Unless you have been hiding under a rock for a year, you have probably heard the new favorite buzzword of all: conversational marketing. Chatbot companies with selfie-vlogging have embraced this relatively broad term, and have received considerable attention – and worse, misuse. If your skepticism resembles mine, the unique six-minute and six-abs abs positioning of the most popular chatbot companies will dissuade you at first. But if you pull down the stuff, you can find opportunities to radically transform the way your business captures and converts incoming traffic.
Of course, a warning applies: Do not overhaul your marketing strategy simply because you need the new, thinnest toy . In this article, I will review the top 5 marketing mistakes you should avoid as a business of any size. I will also provide practical ways to implement chatbots in your current digital strategies.
First Things: The Definition
According to NG Data, the term Conversational Marketing is used to describe “a feedback-driven marketing approach used by businesses to spark the” Commitment, build customer loyalty, increase customer base and, ultimately, increase revenue. Conversational marketing is based on the idea of common sense to listen to your customers and the potential needs of customers.
This approach includes a wide range of “conversational marketing” practices:
- Email Marketing
- Customer Loyalty Programs
- Customer Success
Although the term has quite broad implications, I will specifically address the use of chatbots in conversational marketing.
Chatbot products allow you to perform conversational marketing by implementing a piece of code on your website or landing page that allows a discussion interface to appear. Free versions of chatbots rarely allow you to use the flashy artificial intelligence of their expensive counterparts, which allows you to chat with people if you do not want to pay.
Stronger chatbots can allow visitors to bypass any form submission and interact with a bot until you or another member of your company decides to get into the conversation. This is the marketing part of “conversational marketing”.
Quick Note: Chatbots Are Not Just for Conversational Marketing
Facebook’s customer support has set up chatbots quite well because you can directly contact a customer with advertising problems. In doing so, you are greeted by a bot and told to stay on hold, as a customer service representative is on the way. This is effective because the user knows that he is contacted by a bot, but he also reassures him that he will eventually communicate with a real person.
Similarly, I’ve recently taken up the challenge of lowering my online cable bill via Verizon. To my delight, a chatbot was there to help me in the process until a customer service representative joined the conversation. I was able to go through the site navigation to find out exactly how to get what I wanted by being able to chat directly. The experience was great and it would be a nightmare without the technology.
In most cases, however, a human being must join the conversation. The common misconception to those who have never used chatbots is that artificial intelligence will eliminate the need for human interaction.The AI is here to answer or automate repetitive questions in order to save time and reduce the number of unnecessary requests. Of course, these two examples were situations concerning customers . This is fundamentally different from marketing, although many in the space would want to blur it and make the definition of marketing much more ambiguous. The bottom line is that you have to have different chatbots for different purposes, which leads me to wrong number 1.
Mistak 1: Confusion of sales and marketing
chatbots in a sales and marketing strategy is a mix of both. Although linked in their general objectives, marketing and sales are more effective when they are complementary. If you have marketing materials such as content, landing pages, e-mail campaigns, and paid collateral, having a chatbot contact a sales person directly may seem like a good idea.
This will ruin the fundamental strategy of building a funnel where you can facilitate the sales cycle of prospects when they are ready. Are you going to get sales by having a sales chatbot on your marketing pages? Perhaps, but the purpose of these pages should be focused on their respective parts of the funnel in order to be able to convert a larger volume over time. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
If the pages are lower in the funnel, it makes sense to have a commercial chatbot. If your visitor downloads a white paper, use a simple form. It’s not necessary to engage a person in a conversation about the ebook they want to download, and it’s more than likely that it annoys the prospects. The interest of low friction offers like white papers is to make things easy and transparent for prospects. A chatbot will disrupt that and hinder his process.
A great way to implement marketing chatbots in conversational marketing strategies is to place them on thank you pages. Once a user submits the information you need from the marketing point of view, they are then directed to the thank you page and receive what they want. At this point, it is possible to start a conversation . Do not make the conversation primary to conversion; instead, make it an option later. This ensures that the needs of the potential customer are met before being integrated into the next stage of the funnel. They will probably be open to a conversation after getting what they want.
Mistake 2: Place Chatbots on Pages You Want People to Read
If you have a landing page or content item that users need to read to qualify correctly, do not place a chatbot .
Many companies use chatbots on their homepages, and while this may be an effective method for some, chatbots on homepages are most often distracting for users.
Your home page is probably strategically designed to educate your visitor and guide them where you want them. You do not want to give up that with a chatbot that pops up and steals their attention.
In some cases, the user will have a rudimentary understanding of what you are doing and will want to have a conversation to eliminate any gaps.
However, they do not know it often and end up asking questions that the homepage would otherwise have responded to more quickly. This can be even more disruptive to your operations if the homepage has been validated and tested to optimize conversions historically.
From a business point of view, any conversation with a potential customer seems irresistible despite his level of intent. But this mentality can be short-sighted. Instead, you should focus less on starting a conversation with and focus more on conversations with the right .
At this point, you may have assumed that I contradicted myself and said, “But, Brett, do not I want people to read my pricing page? no. The pricing page is closer to the bottom of the funnel and the information provided there is directly related to the sales process. Therefore, the chatbot is not vague and intrusive. On the contrary, he is welcome and helpful. Your prospects may have the opportunity to read the information or talk to someone. If they are executed correctly, they will arrive at the same destination independently.
When approaching your conversational marketing strategy, you must determine when a conversation is:
- A better or simpler conversion than a form submission
This decision should be based on the process complexity regardless of the action you want your visitor to take. If you want visitors who arrive on your blog to subscribe to your mailing list before they leave, it’s a simple request and a simple process – try something like an exit pop-up asking them to Enter their e-mail address, click a button and be finished. But if you want visitors to your pricing page to sign up for a free trial or book a demo, this is a more complex process that can create confusion; a chatbot could help them decide which plan suits them best and what should be their next step, depending on their budget and goals.
Here is a list of current pages that should and should not include any chatbots:] Good Candidates for Chatbots:
- Demo Listings and Other Pages Related to Sales
- Event Pages
- Pages References
- Free Tools
- Product pages and characteristics related to the information / features of the product
Normally should not have chat:
- Lead generation pages (for ebooks , webinars, e-mail campaigns, blog subscriptions, etc.)
- The Welcome Page
- The Blog
Think About It This Way: If You Have Less Than 12 items at the grocery store, you will probably choose a quick self-service while waiting to talk to a real person to have a conversation. (Or maybe you do – I would not know I’m from Boston.)
Mistake 4: Believe Chatbots Will Solve All Your Problems
Chatbots can facilitate a lot of complex processes for prospects and customers. That being said, they are not the magic pill that many would like to believe. The reason why so many marketers have embraced this passion is that chatbots are an excellent sales tool . This is very different from being an excellent marketing tool. Their success depends largely on the incoming traffic you give them.
Often expensive chatbot tools are a worthwhile investment if you have already built the necessary basics of marketing practices around them. Before you even think of installing a chatbot, start by investing some time in the basics.
Here are the basic marketing practices you will want to focus on:
- Paying media
- Email: nurture tracks
- Marketing operations.
Once this solid foundation is in place, you are ready to implement chatbots in the marketing and sales flow. If you reverse the funnel by approaching the sale first, you will kill the top of your funnel and the rest will die over time.
Mistake 5: Keeping Chatbots in the Unrelated Channel Standard
In a rather ludicrous case study, a customer compared the revenue generated by a chatbot to that of Google ads. Let’s see something clear for those who may have some of the same beliefs when it comes to their beloved conversational marketing bots:
Chatbots are an inbound sales and customer service tool . They can be effectively compared to forms like forms and other discussion tools, but comparing them to an external conversational marketing platform like Google Ads or Facebook is unfair.
If you use them strategically, they can dramatically increase your sales, but they do not go out there and actually drive new net traffic to your site. To reiterate: If you are investing in some of the rather expensive chatbot options, do not rely on your site’s traffic because of this.
Correct Use of Chatbots
Chatbots are changing the way companies organize their websites and prospects. They will only improve over time, and I am curious to see what the next evolution of artificial intelligence and conversational marketing will look like.
If you have already invested in conversational marketing or are considering doing so, take your time and remember that you do not need to sacrifice what is already working well to get you started on a new trend.