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Conversational Marketing - what is it and what are the benefits?

Implementing conversational marketing techniques mean that you are able to optimise your customer experience and increase your conversion.

June 10, 2021

The way we do business is changing, and it's becoming more and more important for companies to stay ahead of the game by providing customers with instant, personalised and exceptional service. B2C businesses seem to be catching on to this quickly, but unfortunately B2B companies are lagging behind, with 58% having not adapted to modern consumer behaviour yet.


With 79% of consumers showing a preference for using messaging apps to get customer service, brands need to start taking advantage of this opportunity to offer customers what they want. To do this, businesses need to understand the basics of conversational marketing.

What is conversational marketing?

Conversational marketing is a personalised approach to online business, allowing companies to move buyers through the marketing and sales funnel. It focuses on two-way interactions with customers, rather than just broadcasting one-way messages. Conversational marketing can be automated or human-driven, and is designed to engage customers in meaningful conversations that help guide and inform their purchasing decisions.


By taking the time to understand the needs of customers and providing them with a personalised service, companies gain an edge over their competitors and can ultimately increase their sales. If your brand isn't taking advantage of conversational marketing, now is the time to start.

The benefits of conversational marketing


The benefits of conversational marketing are numerous and should be seriously considered by all businesses. Implementing conversational marketing into your strategy can help you provide customers with a more human buying experience and can even convert more leads.

Rather than simply broadcasting messages, conversational marketing allows you to engage customers in meaningful conversations that help guide and inform their decisions. This process also allows you to pre-qualify leads and gather data for further strategies.

Additionally, conversational marketing can be used for a variety of purposes, such as qualifying leads, booking meetings, signing up for webinars, and setting up free trials. Ultimately, by investing in conversational marketing, you'll see an increase in leads and revenue.

If you're looking for a way to boost your customer experience and increase sales, look no further. Invest in conversational marketing today and watch your ROI soar.

Types of conversational marketing

Chatbots

Chatbots have exploded into popularity in recent years due to their ability to dramatically cut costs and handle a wide range of processes. A bot is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that can simulate a real conversation. A site visitor is able to chat with the bot, and receive answers to questions. Chatbots leverage Natural Language Processing (NLP) with question & answer programming to interact with people in an authentic way, remembering the conversation and following a predesigned conversation flow.

There are pros and cons to using AI. Bots are 24/7, meaning they can handle queries out of hours while your team sleeps. They have limitless capacity and are able to handle many chats concurrently, whilst instant responses means no waiting around. They allow your human team to focus on what they do best, rather than just answering the same questions over and over. A study from Aspect Software found that 61% of people think chatbots allow for faster answers.

However they also have their limitations. AI has not yet reached a level where it can replace human interaction. For tricky queries, the bot will not be able to help, so it’s important to be transparent about the fact that the customer is talking to a bot, and have options for if they aren’t able to help.

Implementing conversational marketing techniques mean that you are able to optimise your customer experience and increase your conversion.
Implementing conversational marketing techniques mean that you are able to optimise your customer experience and increase your conversion.
June 10, 2021

Live chat

Another popular form of conversational marketing is live chat, which has become increasingly popular as more people are using messaging apps than social media. Live chat offers customers a completely personalised, human experience, which can be a major factor in positive customer experience. Live chat also allows customers to get help with their queries whenever they need it, even out of hours.

Live chat can have phenomenal benefits, but it requires a well thought out strategy. Many businesses download a free widget and put their already-busy team on live chat, so they don’t see the results they want. Setting up a full chat operation in house can be very costly, so in order to see a ROI from live chat, it’s worth it to get some expert advice, or outsource entirely.

The popularity of live chat is only going to grow, and by 2023 virtual chat reps are projected to become the majority of customer interactions with businesses. To ensure you make the most of this trend, make sure you have a well thought-out strategy in place, and that you have the right resources and tools to properly implement it.

Messaging apps

Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger are widely used and can be a great tool for conversational marketing. Using the same principle as chatbots, they can be programmed to understand questions, provide answers and handle tasks.

Using messaging apps allows you to reach your audience directly. Headliner Labs found that people are 3.5 times more likely to open a Facebook Message than a marketing email. By adding buttons users can use to respond to questions, you streamline the process and move them through the marketing funnel quicker. Messenger bots can save you time and money on customer experience and re-engage customers.

The same limitations apply as with chatbots, so it’s always a good idea to have a human option on hand. HubSpot recently experimented with delivering content offers via Facebook Messenger and saw some incredible results – the test saw a 2.5X increase in open rates and 6X the number of clicks when compared to email.

Email

The principles of conversational marketing can also be applied to email. It can seem like the best way to send emails is to promote yourself with CTAs, logos, a description of your absolutely amazing product that the reader just has to have, but according to Drift, only 1 in 5 people actually open an email they receive like this.

Instead of building emails for CTAs, build them for conversations. Get back to a human level and work on building a relationship by referencing something personal to the recipient, mention the last time you were in touch or a new development in their business. Stick to a few highlights of your offering, but don’t sell, simply ask for a conversation. Build intrigue and keep things informal if appropriate.

Forms

Forms have always been an easy way of taking leads through your website, but with the growth of other conversational marketing tools, they need a serious upgrade if they are going to be effective. There’s nothing wrong with using a form, but make sure it’s created in a user-friendly way that feels more like an interaction than just detail-grabbing.

Using a quiz-like form to capture information has the potential to triple your conversion rate. Step by step forms can provide extra detailed information within questions, meaning no frustration by seeing that you missed something when you get to the end of your form. Statistics show that conversational forms are likely to convert 70% of people while those boring, static web forms will only convert around 30% of people.

Voice

In the past few years, virtual assistants have become somewhat of a phenomenon. Half of U.S. adults (46%) now use voice assistants to talk with smartphones and other devices and 20% of Google searches are voice searches (but in 2020 this could go up to 50%), meaning businesses need to keep up with the times.

Virtual assistants obtain information from a variety of sources, searching through millions of websites and pulling the best information, so by being a site of authority, that is well optimised and structured clearly, you could make use of this. Create content focused on answering questions and work on SEO to reach the top of search results.

Best practice
  • Conversation starter – conversational marketing best practice starts simply with the conversation starter, whether this is a chat box in the corner of a webpage, a CTA encouraging interaction, or a push notification.
  • Tools – deciding the tool you need is key, and will be different depending on your business needs. This can be everything from a bot, to live chat and email.
  • Strategy – a proven strategy that applies to every issue is ‘engage, understand, recommend, repeat’. First you engage with the customer, you learn about their query, you recommend a product, service or solution, and continue like this until the conversation is over.

Final thoughts

Keeping up with consumer expectations is not a choice if you want your business to succeed, it’s absolutely essential. Implementing conversational marketing techniques mean that you are able to optimise your customer experience and increase your conversion.

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