An Essential Guide to Chatbot Marketing
Published: Apr 15, 2023
It comes as no surprise that digital marketing is everywhere these days. While traditional methods are still common, this type of marketing offers more precision and versatility. Enter chatbot marketing—an approach with tremendous potential that is already taking industries by storm.
Businesses and organizations alike are implementing this method to streamline their marketing processes. To have a better understanding of chatbot marketing, you may first want to know what chatbots actually are.
What Are Chatbots?
Simply put, a chatbot is a computerized program that is designed to simulate human conversation, be it written or spoken. This essentially enables users to communicate with their digital devices much as they would interact with an actual person. Some chatbots are basic programs that provide single-line responses to simple questions. Whereas others—namely chat AI—can be complex digital assistants that learn and develop to offer higher levels of personalization by collecting and processing information.
How Do Chatbots Work?
For much of their history, chatbots have been text-based, built to respond to a limited set of queries with prewritten answers. They essentially served as an interactive FAQ feature. This worked just fine for the basic interactions on which the bots were trained. But when it came to complex questions or ones that didn’t have a prewritten response, the chatbots failed to deliver.
Throughout the years, these technologies have developed more features in addition to natural language processing. This allowed users to experience them in an increasingly more conversational way. As a matter of fact, the most recent types of chatbots can understand the context and learn with more exposure to human language.
Today, chatbots use a combination of natural language understanding (NLU) and AI tools as a way to determine the user’s needs and intentions. These chat AI bots use machine learning and deep learning to come up with a detailed knowledge base of questions and answers based on interactions with humans. This enhances their ability to understand users’ needs and provide increasingly accurate answers.
Using Chatbots for Marketing
Among the most common chatbot uses is for marketing purposes. Chatbot for marketing involves using chatbots as a tool to promote products and services. Computer programs essentially communicate with customers by implementing artificial intelligence or pre-set cases.
Companies and organizations can make use of marketing bots on their websites as well as professional messaging platforms such as Whatsapp Business. Chatbot use cases include answering customer queries, making use of virtual assistants, driving website visitors, engaging customers, boosting lead generation, and improving overall customer service.
Chatbots can even come in handy for SMS marketing. For instance, this can include sending an SMS alert to confirm an order by replying with a keyword to a short code.
Chatbots play a key role in the automation of marketing communications, ensuring that customers receive timely responses. Employing these solutions in your marketing strategies can help you drive your customers effortlessly down the sales funnel and boost conversions. Chatbot marketing examples include retail bots, travel bots, and those for restaurants and hospitality.
How Does Chatbot Differ from Traditional Marketing?
As opposed to traditional marketing, chatbot marketing is automated, and customer interactions normally take place in real time. This allows companies to reach their audience more quickly, enabling them to have more individualized conversations with their customers. That being said, bot marketing may still rely on some traditional marketing aspects as well as a marketer’s intuition.
Benefits of Chatbot Marketing in Business
Let’s suppose a potential customer is browsing your website at 2:00 a.m. Normally, this would require staffing customer support teams day and night. Not only can this be expensive, but it is also impossible for other departments, such as finance.
A marketing bot, on the other hand, will be available to answer questions and offer suggestions. In addition to enhancing the AI customer experience, you might even end up with extra sales.
Studies have proven that businesses that respond to customers within an hour are more likely to generate leads. Chatbot marketing serves this purpose, as bots can answer questions almost immediately, guiding the user through the whole process—be it shopping for a product or choosing a service. And when it comes to purchases that involve multiple steps, the marketing bot can qualify the lead before directing the customer to a trained agent.
Gathering Data for Analysis
While interacting with users, a chatbot can collect their names, contact details, and interests. This data, on top of the bot’s performance reports, can be valuable for your marketing strategies and make the bot even more effective. Moreover, adding a customer satisfaction survey at the end of the chatbot interaction can give you insights into what the user thinks about your brand.
Bot marketing can be a perfect way to segment traffic and promote your brand to the right audience. Suppose a user shows interest in one of your products or services. The bot would identify that person as a warm lead. It would then use the data from the segmentation to engage with your audience accordingly.
The amount of data that a chatbot generates can make it much easier to personalize interactions with customers. By using your consumer data, you can essentially tailor a conversation and share customized marketing messages. Customers enjoy feeling unique and would be more inclined to buy a product or choose a service that is tailored to their needs. In the case of SMS marketing, regular text messages such as promotions often involve one-way communications.
An SMS chatbot, on the other hand, personalizes the approach by enabling a two-way conversation—even sending SMS reminders to clients. This can make it an especially valuable tool for mass texting.
Types of Chatbots
Rule-based, or linguistic, chatbots are those that use if/then logic to generate conversational automation. This normally involves defining the language conditions for your bot. By doing so, the program will be able to assess words, synonyms, sequences, and more. Once an incoming question matches the defined conditions, the chatbot will respond to the user instantly.
Also referred to as contextual chatbots, AI chatbots can carry out intelligent conversations with users. These highly advanced programs use machine learning and natural language processing to recognize patterns and understand human communication. AI bots essentially have contextual awareness which makes them smart enough to learn as they go.
As the name implies, hybrid bots are basically a combination of rule-based and AI systems. They offer the simplicity of linguistic models as well as the sophistication of intelligent chatbots.
Helpful Tips For Implementing Chatbot Marketing
Do Your Research
Having a solid understanding of your marketing objectives can go a long way. This means analyzing your audience, setting clear goals, and defining the data you need to assess such as conversion rates and the number of leads.
Have Backup Options
Chatbots can automate a great portion of your marketing efforts. Be that as it may, having an actual person to deal with more complex interactions can guarantee customer satisfaction. Keep in mind that not everyone in your audience interacts with technology in the same manner.
Test Your Chatbot
It’s always a good idea to test a product before releasing it. The same concept applies to setting up a chatbot. Chances are you’re going to have to make some adjustments. Make sure to test your chatbot marketing strategy by chatting with the program and seeing for yourself.
Use an Appropriate Approach
Define your chatbot’s approach by knowing who your audience is. If you are selling video games, for instance, you may want to go for a more fun and outgoing language—as opposed to a more serious tone if you’re selling medical supplies. Then again, it all depends on your audience. In any case, it never hurts to have a chatbot with personality.
Make Use of an Available Platform
It would be more convenient to make use of a chatbot platform rather than trying to design one in-house. Pick a bot builder that will help you set up your digital assistant in your preferred channel and provide support whenever needed.