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Conversational Marketing 101: What It Is, Why it Works, How To Get Started

Conversational Marketing Graphic

There are two types of marketing tactics changing the way we meet, greet, and take care of customers: Content Marketing and Conversational Marketing. Since we covered Content Marketing last week, it’s only natural that we should cover Conversational Marketing this week. (If you missed our article on Content Marketing, you can read it HERE.)

You already know your customers are online. That’s why you’ve spent a small fortune to build a website that provides as much information as possible to keep the information-gatherers engaged until they convert into a sale. But ask yourself this, How easy is it for your customers to find exactly what they are looking for? This is where conversational marketing comes into play, through various forms of automation, you can be assured you are providing answers to any and all questions. 

Major brands have been engaging in conversational marketing tactics for years because it immediately improves the customer’s experience with the brand, helps build meaningful relationships, and increases conversions. It’s a true win-win situation for both the customer and the brand.

For example, one of the most well-known and widely used forms of conversational marketing is the Chatbot -  a.k.a. the little pop-up on the bottom right of your screen that asks if you need help. Chatbots provide real-time information through automated Q&A prompts.They also allow you to provide as much information as possible including links to case studies, white papers, and customer testimonials geared toward the product or service they are interested in buying. If this sounds like something you want to implement within your business, keep reading for a complete crash course on all things conversational marketing.

What is Conversational Marketing? 

Conversational marketing is the process by which you to meet your customers where they are in the buying process to provide real-time answers to their questions or any other information they may need. The pandemic has pushed the need for conversational marketing to the forefront of every major brand’s go-to marketing strategy for one simple reason; it creates a more personalized experience for the customer, which can often lead to increased conversions and customer loyalty.

Another major bonus of conversational marketing is that is allows you to engage with customers in real-time instead of having them fill out a contact form and getting back to them well after they have possibly moved on to your competitors’ websites for further information gathering. 

3  Ways to Engage Customers Through Conversational Marketing 

  1. Chatbots

As mentioned above, one of the most well-known forms of conversational marketing is the chatbot. Chatbots allow brands to prepopulate the program with Q&A usually asked by customers. So when a customer types in a question, the chatbot instantly provides a more detailed answer about a product or service than can be found on the website. You’re also given the opportunity to further engage customers with questions through multiple choice questions or short answers. There are many different forms of chatbot programs available today; some even employ artificial intelligence to engage the customer further.

  1. Live Chat 

When a chatbot can no longer provide the answers your customers are looking for, a live chat option allows you to further engage and qualify the customer. This is an exceptional tool to use if your products are complicated or require a high level of consideration before purchase. Live chats also provide a more personal experience.

  1. Instant Messenger 

Social media’s instant messenger options have completely changed the way businesses communicate with their customers. Having the ability to talk directly to your customers in real-time allows a company to ensure they provide the most up-to-date information possible. This form of conversational also works well to diffuse customer issues by allowing for immediate action, which in many cases can spare a business from receiving the dreaded one-star Google review.

How To Get Started With Conversational Marketing

Believe it or not, it’s relatively easy to start employing conversational marketing within your business. There are three relatively easy ways to get started:

Add a Chatbot to your website

The easiest and most cost effective way to implement a chatbot on your website is to use a chatbot service platform like Botsy, PandoraBots, or Landbot.io. For a more sophisticated A.I. chatbot experience, consider using a program like IBM Watson.

Add Live Chat to your website 

Giving your customers the ability to speak directly to a representative from your company in real-time, instead of filling out a contact form and waiting for a response, is an exceptional way to ensure you are providing the best virtual customer service possible. Live chats also provide you the opportunity to get information from your customers like name, phone number, email, or geographic region for follow up touchpoints. Reach out to your website team or provider to see what it will take to add the livechat feature.

Be active on social media

Your social media channels are by far the most cost effective way to meet your customers where they are. By staying active on social media and welcoming customers to use the direct message feature, you can keep your finger on the pulse of your customer base. Make sure you read and respond to comments and instant messages. This shows your potential customers that you are invested in ensuring they have a personalized experience and get answers to their questions.

Conclusion

By finding the perfect intersection between content marketing and conversational marketing you will effectively meet your customers where they are online and be able to provide them with the answers they need to make an informed decision, and build loyalty along the way. 

For more tips to grow your business and get the most ROI out of your marketing efforts, check out these articles:

2022 Smart Marketing Best Practices Infographic

How To Optimize Your Sales Funnel To Increase Conversions

12 Tips for Crafting the Perfect Email

How To Use Analytics To Better Your Business

written by

April McCormick

April McCormick is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more about April, visit AprilMcCormick.com

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