The digital marketing industry is constantly evolving, and with that comes new tools and technologies for professionals to take advantage of. From CRMs and project management software to automation and AI, there are plenty of options for marketers to connect with their audience and manage campaigns.
One of these tools is chatbot technology, which has become increasingly popular in recent years. Chatbots allow businesses to engage with potential buyers through personalized conversations, provide customer support, and automate tasks.
And it seems that chatbot marketing is on the rise, with the global chatbot market projected to grow 25% in the coming years. Chatbots and other conversational marketing tools are valuable assets for businesses looking to streamline their marketing efforts and reach a wider audience.
In this article:
- What is chatbot marketing?
- Benefits of using chatbots for marketing
- Chatbot marketing use cases
- Seven proven tips to improve your chatbot marketing strategy
- Improve your marketing strategy with chatbot data
What is chatbot marketing?
Chatbot marketing is a strategy that uses chatbot software for conversational marketing. It allows businesses to automate customer interactions and provide real-time personalized communication. It also helps companies to communicate with leads 24/7, even when their marketing and sales team is unavailable. They can answer support questions, initiate conversations with website visitors, qualify leads, and persuade customers to buy additional products or services.
Using chatbots in your marketing strategy can attract and engage potential customers on your website, app, or social media platforms, leading to a higher conversion rate of marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) or sales-qualified leads (SQLs). This technique helps reach digital marketing goals without needing extra staff.
Businesses can employ different types of chatbots for marketing purposes. Rule-based chatbots use if-then statements to answer common customer questions but may have difficulty with more complex queries. AI chatbots use advanced technologies like deep learning, natural language processing, and sentiment analysis to create a natural conversation with users. They can also learn from previous interactions and respond more like a human. The most advanced chatbot currently available is conversational AI, which incorporates all these elements.
Benefits of using chatbots for marketing
Chatbots are an innovative and valuable tool for marketing that can bring a wide range of benefits to businesses. Here are some of the top benefits of using chatbots for marketing:
Automation of marketing processes
Chatbots can automate many routine marketing tasks, such as answering common customer questions, scheduling appointments, and sending targeted marketing messages. They can also be programmed to take on some initial lead qualification processes by asking the appropriate questions that capture necessary customer data. This frees up time and resources for your marketing team to focus on more critical tasks.
Provide 24/7 customer support
Chatbots are available around the clock throughout the year, which means they can answer customer questions and concerns anytime, day or night. This helps ensure that your customers always get the support they need, even when your team is offline.
Chatbots are a cost-effective marketing tool compared to traditional tactics such as print or television advertising. They can reach a larger audience and have various pricing options. Chatbots can also reduce customer service costs through automation.
Increase efficiency and productivity
Chatbots can handle a large volume of customer inquiries and transactions without human intervention, freeing up your time to focus on other functions. This can be especially helpful for small businesses that may not have the resources to hire additional customer service staff.
Offer traffic segmentation
Using chatbots for marketing, you can segment traffic and advertise your products to the right audience, as segmented and targeted communication drives around 77% of a company's ROI. For example, when a buyer shows interest in your pricing or a product, the chatbot identifies them as a warm lead and engages them at the right time based on that user segmentation.
Reduce customer churn
High customer support standards can cause loyal users to churn if they cannot get the help they need. Long wait times can also contribute to high churn rates. Implementing a chatbot can help decrease churn by providing fast response times and immediate access to critical information, especially for businesses with high numbers of customers requiring support.
Data collection and analysis
Marketing chatbots enable businesses to collect declared data about their target audience. Declared data is information that customers provide when dealing with your company in a one-on-one interaction. Collecting and analyzing this type of first party data can help you customize the customer experience (CX), automate tailored retargeting, perform primary market research for new services, and extract consumer insights from social networking platforms.
Provide cross-channel communication
Chatbots can provide seamless cross-channel communication, which means you can reach customers through multiple channels such as email, SMS, and social media. This helps ensure that you are always connected to your customers and can provide them with the support they need on their chosen platforms.
Chatbot marketing use cases
Here are some common chatbot marketing use cases:
A chatbot can improve the customer experience by allowing orders to be placed directly through chat and assist e-commerce businesses in taking orders. If a customer is not ready to purchase, the chatbot can narrow their search and gather necessary information before connecting them with a sales representative. This benefits businesses as the chatbot can determine the specific products a customer is interested in before directing them to sales reps.
Chatbots streamline the booking process for customers by connecting to your calendar and prompting them to provide the necessary information, such as desired date, time, and contact information. This system allows you to focus on other tasks while providing an efficient booking experience for your buyers, which is particularly helpful for service-based businesses such as medical centers, salons, fitness facilities and hospitality services.
Generate and nurture qualified leads
Chatbots can engage with website visitors to ask questions and collect first party data and information, allowing your marketing team to identify high-quality leads that fit your product or service. By specifying the ideal customer persona for your product, you can ensure that the chatbot targets the right audience. If a visitor fits this profile, the chatbot automatically qualifies them as a lead. Consistently engaging with visitors through the chatbot will help you efficiently identify and qualify leads for your marketing efforts.
Gathering reviews and feedback
Chatbots make gathering feedback less cumbersome and can analyze the feedback they collect using machine learning to better understand your audience's desires. With this knowledge, you can adapt your marketing strategy to better cater to your customer's needs, leading to a more customer-centric inbound marketing approach.
Share news, updates, and information
Chatbots allow businesses to share real-time news, updates, and information with their customers. They can send messages and updates directly to individuals or groups, keeping stakeholders informed and up-to-date. Chatbots can also be programmed to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) via a knowledge base, efficiently handling customer inquiries.
Personalized discounts and recommendations
Businesses use chatbots to engage customers and offer customized deals and suggestions. Through two-way conversations, chatbots gather information about customers' interests and trigger responses to create a valuable personalized experience. This targeted approach allows businesses to customize their marketing efforts and reach a large number of customers on a personal level.
Seven proven tips to improve your chatbot marketing strategy
When crafting your first chatbot marketing campaign, it's important to remember the power of these customer engagement tools. Chatbots can bridge the gap between a first-time visitor and a customer by providing tailored and targeted messaging. By segmenting your audience and delivering the right message to the right people, chatbots can significantly increase your sales and improve the customer experience.
However, ensuring that your chatbot is well-designed and can effectively communicate with your target audience is crucial. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
1. Choose the right chatbot software
After deciding on your chatbot marketing strategy, it's time to find a chatbot solution for your website. Fortunately, you don't have to develop your own proprietary chat assistant; many third-party options are available. To choose the right chatbot software provider for your business, consider asking these questions to potential vendors:
- Does the software meet the needs of all teams using it (for example, marketing, sales, and customer support)?
- Does it support all the use cases that each team has identified?
- Does the solution provide integrations with other tools?
- How does the software balance automation and human interaction? Does it seamlessly route chats to live chat agents?
- How robust is the chatbot analytics so you can understand your ROI clearly?
Tip: Consider taking advantage of free trials offered by chatbot platforms like Velaro to determine which solution is the most suitable for your specific needs. This allows you to test out the capabilities of the bot at no cost and determine if it can effectively meet your needs.
2. Build different conversation paths
To enhance the customer experience with your business, build specified conversation trees for your chatbot to communicate effectively with customers. Keep in mind that while machine learning is promising, it is still in its early stages and may not always be able to adapt seamlessly to your business. It is, therefore, essential to plan a clear and efficient script for the chatbot.
Deviating from this script may lead to a frustrating customer experience, so be mindful of the chatbot's limitations and provide support for smooth communication. Customizing conversation flows for frequently asked questions, scheduling meetings, and confirming orders can streamline the customer's experience, and offering the option for users to contact a human can provide reassurance and assistance when needed.
3. Offer live chat
Don't waste your time building a chatbot without offering live chat options. Notify your potential customers that a real person is just a click away because some people prefer to communicate with a human rather than a bot. By providing the option to speak to a human agent, you can ensure that you don't lose a lead and increase your chances of making a sale.
Plus, it will show your website visitors that you value their preferences and are willing to go the extra mile to meet their needs. Make sure to offer live chat to maximize your customer service potential.
4. Use FAQs
Customers frequently ask certain questions regardless of the type of business you run. Rather than spending time and effort answering these FAQs each time, let your chatbot handle the task.
There are a few key places to look to identify these FAQs. First, your customer service team is an excellent resource. They’ll likely have a list of common questions they receive from customers regularly. Additionally, your social media support team, community team, or social media manager will understand the questions that tend to come in through @mentions and direct messages.
Your sales and marketing teams will also have insight into the types of questions that customers ask as they move through the sales funnel. This could include common questions that sales reps encounter or your content marketers are trying to answer.
Finally, you can also find FAQs outside your immediate team. Suggestions at the bottom of relevant Google pages and crowdsourced communities like Quora and Reddit can be valuable sources of information.
5. Give your chatbot a personality
As a business owner, ensuring that your marketing chatbot accurately reflects your business is essential. This includes the appearance and branding of the chatbot and the tone and language it uses.
For instance, if you own a procurement insurance company, your chatbot needs to have a more technical tone that aligns with the serious nature of your products. This means using industry-specific terminology and avoiding overly casual language.
On the other hand, if you are an e-commerce store selling children's toys, your chatbot should be more lighthearted and playful to match your products' fun and whimsical nature. By matching your chatbot's voice to your business strategy, you can effectively communicate with your customers and provide them with a consistent brand experience.
6. Provide personalization
One of the critical benefits of chatbots is their ability to gather and analyze large amounts of data, which can be used to improve the customer experience and drive sales. For example, a chatbot can recommend similar products or complementary items based on a customer's previous purchases or offer special discounts or promotions based on their location or browsing history.
But it's important to remember that chatbots are not a one-size-fits-all solution. It's essential to carefully consider your customers' specific needs and expectations and to strike the right balance between personalization and privacy. With the right strategy and implementation, chatbots can be a powerful tool for building strong customer relationships and driving business growth.
7. Continuously collect feedback and track performance
After conversations with visitors, send out customer satisfaction surveys and follow-ups to gather feedback and insights. This allows you to determine whether you are meeting customer needs and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, use analytics and metrics to track the performance of your marketing chatbots.
That’ll help you improve customer service and optimize the chatbot's decision tree and messaging for potential clients. It's essential to monitor performance regularly and make necessary changes.
Improve your marketing strategy with chatbot data
To increase efficiency and profitability, marketing leaders can utilize their existing business assets, such as first-party data, which is collected directly from the company's customers. This allows for customized campaigns targeting the audience's specific needs and interests.
Chatbots are an effective way to gather first-party data, as they collect valuable information from customer interactions, including preferences, behavior, and pain points. By leveraging this customer intent data, companies can tailor their marketing efforts to better meet the needs of their target audience, resulting in increased profitability and customer loyalty.
Here’s how you can leverage first-party data from chatbots to increase revenue and marketing performance:
- Tailor your branding to match how your customers speak: Analyzing data collected by chatbots helps you deeply understand how customers communicate and what they desire. With this data, you can tailor your messaging to effectively connect with customers across all channels, including social media, email, website copy, and phone support. As a result, you can build a loyal customer base and enhance the overall customer experience.
- Update and refine your understanding of your target audience through buyer personas: Continuously update buyer personas with first-party customer data and chatbot interactions to create customized, resonating marketing campaigns that effectively target specific audience needs, preferences, and behaviors. This ensures that marketing efforts are always relevant and effective for the target audience.
- Offer hyper-personalized buying experiences: Businesses can tailor the buying experience for each individual by understanding customer intent via conversational chatbots, ultimately increasing sales and creating a memorable CX. By accurately mapping responses to each customer's query and providing the best suggestions, businesses can guide customers from discovery to conversion. Chatbot data can be used to make product recommendations or offer customized discounts based on their declared data, which increases conversions and sales.
- Use data to train chatbots: AI chatbots become smarter as you engage more users with them, and as you scale, you can expect even more robust performance. Every message users send to the chatbot helps train it through the customer data it collects. It improves conversion rates by providing more accurate responses that guide shoppers toward relevant products or information.
Take your marketing to the next level with chatbots
Businesses are increasingly using chatbots to boost sales, provide better customer service, and enhance marketing. These AI tools personalize communication and create loyal customers through conversational marketing. Chatbots can be particularly useful for lead generation and customer engagement.
Early adopters of chatbot technology will have a competitive advantage. Businesses not considering using chatbots in their marketing risk falling behind their competitors.
Velaro's chatbot software can help companies to optimize their chatbot marketing strategy and offer a highly personalized customer experience.