If you haven’t heard of the term “conversational marketing,” you’re not alone, especially if you’re not an experienced marketer. But here’s the thing: Without even knowing it, conversational marketing is probably part of your marketing plan already.
Conversational marketing isn’t new, but many businesses are still trying to implement a conversational marketing strategy fully. Before drafting a marketing plan for your organization in the new year, consider what conversational marketing can do for your business.
Suppose you’re new to developing a strategy for conversational marketing. In that case, you may need to get a handle on the basics first.
What’s conversational marketing?
Simply put, engaging with your prospects in real-time is conversational marketing. Your goal in conversational marketing is to move prospects along the buyer’s journey more quickly. Compared to traditional marketing, where there’s typically a waiting game, conversational marketing allows you to learn more about your prospects almost immediately. You (or a chatbot) can answer questions about your business in real-time. This option saves time, money and frees up your resources. Communicating with your prospects quickly ultimately shortens your sales cycle, which benefits you and your business by enabling you and your team members to close deals faster and put money in your pocket sooner.
What are examples of conversational marketing?
Chatbots first come to mind when people hear the term conversational marketing — and for a good reason. The chatbot market size is projected to grow from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.7 percent. But chatbots are typically only the beginning of a buyer’s journey when a prospect engages with your business.
While they help businesses keep up with customer engagement, chatbots can’t replace human interaction. For example, chatbots can answer most questions about your business and the services you provide. Still, a prospect may sometimes want to talk with another human, for whatever reason simply. When that happens, a customer service rep must be able to step in and engage quickly.
You can also engage with your customers and prospects via social media and messaging apps. These platforms are other tools you may want to include when developing your organization’s conversational marketing strategy.
Developing conversational marketing strategy
Implementing a conversational marketing strategy isn’t easy, but planning accordingly is the first step. Determine why you’re developing a conversational marketing strategy. Would you like customers to engage with you more? Would you save money, time, and resources by shortening the sales cycle? What are the kinds of conversations you’d like to have with your customers? Outline your customer relationship goals before developing a conversational marketing strategy.
Also, don’t spread yourself too thin. Figure out where your customers are first before committing to a single platform. Are they more likely to engage with chatbots? Do you have a large social media following? What type of messaging apps do you have available to you? Being selective is key.
Conversational marketing is changing the way marketers are marketing. If conversational marketing is new to you, there’s still time to learn it. Yet, more than likely, you’ve already implemented it on a small scale.