It is common to be found between people talking about “robots replacing us all,” especially with the kind of major science and tech advancement. Although the existence of bots can technically be traced back to around since the 1950s virtual chatbots recently became popularized and are still in their infancy.
Chatbots and automated virtual assistance are taking social media by the storm changing not only how people worldwide interact but also businesses increasingly implementing them to reach more customers with greater efficiency.
So the businesses that really want to make a splash in the chatbot space are turning their attention to chatbots as a content delivery system.
In a survey for his book Hug your Haters Jay Baer found that most consumers across all generational categories are relatively bullish on what chatbots can do, when and how. The 2018 survey was conducted with more than 1000 adults in the USA, aged 18 to 64, balanced by age and gender. The results were that about 37% of Americans were ready to use a chatbot to get a quick answer, even in an emergency and 64% of the volunteers believed that 24-hours service is the best feature of chatbots.
Chatbots are popping up like dandelions, and companies are rolling them out to save money and add customer convenience. Essentially like wind-up toys, you just need to build the bot to do what you want it to do, then you wind it up and let it perform the actions all by itself.
What and why a bot?
In order to understand bots better let’s divide them into two basic types namely—Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automated Help (AH). For the former think of something like Amazon Alexa and for the latter something like automated phone systems.
The AI-based bots process the language in either voice or text form to figure out what the user is looking for. On the other hand, AH-based bots resemble most with the automated phone system where you press numbers, example 1 for sales, 2 for help etc. This one is basically more about lists of menus with some AI recognized voice commands.
Bots are increasingly getting popular and gaining attention essentially because people have undergone a major change in the way they are present online. The increasing use of messaging app means brands getting a new genre to be able to engage their clients—especially on Messenger.
What’s even more telling is that the sudden boom of the apps is witnessing a downfall. Most online users are spending all their time using message applications such as WhatsApp, Messenger, and SnapChat.
Provide a completely different and new experience instead of the regular communication that is typically expected from a business. With the power of bot provide an experience to the users that more personal than email, more targeted than Twitter, and also comes with the ability to showcase your brand personality way more effective than any other marketing channel.
Why should businesses focus on content in chatbots?
With users focusing on messaging instead of their social feeds, messaging platforms have the potential to become the next big channel for pushing content and marketing. This simply goes on to mean that brands hoping to stay relevant in their specific industries must be ready to adapt.
One of the greatest features that chatbots come with is that they are excellent for user personalization. While traditionally content revolved around search terms or trends for discoverability and relevancy, chatbots can provide users with relevant content through the vast amounts of data they collect from the user.
Chatbot-as-content further helps you humanize your brand and connect with users in a casual way that feels natural and friendly to them.
The survey further states that more than 50% of people consider messaging the modern way to communicate. Can we blame them?
So, the bots haven’t been “the thing” for very long hence a lot of bot possibilities are still being explored. But here are some simple ways you can incorporate them into your content marketing strategy right away.
The cool marketing activities you can do with chatbots
1. Chatbots helps you create chat subscription list
Your marketing efforts essentially revolve around growing your email subscription list, making it the lifeline of your business. Heavy emphasis has been put on building email lists and with well-thought-out reasons. Being able to market to your subscribers for next to no cost comes with its perks.
With Messenger marketing programs you can build a list of “Messenger subscribers” that you can market to. Just like with an email list, you can broadcast to these people and create autoresponder sequences that send scheduled messages after they subscribe.
Marketers using messenger bots are seeing 80% open rates and 50% click-through rates which makes it 5x more effective than email.
So, the ZoConvert come with a feature wherein every single person that interacts with your Messenger bot gets saved into your chat subscriber list. Now having this list you can enhance your content by making chat messages look more personal and informal; since content blasts are shorter it makes it easier to engage with on chat plus giving you significantly higher open and click-through rates.
So the trick is that you still don’t have to completely stop using email marketing. Instead, you can combine the two and turn it into a lethal combo.
2. Chatbots helps you create pop-up notifications and lead magnets
Push notifications and pop-ups need to be dynamic and interactive. Let users respond to your push notifications in real-time and direct them, using the bot, to the right pages in your app. A new way of getting in touch with your visitors and customers, this method is also often referred to as conversational commerce.
What are pop-ups?
In a marketing context, pop-ups can be explained as a website overlay, a secondary window that temporarily overtakes the parent window in order to encourage the page visitor to take some kind of action like signing up for the newsletter, registering for webinar etc.
Basically, a small window popping up on your screen that takes attention away from whatever was it you had been reading or watching.
There are five basic pop-up types, based on what triggers the pop-up to appear. These are—click pop-ups, scroll pop-ups, timed pop-ups, exit pop-ups, entry pop-ups. The idea is to combine your bot to respond accordingly since you don’t want to spa your website visitors and seem desperate and you also don’t want them to consume your unique content without some kind of effort to get them to take action.
Pop-ups are not only lead generation tools they come in very handy with SEO as well. If the content you advertise through pop-up is attention-grabbing, the improvement in your brand authority should earn you more clicks down the line.
Until recent times, marketers didn’t have much of choice apart from pop-ups. But now they do! What if you had a tiny widget on your website or app that reached out to your visitors proactively? It can ask your customers the question that you program it to. This widget will enable you to discover who your visitors are and what their requirements are.
3. Chatbots help you launch a product
If you are an entrepreneur or work within a marketing or product team where you need to launch products, then you should think about using a chatbot to launch your next product. Launching a product mostly becomes a tricky endeavor wherein you often have no immediate way to gain insight on your product, thus facing a difficult time getting to feel the pulse on that new product’s reception by users.
The best idea would be to launch your service or product via chatbot. Following are a few ideas of launching a variety of products using bots.
- If you are launching a physical product—you can advertise it on the web and then direct the incoming traffic on it to a chatbot instead of your website. Have a bot that makes the introduction to the product very intriguing.
- In case of the launching of a digital product, chatbots provide you with an ideal platform for communicating with prospective customers before and after the purchase. Be sure to capture their email address.
- Make it a point that you follow up on any purchases, be it for tangible goods or digital ones, using your chatbot. Ask them for the customer’s feedback directing them to a review site.
- As you identify people who love your product, you can then turn the chatbot into a mechanism to request further referrals. Even if you want to create a customer advocacy group, wherein you can test new ideas, this mechanism is great also for that.
Chatbots to help you at each stage of the customer journey
Use bots to literally take care of your customer at each and every stage of their brand lifespan.
At the Awareness stage, you can implement bots to help customer diagnose the problem in the form of quizzes, calculators, questionnaires. And then these bots can send relevant content of value in the form of guides, tutorials, videos.
Further, at the consideration and evaluation stage bots can help compare solutions and drill down what is important to the customer and guide them to that solution.
The buyer on the stage further i.e. decision or purchase stage choose a solution. Bots then assist with reminding the customers about their abandoned carts, sending and updating receipts and shipping status, post-purchase recommending similar items, asking them for review post delivery, providing any follow-up support needed by them.
Some things to keep in mind about the duo of bots and content
Just like all new technologies barging in our lives every now and then, one needs to be cautious while using it. What we want to achieve using this lethal combo of bots for content is something that enhances the user experience and makes it easier for them to interact. No one wants another pop-up ad that annoys them every minute. Therefore, in order to achieve as planned here are a few prime directives for chatbots as observed—
- A bot should absolutely not annoy.
- It shouts only make it easy for subscribers to get what they need and nothing else.
- A bot needs to be non-complicated; it shouldn’t take a million menus to get something done.
Keeping these in mind you can go on and go forth to create some greatness.
Some bonus tips and examples
- Augment the experience you already deliver. This is a content strategy perfect for brands in the entertainment industry. A content chatbot can bring an imagined world to life, allowing the users to put themselves within it. This can be brought to the application through discussions with a mascot or a fictional character or through a game-like experience.
- How do you ensure your content doesn’t get lost in the ether after being promoted online? Leverage existing content in a new way. While you could rely on SEO alone, a solid alternative would be to push your content to a user via chatbot whenever it’s most relevant. Since bots offer sophisticated personalization and instantaneous communication at any given time, making them a great way to help the user discover content that otherwise might go unnoticed.
- What problem does your brand aim to solve, and how can a chatbot support it? One awesome example is Casper’s Insomniabot-3000. A mattress brand, Casper, aims to give customers a good night’s sleep. This particular bot designed by the brand gives insomniacs someone to talk to late at night when everybody around them is asleep. This ingenious bot supports the brand mission that is of helping people with the low quality of sleep.
Keep up with Chatbot Analytics to see what Works for you
How do you know how effective your content chatbot is at engaging users? Just like tracking analytics for web content, you’ll want to keep up with conversational analytics to see what’s engaging users and what’s giving them problems. For example, by tracking the most-used phrases or words in your conversations, you can discover what topics matter most to your users — and when. From there, you can more effectively design your content strategy across all platforms.