Today’s world of digital marketing is robust and diverse. This means marketers have all kinds of resources at their fingertips and can connect with customers and manage relationships on a variety of channels. From powerfully-built CRMs to drive home sales to project management software that keeps campaigns organized, the right tech can help get the job done. Automation abounds, and the best strategy likely encompasses a variety of tools and technologies.
One technology leading the way online is chatbot marketing. Marketers all around the world are opting for this kind of customer connection automation. In fact, the global chatbot market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of nearly 25% between 2021 and 2028. This means savvy marketers and business people are turning to chatbots and other conversational marketing tools at quickly escalating rates.
Let’s dive into the details about chatbot marketing, conversational marketing, and how businesses like yours can use these tools to build a strategy of success.
What is Chatbot Marketing?
Chatbot marketing is a digital marketing strategy businesses and marketers employ to help automate communication with customers. Chatbot marketing uses software called chatbots to automate conversations with end-users. Users will find that chatbots can converse and respond in a way a human agent might, often using programmed responses based on what the end-user inputs or requests.
Consider an example: A chatbot on a website might ask a visitor what business service or product they would like to learn more about. The bot would provide a response based on the visitor’s input, leading the user to more information and possible conversion.
There are two main kinds of chatbots:
- Rules-based chatbots are sometimes called decision-tree bots or scripted chatbots. You’ve likely interacted with a rules-based chatbot before, as they are quite prevalent on websites, social media messengers, and other platforms.
A rules-based chatbot is programmed to interact with end-users using “if/then logic.” A human agent has mapped out how a conversation with a user might go and has programmed the chatbot to respond to certain inputs with certain answers. Rules-based chatbots often rely on clear call-to-action buttons and logical next steps.
- AI chatbots are a little more complex. AI chatbots use Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms to learn as they go. Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and other virtual assistants are advanced examples of AI chatbots.
AI chatbots can learn to think like humans by classifying intent and responding with the correct tone. They can generate a conversational response to an inquiry or request that seems like a response from a human agent.
A chatbot marketing strategy can help a business by automating common processes, responding to common customer inquiries, and even processing sales and closing the deal. Companies commonly rely on both rules-based chatbots and AI chatbots to serve customers and reduce workloads for human agents.
What is Conversational Marketing?
Chatbots can be a part of your company’s conversational marketing strategy. What is conversational marketing? In the most simple terms, conversational marketing is an inbound strategy that creates two-way discussions and dialogues with end-users, prospects, and customers.
Conversational marketing is customer-centered. It might drive customer engagement, improve the customer journey, and even help drive revenue. You’ll find that conversational marketing can take place on a variety of channels or mediums, each of which boils down to one-on-one communication.
Phone calls, chatbot conversations, emails, SMS or text messages, and other one-on-one interactions drive conversational marketing. Many marketers have found that the key to a strong conversational marketing strategy is meeting your customers where they are — no matter whether that’s online, on the phone, or anywhere else.
The “pull” associated with conversational marketing is meeting your customers on their preferred channel and adjusting dialogue to meet their needs. Conversational marketing can be quite informal and even mimic a casual conversation.
Many conversational marketing strategies include the use of both AI chatbots and rules-based chatbots. Chatbots can interact with your customers one-on-one just like a human agent might. This simulated conversation can help drive conversions and sales by gathering data, pre-qualifying leads, and even assisting with purchases. These factors, and others, make chatbot marketing essential to conversational success.
Why is Chatbot Marketing Important?
Chatbot marketing drives many advertising and selling strategies. For example, a chatbot can collect data, evaluate leads, drive customer engagement, and keep tabs on returning website visitors. Taking advantage of chatbot technology means your customers can always get answers to their questions.
There are a number of other reasons why chatbot marketing is important.
Many customers prefer to interact with chatbots
Many people, especially when doing business online, just prefer to chat with a bot. Statistics show that 40% of internet users from around the world actually prefer to communicate with a chatbot over a real, live, human.
This statistic might mean that chatbot marketing could revolutionize how consumers and businesses interact. Chatbots are an important part of marketing strategy and can be used in a variety of business sectors, from tech to retail to healthcare.
Most customers expect immediate responses
It’s a fact: today’s customers want real-time and on-demand information from businesses. A recent survey showed that a whopping 90% of consumers expect an instant response when they have customer-service-related inquiries. Along the same lines, 82% of customers expect an immediate response from businesses they interact with when they have sales or marketing questions.
Comprehensive communication solutions, like chatbot marketing, are important because they can provide on-the-spot answers to your customers’ burning questions.
Chatbots improve customer service
Say it with us: customer service is a part of your overall marketing strategy. The hallmark of a solid marketing strategy is creating a customer experience that turns prospects into leads, and leads into conversions. Customer service is at the heart of this journey and should be considered each step along the way.
Chatbot marketing can be an essential part of the customer journey and can even be the first step in a conversational marketing strategy. Chatbots free up customer support staff to work more directly with consumers and provide more personalized services.
Chatbots increase conversions
Ushering customers down your sales funnel is what leads to conversions. The sales funnel opens with awareness, then narrows toward interest, decision, and closes at the action, which is in many cases the conversion. This means the sales funnel maps out your customer’s journey and thought process, as well as their decision-making process.
Chatbot marketing can help you keep users on the right path to conversion with one-on-one communication. They can solve problems, provide assistance, and reassure visitors that their satisfaction is important to your business.
Chatbots reduce costs
The use of chatbot marketing can come with serious cost savings for businesses. In fact, between 2018 and 2023, chatbots are expected to save companies in the retail, healthcare, and banking industries $11 billion.
The cost savings comes via automation and reducing the workload for human staff. Not only do chatbots reduce costs for businesses, but they also free live customer service agents to handle more complex tasks more efficiently, which in turn can improve interactions, consumer satisfaction, and lead to an increase in revenue.
Chatbots can help resolve complaints
No matter how perfect the product or service, many businesses have found that you can’t please everyone all the time. Customer complaints will happen at some point, and both rules-based chatbots and AI chatbots can be equipped to handle them.
The use of bots in complaint resolution leads to massively increased efficiency, with 90% of respondents to a recent MIT survey indicating that AI bots have helped them see measurable improvements in the speed of handling complaints.
All of the factors above indicate why chatbot marketing is important. How businesses use chatbot marketing is also essential, as there are many different ways to apply a bot-based strategy.
How Do Businesses Use Chatbot Marketing?
All sorts of businesses have found that chatbot marketing integrates perfectly with their overall strategy. From simply boosting engagement to providing personalized service, chatbots can both engage and retain customers. The incentives of using a bot-based strategy abound. With that in mind, let’s explore some of the ways businesses use chatbot marketing.
Help customers find products
Businesses use chatbots to assist their customers in sourcing the products they are seeking. From finding a favorite in a new color to determining the best fit, a chatbot can interact with a consumer just like a sales agent to help customers find products. A rules-based chatbot might be programmed with a menu that provides access to information about available products and services and be used to gather information about what consumers want.
Respond to website visitors
Businesses use chatbots to respond to website visitors. A chatbot might be used to welcome guests, schedule appointments, and answer questions. With so many consumers seeking immediate responses, a chatbot can deliver the right answer to website visitors in just seconds.
Want to know another great thing about how chatbots can respond to website visitors?
Unlike human agents who have the biological need to sleep, rest, and take lunch breaks, a chatbot can be available 24/7.
Interact via social media
Businesses use chatbots to provide personalized social media interactions to all kinds of consumers. Messaging platforms like WhatsApp and social media messages sent via tools like Facebook can be automated with bots.
This kind of application not only provides efficient service and quick responses but also makes your business both highly accessible to consumers and lets you engage with customers. Two billion worldwide users are on WhatsApp, and chatbot marketing can help you serve your customers from within that platform.
Businesses use chatbots to determine how likely a customer is to purchase a product or service. This process is called qualifying leads and can save your live agents from doing the legwork by weeding out tire-kickers and others not likely to make a purchase. After the leads are qualified by the chatbot, a customer service agent or account executive can follow up.
Businesses use chatbots to learn more about their customers by conducting surveys. Surveys can be a very effective tool when it comes to improving your business and operations, and your customers are your most valuable source of information.
Automating the survey and data collection process with a chatbot can provide you with the data you need to drive enhancement and development along the way. In fact, many businesses have found that the high engagement rate associated with chatbots is far superior to email and can even provide instant results.
Businesses use chatbots to take the burden off human agents, but sometimes only a live person will do. This is why many businesses use chatbots to schedule calls. This allows the conversion marketing process to continue down another channel and lets customers connect with a manager or agent who is equipped to address their needs. Calls can take place instantaneously or even be scheduled in advance, which allows your consumer to connect on their terms and timeline.
Businesses use chatbots to integrate with CRMs and provide personalized services. Not only can this help qualify leads, but it can also impress your customers with specially tailored guidance and information.
A chatbot might greet a returning customer by name, provide information based on the size of their enterprise, or provide other customized information. This personalized information can enhance the both UX and customer journey, and send consumers further down the funnel toward conversion.
Upsell and cross-sell
Businesses use chatbots to sell enhanced and additional services. In many cases, the first conversion is certainly not the last and it begins the start of a relationship. In fact, upselling a current customer can be 68% more valuable than attracting a new customer.
A chatbot can be used to promote additional and applicable products and services. Upselling involves nudging customers toward a more expensive version of the product or service they seek; cross-selling involves suggesting additional complementary services or products. Let chatbots do the talking and encourage add-ons and upgrades.
Track user interactions
Businesses use chatbots to gather information about customer interactions. The right chatbot can be integrated with tools like Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to examine events, keep tabs on interactions, and much more.
JivoChat works in tandem with event tracking in GA and GTM to provide information on all kinds of user behavior, including when or how the chat was established or initiated, what invitations were shown, and what actions occurred.
Businesses use chatbots to improve user accessibility and ensure their digital channels are inclusive of all users. Many chatbot tools allow the integration of rich content, which means audio files can be uploaded to provide auditory responses. This can make chatbot services and benefits available to visually impaired users, as well as those who just prefer listening to reading. You can also customize color in many chatbot widgets to ensure contrast meets ADA guidelines.
Provide shipping information
Businesses use chatbots to connect with customers and provide information about package tracking and delivery status. Your customers are likely eager to receive your products and will be eager to check the transit status and stay up to date with delivery times and more. Providing essential information about shipping will meet your customers’ immediate demands and help foster ongoing relationships through great service.
How Will You Use ChatBots to Improve Your Marketing Strategy?
Chatbot marketing and conversational marketing can be an essential part of your overall strategy. The benefits of chatbots abound for marketing teams, support teams, and most importantly, your customers.
Make your marketing master plan include the use of chatbots. Advantages include sales optimization, improved support service, social media, and CRM integration. JivoChat offers a number of plans and solutions to help your business establish the best chatbot marketing strategy for your unique needs.
From meeting customer demands and preferences to significant cost savings for your business, chatbots can greatly improve your marketing strategy.
If you’re ready to use chatbots to upgrade your game plan, reach out to JivoChat now.