In this article, we'll introduce conversational marketing, walk through the key benefits of using it, and talk about ways you can start implementing it to create positive experiences, learn about your customers, and drive sales.
You may or may not have heard of conversational marketing, a popular new type of marketing.
Have you ever seen a chatbot pop up on the bottom-right corner of your screen? Well, that’s an implementation of conversational marketing.
What is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing is a one-to-one approach to marketing where companies interact directly with their customers to learn about their needs, personalize experiences, and create better shopping experiences.
Conversational marketing can be an extremely beneficial type of marketing although it may not seem like the most efficient use of time. In This Won’t Scale by the team at Drift, they talk about the counterintuitive approach to marketing, moving away from scalable marketing in favor of non-scalable marketing.
When we talk about marketing in the digital age, we generally think of leveraging huge platforms like Google and Facebook to blast our messages out there to thousands of people at once. While these can often be effective and highly-scalable, conversational marketing aims to do just the opposite. Instead of focusing campaigns that can reach millions of users online at once, conversational marketing is about creating personalized experiences one-on-one with your customers.
At first, this may seem really exhausting and inefficient, but after trying it out you may find that you get a lot more from these conversations than a huge Facebook ad.
The Benefits of Conversational Marketing
1. Learn about your customers
You probably know how important knowing your audience is and the value of user testing and research, and conversational marketing allows you to do this at such a deep level. Instead of recruiting “potential customers” for surveys or research, you are actually getting to speak directly with your actual customers - people already interested in your products or services.
You can learn so much from your customers if you just listen and conversational marketing gives you the platform to do this.
2. Personalize solutions
Think about a time when you were looking for a product or service and you thought to yourself “ah, I wish they had this event on another day” or “I wonder what their policy on returns, refunds, etc. is” only to not find the information you needed to eventually leave the site and never return. Imagine if you get the customer back to tell them that you have that event on their preferred day or that you offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Instead of losing customers that don’t exactly fit into the standard model available on your website, you can work with them to find a solution that works best for you. If you are selling a service, maybe what the person needs is a free trial, maybe they need services 1 and 3 instead of services 1,2, and 3. Leverage conversational marketing to work with your customers to deliver them the best match for them.
3. Create positive experiences
If you are a marketer or entrepreneur you probably spend a lot of time making sure that customers have a positive experience with your brand through a handful of touchpoints like your site, social media, and email.
When it comes to building positive experiences with your customers, I find that nothing builds stronger experiences than having real conversations and helping your customers. Set aside some time and resources to create positive experiences with your customers through conversational marketing.
Conversational Marketing Implementation
If we think broadly about conversational marketing, it’s about having real conversations one-on-one with your customers and this can be done in a variety of ways depending on your business.
As I referred to earlier chatbots can be a really easy and frictionless way to get in touch with your customers. You can set up automated messages to go out to customers on certain pages or after a certain amount of time that gets the conversation going. Once they respond to that prompt, you can get into a real conversation with your customer. Two popular solutions for this are Drift (the patent-holders of Conversational Marketing) and Intercom.
Other methods for lead capture and conversation starters have been around for a while like lead capture forms, free consultations, emails, or phone numbers. All of these can be helpful for starting conversations with your customers, but I find that customers are generally resistant to use these, and are much more receptive when a message actually prompts them.
In this article, we introduced the concept of conversational marketing, the benefits of using it, and how you can start using it to learn about your customers, create positive experiences, and drive sales.
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