What is conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing is new form of marketing that provides a way for businesses to facilitate meaningful connections and authentic experiences among their customers and leads.
How can companies enact conversational marketing?
Over the past several years, there has been a decisive shift in what customers want from businesses and brands. No longer is their emphasis purely on the end product; today’s consumers increasingly look for real connection, ongoing loyalty, and authentic experiences, all of which can be embedded in the sales and marketing funnels.
Conversational marketing has emerged as a way to provide customers with these relational benefits. So what is conversational marketing, exactly? Essentially, it’s a methodology that engages customers through ongoing dialogue, such as with automated chatbots. It’s a sharp contrast from more traditional methods, which ask customers to complete lead-capturing forms and submit more and more information, in a completely one-sided way, as they go through the sales process.
There’s a lot of value in conversational marketing, particularly as the pandemic and its quarantine requirements have left many of us starved for connection.
But of course, there are right ways and wrong ways to pursue conversational marketing. In this post, we’ll outline a few tips for getting started.
How to Begin with Conversational Marketing
- It all starts with content. A good way to get the conversation going is to make sure your website has the right kind of content. This means content that isn’t overly pushy or salesy, but rather addresses some of the questions your customers tend to ask. Your sales team can help here, providing you with some of the pushbacks, concerns, or inquiries they receive most often. Develop content that reliably answers these questions.
- Give shoppers a chance to connect. Another important step is to enable live chat features on your website, allowing potential customers to connect with your sales team. Answering questions through content is great but answering more directly and in real-time can help establish trust.
- Gather the right data about your customers. Make sure you’re using reverse IP lookup technology and similar tools, identifying repeat visitors, and recalling key firmographic information about them. This is much preferable to bombarding your website visitors with self-identification questions, asking them to provide you with the same information over and over again.
- Connect your live chat with CRM. Once you’ve enabled live chat and started collecting the right data, you can fill in the blanks in your CRM, filling in important customer data in real-time. This can be an important step toward providing personalized solutions and communications.
- Use automated chatbots when appropriate. Live chat is important, but automated chatbots can also be helpful. Today’s chatbots are pretty sophisticated and can, at the very least, direct customers to call, email, or chat with the right internal department.
- Route leads to the appropriate places. Between chatbots and CRM data, you should ultimately be able to evaluate the size of the account you’re looking at, the nature of the sales inquiry, and more… and hopefully, send leads to the appropriate channels within your company.
- Make it easy for people to make appointments. Are you hoping to get your website visitors to book a conference call or a virtual meeting? If so, make sure you’re providing an easy and clear way for them to book an appointment, no matter where they are in their sales journey.
- Get email addresses whenever you can. Chatbots can help with this. For example, maybe you have a website visitor who isn’t ready to speak with a sales rep but would like to receive some written or video content. Have the chatbot ask for an email address where that content may be sent.
- Cut back on forms. Whenever possible, try to streamline the number of forms on your website. That doesn’t mean you have to eliminate all of them, necessarily, but do spend some time considering instances where chatbots or other tools might actually be more helpful at gleaning the necessary information.
- Keep a close eye on your metrics. Hopefully, you’re regularly reviewing analytics and data, showing you where the bottlenecks are in your customers’ journey. Be attentive to these areas, and vigilant in brainstorming the ways in which you can streamline or reroute your processes.
These are just a few general insights for those who are ready to get started with a conversational marketing model. Of course, conversational marketing isn’t just something you can switch on overnight; it will take an ongoing commitment and regular revision. But for many businesses, this approach can be an effective way to build the authentic experiences your users crave.