Why Embracing Conversational Marketing in 2022 Is Essential for Your Business
Your pathway to increased sales and delighted customers.
The way businesses talk with customers and potential customers is shifting.
Conversational Marketing is becoming more integrated into your consumers’ lives, as tech like chatbots and virtual agents continue to improve the customer experience, and people shift to new conversational channels. Expectations are also shifting. 79% of consumers get frustrated when they can’t contact a business on their preferred channel or platform.
Customers don’t want to wait. If they don’t get an answer quickly (in some cases, immediately), they simply move on. Business need to be ready to respond 24/7/365 anywhere conversations happen.
This can be done through live chat or automated chatbots — or better yet, a combination of both. Chat on websites isn’t enough; businesses need to provide opportunities for their customers to connect across social and messaging channels. 75% of consumers now prefer to engage with a brand over private messaging versus traditional channels (source: Zendesk). 20 billion messages were exchanged between businesses and customers on Meta’s (Facebook) Messenger in 2020. The data makes it clear: customers simply prefer messaging over calling. Conversational Marketing is also proven to be more effective than email marketing.
Chatbots are ideal for this. They can handle “high volume, low touch” tasks, including up to 80% of routine customer questions. Tasks like booking appointments can easily be automated, freeing real people up to perform higher level activities and answer more nuanced questions.
Two-Way is Better than One-Way. These channels work both ways. When someone sends a text, or DMs your business from Instagram, you need to be prepared to respond. This also presents an opportunity to engage customers in a meaningful way, listen and respond to feedback, to qualify leads, to educate on a new product and ultimately to make a sale. Unlike traditional one-way marketing, conversational marketing lets you talk, listen and respond in real-time.
How can you use conversational marketing to help your business? Conversations simplify customer acquisition by providing a direct, natural way for people to take action on the channels they already use on a daily basis. You can combine the in-store experience of speaking to a salesperson with the convenience of shopping online. You can respond to inquiries and recommend relevant products to build trust in your business and drive more sales. You are showing customers you care by allowing them to communicate with your business on their terms. No more making them wait on hold or wait for a response.
So what are the relevant conversational channels? Here’s a quick breakdown:
Facebook Messenger: Get personal with an audience of over 1.3 billion people on Messenger. If you have a Facebook page, customers are going to send you messages, so you need to be ready. This platform is best for lead generation, commerce, engagement and customer care.
Instagram: Instagram offers personal connection at every phase of the customer journey. Instagram enables brands to connect with customers on their preferred messaging channel and enables businesses to manage high volumes of customer messages more easily – helping to turn conversations into sales. Instagram is not only a cultural and social hub – it’s a place where people come to discover and connect with brands. 90% of people on Instagram today follow at least one business. Messaging is a big part of this.
Google Search and Maps (Google Business Messages):
3.5 billion Google searches are made every day. Start a conversation directly from Google search results or Google Maps using Google Business Messages. This channel makes it so much easier for customers to reach you and works best for higher ROI scenarios like lead gen, sales and marketing. Businesses can even trigger conversational experiences from Google ads.
Twitter: Direct Messages are a unique business solution that allows brands to provide more personalized support by moving conversations with customers from the public platform to private messages. Pair your Direct Message chatbot with Image or Video Ads to promote it to the widest audience on Twitter.
SMS: SMS marketing isn’t new. On average, SMS messages are opened within 90 seconds of receipt. 50% of consumers make a purchase after receiving a marketing text and 77% opt in to business text messaging to receive coupons or deals. But SMS marketing shouldn’t be a one-way street. Rather than sending customers dead-end push messages or forcing them to go to a different channel to complete the interaction, enable them to reply and have a seamless conversation. Instead of saying “do not reply” (which customers hate), companies should embrace the potential by saying “feel free to reply”. No more dead ends!
WhatsApp and Apple Business Chat are other relevant messaging channels. These can be automated but keep in mind that each requires a seamless connection to a real person.
Massively is a leader in chatbot and live chat solutions. Book a demo and learn how Massively can help your business connect to customers on channels they prefer (and are already on).