Conversational Marketing: what it is, how it works, and advantages

Conversational Marketing is the new frontier of marketing and it means a customer-focused and dialogue-driven approach using innovative tools.

Until a few years ago, it was enough for a company to “exist” in a digital form to meet its customer needs and business requirements. Today, however, in an increasingly crowded and competitive market, it has become crucial for every company to ensure a way to get the attention of their users and provide a superior level of experience, even when it’s not in person.

It’s a known fact that the main component of every experience, as well as the preferred form of communication, is conversation.

Now more than ever, it’s important for companies, regardless of size and industry, to understand how to leverage conversation in their business development strategies and discover which technologies, skills, and approaches to adopt to provide their users with a digital experience similar to the real one.

There is a powerful tool that allows you to exploit conversation for business purposes: conversational marketing.

Preferring this form of communication moves you away from taking the usual conversational marketing approaches and helps you understand how the use of techniques, tools, and innovative technologies can help you increase your sales.

Indeed, online selling requires different skills than traditional ones. In light of this, before diving into this guide, I recommend you take a look at the section dedicated to the Digital PR Course to learn or deepen your knowledge and skills in the field of innovative sales techniques useful for attracting new customers.

What is Conversational Marketing and how it works

Conversational Marketing is a type of one-to-one marketing that companies use to shorten the sales cycle and get to know their customers, to create a more real and more human shopping experience. It is more precisely a form of instant messaging capable of helping users connect to all kinds of online services in a new way.

But how does it exactly work? There are many ways to communicate: from email marketing to SMS marketing, to traditional channels. The only problem common to these communication methods is that keeping up with each one of them doesn’t allow you to focus on other fundamental aspects of your business.

conversational marketing for beginners

It would be exceptional to provide direct support to your customers, but it’s impossible to pay attention to all the questions that can come to your Brand. This is due to the fact that more messaging Apps are used simultaneously nowadays. In practice, you can find yourself managing a series of communication channels on which users can make an unlimited number of requests. Monitoring them all becomes quite difficult!

For this reason, virtual assistants come to the rescue, allowing the consumer to interact with the company quickly and directly, even without human intervention, often managing to anticipate their needs thanks to personalized dialogue.

All this is made possible by exploiting the potential of new technologies and automated interfaces. I’m talking about chatbots, which are artificial intelligence software capable of interacting with people by supporting conversations based on text messages.

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Advantages of the conversational approach for business

The logic in conversational marketing has over time become a particularly significant strategy starting from the need of companies to focus more and more efficiently on the dialogue with their customers.

This practice allows the Brand to directly interact with the user to gather comments and ideas and strengthen the relationship, making it more human. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the preferred channels are blogs, social media, and email marketing.

conversational marketing strategies

The potential of Conversational Marketing perfectly connects with mobile, which has now become the main tool for content consumption. Moreover, it’s a strategy specifically designed for Lead Generation, thanks to artificial intelligence technologies and machine learning.

The advantages for companies that implement a conversational approach in their marketing strategy are numerous. Below are the main ones:

More genuine shopping experience

With this marketing strategy, your website and other sales channels are no longer sterile and “prepackaged”, offering the classic “lead forms” aimed at collecting contact information and little else.

Now, thanks to the construction of a personalized relationship, the user can easily get in touch with the Brand, whenever and wherever they prefer.

More information on buyers

Conversations can easily show why a buyer landed on your site, what their preferences are, and perhaps which product features are best suited for them. Qualified leads can be identified, or necessary changes can be made to areas that need improvement.

Moreover, by integrating with other company systems (automation, CRM, etc.), chatbots significantly contribute to the definition of a new digital ecosystem, thus becoming an important tool for upselling and cross-selling.

It facilitates conversion from lead to customer

Targeted conversation allows you to reach the most interested customers, those more inclined to an immediate or imminent purchase, thereby reducing the sales cycle and the distance between seller and buyer.

As a result, this approach effectively increases the conversion rates of web visits. A submission form will almost certainly have a high abandonment rate. That’s why powerful tools like Conversational Marketing help consumers overcome that barrier and engage in a conversation.

 

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Conversational Marketing tools

Conversational Marketing exploits the use of digital technologies that you are more commonly used to using with your family or friends. I’m talking about the use of multichannel strategies such as messaging apps that include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp Business, and Messenger.

live chat marketing examples

Companies must try to exploit all possible Touchpoints with the consumer by integrating even the more “traditional” systems (like emails) into a real-time communicative flow that helps users satisfy their needs.

Live chats within e-commerce with the most common automated chatbots are not excluded either.

In addition to these tools, Conversational Marketing looks at artificial intelligence and the power of voice technologies to increase customer engagement; indeed, voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant are gaining considerable success.

The choice to create voice-based conversational platforms mainly comes from a particularly effective way to establish a dialogue, because it is natural, intuitive, and spontaneous.

Tips for good Conversational Marketing

Now I would like to give you some Best Practices for effective Conversational Marketing:

  • CREATE MORE LEADS WITH INTERACTION

When visitors take action by downloading something from your site or contact you for a sale, use chatbots to start an interaction immediately. The conversation should take on a more human side by interacting personally, encouraging the customer to purchase your products or services, further driven by a trust relationship.

  • UNDERSTAND THE LEADS AND WHAT THEY CAN BRING YOU

With Conversational Marketing, technology allows you to be available to the customer at any time, 24/7. It’s important to interact with new leads immediately.

marketing on social media

The AI chatbots can understand who these customers are and what they want, qualifying and quantifying them in real-time.

Therefore it is a tool that intervenes by immediately giving an answer, without forcing the customer, for example, to wait for a follow up email (tool used to follow up on a communication act with users).

  • CREATE A PATH TO MOVE LEADS THROUGH AN ACQUISITION FUNNEL

Chatbots have remarkable performance, connecting leads to your sales team. However, this is not enough to close a conversion, as nothing beats the human-to-human relationship. You should proceed with a real approach, perhaps by setting up an appointment.

  • FOCUS ON CUSTOMER SERVICE

Another fundamental aspect is the importance of customer contact. This process can be automated with a chatbot, which can respond correctly to customer questions about products and services, potentially revealing new marketing opportunities and creating viable solutions for customers.

Automations are often the first form of user-company contact.

 

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Examples of Conversational Marketing

Here are just a few of the most well-known companies in the world that have adopted Conversational Marketing in the most intelligent and intuitive form imaginable:

eBay

One of the most advanced and also most popular e-commerce chatbots on the market was developed by eBay.

eBay created a chatbot in collaboration with Google Assistant, which means it can only be accessed through Google Home devices or Android phones by voice.

The bot allows you to navigate through a vast number of product categories with the simple voice command: “Google, let me talk to eBay”.

The bot searches for the best offer for what is requested and sends the information to your phone for an easy purchase.

HubSpot

HubSpot collaborated with Facebook to provide a series of four days of live video content.

This initiative, called “four days of Facebook“, allows you to register for its campaign through multiple channels, including messenger. Users love the conversational interface and even encourage their friends and colleagues to register.

Facebook Messenger is the highest conversion source for new product users in HubSpot Marketing Free through the campaign.

HealthTap

HealthTap is an American company that has taken measures to bring its services directly to the user by creating a chatbot on Facebook Messenger. The idea is to make healthcare more accessible.

By installing the bot, HealthTap asks the customer to ask any health-related question. Then the bot examines the request and displays the most popular answers to similar questions.

The system is designed to show how many doctors have responded to each of the questions asked. It is also possible to check their answers in more detail.

If no answer is received, you can have your question forwarded to a real doctor. Most questions receive an answer within a day at most.

If you don’t want to wait all day, you can upgrade through the premium healthcare consultation service using the “get answer” button to contact a doctor in just a few moments.

Conclusion and strategic advices

Conversational Marketing opens a scenario in which the consumer is increasingly at the center of business priorities.

Digital innovation highlights the indispensability of personalization and interactivity for recognition.

In this article, I’ve shown you the immense competitive advantage of messaging: people like it! We all have experience with it and use it every day.

If used correctly, it allows you to have a very close relationship with your customers, increasing loyalty and sales performance to remarkable levels.

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