The internet conveniently describes bots to be software applications that run automated tasks for companies over the internet. Bots have been around for quite some time now and have evolved from what they first used to be. Bots are now tasked with carrying out a wide array of tasks for a diverse list of industries. Regardless of whether we are aware of the change or not, bots are an integral part of the marketing mix currently.
Bots provide a pertinent solution for brands looking to cut down on costs and improve efficiency. Many brands today are new to digital marketing and end up inadvertently spending a lot more on advertising, promotion, selling, and feedback than they should. Bots are extremely cheap to set up and can easily be programmed.
Owing to their convenience and end benefit, marketing bots are a popular form of automation for marketers today. Bots are basically your own marketing toy that can be programmed to perform whatever task you want from them. Human error is minimized and effective operations around the clock are guaranteed through the use of a bot.
Are you looking for ways to automate your digital marketing campaign and minimize errors? Are you inspired by the benefits that bots can offer? If yes, then you are on the right page. In this article, we look at possible ways marketers can follow to incorporate bots within their digital marketing strategy.
1. Use chatbots as a tool to communicate with visitors
This is one of the most documented and popular bot actions to opt for. The process can take a huge amount of workload off your hands and can prepare you for the benefits that are to come your way. Digital marketing has revolutionized the way brands communicate with customers for the first time.
Face-to-face communication isn't the norm anymore, and businesses set their first impression online through the outlook of their website and through the content present on it. When customers first come to your website, not only do they need the right graphics and aesthetics, but they also need all the relevant information provided to them.
In short, they'll want answers for the products and the services you offer, along with details of any relevant discounts or promos. Your inability to give them these answers means that you have potentially lost a client.
Helping all potential customers is a priority, which can be hard to maintain and manage when you have a small sales or support team. Also, your team will have select work hours, after which customers wouldn't have anybody available to answer their queries. Delegating your staff into different working hours would mean that you will have to reduce the manpower available at one given time. This will effectively hinder efficiency and would render you incapable of handling the inflow of customers looking to ask questions.
It might come as a surprise to most contemporary marketers, but customers really do appreciate a live chat that answers their questions. A recent survey by Econsultancy found out that nearly 60% of people prefer live chat on a website.
You can further make messaging through bots more humanized by working on the responses. Ask questions and develop answers that align with your branding and product reputation. You can make your bot welcoming by giving it a profile picture and a display picture. These additions will enhance the communication between your bot and customers by making it more interactive.
Talking about interactivity, Sephora's chatbot is a great example of a bot that interacts well with customers. The tone used by the bot is engaging, and it helps customers seal their deal.
2. Use them to sift through your leads
Lead management is a complex task for managers and marketing teams to manage. The entire process is based on your instincts and judgment. As a marketer, you have to make the right call about which leads to pursue more persistently and which ones are OK to drop.
Through the use of chatbots, you can add a lot more surety to these calls. Instincts can prove to be wrong, but the analytics run by chatbots to qualify a lead are very rarely incorrect.
Imagine a new customer coming on to your online website. Some could be window shopping, others could be really interested. Keeping the dynamics and demographics of your customers in mind, you can program a list of interesting questions to determine whether your customer is within the sales funnel or not.
The answers given to these questions will help you determine leads that should be pursued. There are programmed bots available that do this job for you.
While bots can do a really good job at qualifying and nurturing a lead, the best way to manage the process is by adding a human touch at the end of the deal. The best way forward is to allow bots to nurture and qualify a lead and then have a human step in when the deal is about to close. The process can be streamlined to define your digital selling strategy for the time to come. It is easy and will reap you rewards.
3. Use chatbots to personalize the user experience
Recent research has found that 71% of customers prefer personalized selling strategies. In fact, customers live and die for personalization, as it places the spotlight on them. For years, brands have been selling what they find convenient, however, the tides have now changed, and it is time for customers to determine what is sold and marketed to them.
Keeping in mind the customer frenzy towards personalization, you should take it upon yourself to provide them with that attention. With the use of bots, you can give customer-centric responses to your visitors.
CNN is an example of a top news channel that sends customized news feeds to different users based on their interests and options. This creates a positive space and helps customers rely on the news provider for all news relevant to them.
4. Use them for effective social media communication
You can also use bots on your social media to respond to and interact with customers with the same dedication and customization as you would on your website.
There are multiple chatbots available to spice up your messaging on Slack and Facebook Messenger. Social media bots are best used for lead generation, and they serve that purpose well.
Chatbots can only be integrated on your social media if you have a Facebook page for your own brand. Once you have set up the bot and your Facebook page, you can add your app link into the bot to activate the experience.
5. Use bots to determine your customer demographics
Bots offer a super interactive way for you to get the required demographics from your customers, without asking them to fill lengthy and boring forms.
The bot interacts with your customers in a super casual manner and generates the information relevant to their demographics. This information is then used to offer personalized selling strategies to customers. These selling strategies can be a good way to bring in new customers for your brand.
A chatbot provides a safe space for many customers where they can share information related to their demographics without feeling insecure about it. You can also use this opportunity to bring in new customers and get data related to demographics from the old ones.
By now we expect you to understand the importance of chatbots and how you can incorporate them within your marketing strategy. Digital marketing is all about being casual and forming bonds with your customers. Chatbots give you just that opportunity, as they allow you to explore horizons, which would otherwise have been too far-fetched for you.
Marketing teams can work hand in hand with bots to form a formidable digital marketing strategy. The interactive and 24-hour service of bots will run in well with the expertise of your human staff. Through this combined approach, you can reap the rewards of greater sales opportunities and marketing automation.
Chatbots can be free and some applications cost upward of $5,000. Small business owners usually have three options when it comes to setting up a chatbot for their website or social media account, including:
- Create a chatbot in-house, using the services of your resident experts. This works if you have a dedicated individual and when you need a basic chatbot. This won't cause you a dollar, but you will obviously have to pay for the time your employee spends on designing the bot.
- Subscribe to chatbot software. Companies can purchase chatbot software apps for lead capturing and to assist your customers through Facebook Messenger. This option will cost you approximately $25 to $50 per month and the time your designers spend in house to design and maintain it.
- You can hire a chatbot agency to create and maintain chatbots tasked with lead generation and customer care. This option costs $500 to $1,000 per month, but no in-house expertise will be required.