Marketing has evolved and it is now bi-directional: it’s no longer a company talking to its potential clients; the conversation goes both ways.
Unlike back in the day when businesses mostly focused on pushing sales with little or no regard to what exactly the customer needed, marketing is now a two-way street. An on-going conversation that anyone (marketer or client) can initiate.
Marketers have discovered that talking to their customers is the only (cost-)effective way they can foster stronger relationships with them.
This is how conversational marketing came into being.
Part of the reason why this tactic is particularly effective is that the modern consumer loves to chat thanks to social apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and others because it provides instant gratification. Apart from doing it socially, customers also want to interact with brands and they want instant responses to their queries. If they can do it with their friends and family, why not with businesses?
Is it too big a demand?
Not really! Think about it — as a business don’t you want to be part of the “inner circle” of your customers? Of course you do!
But as easy as it might sound, you must first understand and assess your customers’ preferred channels and adjust your tone of voice to make it more conversational just as you’d have a casual conversation with your friend.
Before we go any further in understanding why conversational marketing is suddenly a big deal for digital marketers, let’s first define what it is.
What Is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing is a form of direct marketing that enables brands to effectively communicate with their existing customers and prospects in a way that’s a bit more personalized and to a certain extent, less formal.
Conversational marketing allows both the brand and customer to get connected at a much deeper level where the customer feels compelled to open up more about his or her needs and preferences and the brand is also able to find a more customized solution to the problem(s).
Conversational marketing is mostly driven by chat-enabled platforms such as chatbots that are programmed and infused with artificial intelligence to mimic normal conversations. These bots are also used to gather customer insights as well as provide information about your products and services.
What Are the Main Benefits of Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing, as you would imagine, has a long list of result-driven benefits, which is why companies that are embracing it as part of their marketing efforts are constantly enjoying. To help you understand just how effective conversational marketing is in today’s digital economy, we have handpicked and listed easily achievable benefits that you can easily reap.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Every business under the sun is constantly looking for ways to improve its customer experience. Competition has become extremely stiff in most industries and customers have also become more demanding than ever.
These and other factors are increasingly making it harder for brands to reach and connect with their target audiences using traditional marketing tactics. Here’s a fun fact: did you know that you can increase your company’s revenue by up to 80 percent if you focus on improving customer experience?
One of the most effective ways of achieving this is through conversational marketing. It enables brands to build stronger customer relationships through effective communication and personalization.
Grow Your Lead Generation
To consistently cultivate and grow a decent list of potential customers for your products or services, you need to integrate marketing tactics that can boost your overall lead generation efforts. One effective tactic that stands out is conversational marketing.
You see, while your social media strategy will help keep your brand on top of your target audience’s minds, conversational marketing is what finally gives them the nudge to carry on with their sales journey and to act the way you need them to. By including conversational marketing in your marketing strategy, you will significantly shorten the sales cycle and ultimately grow your business.
Effectively Assess Your Customers Needs
If you don’t understand what your customers and prospects need then it ultimately becomes extremely difficult to move your products or services. It doesn’t matter how creative your digital ads are, if you lack crucial insights about your prospects, they simply won’t budge.
To get these insights, you need to first and foremost ensure that you constantly assess your customers’ needs. Due to the ever-evolving nature of your customers’ needs and preferences, you must deploy a tactic that is in line with what they consume the most and that is chat.
Chat, for instance, has enhanced the effectiveness of conversational marketing making it possible for you and your team to engage in an immersive dialogue with customers and prospects at different stages of the sales funnel.
You Get to Sell More
The more you sell, the more your business grows. Simple, right?
Unlike in the past when there were fewer players in your industry and you didn’t have to struggle that much to make a sale, today, you are most likely facing numerous challenges that make it difficult to sell even to your loyal customers. Traditional sales tactics are characterized by lengthy processes, which most of the time result in customers becoming impatient.
Once a customer loses interest, they are gone – probably for good! But if you deploy conversational marketing, your team can keep the customer engaged long enough to close the sale. Conversational marketing helps you to provide instant feedback to customer queries thereby allowing for swift buying decisions to be made and most often than not the decisions will be favorable to your business, which is what you need to sell more.
You Will Be Able to Offer Real-Time, 24/7 Help
Traditionally, businesses have operated within a specified time frame, with most brick-and-mortar companies operating between 9 a.m to 5 p.m. But while this is still a common practice in some industries, consumers still expect you to respond to their queries regardless of what time it is.
Their favorite store might be physically closed but that does not mean their queries in the middle of the night should go unanswered. Businesses, therefore, need to be aware of the fact that customers can shop at any time they want. With conversational marketing, you can offer your customers a platform that they can use at any time to reach out to you with queries.
At SyncApps by Cazoomi, for instance, one of our subscribers’ favorite thing about working with us is our 24/7 support center. Since we work with people all over the world, it’s important that someone is always there to answer their questions.
In fact, it’s one of our key differentiators. We are the only integration solutions provider that offers free support for any plan, even for the free ones, and we do it round the clock!
Gain Valuable, Genuine Insights
For your business to thrive in today’s cutthroat environment, you need to get your hands on genuine insights. These insights will help you create meaningful digital campaigns that resonate well with your target audience.
Conversational marketing is one of the most effective tactics to use to collect important data and insights from your customers and prospects. This tactic will help you overcome barriers that stand in the way of customers buying from you, significantly improve your products or services, and to create customized customer interactions. Conversational marketing can also help you to consolidate and store data on a large scale and, in turn, leverage it to deliver customized content based on your customer’s preference.
How to Add Conversational Marketing to Your Toolbox
Your conversational marketing strategy should be anchored on four key pillars:
- Engage your customers and prospects as much as possible.
- Understand their pain points, needs, and preferences to be able to serve them better.
- Recommend: As soon as your chatbot has collected enough information about your prospect and their need, ensure that they transfer the matter to a sales rep for further personalization and conversion
- Repeat this process.
How can you achieve all that? Start with the steps below:
Choose the Right eCommerce or CMS Platform
For your conversational marketing strategy to succeed, you need to choose an eCommerce platform or CMS that will allow you to seamlessly integrate third-party chat applications that don’t necessarily require ninja coding skills, especially if you are a small business with limited IT expertise and budget.
Humanize Your Bots
As much as people love robots, most are not particularly thrilled by the idea of talking to one, especially on matters that involve them spending their hard-earned cash. Ensure that your chatbots are designed to be user-friendly and can also engage in a real human conversation.
Your customers need to feel comfortable engaging with your website’s chatbots by making their part of the conversation seem more friendly and natural. According to Insider Intercom, business leaders saved an average of $300,000 in 2019 due to using conversational marketing. Using chatbots for sales is now the most common use case at 41 percent, followed closely by support at 37 percent and marketing at 17 percent.
However, we recommend you don’t trust chatbots with absolutely everything. Make sure you also have some human involvement for support or sales. Humans crave human connection, even when it comes to business deals.
Monitor and Adjust
You must constantly review and monitor your conversational marketing strategy and use your customer feedback to adjust where necessary. This will ensure that it remains effective and that your customers and prospects are enjoying the whole experience.
Add Integration into the Mix
Since conversational marketing is particularly effective for collecting useful customer data, it is imperative that you also integrate it with other equally effective integration solutions to ensure that you maximize the output.
Apart from integrating your email marketing and social media strategy, integrating other CRM tools, for instance, can put your digital marketing team in a better position to develop data-driven email campaigns and social media activities that will, in turn, help you to nurture and convert leads at a much higher rate.
With an integration solution like SyncApps, conversational marketing can also enhance the quality of the data that you collect from your customer engagement. It allows you to get insights from all your channels, answer queries quickly, create meaningful messaging/campaigns, and understand your customers better.
Conversational marketing, as easy as it might sound, is a process. If done right and with the right tools and integration solutions, you can increase lead engagement by keeping your website visitors engaged and improve the chances of turning them into paying customers. It will also significantly lower your customer acquisition cost as well as shorten the sales cycle.