When you hear the word chatbot, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? If “annoying automation” is your answer, we totally feel you.
After all, the reason why most people get turned off by chatbots is that they fear that by using them, they lose that sense of human connection. So, it’s safe to say that you might assume the main takeaway for a chatbot conference would be to automate as much of your business as possible and use chatbots to save time.
There’s no doubt that you can use chatbots to deliver timely content and drive more engagement for your videos.
As Anna Wiggins shared “the great thing about @manychathq is that you can literally do anything with it.”
However, the reality is that when used correctly, chatbots can not only help you save time, but help you enhance that sense of connection to your audience.
No chatbot will be effective unless you really get to know your ideal customer, and take the time to meet them where they’re at. You have to understand who your audience is and then work to deliver and provide content that specifically matters to them.
ManyChat’s Conversations 2020 struck a great balance between high-level strategic recommendations for understanding your audience (like the sessions from Jessika Phillips, Jasmine Star, and Molly Mahoney,) and in-depth walkthroughs of exactly HOW to create a chatbot (like Kelly Noble Mirabella and Mackensie Liberman’s sessions) and how to utilize various tools to enhance your effectiveness.
So, it should come as no surprise that we walked away from the conference feeling super inspired on how we can use this technology, in the midst of a pandemic, to enhance relationships and better serve our community.
“This tool is helping people pivot during the pandemic,” Fara Rosenweig shared.
With 30+ speakers from multiple disciplines, this conference was packed with valuable information and takeaways to help attendees meet customers where they like to communicate, understand the importance of mobile, and think through how to build an effective bot. The heart of the conference was all about enhancing and strengthening the customer experience.
“The power of social, when done right, is about authentically relating to people,” - Jessika Phillips shared.
Conversations 2020 reminded us to never stop testing, pivoting and adjusting our strategy. After all, what works today isn’t guaranteed to work next week. Heck, it’s not even guaranteed to work tomorrow.
One of our favorite sessions was Molly Mahoney’s. She taught us about her “quesadilla of awesome” (anyone else now craving Mexican food?) strategy which helped us think through how we can make our videos stand out. Her SAAVE formula (skillset, appearance, activities, values and things you like to eat) is all about tapping into self-awareness, and showing up as your real self. (Like, did you know that Molly is a big fan of brussel sprouts?)
When you show up authentically, and deliver personalized content, you drive more engagement.
We also loved Kelly Noble Mirabella’s in-depth session on how to hack the Facebook algorithm using live video. She dove deep by providing a step-by-step walkthrough of exactly how to incorporate chatbots to achieve exceptional results for increasing views, engagement and reach for live video. She also reminded us the importance of transparency when using chatbots.
While we could spend all day writing about the value gained from the conference, we figured why not sum up our experience by sharing our top 3 takeaways from the event:
- You have to understand who your audience is: The better you know your audience, what they like, what language they use, where they spend time online, the better content you’re going to create. Natasha Takahashi took us through the six stages of her expert framework for building a chatbot which started with asking 3-8 questions you would ask a cold lead. You want to be able to boil your leads down to one of your avatars. Without customer avatars, you won’t know who you’re speaking to. Jasmine Star’s presentation made for an excellent compliment, as she emphasized that we should always focus on our ideal customer. “A brand is an experience. It’s how you make somebody feel. It’s not your website or your email list,” she shared. The main point? By having a specific person in mind that you’re crafting content for, you can really get to the heart of what they care about. That insight will allow you, as the marketer, to build a real relationship with them. Remember: creating content should be less about your business and more about what your customer needs. It’s about shining the spotlight on your customer and focusing in on what you can do for them; that is how you build a real relationship. And speaking of relationships, that leads us to our next big takeaway.
- Relationships will always be more powerful than marketing: It’s not about WHAT you do but rather HOW you do it. Jessika Phillips discussed the importance of relationship marketing and delivering personalized messages through her C.A.R.E formula: capture attention, articulate your message, invest in relationships and deliver exceptional experiences. “Your message is bigger than the product or service you sell,” - @JessikaPhillips When you can shift your mindset from buying to belonging, people will stick with your brand and engage with it.
- Strategy should always come first. Tools come second: You have to get clear on your WHY. Understanding the purpose for using chatbots and how they can help you achieve your goals is critically important. Without clarity on your goals, you’ll struggle to figure out how to best implement the wide variety of tools, features and functionality that ManyChat offers. Mackensie Liberman shared a killer chatbot strategy blueprint with us during her session to help improve communication with subscribers. The main point? You need to be clear on what exactly you’re asking people to do so that you can figure out what the right tools are - whether that’s live video, a chatbot, email or InstaStory - in order to reach them.
ManyChat put together an epic blog post sharing 10 key takeaways from the event that we definitely encourage checking out.
Not only will it inspire you to add more humanity to your marketing, but it will give you a list of super-smarties to follow online to learn from.
So, now we want to hear from you: what takeaway above are YOU going to implement in your business to improve the overall user experience and build better relationships?