What is Conversational Marketing?
What is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing is marketing that talks to consumers. This can be done through live chat, chatbots, voice assistants or other forms of conversational AI. These experiences can be positioned on websites, social media channels, paid to advertise and even in physical stores or connected home devices (like smart speakers).
This seems like sales, so how is this marketing? Well, marketing that talks to people is fundamentally new. Conversational marketing allows you to turn things that are traditionally seen as marketing materials and make them interactive. In all marketing, engagement and conversion are critical. With conversational marketing, they become easier than ever before.
So, now that we’ve simply defined conversational marketing, here’s how you can make the most of it: use conversational interfaces in your paid advertising, websites and eCommerce, and other channels where you market to consumers to drive stronger messages, choices and relationships home to them and transform your funnel like never before.
Because of recent advances in conversational AI, conversational marketing has become a channel-independent practice that enhances every way you reach your consumers.
What is Conversational Marketing for Ads?
Conversational marketing in ads can be positioned on almost any domain. For example, Google, with select partners, offers conversational display advertising through their DV360 network. Eventually, this kind of format will reach billions of websites.
Click-to-Messenger ads have also become popular on Facebook. These are similar to conversational display ads, except they show users traditional Facebook newsfeed ads and then drive users to facebook’s messenger app or interface. From there, brands prompt consumers with questions or experiences related to the ad’s content, and then they’re able to interact and learn more about them and drive them to convert.
How Conversational Marketing Is Changing the Way Your Customers Buy
There’s a problem with how we’ve been taught to market and sell—it no longer matches how buyers buy things.
Think about it—when you’re not talking to someone face-to-face, where do most of your conversations happen? For most people, the answer looks a lot like this:
People love communicating with messaging because it’s fast, easy, and actually feels like a conversation. So it’s not surprising that 90% of consumers want to use it to communicate with businesses (and the majority prefer it over email), according to a recent survey from Twilio.
But most businesses are still forcing people to jump through endless hoops before a conversation can ever occur.
Buyers and customers don’t have time for this anymore, and the numbers show it:
- Only 43% of people answer cold calls.
- The average email open rate has fallen to 20%
- The average landing page conversion rate is only 2.35%
The B2B buying process has become cold, impersonal, and way more painful for the buyer than it needs to be.
Conversational marketing VS. inbound marketing
So is there a difference between inbound and conversational marketing?
Yes and no. Conversational marketing is often considered a part of an inbound marketing strategy.
Inbound is the “pull” tactic of attracting customers through the channels they prefer. On the other hand, conversational marketing is the method of actually conversing with customers in these channels.
It is how you interact with your customers by providing them with the power of when, how, and where they communicate with your business. Both are, by nature, customer-centric and go hand-in-hand.
Chatbots in conversational marketing
As mentioned, when talking about conversational marketing, people automatically think of chatbots.
Rightly so, as they play a big role in implementing conversational marketing as a communication channel. This is because chatbots use a conversational approach and simulate face-to-face interactions.
Today, chatbots come in all shapes and sizes with various capabilities and levels of advancement, from chatbots with AI capabilities to less advanced bots like button-based bots.
In conversational marketing, chatbots are often used to automate the process of gathering data, providing information about products/services, and qualifying your leads further.
Chatbots are more and more common on websites and social media platforms, which is bound to raise customer expectations. Therefore, bots need to show that they’re efficient in communicating and provide the value customers are looking for.
Conversational marketing in a nutshell
Conversational marketing is based on one-to-one interactions in real-time across multiple channels. It enables you to foster customer relationships and improve your online customer experience by communicating and customizing interactions online.
Live chat, chatbots, and messaging apps are used to enable these personalized conversations.
Chatbots, in particular, have made conversational marketing more accessible. Of course, the two solutions are regularly grouped as the same thing, but chatbots are just a part of conversational marketing – as a goalkeeper of a football team, you wouldn’t argue that they make up the entire team.
Any form of two-way communication, like phone and email, can be part of a conversational marketing strategy. Although today, messaging is the most popular way to get in touch and reach out to customers. People love to chat and want instant responses, which is why messaging apps like WhatsApp are so popular.
The key in conversational marketing is assessing and understanding your customers’ preferred channels and adjusting your tone of voice accordingly – dialogue with chatbots and live chat is usually quite informal and mimics a casual conversation.
Lead capture tools to qualify
After clicking the conversation starter, users then enter a short conversation with a lead capture tool, like a chatbot. This process is where the chatbot will ask a series of simple questions in real-time to understand if the user needs customer support, sales assistance or looking to make a transaction. Again, this is a good opportunity to inject some personalization and make the potential customer feel like they’re in a real, meaningful conversation with the brand.
The chatbot (often tied to a social media account) qualifies the leads and either completes the sales process (in the event of a simple purchase intent) or gets the user to the right person to deal with more complex questions and requests. The concept is to segment assisted and unassisted sales as quickly as possible, providing value for the user as they can either complete transactions quickly or reach an expert on the sales team without changing their device or channel.
No matter what you call it, it is marketing! It is communicating with your prospective clients and existing clients. It connects you with those that you wish to do business. Conversational marketing is a way to think about your clients and how to connect with them on a regular basis.
Article compiled by hughesagency.ca
Article Reference Links:
- https://automat.ai/resources/what-is-conversational-marketing/#:~:text=Conversational%20marketing%20is%20marketing%20that,other%20forms%20of%20conversational%20AI.&text=Conversational%20marketing%20allows%20you%20to,materials%20and%20make%20them%20interactive. ↑
- https://www.drift.com/conversational-marketing/ ↑
- https://www.giosg.com/blog/what-is-conversational-marketing ↑
- https://www.whisbi.com/guides/conversational-marketing/ ↑