In this blog I look at how you can use conversational marketing to boost performance, achieve better ROI, and increase your sales results.
Marketing can be a major challenge, but this can be especially true in the B2B market, which is estimated to reach some USD25.65 trillion by 2028. The size, and competitiveness, of this market means you want to get your marketing right.
The difference between wholesale and retail when it comes to marketing can sometimes be major and, at other times, subtle. Knowing how to approach your marketing efforts can make a lot of difference to your end results. One major tool many online businesses use is conversational marketing. What are conversational marketing examples and just how can you use it to increase your ROI and achieve success?
What is conversational marketing?
As the name suggests, this type of marketing revolves around conversations, namely conversations with customers across the channels that suit you both. It is the ideal way to nurture relationships and see improvements in metrics that matter to your organisation, such as shopping cart abandonment online.
Conversational marketing examples can utilise several channels, including chatbots, live chat, and any messaging app. But any form of two-way communication, such as phone or email, can be part of your conversational marketing strategy. It’s about establishing and maintaining a dialog and offering the instant responses your customers want. B2B marketing is constantly evolving, and you should be ready to adapt to new processes.
How to use conversational marketing
1. Have the right platform
If you want to expand conversational marketing beyond how you use it via things such as call center routing, then you need to ensure you have a platform that allows easy integration of apps so you can install your preferred chatbot. Being able to integrate functions such as chatbots or live chat easily can help make conversational marketing easier.
2. Make your chatbots as human as possible
Ok, they will never fully replace humans (we hope), but chatbots can operate 24/7/365 and never complain. Making them as human as you can will make customer interactions more enjoyable and will encourage customers to engage more. Chatbots use machine learning to improve their performance, but you can program them to be funny as well as informative.
3. Integrate, integrate, integrate
The ability to integrate apps across your systems can have huge benefits. For example, you can integrate apps that help with call center tracking. Integration goes way beyond metrics, however, and integrating conversational marketing with your social media and email marketing can help utilise data gathered by chatbots into other areas such as personalised emails.
4. Provide a great user experience
While, of course, you want to see better conversions and ROI, your initial focus should be providing a positive and smooth customer experience. UX design plays a major role in any customer journey, and it is worth testing all elements of your marketing strategy to ensure there are no pain points.
5. Monitor and tweak
Ongoing monitoring is part of your daily life. For example, if you use affiliate marketing, you monitor the effectiveness of affiliate SEO. Conversational marketing examples are mainly new concepts, so you may need to tweak them regularly until you are happy with it. It also makes sense to have it running in parallel with other lead generation and marketing tactics.
Six top tips on utilising conversational marketing examples
1. Learn as you go
You’re not going to get things perfect on the first attempt. So, simply install your chatbots, and set up a basic playbook template and learn as you go. You will see how different things work over time, and this will help you develop a more comprehensive strategy.
2. Buyer personas
Creating buyer personas can help you establish strong sales and marketing funnels across your channels. Knowing who your customers are and what they want is the first step to improving performance. They can also help you recognise both what touchpoints work for customers and what pain points they experience.
Ideally, you are already employing segmentation in some form but are you using it as much as you could? Segmentation should not only focus on customer types (such as those who place high-value orders) but should also include the types of products or services you offer. If you are a larger organisation with several category types, segmenting those categories can help you improve the conversations you have with customers.
4. Use every tool that helps
You live in an era where automation, apps, and tools can make your work easier and more efficient. So, don’t shy away from using any of those things that could help you. You may ask, “what is an inbound call center going to do to help me?”. It can, with the right tools and integrations, be an important part of your conversational marketing strategy.
There is little point in employing a wide range of tools and systems unless they are linked where necessary. This is especially true when it comes to conversational marketing. If your chatbots initiate a conversation with a potential customer, then the data gathered should be linked to your CRM (customer relationship management) system and also to the diaries of your sales teams so they can follow up when needed.
When it comes to conversational marketing, speed can often be crucial. What is a warm lead today may well have gone cold by tomorrow. That’s why it is crucial that you not only link all relevant tools but also ensure that your sales agents have any linked chat app on their phone, which is especially important if they are often out of the office. This means they can communicate with those warm leads as soon as they are flagged.
Conversational marketing is just an updated and much-improved version of how your sales agents used to work (making calls, knocking on doors). However, now they have access to, and support from, a wide range of digital tools that can enhance their performance. Those tools include things like chatbots which can be the first point of contact for a potential customer.
Conversational marketing is very much underpinned by the how and when – knowing how to communicate with your leads and when to do it. Using the various tools at your disposal, you can identify a customer’s needs, understand those needs, and initiate a person-to-person conversation when needed. By combining human knowledge with digital tools, you can build a strategy that produces real improvements to your overall performance.