Have you ever had an interactive experience with a company or business? Chances are you experienced conversational marketing. It’s a method of engaging customers in a personalized, two-way conversation to better understand and serve their needs.
These days, savvy marketers and businesses are getting more proactive in lead generation and sales. The old method of cold calling leads or pitching them on email marketing campaigns is no longer bringing the best results.
Enter conversational marketing.
By using automated chat software, also known as chatbots, businesses can say hello to prospects and have a conversation with them right there in the live chat. Conversational marketing in social media and websites has many benefits, which include more efficient lead generation and conversion rate optimization (CRO).
In this article, we’ll cover:
We’ll also look at the advantages of a personalized marketing method and how it increases conversions and sales.
What Is Customer Engagement?
Customer engagement is defined as the interaction between a customer and a brand. This can be in person or via other channels like email, phone or social media. A huge element of the success of this approach is that it is a personalized marketing style aimed to gain customer trust and provide relevant recommendations that make customers feel understood.
Businesses and brands use customer engagement to gather valuable customer feedback and provide personalization customer service.
In a business context, customer engagement marketing improves lead generation and builds sustainable profit. On the customer’s side, it builds trust and loyalty.
There are many methods of implementing customer engagement strategies. The most common one is conversational marketing, which is implemented using customer engagement tools like live chats and chatbots.
What Is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing is a strategy that businesses use to have real-time conversations with their prospects and customers. This usually takes place in a digital environment like a website, a mobile app or a social media page. Conversational marketing in social media is also a popular method, with apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp leading the way.
Conversational marketing is implemented using two methods:
• Live chats – Human chat representatives communicate in real-time with customers via a chat software.
• Automated chat – A messaging software called “chatbot” provides automated, real-time conversations with customers using artificial intelligence (AI). Pre-set answers are given to customers based on their questions.
These customer engagement tools allow businesses to implement faster, automated customer support with little investment. Automated chat appeals to companies who want to provide scalable customer service solutions without breaking the bank. Live chats can cost more, but the major perk is that customers are able to talk to a live human being instead of a machine.
Why Is Conversational Marketing Important?
Conversational marketing is important because consumers these days want instant answers to their queries. They no longer have the time nor patience to hang around on the phone or wait for a response to their email. With marketing automation chatbot, companies can provide real-time support to their customers.
Another goal of conversational marketing is to reach customers where they mostly spend their time. That’s why many businesses have added conversational marketing in social media pages via a messaging app like Facebook Messenger or Slack.
With conversational marketing, you are providing fast personalization customer service that improves customer experience and nurtures your lead generation efforts and CRO strategies.
The purposes of conversational marketing include:
• Building customer trust
• Improving customer experience
• Eliminating wait times
• Providing instant replies to customer concerns
• Acquiring customer feedback and taking appropriate action
• Moving prospects through a sales funnel faster
• Supporting conversion rate optimization efforts
With the many benefits of conversational marketing, it’s only sensible for a business to incorporate this tactic into its digital marketing initiatives. When your customers can connect with you at any time and at their own pace, they feel more satisfied and taken care of.
On the business side, it gives you the opportunity to generate more sales. When customers hesitate to click that “Buy” button, it’s because they have doubts. With conversational marketing, you can instantly clear up any questions the customer might have and convince them to go through with the sale.
What Is Chatbot Marketing?
Using a chatbot software, businesses can offer 24/7 customer support, ask questions and collect contact information right from its website. Chatbot marketing has been widely embraced by most customer-centric brands because it grants the powerful ability to program and personalize marketing messages.
HubSpot reports that 45 percent of businesses have used a marketing automation chatbot as part of their personalization customer service efforts.
Today, more and more companies are introducing chatbots to their customer engagement marketing campaign. Some companies create their own chatbot marketing team or hire a conversational marketing agency to do it for them.
Here are more statistics of how chatbot marketing has made an impact on businesses so far:
• Around 40 percent of consumers prefer to use chatbots when shopping online (Source: Tidio)
• Eighty percent of businesses are expected to use chatbots by the end of 2020 (Source: Chatbots Magazine)
• Chatbots can save companies money by up to 30 percent. (Source: Chatbots Life)
• Sixty-four percent of consumers like that they can use chatbots 24 hours a day. (Source: Drift)
Conversational Marketing Examples
To understand how customer engagement strategies work in the real world, you can look at how popular brands are doing it. Here are some conversational marketing examples that clearly show how the interaction happens.
HealthTap is a healthcare service provider that offers virtual consultations using chatbots and Facebook Messenger. The conversational marketing chatbot can answer any health-related question, but if the user is not satisfied, a healthcare professional will provide a more in-depth response within the day.
Considered to be a pioneer of conversational marketing in eCommerce, 1-800-Flowers was one of the first businesses to use Facebook Messenger chatbots. Ordering flowers can happen within the chat, from choosing flower arrangements to completing a payment. Customers enjoy the experience of a human-like conversation while making a hassle-free purchase.
Cosmetic company Sephora launched Sephora Virtual Artist in their Facebook Messenger chatbot. Users can pick a product and try it on using their phone’s camera.
Sephora’s conversational marketing chatbot uses augmented reality (AR) technology for accurate face recognition and “makeup application.” If the user “tries on” a product in the chat, an option to purchase the product is also available, providing a seamless customer experience.
Implementing these campaigns can be challenging, especially if you’re new to building a marketing automation chatbot. Thrive’s conversational marketing agency can help you create a customized chatbot marketing strategy that engages your customers and boosts your sales.
How To Measure Conversational Marketing Benefits
Businesses that implement a conversational marketing strategy might not be familiar with the metrics that measure its success. As with any marketing campaign, you need to know: What is customer engagement really achieving for your business?
So, how do you know if your conversational marketing chatbot is working? Is it bringing you more sales? What is chatbot marketing doing for you?
According to experts, these are the metrics connected to conversational marketing:
1. Goal Completion Rate (GCR)
This metric measures the percentage of users that reached a specific goal using a chatbot or live chat. It can be a sale, booking an appointment or answering a question.
GCR is one the few chatbot metrics that directly affects your revenue. It’s similar to calculating the conversion rate of a web page. You’ll know how many of your chatbot users were able to complete their customer journey using your bot, therefore measuring the effectiveness of your customer engagement marketing strategy.
2. Sales Cycle Duration
Because you are using real-time (live chat) or automated (chatbot) support, you can expect your customer’s sales cycle to be shorter. You can measure the average time that a customer spent on your conversational marketing platform and how many of them ended in a sale.
When you find that you are getting more sales per hour with a chatbot than with your other marketing methods, you can safely conclude that your conversational marketing strategy is helping you sell more.
3. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Net Promoter Score measures customer loyalty and satisfaction. It is usually a question that goes: “How likely are you to recommend this business to a friend or colleague?” Respondents have an option to answer from a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest. The responses will be classified as follows:
Promoters – Submitted a rating of 9 or 10
Passives – Submitted a rating of 7 or 8
Detractors – Submitted a rating of 0 to 6
You can implement an NPS survey after a user interacts with your chatbot (or live chats). Based on customer responses, you can calculate NPS by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.
NPS is closely tied with customer satisfaction and increased revenue. If your customers are happy, they are more likely to tell their friends and family about your products and services, helping you acquire more customers.
It doesn’t take a marketing guru to understand the significant impact of conversation marketing and customer engagement strategies on a business. It has countless benefits, with only a few downsides. Any business that is serious about improving its customer service and increasing its revenue should add conversational marketing to its arsenal of customer engagement tools.
Low on resources? Hiring a conversational marketing agency is a sensible option for a personalized marketing strategy that gets results. At Thrive, we also offer digital marketing services that include social media marketing and online reputation management, both of which greatly support conversational marketing strategies.
Ready to get expert help on implementing a profitable conversational marketing plan? Contact Thrive today, and let’s get started!