What is conversational marketing? 3 ways it can help your business

4 minute read
What is conversational marketing? 3 ways it can help your business

The power of conversational marketing happens when we can make our messaging helpful, personal, and empathetic—but at scale.

By the sound of it, you might think that your company’s digital marketing strategy is already a version of conversational marketing, especially if you’re customer-focused. And you’re likely close.

Specifically, conversational marketing is the strategic use of chatbots, live chat and social media listening to help you better connect with potential and existing customers. The strategy naturally guides and supports consumers through the sales funnel and ultimately creates a better user experience.

In the end, conversational marketing done right can boost your bottom line.

Consider this: About 79 percent of companies say that live chat has had a positive impact on their customer loyalty, sales, and overall revenue, while four out or five people say they’re willing to use messaging apps to get customer service.

But let’s be clear. Conversational marketing is more than live chat. This methodology is about more than a single tool. It’s multi-channel and in real-time. On Facebook alone, there are millions of business pages, and about 2 billion messages being exchanged with business pages through Facebook Messenger every month.

As far as the key elements of conversational marketing, consider:

  • Conversations happening in “customer-time,” at a time that’s convenient for the customer where they can leave and pick up a conversation at their own convenience.
  • These conversations are scalable, where chatbots often can come into play to serve the most common questions and needs at a potentially high volume.
  • Context is key to all conversations, where you are collecting, storing, and referring to data about any given customer to make the conversation that much more personal and efficient.
  • Meeting the customers where they are, since conversations should be happening on the channels and platforms that the customer prefers. Don’t force someone to communicate in a certain way just because it might be more convenient for you.

The following are three ways conversational marketing can benefit your business.

Better customer service and user experience

Consumers prefer increasingly to use their mobile devices to shop and make purchases. This leads to a desire to interact with mobile-friendly content and tools, such as videos, social media, and messaging apps.

In fact, consumers spend about five hours per day on their phones.

When it comes to conversational marketing, it’s becoming easier (and even preferred) to chat with a representative or chatbot for a quick answer than to spend time searching around a company’s website.

It’s about delivering that fast, personalized support, and when you do so, you’re delivering a better user experience and improved customer service. This is because you’re giving the consumer what he or she wants.

An improved user experience ultimately helps nurture that consumer along the sales funnel to making a purchase from you.

Find out more about the stages of a sales funnel.

Gather new insights about your customers

No matter what the channel, conversations are one of the best ways to learn valuable insights about potential and existing customers.

They are telling you, in their own words:

  • What they want
  • Any questions they have
  • Changes they would like to make
  • Anything they don’t want

You’ll find out more in an actual conversation than you ever will through an advertisement or your website. 

Think of it this way: There is a type of honesty that happens in a Google search but not necessarily in a social media post. (Just compare what you last searched for versus what you last posted. They’re probably very different things.)

So, with this kind of data coming in, you can collect it at scale because chat interfaces can record data. The key is that you then use it not only to optimize your channels for better customer interactions but also for overall product or service improvements, among other opportunities.

In other words, the data collected can help your company make better decisions on a number of fronts.

Build trusting relationships

While time might as well be the true currency of the internet (since that’s what we’re all vying for, one way or another), trust is the currency of online purchases.

To be successful in a digital world, you must consider every opportunity to build that trust with your potential customers. You’ll also be able to increase that trust to the point of loyalty with your existing customers.

Messaging apps “provide a continuous thread between customers and brands.” This thread not only makes conversations more natural but also builds trust.

Just remember that conversational marketing is another way to showcase your brand’s personality. Invest resources in copywriting, emojis and so on that can give your messaging conversations that personable touch. This will make engaging with your brand that much more enjoyable (and lead to that much more trust).

In conclusion

Even if your business is customer-focused, ask yourself if you’re truly using conversational marketing. It’s important to seize all the opportunities it offers for the health of your company.

Committing to this strategy won’t just improve your sales in the long run. It also will make your business that much more viable in an increasingly digital world.

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