Many companies have integrated lead generation into their digital marketing strategy in the form of messaging apps and chatbots. Live chat allows you to establish an immediate proximity to your prospects online. Bots are suitable for much more than just responding to customer service inquiries.
Those who understand conversational marketing and integrate it effectively into their lead generation strategy will reap the benefits of higher-quality leads.
Conversational marketing is an efficient way of guiding prospects through their buyer’s journey using real-time dialogs. As an inbound tactic, it helps to foster personal relationships with prospects and creates interactive experiences between your brand and your prospects.
What Is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing takes place in real time; it is personal, scalable and benefits from a direct feedback loop. This form of marketing aims to learn as much as possible about prospective customers in the shortest possible time in order to help them find a solution to their problem.
This is achieved by adopting a conversational approach, which in principle resembles a natural conversation from person to person. Prospects have the possibility of finding the desired information quickly and effectively without having to contact the company. Success ultimately depends on skillful and timely communication.
At the same time, communication should be personal. Prospects like to be addressed directly and want to feel like their needs and wishes are the number one priority. This form of marketing does not offer solutions for everyone, which is why adopting the cookie-cutter approach (one-size-fits-all) is simply not appropriate here. This makes it all the more crucial to learn as much as possible about a prospect to ensure your conversation is sufficiently personalized.
For this reason, one of the prerequisites of conversational marketing is data analysis, which is where tools like HubSpot come into play. Internal data streams are taken into account alongside external data, such as from social media.
How can real-time communication with prospects be implemented in practice though? Chatbots play a decisive role here. When integrating conversational marketing, however, you should always remember that prospects are not just a data record in the CRM system, but rather real people. Ask yourself how many times you’ve spoken to a chatbot and not obtained the information for which you were looking.
Constantly bear in mind that it’s people who purchase your products, not machines. If you can give prospective customers an authentic experience, e.g. by incorporating humor into chatbot conversations, you boost your chances of success in lead generation and for your brand as a whole.
Further articles that might be of interest to you:
- [External link to HubSpot] How to Incorporate Conversational Marketing Into Your Lead Generation Strategy
- [External link to Medium] How to Gain More Leads With Conversational Marketing
How Do Chatbots Work in Conversational Marketing?
Although there are countless chatbot providers, chatbots are not ultimately a ready-made solution. Each company has to configure its own chatbot according to its individual goals and requirements. However, this is usually not as simple as chatbot providers would have you believe.
Many chatbots are based on advances in artificial intelligence, such as in neural networks. The configuration process, however, depends on the individual requirements of the users, who often have no programming skills. Many solution providers therefore rely on configuration wizards that make it very easy to customize chatbots from the outset.
Users select a preconfigured bot from a template and customize it. This way, no one in marketing departments should be afraid of the technology as it is user-friendly and can be implemented productively in no time at all. At first glance, this is ideal if your marketing department wants to benefit from this trend. However, as is so often the case, the devil is in the details. The logic with which a bot is configured must be well thought out.
In order to start interacting with a prospect, a chatbot needs a lot of experience and the largest possible database to fall back on. Providers use artificial intelligence to enable bots to understand language through pattern recognition. The more inquiries that have been made in the past, the more opportunities the AI has to learn and the better the communication. In an ideal world, interacting with bots would be no different from interacting with a human being.
Bots can be used on more or less all digital channels and integrated into messaging apps, social media and your own website.
It is therefore important to keep in mind that it’s not possible to simulate human behavior perfectly when first using chatbots. However, you can still help your prospects find the information they are looking for by creating a chatbot that is tailored to the needs of your existing customers and your buyer persona.
Why You Should Rely on Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing helps to lead prospects in a structured and targeted manner to relevant content that they would otherwise have to search for themselves. Traditionally, a prospect visits your website, looks around, clicks on the navigation bar and explores the submenus and depths of your content. Although it’s possible for them to reach their goal and find the desired information at some point, conversational marketing works much more efficiently here.
A chatbot interacts with your prospect immediately, asks questions and supplies answers. Is a prospect looking for an answer to a question, a certain product or other information? The bot is able to process the request and search the database for a suitable solution while demonstrating real linguistic capabilities. It responds to the individual wishes of the prospect and delivers what is requested. Conversational marketing can thus be used in a much more targeted way to accompany prospects along their buyer’s journey.
A major benefit here is scalability. There is always a separate bot available to handle the conversation with each prospect. This way, there are no long waiting queues and you can expand your company’s marketing activities in an almost unlimited manner.
How to Integrate Bots into Inbound Strategies
Inbound marketing is based on the idea of being found by prospects. This is where companies like yours rely on classic tactics such as content marketing, email marketing, CRM and lead nurturing. Conversational marketing complements these tactics with a further component in the inbound toolbox.
Chatbots work according to an if-then principle and ensure that prospects are provided with the right information at the right time. All the processes and strategies you have developed in inbound marketing so far will help it do so. Therefore, we are not dealing with an either/or situation here, but rather an enlargement of your successful lead generation strategy.
It is crucial to feed bots with information in such a way that they are able to give a competent answer to every request. In principle, configuring a bot involves asking the same questions as when designing forms:
- How can I ensure that the prospect finds our forms easy to use?
- Which forms should I present to the prospect and when? What is the prospect looking for at the moment?
- How can I act in the most personal and engaging way possible?
- How can I make the form as user-friendly as possible?
- How many questions are actually necessary?
- When am I in danger of overloading the prospect with information?
- What experiences have I already had with chatbots?
- How can I customize our chatbot so that our prospects remember the experience?
You should answer these and similar questions if you want to optimally prepare your bot for the tasks of conversational marketing. If you need any support with this, we are of course always at your disposal.