Firstly, chatbots are those things that pop up on websites. Sometimes they greet you with a 👋 . Sometimes they ask you useful questions. Some even lead you through a series of questions towards exactly what you needed on the website—or even making a conversion.
Chatbots are the tool at the heart of digital conversational marketing. New tech is creating chatbots with the power to be uncannily convincing, giving businesses an extra resource when it comes to engaging, nurturing and converting customers.
Chatbots also offer new ways to capture data at a time when data usage as a marketer is becoming trickier than ever. So why are they flying under the radar of so many marketers looking for new strategies for their clients?
Beyond lead generation
Personalization is more important than ever before. Customer experience in the digital realm is being made to up its ante here, with consumers valuing (just as they did before) human dialogue and personalized experiences.
- 91% of customers more likely to shop with brands providing personalized offers
- 80% more likely to purchase from brands offering a personalized user experience (and yes, an effective chatbot counts!)
- 79% more likely to go for an offer if it reflects previous interactions (chatbots can do this!)
It’s true that the importance of conversational marketing was clear before the pandemic. Websites are now immersive experiences as opposed to catalogs, and users have little tolerance for not being able to find what they need.
However, while the change in online behavior is obvious (with startling increases in online transactions and conversation rates) conversational marketing still tends to be a small part of the stack, and implemented without much sophistication.
Going into 2022 more and more users will be expected to talk to something that feels human when they visit a website, and it will fall to marketers (in partnership with the right chatbot experience of course) to make this happen.
The holy grail of digital marketing??
OK, chatbots themselves aren’t the holy grail. But let’s think about what they do.
Use chatbots well and they make user journeys faster. Minimizing the time spent in the funnel between problem and solution is the holy grail of marketing, and since there aren’t enough people in the world to have one-on-one conversations within every transaction, bots provide the only scalable way to create these interactions.
Bots are another way to shorten the sales cycle. Users landing on your site can be guided towards booking a meeting with your sales team via a short, automated exchange. A user looking for a specific product can be taken right to the page. Abandoned carts can be rescued at the last moment after a few quiet words.
It’s time to be creative with these tools—not just because they’re new, but because they’re so damn effective.
Chatbots + marketers = 📈
While the technology behind bots drives capability, marketers will have to apply their expertise on personas, problem points and past interactions for them to be truly effective.
Building a bot isn’t very technical. UIs are intuitive, and the scary computer stuff can be already built in. The challenge comes in understanding the micro-decisions made by consumers on a daily basis, and using these moments to step in and offer solutions at just the right time. Bots are the ideal tool for marketers to harness their insight and apply it intelligently at every stage of the buying cycle, as part of a user-first chatbot marketing strategy.
What to do next
When it comes to implementing a chatbot, it’s important to know who’s going to be in charge of it. If you and your team don’t have input here, it’s time to see what’s going on. Without your expertise, it’s impossible that a chatbot is being used to its full potential.
If you’re in a marketing agency, a comprehensive chatbot strategy could be the new thing you can upsell. If you’re in-house, imagine a world in which marketing and sales coexist peacefully… OK that’s maybe too far, but imagine combining forces to target customers with the right words and actions at the right time (just don’t expect to get all the credit for the results).
Chatbot marketing shouldn’t be a bolt-on or afterthought in your 2022 marketing strategy. It’s an essential tool that uses your knowledge to its best advantage. Bring it up in your next strategy meeting—or if you’re looking for a chatbot platform, try Instabot for free. Get started today.