What is conversational marketing?

 The era of cookie-cutter marketing messaging is over. As technology grows and social media becomes more and more necessary in nearly all facets of one’s marketing campaign a trendy term one can’t help themselves to hear is “Conversational Marketing”, although conversational marketing isn’t something new – the ways it’s being implemented has become incredibly more creative and more importantly, effective. But first, what exactly is conversational marketing? In its simplest form, it is engaging with prospects and actually listening to their needs, and using that insight to further improve your product or consumer experience.

One of the biggest reasons the term has increased in use has been because of chatbots, more and more businesses today are using chatbots as the face of their brand. By programming chatbots to have human-like personalities and service web visitors without the need for manual intervention, businesses can provide more enjoyable, personalized, and contextualized experiences to their prospects and customers — and they can provide those experiences at scale, even with a small team. These buyer-centric interactions mean that prospects can access the information they’re looking for more quickly and, therefore, move more quickly through the various lifecycle stages. The shorter the sales cycle, the faster you can lose customers and flow them back into the prospect stage of the flywheel for retention and upselling.

Conversational marketing allows you to capture information about your customers that you wouldn’t have been able to previously. Rather than presenting web visitors with a cold, unwelcoming form, you can greet them on high-intent web pages and offer a warmer, more enjoyable way to convert.

What’s The Future of Conversational Marketing?

A conversation requires you to listen, know what the topic is at hand, and ultimately help the consumer with their needs this is a particularly hard task for a chatbot to do considering most of the conversations the bot can provide often aren’t insightful. Yet with the advancements of Artificial Intelligence in the sector, chatbots will most likely become intuitive and streamlined allowing for small business owners to program their chatbots easily according to their industry and specifications. 

But for now, the best way to effectively program your chatbot is to work backward. Start by defining the goal of a given conversation (from visitor to convert, book a demo with sales, or subscribe to your newsletter) then think about the different ways you might be able to reach that goal through a natural, human conversation. Sometimes writing out the conversation like a script, helps to read out the conversation making sure it sounds fluid and natural avoiding the mistake of sounding like an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on messenger. As chatbot technology continues to grow, test the different ways that you can use conversational marketing to shorten your sales cycle, learn new information about your prospects, and enhance the empathetic element of your brand.

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