What is conversational marketing?
The progression of social media and other automated chat tools has opened new lines of communication with customers. Due to the evolution of technology, marketing has changed drastically over the last decade. This style of marketing focuses on interactions with the consumer, engaging them in a two-way conversation. The aim is to create relationships with the consumer by building trust through conversations and making the buying experience as smooth as possible. This approach uses the feedback to drive engagement, develop customer loyalty, grow the customer base, and ultimately grow revenue.
Businesses can provide more personalized, enjoyable, contextualized experiences to their prospects and customers. Conversational marketing favors two-way conversations over conventional one-way marketing tactics. This allows brands to listen to their customer’s wants, needs, and questions and respond with personalized links and direct answers. Doing so increases brand awareness, customer loyalty, engagement, and sales through convenient, helpful conversations.
Conversational marketing is a great way to start real-time conversations with buyers and customers.
While we don’t usually have conversations that last a week or more, the complexity of conversations and messaging can extend and even transfer to new channels. Like the buying process, your prospect interacts with your brand to learn more and make their final decision. This process could be a week or more, but you must balance selling your product or service and addressing their needs during those interactions. It’s essential to support your buyer’s journey with relevant information for increased engagement and a higher chance of closing the deal. For example, a customer that initially interacted with your brand’s chatbot could be moved to an email thread or phone call.
It’s important to remember that you’re communicating on the customer’s preferred schedule and channels.
To keep the conversational aspect, you have to build off each interaction, furthering the relationship and dialogue. Imagine one of your favorite brands, you took the time to find them, communicate your needs, and they directed you to the solution to your problem. Now think about the loyalty you have to that brand and the personalized offers, emails, and follow-up tactics that are used to keep you coming back. Don’t you feel like a valued customer?
Now imagine your favorite brand, and each time you interact with them, it’s like you are a new customer. There are no personalized emails, interactions, and overall, you notice (and feel like) you are just another sale. They won’t have your business for long, right?
Conversational marketing avoids starting from scratch each time a customer messages you. No matter which one of your salespeople responds on whatever channel, you should have information from their past interactions stored in your CRM system to provide a great future experience.
GlassHive, for example, has integrations with Office 365 and Exchange that will keep track of your activities on and off the platform. Your activity is then automatically logged directly into your contact’s profile page. You can then keep the conversation going with automated email journey’s that can be personalized to each of your contacts. This improves your overall team performance and outcome.
Benefits of conversational marketing strategies.
Stronger customer relationships
The use of conversations build and nurture relationships. Clever marketing gimmicks or witty posts are great for generating one-time sales. However, you can’t guarantee sales or that your interaction earned another purchase. Initiating a genuine conversation that’s helpful to your prospects ensures they get the information they need when they want it. This creates an environment to manifest relationships that lead to loyal customers and recurring buyers.
You are your customer’s solution
An advantage of conversational marketing is that it lets you listen to your prospect’s issue first. This ensures that you provide them with the information they need during your initial interaction. Perhaps you want to offer a new service within your MSP. But, after an email campaign, you find that your customers would prefer an expansion on a current service you offer. What do you do? Give the people what they want! Maintain open communication with your customer base for better awareness, interactions, and referrals. You want your brand to promote positive relationships that are built on credibility and trust. Position your company as the solution to their needs.
Free market research
Listen to what your customers are saying. Through social media, SMS, emails, and other various channels, you have access to actual data that can help develop your marketing strategy. Not sure of the preferred communication channel? Wonder if that campaign is working? Ask your customers. Remember that all feedback is GOOD feedback. Your customer gave you the most valuable thing to let you know how you are doing, their time. Show them you appreciate their remarks by simply listening and responding. In return, you now have valuable data points that you can use to improve your customers’ experience all the way around.
Conversational marketing in emails
Despite what you think, email marketing should not be overlooked as a method for conversational marketing. People use email all the time. Email allows you to communicate when you can, instead of when called upon. This is a benefit for most customers, prospects, and colleagues. Simply put, emails are a non-intrusive way to get in front of your customers without requiring immediate attention.
Ditch emails that boast about how great your product. Those aren’t considered a part of conversational marketing. There are different methods to deliver your product’s benefits in a helpful way to your prospects. As previously mentioned, collected market research improves the customer experience and shapes your next email campaign. Use surveys to gauge brand awareness and initiate conversation.
Platforms like GlassHive empower your team with our marketing automation that allows you to create and implement thoughtful strategies that nurture leads from one conversion point to the next. Our extensive collateral library and easy to use email builder helps you get in front of your customer and get the conversations going. See how GlassHive can help sweeten the deal with your customers.
A solid conversational marketing strategy effectively captures lead information and provides leads the information they are looking for more quickly. This helps to push them through the sales funnel faster. The shorter the sales cycle, the quicker you can close the deal and flow your customers back into the prospect stage for retention and upselling.
Tips for your conversation building
Creating your chatbot
Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. Think about why and what they would be reaching out to your brand. The point of this defines the goal of your specific conversation. Is your aim for the visitor to convert? Book a demo with sales? Subscribe to your email list? Whether to get the visitor to convert, book a demo with sales, or subscribe to your blog. Then think about the different ways you could possibly reach that goal through a natural, human conversation.
Conversational marketing doesn’t require you to start from scratch. Below is a framework of three steps to use when creating your strategy.
You can’t expect someone to run live chat software on your site 24/7, which is why chatbots are an excellent way to cultivate conversational marketing into your marketing strategy. Keep the dialogue going with your leads by integrating ways to start conversations rather than asking them to fill out a lead form before addressing their issues. Engage people on your website when they want to engage with you. Go beyond the click download now and book demos, convert leads faster with quality conversations that target their needs, and reach people serious about buying.
In return, you can expect more opportunities, higher conversion rates, and a more personal experience with the customer.
Typically, a qualified lead receives days of marketing automation and nurturing emails. While engaging, it doesn’t accurately reflect the customer buying process. A Harvard Business Review study revealed that companies need to respond within five minutes of initial contact to increase the chances of a qualifying lead. If you wait any longer, your conversion chances decrease by 400%.
Conversational marketing keeps your site’s door open for questions, help, and the chance to understand and engage your leads 24/7. You build trust with your buyers when you help them better understand what you offer and how you can solve their needs. Using a chatbot asks those qualifying questions. They can understand your leads and what they want by qualifying them in real-time for a more efficient on-time follow-up. Understanding a prospect’s dilemma places them in line to receive and proceed with relevant information and interactions (whether they are ready to buy or not). In return, your sales reps can focus their efforts on the right people at the right time.
In marketing, you should aim to become a trusted source of information, while in sales, you become a buyer’s trusted advisor. Buyers want honest and helpful recommendations. Online reviews from people have become an essential part of the buying process. Prospects want to ensure they are making the best possible decision based on other’s true experiences with a brand. As a sales rep, you don’t want to oversell. Conversational marketing uncovers what your prospects need so that you can proactively greet and engage prospects where they are in their buyer’s journey.
Providing a better sales experience earns your prospect’s trust and loyalty while building your credibility. Moving a conversation to in front of the screen instead of behind allows you to better understand who someone is and personalize their experience. Doing so increases customer happiness, value and turns them into advocates for your brand.
Conversational marketing uses technology for quality engagements, qualifying, and conversions for leads that want unassisted sales. The concept of dialogue must remain at the forefront for conversational marketing to work. To see how you can improve your sales and marketing team for better customer experiences and relationships with your customers, sign up for a free subscription with GlassHive today.