You Want to Master Conversational Marketing to Engage Online with Customers.
First of all: what is it conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing — also known as conversation marketing — is a one-to-one approach to digital marketing that both businesses and entrepreneurs can use to connect better with their customers, getting to know their targeted audience, and customize their interaction with clients or potential ones.
It’s a conversation through and through and as a conversation should be carried. It’s not only an occasion to sell something, but it’s also a moment used to have a reality check about your business.
These interactions are indeed beneficial to companies. They can take feedback from their customers and realize how their marketing strategy is working: is it too aggressive? Does it spread the message of the brand correctly?
During the years, a lot of digital marketing campaigns seemed to lean toward a mostly data-driven approach. Brands were following a path more or less like this:
- Test the marketing campaign for the product
- Check if it improved sells
- If not, change strategy or target
It’s quite a capable system to have to check results quickly, but it didn’t always work because buyers were seen as numbers or analytics to improve. From their side, users felt poorly valued as individuals and manifested annoyance being targeted but not listened. The communication was perceived by buyers as indifferent and too much businesslike.
This type of practice, using data to purchase what on paper should be the perfect target without actually being interested in interacting with it, doesn’t pay in the long run. For example, how many emails from X brand do we open if we know that X brand always send material that’s basically just a cold call — you can read more about this here.
Cold calls are perceived even worse: not only they interrupt whatever a person is doing to recite a script learned by heart, but they are often viewed as an invasion of the domestic space. It’s easy to see why their popularity is decreasing year after year.
In a world where people are online most of the time both for work and personal reasons, it’s not reasonable to see this just as another occasion to push a product towards them. Yes, you want to promote your product, and this is also a marketing campaign’s goal. The potential customer, however, has to be interested in your product, not flooded with advertisement every time they check on a brand.
How can you use conversational marketing, then?
Before the development of instant messaging and chatbots, it was way harder to interact with a lot of customers. It was a task that took a lot of time, and either you avoided this step, or you paid someone to do so. Another form of communication between a business and a customer was and still is the presence of surveys or questionnaires.
They’re still an excellent method to request feedback from your audience, but they’re not very agile, especially when dealing with complaints or suggestions.
To have effective conversational marketing, you need to have real-time interactions
Chatbots and messaging apps are a good solution for faster analysis of how your brand is doing or if your customers need to contact you quickly and the office isn’t operating. During your opening hours, instead, you must remember to have a conversation with the customer when they contact you following their own pace. Maybe they can return later to complete the information they have already given you. Perhaps they need time to make a decision. The important thing is that you need to tailor this type of marketing around there needs not yours. Remember, the goal is to make sure your buyers feel appreciated in having chosen you. Chatbots can also come in help when you have multiple customers at the same time who want to talk to you.
They can offer quick information or redirect in the right section of your website, to make an example, lightening your work.
Engage both customers and potential ones
We already spoke above about interesting your customers and not scaring them away. You can engage in answering their questions, offering discounts when they’re interested in a product, you can send them a special discount for their birthday, you can answer to their complaints. However, you can also use outbound tactics to gain new potential buyers. Doing this doesn’t mean chasing random people, but instead, it means knowing your potential target — the only people you want to impress — and get a conversation started. You can maybe send a short presentation about a product they could be interested in or letting them know there are special sales for their first purchase. The important thing is crafting your message carefully. You want to sound genuine and human, not a robot following a script.
Pick the right channel
You want your customers to engage with you, and it’s great. However, what channel do they use more? This is another crucial question to answer. We can say that it falls in a very close category than “know your buyers”. Every social channel is different and the types of customers that use Twitter expect from you a different approach from the one you would use for customers contacting you via Facebook or LinkedIn. The communication — formal or not? Friendly? Technical? — must be tailored to your audience to make them feel welcome yes, but also paint you as a competent professional. Set chatbots or a human team or even better both so you can be reachable everywhere at any time and make sure you balance your answers. You know your buyers and how they communicate. Follow accordingly.
Use the technology at your disposal
Nowadays customers are online a lot, but they don’t always have a lot of time to browse through your website or finding all the needed information. Chatbots and messaging apps can be your best friends in this case as well. They deliver precise and quick solutions, and they help the human part of your team to select which customers need more in-depth — support. Always keep in mind that you want to sound both useful and friendly, you can send special services or offers through messaging apps. The trick is finding what that customer wants more: what part of your website did they visit? Did they ask you already a specific question?
Messages delivered via chats are immediate for both sides, and the possibility that a client clicks or accepts it increases a lot. Have you noticed how many businesses send you directly the link for the exact thing you were searching for instead of just advising you where to find a particular product?
In conclusion, the advantage of having conversational marketing is right now pretty clear: your customers reach you to tell you what they want or what they don’t like. Unlike analytics or web traffic there aren’t infographics to study, conversational marketing allows you to have first — hand impressions and insights about how your business is doing and what the people you want as customers think of it. You can adjust your marketing approach or reinforce the part that’s not as successful as you wish it is. Besides, communicating and engaging with your customers give you the opportunity to convince them to buy again from you or to be more invested in your brand. The secret is not seeing a number, but people with their own opinions who choose you for their business.
Not a bad result, right?
Of course, to organize a digital marketing campaign that suits your needs as a business while engaging with customers isn’t an easy task. For this reason, the best option is to hire professionals who can help you set things. If you’re interested, you can find Targeto, our Media Buying Agency here.