Chatbots are not the future. They are the present.
90% of the time when you visit the internet for anything, you are greeted by a chatbot. Maybe in the form of commenting bots, or even malware bots that are used to spread viruses. But the most actively used and progressive chatbots are the ones used by businesses to boost their company’s growth through chatbot marketing, customer engagement and support.
These chatbots are everywhere.
The biggest companies are using it. There is barely any social media platform where a chatbot cannot be used. Chatbots ARE the future of marketing. And it is better to start now than to be late to the party.
Latecomers never get the cake, but we want you to get the cake and eat it too.
Consider this blog an invitation to our chatbot party. But before that, here is a rundown of everything you need to know to not get left out.
What are Chatbots?
Chatbots are software programs built to engage received messages and hold conversations with users automatically. Most chatbots follow a set of rules programmed, others are automated with artificial intelligence and machine learning. This allows them to hold complex conversations with users and answer complicated questions to create a better customer experience for a business.
Chatbots are the best way of automating customer engagement in a fast and accessible manner, making them an exciting tool in the user experience environment.
Did you know?
The first chatbot ever was a bot named ELIZA built in 1966.
Since then, a number of chatbots have been built, ranging from Jabberwacky(1988) all the way to our current best friends Siri(2010), Google Assistant(2012) and Alexa(2014).
This development has truly changed the game.
From using a lead generation bot to attract prospective customers browsing through your company's business or socials and converting them to Marketing Qualified Leads(MQLs), to using AI bots to interact with a larger, targeted audience and enhance engagement by being available 24/7. Chatbots have come a long way.
They not only help bring in leads but interact with and understand customers to collect necessary data, and give more personalized responses and recommendations through real-time responses. All while being a cost-effective resource that allows a business owner or marketer to focus on conceptualizing optimal and more successful marketing strategies for their brand.
How to use chatbots for marketing?
There are plenty of ways to use chatbots for marketing.
- Use conversational chatbots to capture data
Conversational bots make marketing easier by automating some processes like handling initial communication and collecting necessary data from consumers. They can also segment leads and identify them. They also encourage customers who ask for product pricing to complete order transactions and getting others to register by providing specific information on the chat itself.
- Integrate with familiar channels
Using chatbots on social media messaging channels like Twitter DM, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger allow brands to connect with customers quickly, making them more accessible to audiences who wouldn't reach out by email or phone.
- Use WhatsApp Click-to-Chat
WhatsApp is one of the biggest channels used for chatbot marketing. Add a Whatsapp Widget to your website or integrate a WhatsApp QR code in your overall business plan to attract and engage as many customers as possible.
- Offer Chatbot exclusive discount offers
Chatbots give real-time, personalized responses to your customers, by engaging them in the conversation using automation. It also allows customers to schedule demos, know more about the brand and talk to live chat. Additionally, provide that “Exclusive” discount that only your chatbot can provide. This adds to the personalisation and helps convert traffic into leads.
- Use polls and other Marketing tools on your Channels
Conduct polls, quizzes and more, using the messaging bots on social media platforms to collect insights into your audience’s needs and wants. Use these insights and customer feedback to improve and update your marketing campaigns and tactics.
What Sephora did to optimise their Brand.
Sephora is one of the first brands to integrate chatbots. This France-based top beauty and self-care brand started using its first bot in 2016 on the Canadian messaging platform, Kik.
Their Objective? To enable personalised and customized product recommendations and ordering through the chatbot.
Their Marketing Game Plan?
Sephora chose Kik as it was one of the most popular messaging apps at the time. The idea was to attract the younger crowd as their target audience.
After going live with the chatbot, Sephora found that the customers were highly engaged in chatting with the brand on Kik and sent an average of ten messages per day.
Since then Sephora has grown into one of the biggest beauty brands known worldwide. Many other companies are replicating and expanding on their chatbot marketing tactics to grow their brand.
Sephora still stands strong, making optimal use of its chatbots and expanding even now.
Currently, Sephora owns 3 chatbots in total.
One on Kik:
- Sephora's Kik bot: This bot takes online quizzes to gather information and make suggestions of products, product reviews, makeup tips, how-to videos. Uses emojis and directs customers to the mobile site or Sephora app for purchase.
Two on Facebook Messenger:
- Sephora Reservation Assistant- A virtual assistant appointment booking bot to reserve a makeover at Sephora stores. The Sephora bot has seen an 11% higher conversion rate compared to other channels for booking in-store makeover appointments. This bot also allows one to connect with live chat if required.
- Sephora Virtual Artist- A shade-matching bot that scans any image and gives a list of products that match the shade.
Another Example of an Innovative Chatbot Marketing Strategy is Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew’s ‘Rig UP’ Chatbot Campaign.
Mountain Dew as the self-proclaimed “unofficial fuel of gamers,” used chatbot marketing to directly connect with its consumer base and used a chatbot to engage their gaming enthusiast customers in the most outstanding way.
What did they do?
For this, Mountain Dew created a custom bot for Twitch. Twitch’s first branded chatbot, DEWBot, played a major role in the promotion of the eight-week long streaming series. Fans could tune in, enjoy exclusive content and win prizes including a fan-assembled Super Gaming Rig worth $50,000.
For 8 whole weeks the brand streamed episodes from their Twitch studio, featuring top gaming hosts, professional gamers and industry insiders. Each episode highlighted a core gaming rig component for the grand prize. DEWBot pushed out polls for fans to vote on for rig components, rewarded users who were present during the stream and allowed on-air hosts to update the community in real-time, including the crown winning rig feature. Each weekly vote helped viewers earn an entry into the grand prize drawing for the Super Rig.
They also created a backend system to allow Twitch users to register with DEWbot. Allowing the bot to directly collect data from the users and enable brand communication. This data allowed Mountain Dew to develop insights about the Twitch community that were previously unavailable to them and better serve and communicate with them. They used well researched FAQ questions and developed strategically timed prompts in a unique DEWbot voice to welcome fans, spark conversations and encourage overall participation.
This campaign was a huge success and as a result, Mountain Dew won a Shorty Award for Best Use of Chatbots and drove some impressive metrics. There was a 265% increase in Mountain Dew’s Twitch fanbase, with 190k unique in-stream viewers and 11.6k hours of branded content watched. The campaign also garnered long-term benefits, not only did they collect insights about Mountain Dew’s Twitch community for future promotions, but the DEWBots custom build, made seamlessly extending into future promotions to connect new insights accessible.
But these examples are of really huge companies and that makes them really hard to rate with. So here is a more relatable example of chatbot marketing that can be used to bring in more leads and better results.
How Dubai Properties used chatbots to scale engagements.
Dubai Properties is a leading real estate master developer based in the United Arab Emirates.
It is responsible for shaping some of Dubai’s most renowned and iconic real estate destinations.
Customers visiting the website have queries around ongoing projects, bookings, or issues people want to report.
The difficulty faced by the business was to answer all of them, especially the repetitive questions that came in at scale across all channels.
Dubai Properties then partnered with Engati Automation Solutions to solve this problem.
This is how Dubai Properties used Chatbots :
- To answer incoming questions, 24/7
The bot provided information about new projects along with the brochures, schedules appointments, answers sales, and support inquiries to any customer coming to the website with queries. 62% of all queries answered by the bot and this also helped increase their Marketing Qualified Leads.
- To improve engagement using Omnichannel support
Dubai Properties used Engati’s omnichannel feature to deploy the same chatbot on both their website and WhatsApp. This helped the support team to keep track of all conversations with the customers through the same chat, helping them solve customer issues better and also target warm leads to increase conversions.
- To Scale engagements
The bot helped personalise real time conversations while interacting with multiple users across channels, leading to a 5x increase in its engagements.
These changes in practices helped the country grow 10x times faster than before and make chatbot marketing an integral part of their business development and marketing strategies.
Marketing in 2023
The last 2 years of Covid lockdown have brought in a lot of change in the digital sector. The AI technology sector has thus grown massively in the time people were stuck in their homes. The world has become digitised and there is more scope in digital marketing than ever before.
One can say that digital marketing has become the main form of marketing in the new post covid times. Selling your product has never been easier. Selling your product has never been harder. The world is rapidly changing and competition keeps increasing.
The only constant? Innovation.
What is your prediction for the future of marketing and chatbots in 2023?
Do let us know.
Till then here is a blog on 18 best chatbot platforms of 2022.