Customer engagement is top of mind when we craft marketing strategies — conversational marketing is designed to do precisely that. On top of this, it streamlines the user experience and fosters brand loyalty. It accomplishes these by creating a personal feel to online business, which customers want more than ever.
In a mobile generation with access to instant media, there is a growing expectation that businesses will get on board with personalization and accessibility. According to Drift, research conducted in 2021 “shows buyers’ expectations for quick, personalized experiences have grown by 26%.” One can only imagine next year’s growth.
Let’s look at what this new path to engagement is all about.
What is Conversational Marketing?
To answer simply, conversational marketing is a form of real-time digital dialogue that allows businesses to connect, comprehend and assist customers with their needs.
Further, it increases customer engagement organically. Compared to fill-and-submit forms or formulaic scripts, conversational marketing mimics how people speak. As a result, your customers feel connected to your brand when they communicate with you in a two-way manner and feel their query is understood. It is widely associated with artificial intelligence (AI), especially with the implementation of chatbots.
Additionally, conversational marketing is effective in both B2B and B2C situations.
But is it exclusively AI?
No, not entirely. Social media is an excellent forum for conversational marketing in real-time with your target audience. Additionally, face-to-face and telephone still offer excellent opportunities for customer dialogue. However, digital communication is a growing expectation.
Depending on the size of your organization, maximizing social media might be the leverage you need to give your audience a personal experience. By staying connected with your customers on social platforms, you can deliver information when they need it.
However, if you are expanding your brand or already have a medium-sized organization with steady website traffic, AI could be your solution. Also, AI need not be intimidating — software options vary in price points and complexity.
What tools are available?
The digital world features more automation than ever before. According to Drift, “the demand for immediacy has grown by an average of 64% year-over-year.” Automation extends your brand’s reach by remaining perpetually active in a humanized fashion that engages your online audience.
For instance, when tasks like customer surveys, scheduling consultations and ordering products are automated, customers have more flexibility regarding managing those activities. Even though your target audience engages with your website after hours, they still want a personal user experience.
Some examples of AI-powered conversational marketing:
- Chatbots offer instant customer service and a tool for lead generation
- Botfuel has a free version and offers set-up guidelines
- Facebook Messenger Bot is free to start but requires some expertise
- Live chat software connects customers to staff in real-time
These tools connect you to your target audience, deliver needed information and troubleshoot issues quickly and efficiently. Therefore, it is not surprising that AI is gaining popularity.
That said, you can adopt conversational marketing gradually. In this way, your organization builds upon successes already in place and phases in components of automation or AI incrementally. Remember, the premise of this strategy is two-way communication and starting with a small conversation is valid.
For additional reading, you might enjoy our related post Automate Your Process and Make Money While You Sleep.