Even Forbes agrees. We count this among the basics of marketing where acquiring a new customer is always going to be more expensive than retaining an old, trusted client. This holds true for chatbot marketing as well.
That’s why the seniors at work keep asking you to “focus on building a relationship. Rest of the sales & marketing will take care of itself.”
So, the next time you begin working on a promotional campaign or a sales campaign, dedicate resources on retention campaigns as well. Chatbot marketing will come handy in achieving good results through this campaign via push notifications. Chatbots are useful and a great means to engage your existing customers.
Sweet & simple push notifications work wonders.
“Hey there Alex! We see that you have thoroughly enjoyed your monthly subscription and we believe that you’d like to stay with us. Please continue your amazing journey with us by renewing your subscription right here….”
“Hey Carl, welcome back! We see that the transaction of your previous purchase was successful. Would you like to have a look at the latest collection of our satin table cover to go with the set?”
And there you go!
Chatbots can be really entertaining if you train them to be
We know Siri has a nice sense of humour. I don’t know about Google Home or Alexa but from what I have heard, they can be hilarious if they want to be.Now don’t confuse chatbot marketing with engagement because both are like sisters, who care for each other. You engage with customers and care for them, chatbot marketing part takes care of itself.
Show genuine concern, tell jokes, ask for customer feedback, give discounts to long-term customers, do what it takes to convince your customer that you are their best choice. Otherwise they can always go to a competitor. If you keep regular check and get back to them with upgrade plans, new offers or new features, they would be delighted to get more done through your business. However, if you bug them only for recurring payments then, of course, you know...
No information is disheartening but wrong information is frustrating
It’s one thing to not find information and it’s another to altogether find the wrong information. I’ll give you an example from what happened with me once.
When I was in 7th grade I asked one of the Math teachers at school something about pi. We were doing geometry and therefore were deluged with pi. So, I asked her, “Ma'am, we’ve been using pi everywhere but ‘what’ is it?” To this, she replied, “What do you mean what is pi? It’s a constant in a formula. How can you even ask ‘what’ it is?”
After school I went home and told my mother about what had happened. I felt guilty about asking the wrong question. She was shell shocked.
Anyway, it’s important for your business to not repeat what the teacher did. If you build a chatbot that doesn’t know something or cannot find an answer to a question then a simple, “I’m sorry but I didn’t understand that”, is enough. With chatbot marketing you can follow up with any of the leading questions-
Could you please rephrase your question?I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for that! Please select any of the given options.Please let me know what you’re looking for and I will keep it in mind for the next time we talk!Would you like to talk to a human?
Helpful and empathetic via chatbot marketing.
Lastly, chatbot marketing is a marathon for long-term gains
We know for a fact that human labour is expensive, time consuming and in most cases, very high maintenance. Let’s look at the various spheres of corporate domains in which chatbot marketing technology can easily overtake human intervention-
- Customer Support
- Follow ups
- Interview/Meeting scheduling
- Social media engagement, and more
That’s why the visionary innovators crack their brains on simplifying technology and bringing about automation. They invest on tech enthusiasts to try their product and SaaS technology to share feedback. If it’s a thumbs up from then comes the time to reach the market that consists of the early adopters. Eventually, the products reach the late adopters and may or may not reach the laggards, who aren’t important from business perspective anyway.
See how time taking the entire process is? This is why let chatbot marketing manage the business-customer interaction because we, as humans, are barely patient. So, why us? Let the machine handle it. And it will manage and engage your customers forever.
Blog cover photo by Nicolai Berntsen on Unsplash
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