The Ultimate Guide to Conversational Marketing

Summary:


The way customers want to be interacted with is constantly evolving. To keep up with changing behaviors and expectations, businesses need a modern customer experience strategy that encompasses the entire customer journey - from lead all the way to the customer, this means your strategy must be flexible, efficient, and personalized. Enter conversational marketing.

What is conversational marketing Illustration

What is conversational marketing?

Conversational marketing is a new way to engage customers and prospects online, replacing static lead forms and long wait times with dynamic, two-way automated conversations. Conversational marketing allows you to obtain the information you need from website visitors instantly and move them through your sales funnel faster.


Conversational marketing lets you collect information about prospects and customers in a more dynamic way than static lead forms or ads. Tap into sales opportunities by deploying a conversational chatbot on your website to engage visitors in the right moments. You can ask questions about their desires, preferences, and service needs, as well as start building an authentic and personalized relationship from the get-go. Chatbots are becoming one of the most popular methods to initiate conversational marketing 24/7 and without the need for a live operator.

What conversational marketing is not Illustration

What conversational marketing is not?

Conversational marketing is not a new lead form and it is not a way to get more traffic. Conversational marketing IS an instant exchange between customers and brands, much of which is becoming more and more automated. Enter chatbots.

What are conversational marketing chatbots Illustration

What are conversational marketing chatbots?

Chatbots use artificial intelligence software to respond to common questions with pre-programmed messages to start personalized conversations that begin and end with the customer—when and where they choose to connect. Because all responses are automated, they are instant for the consumer and can be sent on a large scale so consumers can quickly access information without the hassle of waiting for a live operator. With an AI-powered chatbot, you can easily offer assistance across other channels preferred by the consumers, including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, other popular media platforms, and SMS messaging.

Conversational Marketing Methodology Illustration

Conversational Marketing Methodology

Conversational marketing is not a novel strategy at this point, however, the avenue through which it’s being done online is new to many consumers. Chatbots are making it easier than ever to engage with consumers through proactive customer support by allowing the chatbot to ask qualifying questions. Once you’ve engaged with the leads, you will attain the context necessary to serve them properly and determine which leads are more likely to buy your product or service. This will be key in qualifying leads and converting them to customers through your marketing funnel.

How conversational marketing is changing the game Illustration

How conversational marketing is changing the game

The way people buy things has changed, and conversational marketing helps you keep up. Purchasing today is all about convenience—a shopper might pick out a new suit on the subway, update their cell phone plan on their lunch break, and book travel reservations while they watch TV. All this happens on their own time, on the channel and device of their choice. Conversational marketing lets you connect with more customers, more easily, by meeting them where they are in the moments that matter, and identifying those who are most likely to purchase.

Messaging is the go-to way to communicate with family, friends, and co-workers, because it’s quick, easy, and convenient. It’s fast becoming the preferred way to connect with businesses, too—messaging is immediate, fruitful, and feels like a real conversation even when it takes place over an extended period of time. Deploying a conversational chatbot on messaging channels makes conversations scalable. Personalize relationships and reach more customers with mobile-friendly content.  

With conversational marketing, brands can solve problems faster, shorten the feedback loop for products and services, and build longer-term relationships that strengthen loyalty. This improves your sales funnel, and even allows you to back into a business goal by structuring conversations to end with an important decision. Plus, it’s a source of one of the most powerful marketing tools available: data.

Traditional marketing funnel vs conversational marketing funnel Illustration

Traditional marketing funnel vs. conversational marketing funnel 

Traditional marketing funnels are linear and generic. They use a business-centric methodology, which is slower because it assumes every consumer is on the same journey. It also lacks the personalization required to build rapport. Conversational marketing is a customer-centric solution that is faster and more personalized to customer terms while providing an authentic experience. This is beneficial to the brands as well as the customer in building relationships with reliable business partners.

 

 

Will conversational marketing replace lead forms? 

The short answer is no, probably not. Lead forms will remain important for collecting contact information. However, conversational marketing creates an immediate feedback loop that blurs the line between marketing and sales. Information is passed along quickly and efficiently, making the process more seamless for customers in many substantial ways.

5 benefits of conversational marketing Illustration

5 Benefits of Conversational Marketing 

Deliver the right answers, faster with conversational marketing

With conversational marketing, you can deliver the right answers - faster, and with less effort. Customers today don't want to wait around for you to respond to an email for a simple FAQ; conversational marketing bypasses that headache and lets your customers self-serve and get the answers they need whenever they want. Dialing a call center and waiting to read an agent is now a thing of the past - the conversational chatbot connects with your system of record and processes the information immediately, making your customers’ lives easier by letting them ask for help without leaving the app or browser window. An intelligent chatbot that learns from every interaction can even improve responses over time.

Conversational marketing helps you get valuable customer information

Turn your website traffic into revenue with conversational marketing. Unlike traditional communication channels, conversational chatbots proactively engage with customers so that you can generate more leads, revenue, and ROI immediately. Plus, having more proactive conversations means you're collecting more and more data on your customers, making it easier to improve every conversation you have moving forward. Automation conversations makes it easy for you and your ACX team to discover pain points, identify opportunities to cross-sell and upsell, and collect information for your CRM - customer conversations are invaluable data points that will ultimately help grow your business. 

Build long-term relationships with conversational marketing 

Conversational marketing makes interactions feel more human, which makes customers feel valued. It’s a great opportunity to infuse your brand’s personality into the experience through voice, tone, and content—including emojis, videos, and GIFs—making customers feel at ease, deepening personal connections, and driving long-term loyalty. Allowing the user to choose the channel and timeline for interacting also strengthens relationships by putting them in control. Forrester predicts that customers who used digital channels for the first time during the pandemic will continue to do so—and drive a 40% increase in the volume of digital customer interactions. That means there’s no better time than now to make sure your marketing strategy is up to date.

Conversational marketing helps grow your sales pipeline

Conversational marketing can be done around the clock and across channels, giving you more time and opportunity to connect with prospects and customers. With a chatbot on your team, there’s no limit to your time or resources. According to a recent survey, 85% of consumers are interested in receiving proactive notifications and an astounding number were more likely to do business with a company that sends reminders. Start by engaging more people—proactively offering help or answering initial inquiries at scale. Next, ask questions to understand what they need, from specific products or services to how-to type information. Finally, recommend the best next steps based on their answers to increase interest and conversions. 

Conversational marketing leads to more qualified leads

When your customers wants information they want it in that exact moment, not five days later or 30 minutes later after being stuck on hold. Conversational marketing lets you be available to your customers 24/7, meaning you can generate more leads 24/7. Plus, your bot can be set up to automatically qualify leads so that when your sales team gets in in the morning they can start moving people through pipeline immediately. You can modify your conversational chatbot to speak directly to the page your prospect is searching. For example, if you work in FinTech and someone is looking at a page about opening a savings account with your organization, you can modify your chatbot to share information about the savings account, related resources, and push them into opening an account all in one interaction. With just a few questions you can determine the level of interest and urgency, thereby fueling your business development team with more valuable information. 

The key elements of conversational marketing

Conversations happen on customers time

Conversational marketing can be both synchronous and asynchronous, meaning customers can reach out on their morning commute, respond on an afternoon coffee break, and follow up at home later that night—or even days later. It’s always convenient for the customer, because they choose how, when, and where to connect.

Conversations are scalable

Increase your reach without upsizing your workforce. Automated conversations make your customers feel like your number one priority by giving them fast responses, 24/7. A conversational chatbot can answer your most common questions and serve 100 people or 100,000 without making anyone wait. That means you can compete with companies that are twice your size or more.

Conversations have context

There’s no reason a sales rep should request information your chatbot learned a week ago. An intelligent chatbot for messaging channels can maintain the context of a conversation over time, which means customers don’t have to keep starting over. By referencing a conversational thread on demand, conversational marketing ensures you never have to reboot the problem-solving process.

Conversations happen wherever the customer wants

Don’t make customers come to you—reach more people by being available on more channels. Whether they prefer web chat, social media, or messaging channels, meeting customers where they are makes the experience seamless and satisfying. The conversation might even move across platforms and channels to complete a transaction. The bottom line is, customers can connect wherever they want, at any time.

How to adopt conversational marketing

In order to adopt a conversational marketing platform, here is a list of techniques you can implement TODAY:

  • Map out the buyer’s journey
  • Create user stories
  • Role-play the conversation
  • Identify triggers for the next question
  • Identify different branches of the conversation
  • Publish and promote
  • Analyze and optimize

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