What is Conversational Marketing?
Building a mutually rewarding relationship with your customers is one of the best ways of getting some free publicity! Here we take a look at the power of conversational marketing – what it is, why it works, and how to do it right.
What is conversational marketing?
Good conversational marketing is centred around one-to-one communication across multiple channels between your business and your customers, so that you can build better relationships with them. Your conversational marketing strategies must always be structured around the needs of your customer.
Live chat makes it possible for you to boost your relationship with your customers by enhancing their online experience as you customise each conversation to that specific customer. Live chat also uses messaging apps and chatbots to personalise these interactions.
Phone and email can also be part of conversational marketing strategy. Nowadays messaging is the most common method of interacting with customers. Messaging is popular because it’s not confined to just chat, but is integrated with media platforms to further improve the customer’s experience. These also include numerous convenient payment features which make them even easier to use.
In a nutshell, the key to effective conversational marketing is establishing which channels your customers prefer, and adapting your tone of voice to match. Conversations on live chat as well as with chatbots are generally informal as would be the case with any casual, relaxed conversation.
How does conversational marketing differ from inbound marketing?
Is there even a difference between conversational and inbound marketing? Well, sort. In many ways conversational marketing is often seen as part of inbound marketing.
Basically, inbound marketing is simply the strategies you put in place to make potential customers aware of your business. This could happen well before the customer is ready to buy by just creating visibility for your brand and establishing early contact.
Inbound marketing uses many so-called ‘pull’ strategies to raise your brand’s visibility and generate leads. These strategies include SEO (search engine optimisation), blogs, content marketing, social media promotions and events.
On the other hand, conversational marketing is pretty much what its name says – it is establishing a conversation on multiple channels with your customers. This conversation tells your customers how, when and where they can interact with your business. By their very nature, both inbound and conversational marketing are strongly customer-centric and complement each other.
What are the benefits of conversational marketing?
Done effectively, conversational marketing holds many benefits for your business. It can even give you a valuable edge over your competitors in the market.
- You learn more about your customers
Talking to your customers helps you to learn more about them and their needs and pain points. This helps you gain better insights into them. Chatbots are particularly useful in this regard to monitor users 24/7 and establish FAQs, common issues, and even the time of day that many people prefer to interact. This enables you to devise better and more effective marketing strategies.
- It improves your customers’ experience
By giving you better insights into your customers and their needs and preferences, conversational marketing enables you to improve their interaction with you. You are better able to send them relevant, targeted messages to improve your communication and relationship with them.
- It improves lead generation
By improving the interaction with your customers, you can tailor the questions you ask more meaningfully – thus generating more useful leads.
- It significantly shortens your sales cycle
Since conversations happen in real time and are instant, it is less likely that you will lose leads because potential customers get irritated by time delays. They move quickly and smoothly through your sales funnel. The effective use of chatbots will also direct leads to the best qualified sales reps to deal with specific customers, thus improving the chances of a successful conversion.
What is the best conversational marketing strategy?
Your choice of the most suitable conversational marketing strategy must always be based on your business objectives and goals. Evaluating the kind of conversations you would most like to have with your customers is a good place to start. Here are a few more tips:
- Choose the best channels to engage on by defining Q&A’s
Knowing your customers, their needs, and pain points will help you decide what channels you should best engage on. Your aim should be to make relevant information available to your clients, answer FAQs, promote demos and help in closing a sale.
- Optimise and personalise all interactions well
Personalising conversations with your customers (based on insights you derived from their behaviour and at what point of their interaction with you they are) will enable you to show them the most relevant content. People appreciate not having their time wasted! This will build your credibility and boost your relationship with customers.
- Always ask for feedback
Feedback from your customers and prospective customers is like gold! It is invaluable in developing the most effective conversational strategy for your company, as well as highlighting weaknesses and areas that need improvement.
How to maximise conversational marketing
- Decide which channels you want your conversations to be sited on.
- Implement your conversational marketing strategy by choosing the best pages to interact with visitors.
- Choose those pages that have the highest volume of traffic to generate the highest number of interactions and, hopefully, the largest number of conversions.
- Keep conversations simple, friendly, and flowing smoothly and quickly.