Conversational marketing is one of the most powerful emerging trends in the digital marketing world. It focuses on personalized, real-time conversations between your prospects and a mix of AI agents and human representatives – ensuring a responsive and consistent brand experience.
Ultimately, that means a shorter sales cycle that can capture the “momentum of the moment.”
When you deploy conversational marketing, you have the opportunity to ensure customers will feel known and understood by your brand. They’ll be able to pick up the conversation at any point and you’ll have access to the full history of past interactions, just like a real person.
Conversational marketing delivers a truly authentic experience that will get customers far more motivated to interact directly with your company. You no longer have to be the brand snarking on social media; make a genuine connection with the people interested in your business.
AI has captured the headlines when it comes to conversational marketing, but there’s more to it.
To make it work for you, you need to have a comprehensive conversational marketing strategy.
That includes three elements to set up before you get started and three to deploy live.
Conversational Marketing Strategy: The Wind-Up
Good conversational marketing doesn’t operate in a vacuum. You have to have the right data in the system, as well as the framework to make sense of it all. Only then can you maximize the impact of conversational marketing across all of your customer touch points.
Here’s what you need:
1. Strong Buyer Journey Awareness
Conversational marketing is overlaid over your regular buyer journey steps, making each one more intimate and interactive. To make sure you’ve got end-to-end coverage, you first need real insight into how your buyer journey works.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How do people reach your website?
- What platforms or publications do they visit when they want info on what you do?
- Where are they in the social media ecosystem?
- What influencers do they listen to?
- Who are their peers?
By knowing these answers, you’ll know where to plug gaps in your communication strategy and how to fine-tune your messaging at every step. That way, you’ll have a comprehensive approach to guiding your leads at every decision-point in their purchasing process.
2. Cross-Channel Attribution
The ideal conversational marketing experience is one in which a lead feels both known and understood throughout the process. It’s crucial that both these be in play: When marketing makes leads feel known but not understood, they naturally shy away and seek to protect their privacy.
So, how can you help leads feel that your brand treats them as individuals, rather than as numbers?
Cross-channel attribution is the key. When you can associate each data point with an individual and see the patterns that emerge, you have a real history at your fingertips rather than just a snapshot. You’ll need strong data analytics and tracking to make this happen.
3. Complete Visibility
Cross-channel attribution puts someone on your radar, but you also need a way to keep them in your sights for weeks, or even months, afterward. That means not only collecting data on their needs, but making that data available to everyone on your sales team, too.
This is one place where the back-end systems that run your efforts are mission critical.
With a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) suite, the qualification performed by your conversational marketing technology will translate seamlessly to your sales team. This will provide them with the signals they need to know when it’s time to be proactive.
Conversational Marketing Strategy: The Pitch
Conversational marketing systems gather and correlate a lot of data on their own, but they work best when they have support infrastructure stretching across the sales and marketing departments.
With that set up in the steps above, it’s time to connect the dots and get the conversation started in earnest. Keep these three aspects in mind when it’s time to throw your system into gear.
For compelling conversation-based marketing, you need:
4. Live Chat Opportunities – Especially in Lead Capture
Conversational marketing is engaging because it offers immediate feedback in ways that static web forms don’t. Interactivity provides a spark that can motivate people to answer many more questions than they would have if they needed to fill in a traditional form.
You know the rules: Static forms at each juncture should have as few questions as possible.
Although you should always focus on the most valuable information at any one time, live chat changes the equation. Your goal to toss out old-fashioned lead capture forms in favor of capture methods that tie into your conversational marketing system.
- Bots will continue to capture leads even when live agents are offline.
- Sophisticated screening technologies let you focus on prime prospects.
5. Qualification Through Conversational AI
Building qualification into your process early on can save you hundreds of hours your sales team would otherwise spend chasing after people who’ll never be in a position to make a purchase.
To leverage conversational marketing to the max, you want to be sure your qualifying questions are built right into the architecture of how your AI bots interact with leads on your website.
Conversational AI means you have a more adaptive and effective alternative to many of today’s marketing automation mainstays. This is where a lot of the sales cycle shortening power of conversational marketing really comes in: removing the lead capture bottleneck.
Since leads don’t look at AI chat with the same skepticism as old-fashioned lead capture forms, you can be more creative and responsive in how you move your leads along.
6. Intelligent Routing and Booking
Ultimately, your AI has another spectacular advantage in how it can always funnel ready leads toward the right sales representative for a demo or discovery session. You’ll make better use of your team’s time and they’ll always know exactly what their schedule looks like, too.
Intelligent routing into your sales department is one of the core reasons why conversational AI adds a whole new level of scalability to your enterprise. No matter how large you get in terms of headcount or geographical divisions, AI will always be ready for it.
Conversational Marketing Helps You Foster Real, One-on-One Rapport
It’s a funny quirk of our time that artificial intelligence is one of the most transformative assets around for creating a person-to-person connection with your leads.
That might seem strange at first, but don’t underestimate what AI chat can do. These incredible chat agents seamlessly integrate lessons that they learn through their thousands of customer interactions and adapt their approaches in realtime to drive more conversions.
That’s more than the most skilled and experienced customer service rep can do!
And, if you have products and services that can be booked and enjoyed right away, chat grows even more powerful. Customers can move directly from the Consideration phase to the Decision phase with AI linked right into your inventory.
All you need to do is post amazing content to attract leads during the Awareness phase. Aligned with a complete conversational marketing strategy, AI can do more of the work than was ever possible before – and customers can get the personalization and validation they crave.