Chatbots are growing in popularity as functionality continues to evolve. In 2022, 17% of marketers integrated automation or artificial intelligence like chatbots and AI-powered segmentation into their strategy.
Chatbot marketing offers several benefits to brands. Continue reading to learn expert marketing tips for small businesses.
What are Chatbots in Marketing?
Chatbots in marketing are computer programs that simulate conversation with users through the use of artificial intelligence. They are often integrated into websites, mobile apps, and messaging platforms to provide quick and convenient customer service, gather information from leads, and assist with sales and marketing efforts. They can also be used to personalize and automate marketing campaigns and provide personalized product recommendations to customers.
Benefits of Chatbot Marketing
Automation: Chatbots can automate repetitive tasks, such as answering frequently asked questions, freeing up time for human customer service representatives to focus on more complex issues.
24/7 Availability: They can operate around the clock, providing customers with assistance whenever they need it.
Personalization: Chatbots can use data from a customer’s interactions to personalize their experience and offer tailored recommendations.
Cost-effective: They are relatively inexpensive to develop and maintain and can handle a large volume of interactions simultaneously.
Data collection: Chatbots can collect data on customer interactions to improve the customer experience and inform business decisions.
How to Create a Chatbot Marketing Strategy
Creating a chatbot marketing strategy involves careful planning and consideration of various factors to ensure customer satisfaction. Here are some steps to guide you in developing an effective strategy for your marketing team:
1. Set Clear Goals: Define the specific goals you want to achieve with your chatbot. Whether it’s increasing lead generation, improving customer support, driving conversions, or enhancing user engagement, clearly outline your objectives to align your digital marketing strategy accordingly.
2. Identify Target Audience and Use Cases: Understand your target audience and their preferences. Identify the key use cases where a chatbot can add value. This could include answering FAQs, providing product recommendations, guiding users through the customer journey, or offering personalized assistance.
3. Choose the Right Platform: Select a chatbot platform that aligns with your requirements and offers the features you need. Popular options include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, or building a custom chatbot for your website or mobile app.
4. Design Conversational Flows: Map out the conversational flows and user journeys that your chatbot will follow. Consider different scenarios and design responses that are natural, helpful, and engaging. Take into account potential user inputs, questions, and possible outcomes.
5. Provide Value-Added Content: Integrate your chatbot with valuable content resources such as blog articles, videos, or product catalogs. This allows the chatbot to offer relevant information to users and drive engagement. Consider tailoring content to specific user segments to provide a personalized experience.
6. Integrate with Existing Systems: If applicable, integrate your chatbot with existing systems such as CRM, e-commerce platforms, or customer support software. This enables seamless data exchange and enhances the chatbot’s capabilities to provide personalized recommendations, track user interactions, and deliver a consistent experience across touchpoints.
7. Promote Your Chatbot: Develop a promotion plan to make users aware of your chatbot’s availability. Leverage various marketing channels such as email, social media, website banners, or paid advertising to drive traffic to your chatbot and encourage potential customers to engage with it.
8. Monitor and Optimize: Regularly monitor the performance of your chatbot using metrics like user engagement, completion rates, and customer feedback. Analyze data to identify areas for improvement and optimize your chatbot’s responses and functionalities accordingly.
9. Provide Human Support: While chatbots can handle many customer inquiries, it’s important to have a seamless handover process to a human agent when necessary. Ensure your chatbot can seamlessly transfer conversations to live agents, maintaining a positive user experience.
10. Iterate and Improve: Continuously refine and enhance your chatbot marketing strategy based on user feedback, changing customer needs, and emerging technologies. Stay updated with industry trends and explore new features or integrations that can further enhance your chatbot’s capabilities.
Chatbot Marketing Tips for Your Small Business
1. Generate and Qualify Leads
Chatbots are a handy tool that can reduce much of the manual labor required to engage with website visitors and determine if they are a good fit for your services. For lead generation, set up your chatbot to prompt website visitors with contextual messaging based on the content they are interacting with.
If your website visitors are reading a blog, case study, or web page about a specific topic, start the chat with a question or more info that aligns with what they are looking for. Consider which questions new customers often ask about these services and load pre-scripted answers into your chatbot to address these. Common themes include pricing, features, availability, support, etc.
2. Launch a Personalized Dialogue With Live Agents
Because chatbots engage visitors as soon as they land on your website, they enable support agents to gather CX insights in real-time. An automated live welcome message allows customers to show the purpose of their visit before starting a conversation with a team member.
Using AI to start the conversation takes the guesswork out of how to offer more targeted support. It’s also a customer-centric way to create a more personalized, instantaneous, and effortless experience.
3. Trigger Your Chatbots at the Right Time
It’s no surprise that no one really looks forward to using a website chatbot—they’re often tools we turn to only when we can’t find the information we need. In fact, most of us find chatbots invasive and distracting, especially if they pop up multiple times on many pages.
So using them sparingly, and at the right time, is what makes all the difference. You don’t want to spam your users with information; you want to time it right so that your chatbot comes to the rescue exactly when they need it. Waiting a few minutes is usually the best strategy since it ensures you’ve given your audience some time to browse your website on their own without interrupting their experience.
4. Align Your Chatbot With Your Branding Strategy
When incorporating a chatbot into your marketing strategy, it is crucial to align it with your company’s branding guidelines. This includes ensuring that the language and tone of the chatbot match the tone and voice established for your brand.
By customizing the chatbot’s personality to reflect your brand’s unique identity, you can increase trust and engagement with website visitors. Additionally, make sure that the chatbot provides value to your audience by making relevant and useful suggestions. By aligning the chatbot’s tone and personality with your brand, you can create a more effective and engaging marketing strategy.
Let’s take a brief break to learn more about chatbot marketing.
5. Produce Segmented Product Recommendations
Chatbots can recommend products to segmented audiences who visit a website. The better these bots get at identifying users’ needs, the more sophisticated they and the data they collect become.
AI can not only help identify and direct customers with specific needs or issues, but it can also suggest products to browsing users at any time of day based on their behavioral activity.
With strategic segmentation and timing, chatbots become low-cost marketing representatives that facilitate customers to make an appropriate purchase. Ideally, over time, these chatbots can streamline customers’ finding the object of their search intent faster.
6. Balance Your Live Chat to Chatbot Ratio.
Let the chatbots handle a high volume of simple interactions and inquiries and free up your customer service team to focus on more complex or high-priority tasks. This way, you’ll improve overall efficiency and responsiveness to customer inquiries, while also keeping your customer service team happy by relieving the most tedious part of their workload.
While chatbots provide super quick and convenient access to information for customers, we should use live chat for more complex and personalized interactions that require a human touch. Don’t underestimate the power of building a deeper connection with customers.
7. Think About Your User’s Intent and Context First
When using a chatbot, it’s tempting to think from your sales-needs point of view. Instead, consider why someone would use a chatbot.
Chances are they don’t care about TOFU or MOFU. They may look for something not listed or not well-optimized on your website. Alternatively, they may look for a personalized answer. Communicate clearly what your customers can and can’t expect your chatbot to do, based on what your customers are hoping to have as an outcome.
8. Adopt a Conversational Tone
Using a conversational tone in your chatbot’s messaging is important because it helps to create a more natural and engaging experience for the user. When users feel like they are having a conversation with a real person, rather than interacting with a robotic or formulaic system, they are more likely to be receptive to the chatbot’s messaging and more likely to continue the conversation.
To use a conversational tone in your chatbot, try to avoid using overly formal language or jargon that may be confusing to users. Instead, use simple, straightforward language and try to imitate the way a human might speak in a casual conversation.
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