A Complete Guide to Chatbot Marketing: AI Chatbots Revolutionizing Sales
The success of digital marketing depends on a well-planned marketing strategy and its proper execution right from scratch. Even though we are in the age of automation, it’s all about working hard and smart.
If you’re a marketer, you won’t regret considering the same. With technology making a rapid shift, it’s all about smart working nowadays.
Imagine executing all of your time-consuming tasks automatically and in the way you wanted it to be.
With Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Bots taking over most of the boring and monotonous jobs, marketers have ample time to focus on the growth of the business.
However, today, we all find it difficult to squeeze in time for ourselves. This makes the marketers task more difficult as you have to ensure that the audience stays engaged as long as possible. However, this is one phase where the marketers lag. The prime reason for this is the failure to understand the target audience and the information they seek.
People are adapting to a fast-paced world, and for them, gaining valuable information quickly matters the most.
The internet explosion around the globe has conjured up a lot of competition. The intensity of the competition is increasing as more and more websites keep getting added to the WWW, much beyond anyone’s expectations. In marketing terms, consider yourself a winner if your site was able to drive even one visitor.
Because of the expansion of the internet, the breakthrough technology of Digital AI and Chatbots play a crucial role and is a major contributing factor in changing the way businesses are transferring and collecting data. As a business, you can get deeper insights into the expectations of your clients and be able to engage with them proactively.
What do we know about a bot exactly?
Imagine ordering pizza and having it delivered without even talking to a real human; well, that’s a bot for you.
The Google definition of a bot says that it is an autonomous program on a network, most likely on the internet, that can easily interact with systems and users.
One of the essential features of bot marketing technique is that it can automate tasks such as sending messages to your contacts, book services, set alarms, tell you what the weather looks like today, and do things beyond your imagination.
Bots are everywhere, ranging from malicious bots that transfer viruses to search engine spiders and crawlers that look for new web pages to add in the SERPs. With improving AI technology, bots are becoming smarter and adapting themselves to different human emotions.
Siri and Cortana are bots, and so is Alexa (Amazon Echo) and Google assistant as well. Also, who can forget Tay, the Microsoft bot that attracted a lot of public rage by tweeting racist and offensive messages?
Whatever predictions were made in 2018 around the chatbot marketing potential along with artificial intelligence is turning into reality in 2019.
AI is ready to revolutionize every industry from finance and transport to healthcare and hospitality. With the rise of AI and bots, life can actually be made easier. In this post, we will specifically cover everything about bots and how to use them in your marketing and growth efforts.
Digital marketers can largely benefit from AI and Bots. Keep reading if you want to know more.
Chatbot Marketing Strategy to Qualify & Segment Traffic
You can easily turn your website visitors into leads. To do this, you can essentially use chatbots to gain insights into your customers and increase their engagement.
This chatbot marketing technique uses bot that can actually check your customer support logs, review current live chat record, and then actively interact with a person.
It can also pull information from your FAQ section to answer the questions asked by a visitor. This entire process of engaging with future clients is taken care by bots, and you can save you time planning other business development activities.
You can then take over from the point when the bot reports a qualifying lead. This way, you can actually filter potential leads and increase conversions. Although chatbots are only in their infancy, they are rapidly gaining momentum.
Bots for Faster Payment Processing
Making the entire payment process easy for your customers will make them visit you more often. If you’re an e-commerce store and a visitor is ready to checkout, they can opt to make payments within the chat box itself.
He will find a payment module that can be integrated into PayPal, Payoneer, and so on.
This is undoubtedly a much easier and faster way for checking out, especially on mobile devices.
Imagine how convenient it would be if the shop you’re buying stuff from sends you regular updates about the delivery of your product over Facebook Messenger.
Integrating your chatbot with Facebook Messenger will help your customers track their products, thus making it convenient for them.
You can even ask for feedback after delivery over Facebook messenger chatbot. After all, it’s all about user experience. The journey doesn’t end here.
You can connect with your customers again anytime and display your other products. They are most likely to buy it.
In the recent F8 conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pivoted Facebook’s entire future around its messaging app. Why?
Well, one of the primary reasons was because Messenger generates significant revenue for businesses while also serving as a convenient medium for a user to connect with brands, bots, and other users.
Steer Users for Improved Experienced
If you find someone spending more than 30 seconds on your website, prompt them through a bot and engage your customer services by saying, “hey, click here and we will give you a call.” It doesn’t take you much effort because the bot is free, and thus, you can connect to the right people.
Increase sales with bots
A good example of this is H&M. They conduct quizzes to gather information about their potential customers and their actual preferences.
What they do is throughout the buyer’s journey, they prompt up products that they think their buyers would be interested in based on that survey. You can do the same thing if you have multiple products or an e-commerce store and it’s super easy to do.
Mark Zuckerberg, the face of Facebook, started the world’s most popular social media platform in his dorm as a cherub-faced sophomore at Harvard and has always mentioned his mission to connect every person on the planet. Today, it’s also about connecting people to robots, and no, I’m not talking about R2-D2 or Skynet.
Zuckerberg has introduced chatbots in Messenger that are powered by artificial intelligence back in 2016. Today, many Facebook business pages are benefiting from this feature and are doubling their sales every month.
When you visit a Facebook business page, there are times when you may have been prompted by a message in Messenger from that page.
If you send a text back, the software automatically jumps into gear to serve you. If you’re interacting with an e-commerce business page, you will find the chatbot sending you a list of products and it will also take you to the payment gateway within the chat box itself if you want to make a purchase.
How smart are these chatbots?
Not very smart, at least not at this point. While AI is getting better every day, we all know how frustrating it can be to ask Alexa something only to have her not understand it.
Chatbots too aren’t doing any better either. They are still in the testing phase and are slowly improving with technology.
How can chatbots boost your digital marketing efforts?
Now that we have a fair idea about what chatbots are let’s look into how they can play a crucial role in transforming your digital marketing strategy for good.
Since chatbots free up a part of your marketing process, your team is hence able to focus on more important aspects of a project.
You are not losing your job
If you ever feel that chatbots are taking away our jobs, let’s be clear, they are in no way replacing us.
Basically, chatbots are here to handle the initial part of the conversation and gather details from potential customers who visit your website.
This will assist your customer support to engage with people in a more meaningful way as they already have enough information about the visitor.
Chatbots give one the ability to make marketing easier and more streamlined by automating the initial process, thereby providing you with more time and energy to work on other things. With chatbots, the online marketing process gets easier.
More time more customers
As mentioned above, since chatbots help in freeing up most of your resource’s time, you can encourage them to engage with more customers. Ask them to start their conversation in a more personalized manner as they already have details about their consumers through the chatbot. This will create a huge positive impact on your business too.
A chatbot can schedule sales calls with your customers at your convenience. Rather than going back and forth with your customer to schedule calls, you can make a bot do this for you.
No matter what kind of business you conduct, there is always a set of questions that your audience will pose at you. Instead of wasting time and energy in answering the same kind of problems repeatedly, let your bots do the boring part of the job. It’s a win-win situation for both you and your customers.
First, your customers get their queries solved instantly, and second, you do not waste time in repeating the same thing a thousand times in a day.
It always feels pleasing when you’re greeted at the entrance of a shop. Similarly, your customers find it extremely welcoming when they are greeted by an employee as soon as they land on your website. Chatbots can recreate this experience and personally welcome every visitor who comes to your website.
Depending on the look of your website, you may want to consider adjusting the design of your page to make the whole user experience professional yet delightful.
Clearly, marketing bots are a boon to the new-age business arena. They are an incredible chatbot tool that can push your business to the next level.
However, simply investing in a chatbot and throwing it on a website will not bring you sales immediately. Like any other marketing tactic, it has to be done properly.
How Can Chatbots Change the Digital Marketing Game?
More than 50 million companies worldwide are operating across the Facebook platform and sending over 1 billion business messages every month.
The bot technology is already massively used within China in the ubiquitous WeChat, a social media platform. As said by Benedict Evans, you can send money, order a cab, book a restaurant or track and manage an e-commerce order, all within one social app. The various aspects of digital marketing that chatbots can influence are listed below:
Improve Your SEO Ranking
Chatbots can improve your SEO ranking based on the experience that you provide your audience.
However, make sure that the chatbots have a distinct role to play in your business while also ensuring they are able to provide value to the customers. Otherwise, they are unnecessary. Simply placing a chatbot will not help your website in any way.
Connect with More People Socially
Chatbots are a boon to Social Media Marketing. They act as a catalyst in a marketing campaign if used wisely. With the growing popularity of messenger apps like Facebook Messenger bot, which is boasting of 1.2 billion active users, entrepreneurs today have become more powerful and competent.
These apps have bridged the gap between consumers and brands. Businesses that are successful in using the messenger chatbots have witnessed a rise across their sales funnel by a significant margin.
A few campaigns have also shown that chatbots are more intelligent in gathering data on your audience’s demographics. They are also a great distribution marketing platform, providing content to users based on what matters to them most.
Furthermore, it would be more beneficial to integrate chatbot services with apps like Slack and Zendesk to easily connect real people to the conversation when any support is needed.
Collecting Data for Content Marketing
Your audience has three stages in the customer journey. They are Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. When you closely study the steps that they follow and how they arrive at a decision, much of your process can then be automated by a chatbot.
The bot can take an audience down the customer journey funnel right from awareness to decision by gathering information from them in every stage and providing relevant solutions that can help them make a decision early.
Thus, they also collect an enormous amount of information in the process that helps you to make deeper insights and impactful decisions, which will eventually help you improve your content marketing strategy.
Many online news media channels and ticket booking websites are using WhatsApp business APIs.
Once a customer makes a purchase, book services, or subscribes to any news channel online that has integrated WhatsApp with their chatbots, their customers instantly receive notifications on their respective WhatsApp accounts.
You can increase your sales and the number of leads with live chat and conversational marketing. But before that, what is conversational marketing? Essentially, it’s a bot strategy where you can have conversation with your customers.
Enable your chatbots to ask the website visitors questions and give them options to mark instead of having them to fill out an entire form.
This way, the engagement on your website also lasts for longer. So, conversational marketing is a fancy way of telling live chats, chatbots, and sales. This generally improves the conversion rate.
It has been found that this technique has resulted in a 30% or greater increase in leads, and the quality of the leads have improved too.
Let’s say somebody has landed on your website and a chatbot starts casually asking him, “what are you going to do with the services here?” or “what is your business about?” This is how the lead form is being filled by the bot and it’s trying to qualify the visitor as a lead.
This way, not only will you be able to improve the conversion rate but you will also improve the quality of your leads generated.
However, ensure that you do not annoy your visitor. For example- consider you’re visiting a hair care product website, and you’re being nudged continuously by the chatbot for making purchases or for subscribing to their newsletter even though you’re not responding to it.
It sure is annoying, isn’t it? It distracts you from your main objective of coming to this website. So, the first thing to do is actually wait for a few seconds or use smart triggers like greeting the visitor and continue saying, “hey, you have turned to our website” followed by your questions.
How to Get My Own Chatbot?
Creating a chatbot from scratch can be difficult and expensive. An average developer charges anywhere between $100 per hour and a decent bot will cost you from $5,000 to $50,000. Thank God for the progressive nature of technology.
You can use Smartloop.ai to make a bot and launch it on your site by using their predefined templates. Using this, you can deploy your bot in just 15 mins.
Mobile Monkey, yet another fast-growing official Facebook Messenger marketing solutions provider, makes it simple to create best chatbots and perform marketing automation activities without writing a single line of code. It’s designed for non-coders.
There is also .BOT launched by Amazon, which is pretty big and affordable too. If you think you cannot handle the hassle of creating a chatbot on your own, then reach out to a reliable chatbot agency who can do the job neatly for you.
Case Study: Durex Introducing Chat Bot- “The Rex Bot”
One of the best chatbot examples could be of the Durex. So back in 1997, Reckitt Benckiser launched Durex in India. One of the things that posed a great challenge for this London based brand is to enter the market and expand its reach successfully.
Over the years, Durex always reinvented itself in India painstakingly with its newer version of condoms such as “jeans texture,” “Durex air,” the various kinds of flavors, etc. While this attracted the urban youth, it did not go well with smaller towns where the necessity for basic protection is needed much more.
Sex is not a secret, but in India, it’s treated like one. Indians use innuendos, metaphors, and what not just to be able to talk about sex. They indulge in pornography privately and other unreliable content sources for basic information. This was, of course, the problem for Durex.
Since Indians refrained themselves from talking about sex in public, they lacked sexual awareness and also shied away from buying condoms. With millions of young people unable to talk about sex, Durex found their very future under threat as they did something that changed the game.
Although their many marketing stints made Durex an irreplaceable name in the market, the one campaign that shot up Durex’s sales and increased their awareness was the Rex Bot, a discrete sex ed chatbot that talks about sex like it’s no big deal.
Created in 2017 after intense research on the top searched sex-related topics and keywords, this private and secure bot identifies the right response for all queries and creates witty and humorous conversations around them.
Accessible on the Rex Bot by Durex on Durex Facebook landing Page, the bot is personified through male and female avatars. The bot answers all queries about sex in an informative yet interesting manner.
This led people to break the shackles of false modesty surrounding sex and the talks that follow. With over 6 million message exchanges, 100,000 unique users, and more than 4,000 daily active users, the conversations around safe sex have now shot up like never before.
People are breaking the shackles surrounding sex and are now more open to talk about it. People no longer find it difficult to go to a pharmacy and ask for their choice of condoms.
It’s also estimated that the Indian condom market will reach $180 million by 2022 on account of rising consumer awareness.
Misusing Chatbots for Treacherous Purposes
As AI is becoming saturated in the market and easier to operate, we see more and more criminals misusing the chatbot technology for treacherous purposes.
Over time, these insecure bots will be able to pull your data from multiple sources and supply this data to fake chatbots.
The more they know about you, the easier it is for them to mimic you. As a result, users need to be extremely careful when visiting websites and interacting there. Chatting with a malicious chatbot could be as critical as entering your credit card particulars into a phishing website.
All in all
It may be said that chatbot marketing offer a way to the brands to complement their existing customer service offering.
Automating menial tasks will speed up service performance and ultimately deliver quality service, better convenience, and more power to the customers.
While we are yet to see how fluid and effective Facebook’s chatbot technology is, chatbots clearly have their defined way of carrying out smooth conversational engagement and replicating human interaction.
Undoubtedly, this bot-driven system is the future of businesses tomorrow. Since consumers prefer texting over talking on the phone and expect more real-time responses, this may be the only solution for your success.
However, it can be a challenge for many brands, but once you’re in the game, you get the ball rolling in your court easily.
Happy Chatbot Marketing!