Chatbots. What comes to your mind when you hear this term? An annoying pop-up that blocks your view of a website? A fascinating human-like conversation? An interactive guide to help you find what you want quickly? All these are valid ways chatbots are currently in marketing. However, you already know that. So, why are you here? You’re probably on the fence of deciding whether or not using chatbots for marketing is the best move to improve your business.
Spoiler: Yes, you should use chatbots. Why? Stick around, because, thankfully we have the answers you are looking for.
- In today’s piece, we will discuss why we highly recommend adding chatbots to your marketing systems.
- Also, we will explain what makes something a chatbot: these are the four pillars that we feel are necessary for a good chatbot.
- Furthermore, we will highlight why now is the best time to have a chatbot for marketing. This is for you to prepare appropriately.
- Additionally, this article provides how to use chatbots for marketing. We have broken this down into the three “P’s” that you should consider before you build a chatbot.
- After this, we provide you with the main focus you should have when using a chatbot for marketing.
- For this article, there are two main categories we have divided chatbots into — informational and utility.
What is a Chatbot?
Well, since you’re deciding on using chatbots for marketing, you want to know what we mean by a chatbot. A chatbot is a program written to automate specific tasks through the act of engaging a user in an informative and conversational setting.
A chatbot is nothing complicated or complex. It’s simple at its core. But, the trick is in building it up to be effective. In essence, a chatbot is a fancy way of saying “if-then” statements that are programmed to interact like a human.
All you need is a bot-building platform to program a chatbot. It’s not a complicated process. You could even employ a cheap programmer to set up the framework. The most important part of the building process is where you add, predict and update the responses to what your audience might query. The difficulty of this depends on how often you are willing to update. Why? Because you will get better at doing this with time.
The fundamentals of your inbound messaging framework
Think about a problem your users may face. For example, “How do I know the best place to get good headphones?” on your audiophile-centered blog. Now, you should be available to solve this problem through a messaging app. Your chatbots marketing automation should have the consideration of these typical questions that might come up.
Then it should be able to engage these questions in a friendly and conversational tone. With this, you can integrate the existing records, queries, and audiences into your chatbot to increase the way it engages to have the proper context.
With the user interactions on your website, you should be continually updating your chatbot. The information from these interactions will optimize your conversational strategy and add value to the bot. This, in turn, encourages users to make using the bot a habit. This is how you should approach chatbots and marketing.
To understand your audience, you must first understand their intentions. If you can learn this, building a great chatbot will become second nature for you. Therefore, the flow of the conversations your bot engages has to make use of filtering questions. These are questions that the bot asks to understand the intentions of a user.
For example, in continuation of the headphones scenario, responding with “What are your favorite kinds of headphones? Bass Heavy, Vocal focused, Rich instrumentals?” This question will quickly let the bot know the best actions to take.
You should always aim to deliver solutions to your audience. This means that you should design your chatbot to find answers through the conversations and in the chat window or messaging app. This is what will make users appreciate the usefulness of your chatbot and increase your leads.
Should you be using chatbots for marketing?
You’ve heard this your whole life: “AI is the future”. Well, it’s time to adapt to this future because you have to cash in on the next big thing in marketing. Chatbots. Chatbots in marketing holds immense potential. However, it is mostly misused.
Marketers have the habit of chasing the next big thing and adding it without proper consideration. This is why websites with annoying pop-ups give chatbots bad wrap. Granted, it is highly encouraged to go with the flow of the market. But personally, it should be something you have to consider critically. How will this thing impact my business?
For the topic in discussion, we definitely feel you should use chatbots. But, you have to integrate them in a way that flows and is useful to your target audience.
How do you do that?
Well, think about this. Tyler, a resident in Boston, is on your men’s fashion website to discover the best winter jackets before he goes back to school. Sure, you have articles that list some great winter jackets, but he wants to get straight to something that is his style.
So, he sees a small but visible window that says “Hey, can I help with something?” Tyler clicks on the pop-up, and a little chat window appears. Tyler types “Best stylish winter jackets” and he sees a selection.
He can streamline the process by specifying what he wants. “Cheapest winter jackets”, “Closest store to me”, “Sales on winter jackets near me”. All these have made Tyler experience an interaction that benefited him greatly.
Instead of scrolling through articles, he quickly found what he was looking for. Now, your chatbot could ask a simple but compelling question. “Would you like to receive some more recommendations soon?”. Tyler saw that your bot quickly got him what he wanted, so, he doesn’t mind trying this out again.
Simple, yet it will benefit your business greatly. All your buyer is in search of is a direct line answer as a solution to their problem. This is known as chatbot content marketing.
The Fundamental P’s in using Chatbots for marketing
The reason for creating your chatbot. This is where many digital marketers usually justify their chatbots. They state something along the lines of “Creating a simpler way for my audience to find what they are looking for”. But, you have to provide a more apparent and more defined purpose than that.
Chatbots aren’t just solutions; they are also guides. They show users what they didn’t know they needed while giving them answers. Chatbots offer recommendations and solutions. This is why chatbots for digital marketing are a big deal.
A great example of this is the WeChat app. The platform WeChat provides has a variety of great utility chatbots that have solutions to virtually all problems users may face. This is because the bot has a clear purpose. To provide users with answers to almost all issues they may face.
However, your chatbot does not need to be that complex. You have to know if you are building a chatbot for fun, for marketing, for providing solutions or for increasing traffic. Why? Because these are all distinct purposes and the more defined the goal is the likelihood of a useful chatbot increases.
The platform your chatbot is built on is also vital. There are varieties of chatbots on different platforms currently. Some chatbots are used for b2b marketing. Many of them on websites or messaging apps. These chatbots are distinct depending on the platform. A chatbot on a messaging app has to be for guides, solutions or entertainment and scheduling.
Similar purposes can be created on web-based chatbots. But they are more in tune with using chatbots for marketing. The platform has to be right for users to find utility in the chatbot. So, you should tailor what you provide to the appropriate platform.
So, you’ve finally built your great chatbot, what’s next? How do you get people to use it? Well, with a web-based chatbot, you have to let users know once they visit your site that a chatbot is there. Like with the example with Tyler earlier. Let your users know that it is a bot if it is for guidance purposes. This will help with transparency, especially in the earlier stages of the chatbot.
According to research from Forrester, 5% of companies around the world have been using chatbots regularly since 2016. 20% of these companies are piloting these chatbots, and 32% of them were planning on using them the next year. More brands and marketers are joining the race for chatbots. Therefore, you have to create a useful framework for your bots to reach consumers.
So, you have now found the practical reasons why chatbots are useful in helping marketers to increase their sales. You can now begin to apply these reasons to create your chatbots. Therefore, we hope you build some great chatbots and can’t wait to hear your success stories.
Do you plan on using chatbots for marketing? Tell us in the comments, and we will be ready to help you out with the process!