As the name suggests, conversational marketing involves the use of real-time, one-to-one conversations to initiate contact with people on a website, web application, or social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Instead of depending solely on lead capture forms to get information from potential customers, conversational marketing allows you to capture, qualify and communicate with leads in a more natural and personal manner.
Conversational marketing is not disruptive and helps to build relationships with customers by enabling businesses to engage with them through conversation. This way, customers feel listened to, and there’s no opportunity for them to be repelled by hard selling or cold calls. It’s also one of the fastest ways to move prospects through the marketing and sales funnel, whilst also helping to build trust by creating authentic experiences for customers and buyers.
Targeted messaging, live chats and intelligent chatbots are used in conversational marketing to keep and engage people so they get the responses they need. As they move from one step in the conversation to the next, the likelihood of conversion grows so you can convert the right leads faster. And whether a lead turns into a customer right away or not, conversational marketing makes it easier to keep guests and customers satisfied and happy. This benefit applies whether they are on your website or Facebook page, engaging with you through Facebook Messenger.
So, if you’re thinking of ways to improve your marketing strategy and sales performance, it would be worth giving conversational marketing the chance it deserves. Just take a look at the following benefits:
Benefits of conversational marketing
1. It helps you gain valuable data about your customers
By engaging in conversations with visitors and customers, whether through your website or social media pages, you have the perfect opportunity to gain information about them without being intrusive.
By using a Facebook chatbot on your Facebook page, for example, you can gauge the performance of your Facebook marketing strategy. You’ll get information on what times of the day are preferred by users for messaging and the types of questions people ask. This way, you can modify your ads and messages to ensure you are being responsive to the needs of your target market and customers.
Aside from Facebook, other social media platforms also have chatbots to help businesses acquire and engage customers. These include:
You can use chatbots for your business on various social media platforms to perform different tasks such as answering common queries, giving helpful suggestions, offering alternatives, sending push notifications, following up and general customer communication.
2. It is a good source of potential customers
Since conversational marketing is designed to be engaging and helpful to potential customers, it helps to build relationships and can encourage leads to speak to sales staff. Through the use of open-ended questions with multiple possible responses, chatbots help take the conversation to the next stage. By asking one question after another, chatbots can pick out the warmest, most valuable leads and act accordingly.
If you use live chat, your live chat support team can follow a script designed to maximise each conversation and, hopefully, lead the prospect or customer to speak to sales.
3. It humanises the buying experience
Conversational marketing works because it does not force people to engage in conversation yet it provides them with the option to start one simply by being there. For those that use it, it adds a touch of humanity to the online buying experience. Through responsive programming, professional live chat support and the use of intelligent chatbots, enquiries are responded to in a timely manner which is, in a way, similar to personal shopping experiences with shop assistants who are there, prepared to help customers find what they need.
4. It keeps you in touch with your customers 24/7/365
Just as your website and social media pages are available all day, every day, so are your chatbots. This means that you can guide your customers on their buying journey when it’s convenient for them to contact you. This would likely be during their off days or after office hours. This helps ensure that leads are captured along the way and that you get to assist your customers and answer enquiries even in the absence of live chat support. More importantly, you get to show customers you care, and that you’re always on hand to help them.
5. It significantly reduces the duration of the sales cycle
With conversational marketing, you no longer need to depend solely on lead capture forms to get contact details. Your sales staff won’t have to send one follow-up email after another to get a response. Instead, through your live chat support and chatbots, you get to “talk” to leads and customers by responding instantly. Chatbots, on their own, can take care of leading both prospects and customers along the sales funnel depending on the direction of their conversations.
Why customers respond positively to conversational marketing
From the customers’ side, conversational marketing is also appealing, but why?
Like all online activities, the conversational marketing experience offers customers the convenience they need to do what they want, whilst on-the-go or in the comfort of their own home. There’s no need to drive, go to a shop and talk to a salesperson face-to-face just to get the information they need. And since very few people have the time or inclination to respond to cold calls and open the hundreds of email offers they receive every week, conversational marketing becomes the simple, seamless alternative for most consumers.
Instant messaging has also made it easy to communicate with businesses people are interested in. Conversational marketing makes what could be a dry, impersonal process into a purposeful, meaningful and personalised experience. It’s not surprising, then, that 89 percent of consumers prefer messaging for communicating with businesses – whether it’s for technical troubleshooting, customer service assistance, complaints or sales-related enquiries.
Unlike phone calls, which can potentially be disruptive, messaging also gives customers a degree of control. They can proceed or end a conversation as and when they need to.
Time to adopt conversational marketing
Conversational marketing is a simple yet powerful way of ramping up your online marketing efforts. With its adoption, there’s no need to cancel your other marketing tools. Instead, you can use it to supplement your marketing strategy.
You can use the data you gain from it to get to know your audience better, improve upon your strategy and fine-tune brand communication – whether through social media posts, email marketing or advertising. More importantly, you can use conversational marketing data to improve your products and services, and ultimately gain more customers in the process.