How do you get to know what your customers want and alleviate their concerns? By actually having a conversation with them, duh…
That’s what conversational marketing is all about - engaging with your customers, understanding them on a deeper level, and making marketing more personal for them.
What is conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing is all about guiding your customers and prospects through the customer journey and helping them flow down the sales funnel with one-to-one, personalized interactions in the form of real-time conversations.
These conversations can be over various channels like your website, mobile app, social media, email, and even telephone, but the channel gaining the most traction would have to be chat. It’s quicker, takes less effort, and allows your customers to interact with your brand in real-time. That’s why chatbots and live chat are at the vanguard of the conversational marketing revolution. In fact, its so effective that the AMA found out that shoppers who use live chat become 3x more likely to make a purchase.
How Conversational Marketing works?
Online businesses are growing every day. Businesses can’t expect to grow without an online presence. But yet there are many who still prefer traditional stores. Why?
The customer experience.
Traditional stores have dedicated salesperson who tend to different customers and their preferences individually. How do these stores personalize the experience?
By conversing and understanding the customers needs,
That’s exactly why Conversational Marketing is so important in Online businesses.
- Holds attention - There are a million online businesses out there, all competing with each other. With so many options available, customers tend to have a very short attention span and patience, they’ll surf through multiple websites, it’s important for businesses to stand out from the crowd.
- Personalize - Chatbots and live agents help customers with the elevating their entire customer experience. Chatbots stand in for the personal touch online stores lack compared to traditional business, they help bridge the gap. Chatbots understand customer behaviour and help them navigate through the entire purchase process.
- Relatability - Social media has helped customers come closer to their favourite businesses. This has led to better brand associations. Brands create content relatable to their customers and create a platform the customers to engage with the business.
- Higher conversions- More conversations lead to more conversions. An effecitve conversational strategy helps in building a great customer relationship and leads to higher conversions. Customers feel more acquainted with the businesses and tend to make more purchases with businesses they feel more comfortable with. 9
Types of Conversational Marketing
There are many channels you can use to communicate with your customers.
- Emails - The classic and the most essential way to communicate with your customers. All important communication between customers and the business takes place via emails.
- Social Media - The best way to engage with your customers is on social media. Social media has brought brands closer to their customers. Brands create content relatable to their customers and resonates well with them.
- Chatbots - Chatbots are basically a virtual point of contact for online businesses, they help businesses offer a personalized touch to their customers, which usually is missing in online businesses.
- Live Agents - Live agents step in when customers need help with any complex queries. Live agents combined with chatbots can elevate the customer experience provided by any business.
What are the 5 benefits of conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing allows you to offer your prospects an interactive experience when they learn about your business and engage with you.
Let’s say you want to collect data about your leads. The chances of them filling out a form are rather low. Even if they do open up a form, the second they see a large number of fields to be filled, they’re going to think it’s going to take an enormous amount of effort, and they’ll close it.
But if you collect this information in a conversational format via a chatbot, they won’t see a million questions right off the bat, so they won’t get intimidated and immediately close your bot. You can even use the bot to qualify your leads before passing them on to your sales team by asking questions in the bot flow itself.
Using conversational marketing helps you guide prospects through the sales funnel instead of hoping for them to naturally flow through the entire customer journey on their own. You don’t want them to get stuck at the consideration or comparison pages when they have questions about your products, so you can use chatbots to answer product-related questions as soon as they come up, letting them flow to the next stage till they reach the stage where they’d make the buying decision.
Without making use of conversational marketing tools, the buying experience might feel robotic or impersonal. Conversational marketing helps you add that human element by greeting your customers on your online store and even interacting with them in real-time via chatbots and live chat, thus simulating a natural, in-store buying experience to some extent.
When you’re looking at the behavior patterns of your customers, you can only see what they’re doing and make educated guesses about why they are doing those things. But when you engage in conversational marketing, you get to talk about them and learn why they are doing the things that they are doing. It helps you understand your customers in a more comprehensive manner.
Using conversational marketing can be very effective in driving more sales. There are multiple reasons behind this, but the most significant one is that your prospects get instant answers to all their questions and they aren’t forced to hunt for answers on their own (let’s face it, they’d eventually drift away from your website).
Forrester has actually shown that making use of live chat can increase your revenue per hour by 48% and boost your conversion rate by 40%.
5 conversational marketing best practices
Personalize your conversational marketing efforts according to their requirements and well as the stage in the customer journey in which they are. This allows you to strike a chord with them by showing them the content that they need to see, right when they need to see it, and on the channel on which it would be the most impactful.
Track the messaging and the conversation flows that have the most impact and drive the most marketing conversions so that you know what’s working out for you. You’d also want to keep an eye on what isn’t working out so that you can keep tweaking them and experimenting on them. You wouldn’t want to stop optimizing when you start getting decent results from them, keep looking for ways to go from good to great.
You need to ask your customers for feedback about the conversations that they’ve had with you across various touchpoints. Find out whether they were satisfied with the answers and help they received and whether they actually got the information that they were looking for through the conversation.
If you are using chatbots and/or live chat, make use of post-chat surveys to find out what their experience with the conversation was like.
You’d want to fit conversational marketing into your omnichannel marketing strategy. Make it possible for your customers to engage and interact with you irrespective of the channel that they are currently using. And make sure that you always have the context of conversations from previous interactions across all your channels, so that your customers can pick up where they left off instead of having to repeat themselves (let’s face it, we all hate repeating ourselves).
That’s where Engati’s omnichannel chatbots and live chat solution come in. We stitch together conversations that you’ve had with a user across 14+ channels so that your bot and your agents always have context and never need to ask your customers or prospects to repeat themselves.
You’ve got to frame your conversational marketing strategy from your customers’ perspective. Figure out what questions they’d have on different touchpoints across various stages of the customer journey. Make sure that you’re interacting with them in the language they prefer. Ensure that you’re driving your conversational marketing efforts over the channels that your customers prefer using. Basically, you’ve got to make it all about them, not you.
You’d also want to keep their emotional state in mind while interacting with them. Your agents should assess their emotional state and tweak their interactions accordingly. And if you’re using chatbots, make sure that your bots use sentiment analysis to figure out how your customers and prospects are feeling and then respond in an appropriate manner.
Even the tone of your conversations should resonate with your customers. If you’re targeting your conversational marketing campaigns at a young, hip, urban demographic, you wouldn’t want to sound like a formal, conservative person. Tailor your tone to suit your customers and make them feel comfortable interacting with you.
How to craft a conversational marketing strategy?
This is easier than it seems. The most important thing, however, is to frame your strategy keeping your customers in mind. It should be less “What do I want to do?” and more “What would my customers want me to do?”
Step 1 involves figuring out where your customers get confused or stall in the buyer journey. These are points when you’d want to reach out to them and start conversations. This helps you figure out which channels you would want to engage with them over.
After that, you need to figure out how you want your conversation to flow and how you want to guide your customers through the buyer journey. You’d want to keep the interactions simple, but not let them seem robotic.
Next, you would want to pick the systems that you want to have in place for your conversational marketing efforts to run smoothly. Use chatbots along with human interaction so that you’re able to engage your customers 24/7 and get speed as well as personalization into the mix.