The widespread availability of mobile phones and the internet has enabled businesses to reach audiences all over the world. However, this connectedness does not easily translate into trust. You can create blog posts, podcasts, videos, and more to talk to people. What's missing is two-way communication.
As business owners, we need to be able to have a conversation with our audience to engage them and build a relationship. Doing so takes tremendous effort, and it's not easy to scale.
So, how can businesses create personalized and interactive communication and also scale it to cater to a large number of people?
The answer lies in conversational marketing.
Developments in technology, especially artificial intelligence (AI) and its branches, are making it possible to drive interactivity and real communication even when you have a substantial audience. Not only that, but you're also improving your lead generation success and boosting conversions. In this article, I discuss what conversational marketing is, how it can help you, and the ways you can implement it in your business. Let's get started.
What is conversational marketing?
The term conversational marketing tells us what this approach to marketing is all about. Here, you move your buyers through sales and marketing funnels by answering and asking questions. In essence, you're trying to create conversions but your approach is to converse with users instead of talking at them.
Another important aspect of conversational marketing is that it involves automation. Chat tools, form plugins, and AI technology are used alongside real customer support staff to help customers and achieve your business goals.
Why conversational marketing is a game changer
Conversational marketing is a very meaningful way to get information from your visitors. Because it's interactive, you get real-time information and the user's consent to provide information based on their inputs.
It's certain that this form of communication and marketing will be the norm in the future. In fact, many businesses already use conversational marketing. Here are some interesting conversational marketing statistics you should know.
86% of online shoppers prefer proactive customer support. They would rather have instant answers than wait for an email or a call with the information they need.
46% of adults in the U.S. rely on voice assistants such as Amazon's Alexa or Google Home. They also use the voice search feature on mobiles as it's easier than typing.
People use messaging apps more than social media as is evidenced by the use of Whatsapp by businesses to talk to customers.
Virtual support representatives will support the majority of customer interactions with businesses this year.
79% of top-performing businesses use marketing automation to get leads.
Quiz-type forms capture more information and can triple your conversion rate.
With more people than ever before using mobile internet and possessing smartphones, mobile experiences will play a key role in your business. In fact, it's already a major landscape to grow your business in.
What you should be aware of is that conversational marketing will make customer support and communication easier on mobile devices. In turn, this will lead to higher engagement, greater customer satisfaction, and better leads.
So, let's explore the tools and platforms you'll need to implement conversational marketing into your business activities.
Conversational marketing tools you'll need
Every business's needs are different. And this means that some conversational marketing tools will be better for your brand than others. Today, there are different ways that you can drive real conversations with customers.
Here are some of the most common tools you'll need. As we explore each one, you'll gain clarity on the best option for your own business.
Conversational forms are created by using a form plugin and applying conditional logic. These forms also reveal one field at a time for users to fill. You're not confronted with a large page or list of fields to fill up.
Providing one form field at a time is engaging and feels easy to do. It's also easy to use on a small mobile screen.
Using conditional logic to create your forms helps you personalize the form based on the kind of inputs a user gives. For example, if you're creating a job application form for a new hire, then you could ask them to select one position out of several that they want to apply for.
Supposing the potential candidate chooses "HR," the form then brings up only those fields that are relevant to this position. Likewise, if the candidate chose "Accounting," then a separate set of fields will appear based on the input.
It's easy to see the potential that this type of form has for your business. You can save your users time by having them fill only the most necessary fields. You're also able to get the exact information you need. If you used a conversational form to manage customer complaints or to qualify leads, you'll be able to easily direct these issues to the right people in your business. You improve the quality of the information you're getting and also give your users a better experience.
Finally, an important benefit of this type of conversational marketing solution is that it's easy to set up. There's no need to invest in complicated tools.
Having real representatives available through live chat is another powerful way to drive conversational marketing. Here, you have real support staff using live chat tools to talk to your audience.
E-commerce sites often use live chat to create faster conversions by providing site visitors with information as soon as they ask for it. You'll support a potential visitor's research and showcase how effective your customer support is, which will boost confidence in your business.
With live chat, you're using chat tools to give your users a platform to connect with your business. Ultimately, the interaction quality rests on your support staff's skills and the training you've provided them. You may choose to hire a remote team from different parts of the world to provide 24/7 support. Or you can set up chat sessions between fixed local times.
Your business needs will help you figure out if this is the right fit for you. We'll explore a more automated and AI-driven tool next.
There are several situations where users need information that can simply be extracted from a database and do not need human intervention to help your audience out. If your customer wants to know your store timings or get a shipment update, an AI chatbot can simply look up this information from a database and share it.
By using a chatbot in these cases, you'll direct your customer support staff's efforts to fix real problems or nurture leads.
You can also use chatbots to get preliminary information about a user and their needs and then connect the user to a real person via chat. Here, you have a combination of AI technology and real people to help you serve your audience better.
Today, there are powerful chatbot tools that not only help you set up these tools on your site but for your social media too. Facebook and Whatsapp are two popular platforms where businesses can use social media bots to connect with people in a relaxed but helpful way. So, look for good chat integration for your business to create more powerful lead generation tools.
There you have it, you have a thorough breakdown of conversational marketing. Enough to get you started on your own journey. And it's best to start soon because it can give you a leg up on the competition. Your audience will pay attention when they see that you’re talking with them and answering their queries right away.
Use the ideas given here and consider investing in tools and conversational relationship platforms to provide your users with better customer experience.