Chatbots use the power of AI to communicate using popular text-based channels and sometimes even speech. The use of chatbots has surged as companies look for ways to improve customer service while keeping a lid on budgets.
Although chatbots work with platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WeChat, they have practically unlimited potential. Within the next seven years, the global market for chatbots will substantially exceed $1 billion.
To get the inspiration you need for using chatbots in your marketing strategy, we’ve explored some of the hottest trends in the industry.
A shift to social messaging
Many start-ups, small businesses and brands have successfully integrated chatbots into their digital operations. As more users move away from traditional social networking to chat apps such as Facebook Messenger, the need for chatbots will likely increase.
Chatbots enable you and your brand to interact with a large number of users without requiring expensive human customer service. As a matter of fact, these tools interact with users so well that they almost seem human-like.
Rather than deploying team members to chat with customers all day, you can connect with people on platforms such as Telegram or Slack and let your chatbot do it for you.
What makes this approach to messaging so convenient is that chatbots get smarter with training and experience. As people increasingly embrace messaging apps, chatbots will become key to engaging them in an efficient and affordable way.
Major brands have demonstrated how effective chatbots can be. For example, the Washington Post chatbot provides top news stories directly to you. The bot also has customer service capabilities that can create subscriptions and manage accounts.
Building a chatbot for your company is becoming easier almost by the day. A chatbot-building platform (Google it) allows you to customise your bots and then deploy them to practically any popular messaging app.
Improved content strategy
Chatbots are driving brands to improve their content strategies. Now, more than ever, companies must answer the real-life questions that are relevant to their brand.
As chatbots work, they learn details about their users and their questions. That information is stored for you, giving you a chance to create content that precisely addresses the needs of your audience.
Thanks to the insights chatbots make possible, you can discover new up-sell opportunities while improving your customer service. Chatbots ‘know’ what your customers need.
In effect, chatbots streamline content strategies, eliminating much of the laborious research that consumes so much of your time. All you need do is address the questions your chatbot couldn’t answer.
You can even use chatbots for storytelling. Disney set an example for this while advertising the Zootopia movie. During that campaign, users interacted with a chatbot named Officer Judy Hopps.
Take your content marketing strategy to a higher level by using a chatbot for visual communications. They can easily send multimedia content cards that are clickable and can drive more website traffic.
Building brand loyalty
Companies grow by steadily adding loyal customers to their base. One way to improve customer loyalty is to deliver an exceptional, customised experience to every shopper.
Traditional digital channels make the creation of personalised experiences difficult. Chatbots, on the other hand, can address customers by name and provide personalised product and content recommendations. Best of all, they create a human feel for every encounter, unlike the sterile environment of a web page.
Chatbots can also contribute to your customer relationship management strategy, primarily because of their efficiency. The automation eliminates the need to tie-up human agents with routine questions and requests. As a result, your employees will have more time to focus on those tasks that require a human touch.
To get a feel for how chatbots build loyalty, consider the Sephora chatbot on the Kik Messenger app. It asks users questions to determine their characteristics, preferences and interests. The chatbot even provides free consultations.
By using artificial intelligence, you can engage users via messaging apps while keeping your customer service usage to a minimum. Furthermore, chatbots are emerging as vital tools to streamline content marketing strategies and create personalised customer experiences.
Hopefully these trends will inspire you to start putting chatbots to work for your business.