Today’s customers are truly spoilt for choice. It’s only getting harder for businesses to attract their attention and build up loyalty in an era of alternatives available at one’s fingertips. Only businesses that can communicate in a way that resonates with the target audience stand any chance of survival.
That’s where conversational marketing comes in.
Conversational marketing is an effective strategy to help your brand communicate in an engaging, personalized way to your target customers. It makes your messages more interactive and more friendly as it is less hard-selling.
Simply put, conversational marketing is all about talking to a customer just like you talk to an old friend. You make them feel special, valued, and understood. This way, they have a positive customer experience that can lead to increased engagement and loyalty.
At this point, you might ask, “but how is it important and how can I apply this to my marketing strategy?”
Let’s find out!
Why is Conversational Marketing Crucial?
In today’s marketing landscape, you know that no one ever wants to be sold to. They don’t have time to read your lengthy blog posts about how great you are. So, if no one wants to be sold to, then why bother with it at all?
The fact of the matter is that people want engagement and value just as much as they don’t want someone shoving their product in their faces. When video marketing, content marketing, buzzword marketing might seem so mainstream, you can opt for conversational as a trendy strategy.
Conversational marketing helps you to be more human and personal, so you can create meaningful relationships with them right off the bat. You can create a 1:1 conversation with your customers that feels direct, personal, and ‘just for them.’
It allows you to prioritize your customer’s needs, make them comfortable interacting with your brand, give them instant solutions whenever they need them — just simply be there for them.
Here’s an example of conversational marketing that eBay uses:
The shopbot that eBay uses is a form of conversational marketing. It gives customers a quick and convenient online shopping experience. All possible solutions and offers are provided in seconds (regardless of where they are or what time it is.) when they need them. Not only can customers shop more quickly, but they also feel more engaged with the brand.
5 Powerful Ways to Use Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing is about leveraging the power of real-time conversations and personal (two-way) interactions to encourage customers to move through your sales funnels. This could be online chats or social media channels.
Here are some ways you can use conversational marketing to attract, engage, and even retain customers:
#1. Chatbots or Live-chat
Chatbots or automated live-chats are one of the most common usages of conversational marketing. It is a great way to quickly and efficiently engage customers.
Chatbots can help you solve problems, answer questions, provide support, or even just give them information about your products and services in a matter of minutes.
Another benefit of this conversational marketing tool is that they allow live conversations with multiple people at once without requiring too much overhead from customer service representatives.
#2. Interactive Quizzes
By using conversational marketing, you can set up interactive quizzes to engage your customers while learning more about them at the same time. These are usually short multiple-choice questions that help the brand get a better understanding of their customers’ sentiments and preferences towards certain products or services.
This information is also useful when creating new content for customer engagement on social media and other channels. You will know what your customers actually want to consume.
Sephora uses chatbots to give their customers a short quiz so the brand can come up with relevant solutions or offers for them.
#3. Social Commerce
Another way to use conversational marketing is to build an e-commerce store on social media. So, if you are using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to engage with your customers and sell products, then this strategy will work wonders for you.
With social commerce, your customers can easily shop in one place, from product discovery to research to check-out. They can also ask real-time questions with your brand regarding products they’re about to purchase and you can answer them instantly.
#4. SMS Messaging
SMS marketing isn’t dead. But the old ways like sending out bulk, automated and irrelevant texts to target customers are. Conversational marketing can take your SMS messaging strategy up a notch.
It allows you to focus on creating true conversations with your customers and engaging them to build up a rapport with your brand. This way, they are more likely to interact with your brand and even share their valuable feedback with you — whenever you need it.
Look how Domino’s enables its customers to order a pizza through SMS. Customers can send a pizza emoji and their order will be processed. As simple as that.
#5. Conversational PR
The shortcut and one of the handiest ways of using conversational marketing is through a professional PR agency. If you don’t have time or enough resources to leverage conversational marketing yourself, you can ask for PR professionals.
They will help you reach out to tens of thousands of people simultaneously via conversational PR and provide the same positive experience to all these people at the same time.
One of the PR agencies you can work with is Pressfarm. They can help you create a conversational PR strategy, create engaging and interactive content, and build a media relations plan.
Engagement is key when it comes to today’s marketing strategy. When you successfully engage your customers, other positive things will follow — customer retention, loyalty, even brand reputation. Conversational marketing allows you to take your ways of communicating to the next level. With those five best practices above, now you’re ready to create meaningful conversations with your customers and help them to move through your sales funnel seamlessly.