Every website visitor passes through certain steps before purchasing the desired product. All marketers follow this traditional process which starts from “Contact form” & ends with “Sales Call”. This process takes days!!
Only 43% of people answer to cold calls & Email open rate has fallen to 20%. In other words, people don’t want to pass through this process and craving for “prompt response”. The Chatbot is here for a solution to the long tedious purchasing process.
It is not a buzz word anymore as Facebook, IBM & Google are already using AI & Machine learning technologies to implement customized bots to address their customers issues and also offer virtual assistants.
One trending word from the past few months is “Conversational Marketing” and how chatbots can operate based on that using AI technology.
Before going further, let’s understand what Conversational Marketing is all about?
Conversational Marketing: It’s nothing but the smart interaction between human & virtual assistant based upon AI & Machine learning. In other words, brands use chatbots to interact with people in order to capture leads & convert them into more close sales deal.
For instance, if you want to invest your money in Mutual Funds but you are not aware of the laws and regulations. You will be going through the mutual funds company website and checking policy terms & conditions page.
However, the webpage can confuse you more with the complex and scattered information! So in this case, the chatbot can be an instant relief.
The chatbot will start a conversation with – “Hello, How can I help you?” and then building engagement with certain questions and helps you with all your potential queries. In a few minutes, you are clear with your doubts and company got one qualified lead.
There is a myth going around that chatbot is only useful for online customer support and nothing more than that. But, some of them are out and are proving to be a game changer across many business verticles.
Nika prompts company employees to fill their daily worksheet and manages smartly with automatic reporting feature. It also offers Slack integration. So, whenever an employee opens slack, it prompts them to do daily work!
With Acebot, it’s easy to create surveys with the integration of AI technology. The platform can be used for making conversational surveys with a human touch. Any user can answer survey questions in messaging tone.
Twyla is a platform designed solely for businesses. It can be used for the following purposes:
- Exporting chats to identify user persona
- Customized widgets depending upon nature of business
- Routing conversations
- Customer Service
Wizu is a great platform for collecting “customer feedback” in a conversational manner. With the bot, businesses can identify feedback pattern and should start making changes in daily operations. This way, companies can make their customer base more loyal.
With the x.ai bot, business professionals can schedule their daily meetings & appointments with simple clicks. Based on the platform they are using for daily communication, it can be super adjustable!!
In 2014, Microsoft built Xiaoice chatbot for Chinese people. The bot was initially built for providing daily answers to the user’s query. In recent times, it can do the following things for users:
- Reciting poems
- Reciting kid audio-books
- Working as a journalist
Conversational Search Engine Optimization
Conversational Marketing is not directly equivalent to chatbots. There are also other digital assistants (Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana, Siri) out there which are working on conversational AI technology. Apart from asking questions to chatbots, we can interact with search engines in below 3 different ways:-
- Text-based search
- Voice-based search
- Image-based search
From 3 mentioned types, marketers can work on voice-based search in order to implement “Voice Assisted SEO” strategies. So, when there is “organic search” involved, marketers need to shift focus from chatbots to voice-assisted search.
Ex. When you ask a question: Hey, Alexa shows me nearby grocery stores timings!!
So, Alexa will not revert with 10 search results compared to the actual case with a text-based search. Alexa will give only one answer by checking with the respective search engine and exploring knowledge graph. The marketer needs to understand this difference of “Search anatomy”. That answer considered to be fallen under “Position Zero”. If marketers want to implement SEO strategies, they can’t ignore voice search. In the next few years, there will be a fight for position zero by implementing voice-based search engine optimization strategies.
From the image & Cortana voice data, it is clear that people are using 1 to 3 words in text-based searches and average 4 to 6 in voice-assisted search. So, the tone in voice search is more conversational just like a human to human interaction.
Companies can find out certain long tail keywords after identification of “buyer needs, wants and intention”. For voice assisted SEO, there is a need to work on intent based keywords and optimizing the website content for the same.
Brands will have to work on their technical aspects of the website like adding schema markup, working on long tail keywords, optimizing knowledge graph and business listing in order to become a first available choice for digital assistants.
As a potential website visitor, what happens if chatbot with certain product display just pops up on your browser screen and interacts with you and you have no idea that It’s an Ad!!
In October 2018, Google incubated Adlingo just come up with “Conversational Display Ads”.
From the above image, it is clear that the brand will have a new digital channel to advertise their products with experience of conversation. With a certain number of conversational ads on different platforms, brands will be having analytics data of “buyer intention”, “past experience” and “demographic details”.
Adlingo is the platform where advertisers can integrate their display ad format with chatbots. The interesting fact is Adlingo has no control or ownership of any chatbot.
They are just allowing advertisers to use available partner chatbot tools like Dialogue Flow, Microsoft Framework, Live Engage, Valassis Digital & Live Person for creating conversational ad experience.
Adlingo uses the programmatic model for serving ads through a google ad network. The marketers will be charged with the CPM cost model on every conversational ad campaign. Whenever a user sees the ad, the advertiser will be charged for that but if the user starts interaction and engaged for a longer time, there will be no additional cost.
With Adlingo, advertisers have a new conversational channel to promote their products outside of messaging apps (Ex.FB messenger). The initial estimates depict that cost of engagement on adlingo will be lower than compared to FB messenger.
The only concerned point is that the ad should not be annoying as normal ad pop-ups otherwise brands will have to go through certain backlash over the running time of the campaign.
Practical Implementation : Brands Perspective
Healthtap is a platform for users who want quick medical advice from doctors. They integrated their bot with facebook messenger. Once the user has installed the bot and asking for some health advice, he will get multiple popular answers initially provided by doctors within a certain time frame (24 hours). There is also a “subscription plan” available if someone wants immediate support.
Rapidminer is a platform which delivers data science solutions among a diverse set of clients from different industries. Initially, they were struggling with “poor pre-sales customer support” and as a solution, they integrated “leadbot” with their website.
The leadbot answered very common questions of visitors and helped the customer support team in finding qualified leads. This way, the intelligent leadbot captured 4000 new qualified leads with an additional $1M revenue.
Spring is a personalized shopper bot which supports visitors in online shopping. It asks a bunch of questions to visitors and narrowed down to limited recommendations based upon qualifying answers.
This way, visitors can save their large amount of time with just virtual interaction instead of searching intensively on the e-commerce website.
eBay builds the most powerful chatbot for ease of navigation-related to e-commerce products. It works in collaboration with Google home. So, every time shopper wants to purchase something from eBay, they just have to ask: “Ok Google, what are the best smartphone offers on eBay?” and they can get very customized set of answers.
The only catch here is that shopper has to use “Google Home” every time when he wants to shop anything from eBay.
Imagine the situation, where the user will be going to Facebook and interact with the bot to get daily financial statements, spending patterns & historic purchase data. This can be possible with Mastercard bot integration on FB messenger.
This type of arrangement will be very helpful for users who just want to check account activity on the go and receive alerts on some unusual events without being logged in to MasterCard account.
A Glimpse Into The Future
The future is very clear for chatbots & conversational marketing. The businesses are gradually adapting conversational AI and transforming from “traditional support” to “virtual support” provider. When user will take shopping decision on bots, companies have tons of data to find all the insights and make future decisions on product development.
As the clutter is everywhere, so is for “organic chatbot conversation”. Adlingo opened the gate of conversational ad & it’s interesting to see how brands will use that in future apart from just tapping on facebook messenger!!
Dhruv Mehta is a Digital Marketing Professional who works at Acquire and provides solutions in the digital era. In his free time, he loves to write on tech and marketing. He is a frequent contributor to Tweak Your Biz. Connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.