Marketing that delivers value is always the way to go.
Conversational marketing, as in live chat, bot chat, and Facebook Messenger, is a modern-day approach that will empower you to connect with your prospects and customers at their convenience while adding value through real-time conversations.
Which makes it...
Helpful, responsive, personal, immediate, and eminently human.
HubSpot says, "Conversational marketing works best when it's integrated with your entire marketing mix - and your whole business." Think of it as a companion to your already existing marketing efforts.
As in ...
When a chat leads to an email...
When a bot helps your visitor speed through a web form...
Or a message on Facebook links to a piece of content...
You are being human. You are conversational. You are treating people like people. Also, you are engaging with them on their terms, when, where, and how they want. For most businesses, it will mean more opportunities and better conversions.
Bonus: Get a copy of The Definitive Guide to Inbound Marketing emailed to you as a PDF to easily access anytime.
So it got us thinking.
What is the right way today, to engage with prospects and customers on their terms, move them through their buying journey, while giving them honest and helpful recommendations?
We asked 15 digital marketing experts their thoughts on today's buying experience using "conversations". We asked the question:
"What is one expert tip or best strategy you would recommend for effective conversational marketing?"
Let us tell you, the insights received from the 15 esteemed marketers were nothing short of AH-mazing.
So much so that we've decided to list all of them below, in no particular order, for you to check out. We think you'll agree, marketing in 2020 is going to be exceptional, energized, and entertaining.
1. Mark Kilens - Drift
"To use the Conversational Framework - Engage, Understand, Recommend - to start and have conversations with your buyers and customers.
You can read more about it here:" https://www.drift.com/conversational-framework/
2. Rebecca Miller - Top Line Results
Follow them on Twitter: @toplineresults
"My number one tip for conversational marketing is to talk to people like they are human beings. Stilted text or chatbots that spew marketing jargon can be overwhelming and feel out of touch with your prospects' concerns. Listening in on some actual sales or support calls can help you learn how your prospects and customers talk about their problems and the language they use. Incorporating that language into your conversational marketing efforts can make them feel more real and grounded."
3. Mike Lieberman - Square 2
"Align your chat tools with the prospect's buyer journey when they visit your site. This means knowing what pages on your site are specifically designed for people early in their buyer journey, in the middle of their buyer journey or late in their buyer journey. The questions your chat tool serves up and the chat experience should be adjusted accordingly. Not sure about the stages, consider using the Cyclonic Buyer Journey to help guide you."
4. Remington Begg Impulse Creative
"Spend more time on crafting your "first question" and finding the context of where and to whom your conversation will be triggered than you do on building the conversational bot. This will allow for you to have powerful engaging conversations with prospects that convert."
5. Karo Sadowicz - SnapApp
Follow them on Twitter: @Snap_App
"The power of conversational marketing is rooted in creating meaningful dialogue rather than vaguely defined engagement. Your brand personality can still shine through, but resist the urge to get cutesy. If you're able to engage a prospect, don't waste their time—ask questions that help you understand their needs and intent, and what you can do to guide them to the next logical step. Keep your qualifying questions and conversation playbooks simple and focused on advancing your relationship with the prospect. They will appreciate a purposeful exchanges that reward their responses with relevant content and follow up."
6. Amanda Nielsen - New Breed
Connect with her on LinkedIn: in/amandanielsenvt/
"Make sure that your conversational marketing is actually conversational. It seems like a no-brainer, but it's easy for marketers to get caught up in jargon and industry-speak. Keep your chatbot interactions simple and authentic to ensure that you are fostering high-quality interactions. When building your bot, walk through the logic as if you were having a real conversation. If your bot's response isn't something you would feel comfortable saying in person, it's not conversational."
7. Barbora Jassova Landbot.io
"It's not an easy question to answer since an effective conversational marketing strategy is more often than not a confluence of actions.
However, many newcomers experience a common struggle. A number of first-time Landbot users recognize the need for interaction and personalization that comes with conversational marketing. Yet, when it comes to designing a bot, they fail to apply the principles that make it work repeating the approach they would have towards writing/designing a text for a website or a blog. They forget about using conversational elements and burden the chat with huge chunks of texts that just look like another automated sales email.
So, my tip would be: focus on the conversation and the person on the other end of that conversation.
The conversation must stay at the heart of your efforts. Hence, I would recommend trying to treat the conversation as the goal not just means to a goal. When writing your dialogue flow, imagine what you would say when that person if they came into your office. You would hardly read them product description or sales pitch word for word.
So, think about the language your target audience likely feels most comfortable with, leverage the power of small talk to create a rapport and use the bot's ability to personalize in real time. For example, write a different dialogue flow for clients who still have doubts and another flow for those who feel excited curious and on board with what you have to offer. Don't make the mistake of treating everyone the same, you would be missing out on the biggest advantages of chatbot marketing.
Effective conversational marketing is about creating memorable experiences which are the key to success in the experience economy we are living in today."
8. Molly Clarke - ZoomInfo
"It’s not enough to use conversational marketing as a means of responding to online inquiries quickly—any company with a rudimentary chat bot can do that. Instead, you must focus on providing responses that contain substance and value—responses that truly lead your customers and prospects to the answers they’re seeking. Whether it’s a carefully crafted reply to a frequently asked question or a discount code offered up as compensation for poor customer service, the key to conversational marketing success is to provide something of value quickly. Technology can handle the “quick” part, the marketer must provide the value."
9. Jamie Davidson - Vast Conference
Connect with her on LinkedIn: in/jamie-davidson/
"Being actively engaged with our customers is key to success, both ours and theirs. Having real-time interactions during all stages of the buyer’s journey and customer experience help us understand our customer and continually improve our service based on their needs. The best way to do this is to use the medium our customer prefers to communicate. Whether it’s by phone, email, chat or IM we’ll be there."
10. Mary Siewierska - Woodpecker.co
Follow her on Twitter: @mary_siewierska
"I talked with a lot of people who tried conversational marketing and from what I've learned, the most important things are personalization, empathy, and quickness to respond. If you do it skillfully, having a chat on your website can build a rapport with your website visitor in a way no other thing can. You can also follow up on the chat via email which makes it great for lead generation or lead nurturing. It's an amazing way to forge business relationships. Yet, you have to train your team before implementing it."
11. Hendrik-Jan Francke - Bright Orange Thread
Follow them on Facebook: facebook.com/brightorangethread/
"Dedicate time. Conversations are a series of volley’s, without time you won’t keep up your end of the conversation and your brand takes hit."
12. Reid Trier - WeirdertGroup
Connect with him on LinkedIn: in/reidtrier/
"It's critical to be contextual from the very first touch point your company has with a contact. Whether this is using a chatbot that provides links to content pieces related to a contact's previous activity on your website or providing a list of potential "next steps" based on their product or service interests, using context shows that you care about and understand their needs and pain points."
13. Jeff Baum - Hanapin Marketing
Follow him on Twitter: @jeffbaum71
"A good tip is to recognize that not every touchpoint needs to result in the final purchase. A great way to market more complex products or services is to provide something of value at those various touch points. For instance, offering to download free content in exchange for a name and email address allows you to create a value based conversation that can take prospects through a customer journey."
14. Clare French - Webmechanix
Connect with her on LinkedIn: in/hireclare/
"Conversational marketing is really about being in touch with the people your company is serving -- both leads and customers. There's a tendency to associate conversational marketing primarily with chat bots, but this type of marketing includes all direct communication you have with your base, like email, text messaging, dynamic personalization, and even retargeting. Think comprehensively about the tone, voice and brand positioning of your messaging through each of these channels. Take the time to ensure all of your external-facing communications are congruent with your overarching positioning strategy and delivered in a way that feels and sounds as human as possible."
15. Lucie Loubet - Automat
"The problem with today’s marketing models is that the only alternative to broad-based messaging is online monitoring (which on top of ethical questions doesn’t always give you very precise and accurate data) coupled with high degrees of human effort. But with Conversational AI, Marketers have found a way to get to know their customers in a transparent way, while engaging them in helpful, personal and meaningful experiences.
What's important to understand is that Conversational AI isn’t just about automation: it’s about enabling new kinds of conversations, wherever your customers are. Brands are still innovating with new use cases, but solutions like Virtual Sales Advisors that guide consumers in banner ads on DV360, Instagram stories, or ecommerce websites are already delivering ROI for brands, by boosting confidence in products and ultimately conversions."
Now we want to turn it over to you...
What an impressive collection of useful advice.
Which one are you ready to implement with your marketing mix today?
Let us know by leaving a comment below right now.