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Chatbots in Marketing: the Whats, Hows, and Whys of Chat With AI
- 13 Sep 2023 6 min read
The idea of using chatbots in marketing can be a little intimidating at first glance.
But as digital marketers use more and more artificial intelligence (AI) in the field, industry experts are starting to understand how website chatbots can be crucial in customer relations and conversions – all through the power of transformative automation technology.
Chat with AI is transforming the online world as you know it. This tool automates time-consuming work tasks to allow businesses to focus on other important digital marketing services, thus expanding the horizon of possibilities for experts in the field today.
So if you’re a little intimidated by this web development trend, don’t worry. Just read on to discover the marketing benefits of using chatbots for your brand’s own digital marketing this year.
What is a chatbot?
Let’s demystify the conversation around chatbots in marketing by defining what a chatbot is first.
A chatbot is a type of computer application or automated tool that is coded for digital marketer tasks. Through the help of AI, it carries out conversations with users using predetermined and automated scenarios, replies, and reactions online.
You make a bot using a builder, which you can then connect to messaging apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, Messenger, and more. You can even add a bot to your retail website to respond to user questions in the middle of their shopping experience.
Why are chatbots in marketing important?
As mentioned before, AI chatbots are transforming the world as you know it. This technologically advanced business tactic leverages automation to help your brand lead generation, sales conversion, and customer engagement goals. They can be used on third-party apps, websites, and even your company’s unique promotional campaigns – all for the sake of driving digital wins today.
These tools are part of today’s technological evolution, and they’re not going to go away any time soon. So it’s important that you keep up with the ever-changing times by learning more about these AI bots and adding them to your digital marketing skill set this year.
How are AI chatbots transforming digital marketing?
What are the specific ways in which these automated applications are transforming the digital world? Here are six ways that these automated bots can transform your marketing strategy framework for the better this year.
1. Increases marketing strategy conversations.
Chat with AI isn’t exactly a new invention. However, this innovative tool still generates a lot of new conversations around marketing strategy, as it gets utilized by more experts in the online promotions field today.
Data from Google Trends has shown that the search volume for “chatbots” has grown 19x more over the last five years. Businesses began realizing the value of this app a few years ago, and since then, the utilization of chatbots in marketing has grown exponentially too.
As a result, more and more thoughtful conversations are being held around this topic, thus driving more innovations in digital marketing strategy as well.
2. Bridges gaps between marketing and sales.
Another way in which these automated applications are transforming the digital world is by bridging the gap between retail brand marketing and customer sales success.
A bot has the ability to bridge gaps between ecommerce brands and their customers by serving as the technological stand-in for in-store retail support. Customers can easily get answers to their questions in the middle of their shopping experience with the help of a bot. Businesses can also streamline various marketing and sales processes using these programmed bots on their site.
With an effective chat flow, your ecommerce business can also serve millions of users all over the world – resulting in great customer service and increased sales conversions in the long run.
3. lead generation and lead qualification.
Bots are an excellent tool for lead generation and lead qualification because they automate and streamline several time-consuming actions in the overall lead management process.
Firstly, this tool provides a more humanized experience for customers to provide their details to your business, versus the more traditional lead generation form. Secondly, this application can be programmed to assess a lead’s quality alongside their likeliness to convert.
With a properly programmed lead generation bot, your business can easily collect more qualified leads without the added stress of awkward conversations or consumer rejections.
4. Makes booking processes a lot easier.
If your brand requires a tool for booking services on your business website, then an automated bot might just be the perfect solution for you. This technologically advanced application can easily transform the overall booking process and make it a lot simpler for you and your customers.
How? It can provide customers with information they need on your services, allow clients to book dates for appointments, and help you track the progress of your customers’ conversions with your brand – all in one go. With a dedicated and automated app, you can make booking processes a lot easier, thus driving conversions and improving customer satisfaction for your business.
5. Handles community management.
Not only can these bots handle channel-specific tasks, but they can also handle the nitty-gritty daily tasks of community management as well.
A bot can do the drudge work of overseeing communities for your business, and take care of specific user groups that matter to your brand. They can invite new members to the community, share brand promos and updates, monitor user behavior, and answer questions from members of the group. They can easily enact community management best practices, thus taking this stressor away from you and your business today.
6. Conducts surveys for feedback.
Last but not least: AI chatbots can transform your digital marketing by streamlining surveys for a personalized customer feedback and business optimization experience.
A well-programmed bot can take feedback surveys to a whole new level by turning this form of information collection into an interactive experience. They allow customers to “talk to” a human-like program that can store responses, answer in real time, and personalize parts of their feedback experience.
They can make the customer feedback process seem simpler, quicker, and more personal, thus leading to higher numbers of survey collection for your business optimization in the future.
Tips for practicing chat flow ethics
The benefits of this technologically advanced application are endless. However, the pushback against this form of chat flow exists for valid reasons, too.
There are many insane instances of AI chatbots being abused or programmed incorrectly, leading to unhinged chat responses and an overall fear of this tool. With all the news surrounding AI, it has become a prerogative for expert digital marketers to enact ethical practices on the use of this app in their line of work.
So if you want to utilize chat with AI in your online promotions, remember to check out these additional tips to enact ethical practices in your campaign development this year:
- Ensure its responses are respectful and appropriate. The fear around AI is rooted in the incorrect programming of this tool for businesses. To enact ethical AI use, ensure its programming is respectful and appropriate to avoid the risk of offensive responses.
- Let it reflect socially acceptable behavior. Aside from programming it properly, make sure it’s designed to reflect socially acceptable behavior. More than just providing responses, your bot should be coded to rule out displays of racism, sexism, and abusive language.
- Always update your responses. Just like any digital tool, chatbots in marketing aren’t just things you set and forget. You need to constantly experiment with, improve upon, and update your responses to ensure the bot’s excellent and ethical performance.
- Don’t use them exclusively. This application is meant to be used in conjunction with other digital marketing strategies and executions. Don’t use AI exclusively; add it to your marketing mix to boost other strategies rather than replace them outright.
- Set clear objectives and boundaries. With a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objective for this app, you can better achieve goals and ensure the ethical use of this tool at the same time.
- Never take humanity out of marketing. Your brand is only trying to reach real-life people in its target audience – so real humans should still be at the helm of this marketing execution. As helpful as a bot can be, never let it replace the human aspect of your brand’s digital strategy; it should just be there to help humans out with their work in the long run.
You can’t necessarily defeat the challenges and limitations of AI. You can, however, enact ethical practices to curb the overall fear around this tool. Just remember to be open to experimentation when it comes to bots so that you can learn how to overcome its limitations too.
The key to an effective chat with AI
At the end of the day, the key to an effective experience with chatbots in marketing is to manage your expectations beforehand.
Before you even think of building a bot for your brand’s platform or website, know what your purpose is in using this tool first. Understand the whats and whys of your intention to utilize AI, and then set manageable goals for this application as well.
Once you’ve set smart goals and developed a strategy around it, then you can use these tools in marketing your business. With manageable expectations and specific objectives, you’ll have a better experience in utilizing this tool for your business benefit in the long run.
AI chatbots can be an incredibly useful application in your brand’s digital marketing, if you know how to use them the right way. So remember to bring this final three takeaways with you as you begin your journey into automated tools for your business benefit this year:
- Learn early, experiment early. Chat with AI is a technological advancement that’s here to stay. So make sure to learn about it early on so that you can experiment with it in your marketing mix early on as well.
- Be specific with your intent. By being specific with your intention to use it for your business, you can set ethical, achievable, and scalable goals for this automated tool.
- Use it to enhance and advance. Don’t use it to diminish and hinder the human aspect of your digital marketing strategies.
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