If you haven’t heard of conversational marketing before, you’re definitely going to be hearing about it in the future.
Old-school marketing doesn’t match the way that people communicate. There’s no give-and-take; instead, marketers tell consumers what to buy, where to buy it, and how to use what they buy.
Hundreds of years ago, marketing and sales started out as a face-to-face proposition. When you needed thread, you had to barter with the person who sold it. That person could try to upsell you— offering you higher-quality thread or maybe more spools— but it was ultimately a one to one transaction.
As time went on, these people realized it was more profitable to widen their net and communicate on a larger scale. Newspaper and magazine ads came into vogue. When radio and television were invented in the 20th century, commercials reached millions of people.
Here’s the problem with that: consumers are growing tired of the lack of personalization in marketing. They’re savvier than ever, and traditional marketing methods just aren’t cutting it anymore.
Conversational marketing takes an entirely different approach. Using today’s technology, marketers can have 1:1 conversations with their customers in the channels of their choice. Read on to learn more about conversational marketing, the trend that is forecasted to take over.
What is CONVERSATIONAL MARKETING?
As you might assume, conversational marketing involves talking to your customers. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to engage face-to-face with each customer— the many different communication channels available today allow you to meet your customers where they are. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Slack are all great ways to stay in contact with your customer base. Better yet, these methods allow for back and forth in a way that traditional marketing doesn’t.
Conversational marketing uses targeted messaging via a variety of channels and smart chatbots to shorten your sales cycle by engaging with your leads in real time.
AI AND CONVERSATIONAL MARKETING?
If you don’t have the manpower to engage directly with all of your customer base, don’t worry. Artificial intelligence, or AI, is changing the way marketers communicate with consumers. Chatbots are now more complex than ever— in fact, some people might not even be aware they’re conversing with a chatbot rather than a customer service professional. You can program your chatbots to be conversational— even funny!— so that your customers will be comfortable chatting with them.
These chatbots help you create a context for your marketing. They’re capable of retaining information over the course of several conversations with a customer— in other words, your customer’s previous interactions are all on record. Whether your customer is talking to a chatbot or a human, all the necessary information is immediately accessible, so your customer won’t have to answer the same questions over and over again.
WHY SHOULD YOU GIVE CONVERSATIONAL MARKETING A SHOT?
Here’s the thing: Conversational marketing works.
Conversational marketing is a true win/win— your customers feel connected and delighted to talk to a “real person,” and you’re moving through your sales cycle faster than ever. The easier you make it for people to connect with you, the faster the sales conversion.
You’re able to gather data about your customers over time, which helps you deliver the offers that are most relevant to their interests. Additionally, you can get feedback on your product and services immediately from a huge focus group— your customers. You’ll learn instantly what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to make the necessary corrections to further improve your sales.
Better yet, you don’t need to revolutionize your processes. You can simply incorporate conversational marketing to your inbound marketing efforts. Look at chatbots as a new way to capture and qualify leads in real time. You can continue to use your landing pages and lead capture forms, but add this second channel into the mix to bring in even more customers.
Bottom line? Shaking up your strategy can breathe new life into your marketing.
Conversational marketing engages customers in a new and effective way. While more traditional marketing methods focus on reaching the maximum number of people, conversational marketing’s use of targeted messaging over a variety of channels engages customers in real time in the places where they are already interacting. You’ll have more insight into their pain points, and they’ll feel that they have a genuine connection with your organization.