With every advancement of technology, marketing has had to step up and change its tactics. In the years gone, there were radios and billboards that had catchy jingles and creative (catchy) word play. With the introduction of TVs, the marketing game changed completely. This added colorful pictures to the catchy jingles. Anyone who has heard the Empire tagline (800-588-2300 Empire, ring a bell?) could n’t forget it for years after.
Now, with the smartphones becoming the next biggest thing, marketing has had to adapt and change once more. This time around, it’s more focused on getting to the customers directly where they are – instant messaging apps.
Users are now more reactive, they are not only glued to their phones but a major chunk of their time is spent on it.
Know about the future of Messenger Marketing Within Chatbots
The Rise of Messaging Apps
In today’s world, users want everything to be faster, and quicker. They want information faster, want to make decisions more quickly, responses more instantly. This has affected their levels of interaction as well, with each other as well as businesses.
A Facebook Study showed that messaging has become the second most preferred form of communication and over 53% people would shop at a company that they can message directly. Users don’t want to waste time making calls and waiting for the customer service to respond to their questions and concerns, but instead, they’d rather simply drop a message.
The problem with Social Media Marketing
This has also changed how we now interact with Social Media. While, social media definitely helped businesses get the word out about their services and also open its channels for feedback, and it still continues to do so, there is still a problem when it comes to marketing and promotions. For a company to reach out to a user, it would have to have the user follow their page/account, and find the news in their feed, which many times can get lost.
This works across all social media including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even LinkedIn. If you want to access any information, you would have to add the account or follow it in order to get any direct information from the company.
While this works best when it comes to feedback and showing off your product, this hinders direct marketing efforts on the company’s parts. The companies cannot directly reach out to the customers or even have a one-on-one with them.
Let’s take a look at the revolutionary Facebook Messenger. Originally designed as an instant messaging platform for users to chat and keep in touch with their friends, it has now grown to include so much more. Facebook opened up it up for businesses, and now it can be one of the greatest tools for brand presence and customer engagement.
Consumers are sending on average around 1 billion messages to businesses every month, and this opens up a whole new way for businesses to target their customers directly. This offers a whole new way for businesses to reach out to their customers.
However, there is a problem that arises here as well. Resources that are required to be assigned to each and every station to communicate with your adds an extra cost to the company. This becomes an expensive endeavor if you don’t have enough conversions.
Don’t fret though, Facebook has a solution for that as well – Chatbots!
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So, what exactly are chatbots? If you remember the AIM bots, which would give you a dedicated answer when asked a question, these are much better.
In technical terms, they are a computer program that use AI and Machine Learning algorithms to mimic a human conversation. They learn from each conversation and adapt it to offer a better and less robotic response.
The popularity of Chatbots is rising and the global market for chatbots was valued at over $190 billion in 2016 and has been constantly increasing at a steady rate. Chatbots are now used across multiple business streams including virtual assistants, conversational commerce, analytics, communication, customer support, design, developer tools, education, entertainment, etc.
At the most basic level, chatbots can be programmed to answer the most common questions, take a message and even ask for information. Facebook Messenger includes this and so much more.
Facebook has offered tools and support for creating your own chatbots that you can use directly in the messenger. These chatbots are triggered either using any word, or a specific word. They can then ask for contact information, offer a set of answers for common questions or even have entire conversations – depending on your bot-building skill.
If you want to build a chatbot using Facebook’s tools, you will require knowing how to code but if coding isn’t really your strong point, then you can opt for a number of different open-source chatbot building tools that are available for a Facebook messenger that require little to no coding skills. These include ChattyPeople, MEOKAY, MobileMonkey, etc.
Chatbots are changing the way customer service works. Bots are easier to engage with, faster to talk with and are available 24/7. Statistics support the importance of chatbots in business and these include:
• 56% of people surveyed would rather message than call customer service
• More than 1 in 2 people say they’re more likely to shop with a business they can message.
• 67% expect to message businesses more in the next two years.
Chatbots offers benefits to both companies as well as consumers, which is why a lot of companies are now preferring to integrate this amazing service in their marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits that chatbots can offer:
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Benefits of Chatbots
1. 24X7 Presence
Customers prefer to interact with companies via chat these days, which is easier and faster for them. This allows companies to be easily available for service to their customers through chatbots. However, Around 65% of users do not download any new apps in a month, which makes it more important for businesses to utilize chatbots in popular instant chat services such as Messenger. This ensures that you are constantly present where your users are.
2. 24X7 Support
Using chatbots, customers can be constantly available for their customers. This was difficult before, as having 24/7 support staff was extremely important. So, companies would only offer support during business hours. Now with chatbots, this can change. Companies can now be available to their customers at all times of the day.
3. Consistent Performance
Humans are unpredictable, machines not so much. Human performance towards the customer can also be bias, which can be eliminated using chatbots. Chatbots do not differentiate between the customers based on anything, so they would give a consistent performance no matter how the customer responds.
4. Handling Capacity
Unlike humans who can only communicate with one customer at a time, chatbots can communicate with over thousands of customers at the same time. Scaling becomes a prominent issue when working with humans, as the number of customers increases, businesses would also have to do the same with the support team. However, with chatbots scaling is easy as one chatbot can easily deal with the growing number of customers.
5. Cost Effective
A fully-functional chatbot is considerably cheaper and easier to implement than a team of support staff. With the number of companies that already offer customizable chatbots, all business have to do is simply plug in the questions that they want to ask their customers. Also, chatbots automate a lot of tasks, which reduces the number of repetitive tasks that human staff would have to do. Chatbots can also help reduce user acquisition costs since they are available 24/7 for customers.
6. Increased Customer Engagement
This relates back to the last point of chatbots being available at all times for customers. Customers can be shopping at any given hours, specially if a company operates on a global level. With chatbots, the brand can be available for the user at all time as well. This helps improve the level of customer engagement for the company. Additionally, companies also incorporate features such as providing tips, advice, etc. For example, a clothes retail company could offer advice on the latest trends that are going on.
7. Alternative Sales Channel
In addition to offering simply support, chatbots can also be used to actually sell products. The customer simply has to input what they are looking for, which the chatbot can then show them directly within the chat. For example, a real estate company could collect information for the client and then provide them with options for properties within the same chat, eliminating the need for the customer to go to their website.
8. Gaining Insights
Chatbots can also be used to collect information on your customer and use this information to gain insights to which products are trending, what the customers are looking to buy and also their preferences. This information can later be optimized from your website and put the products that customers actually want to buy on display. You can also ask your customers to provide feedback on your service and brand through chatbots.
Chatbots are becoming the next big thing, with many companies turning towards chatbots to help boost their sales and run their businesses smoother. The best part about chatbots is that they are not limited and can be adapted to offer a wide array of applications. These can also be used across many domains of business. With the massive popularity of chatbots, it won’t be long before every company looks to integrate chatbots into their business.