Example of online chat bots

The Real Chitchat about Chatbots

Looking to connect with consumers on more an intimate level while simultaneously generating ROI at a faster pace for your brand? Sounds like you’re in need of a chatbot integration.

Chatbots are computer-generated programs that utilize a logical methodology to communicate with consumers who utilize app user interface (UI) or artificial intelligence (AI). They are used to spawn conversations with people using natural language, acting as a reliable source that satisfies an end user’s need for quick answers and instant gratification. 

Conversation personalization is so 2018, and when chatbots are integrated with Facebook Messenger, it creates a perfect storm for brands and consumers alike: It is essentially a “technological marriage” that is the best of both worlds. If a consumer is being provided with prompt answers to their questions, they will naturally be prone to experience a positive attachment towards a brand, which will subconsciously increase their drive to purchase. Simultaneously, the brand is saving money by employing a digital entity as a customer service agent and idea initiator, while also saving on expenses. A win-win situation?  I think so.

Chatbots are transforming marketing at a feverish pace, and brands should look to jump on this conversational trend for four main reasons:

Conversation is a long-lasting engagement

An engagement typically consists of an action that results in a “like,” comment, share, click or view. From a chat perspective, an engagement in this realm is an actual conversation, which could last anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. The point is, consumers are engaging for a lengthier amount of time and aren’t situationally inclined to swipe or scroll away immediately after the action takes place.

Insights directly from users:

Brands need to develop a careful level of personalization and privacy in questioning while still eliciting specific answers. Essentially, conversations are saved, analyzed, and can be further-tailored to meet the behavioral needs of consumers in the future.

Customization means everything:

All companies vie to develop ads that are highly-segmented and fine-tuned to reach a specific target audience. A chatbot can circumvent A/B testing from a creative/copy perspective and result in something that is individualized beyond the greatest hopes and dreams of any marketer. Beauty enthusiasts can receive advice about blush that is best for their skin types; travelers can plan extensive vacations without closing the Facebook Messenger tab; bots like Fandango can be pulled into your Messenger thread with friends to discuss movie times and seating availability in a real-time capacity.

Develop your brand’s bot personality:

Trying to make your brand seem less stodgy on social? Is your voice conservative, and you’re on a quest to add some pizzazz to it? A chatbot becomes a live entity that injects specific jargon and personality into conversations with consumers.  Some bots are strictly business and highly informative, whereas some are sassy, flirty, and emulate an actual conversation with another person. Regardless, you can convey your brand’s mantra, products, services, and more through that of another effective voice.

Chatbots are trendy and cool on the outside (like fidget spinners and snap bracelets), but are they worth the investment? Aside from being a new-fangled form of social communication, bots are leading businesses to exponentially bolster growth and lead to monetary materialization. Hotel booking startup company, SnapTravel, for instance, utilizes a human/bot combination to help users book hotel accommodations via text and Messenger. From Messenger alone, SnapTravel rakes in about $1MM in monthly revenue. Above and beyond the increase in revenue, Juniper Research estimates that chatbots will be able to successfully cut total business expenses by $8B as of 2022.

The overall goals, level of API complexity, and ROI generation differ from brand to brand. One thing is for sure: Adding a chatbot to your marketing mix gives consumers unprecedented access to your brand with a supply of unique and explanatory answers. Make the acquaintance, forge loyalty, capture customer intent, and drive traffic. The foray into the futuristic world of automated marketing is a big step, but its experimentation is well worth it – no doubt “a-BOT” it. 

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written by Stephanie Hayman