One of the best ways brands can enhance online experiences for customers and facilitate interactions with humans is through chatbot marketing.
In fact, 80% of businesses are projected to integrate some form of chatbot system by 2021. Clearly, chatbot marketing is on the rise.
How can your brand master chatbot marketing? What are the best ways to get started without feeling totally overwhelmed?
We decided to sit down with the chatbot queen herself, Kelly Noble Mirabella. Kelly is an internationally sought-after Messenger Marketing trainer, consultant, and builder. She is the creator of Baby Got Bot and the owner of Stellar Media Marketing.
Over the past 14 years, Kelly has helped teach and mentor digital marketers, REALTORS, entrepreneurs, and professionals across various industries to not only use the digital marketing tools and platforms available today but also in the starting and running of new entrepreneurial adventures. Kelly’s depth of knowledge is well known in the industry and some have even joked that she is like a digital marketing encyclopedia.
What Is A Chatbot:
Before we can understand how to best integrate chatbots into our business, we have to understand the foundations of what a chatbot is.
A chatbot is basically an automated message. Things like Siri and Alexa are built through automation and artificial intelligence to answer your questions.
The idea behind chatbots? >> A client can ask questions and the bot can pick it up and facilitate a transition to a human contact.
That makes sense especially when considering that chatbots can help save businesses as much as 30% of customer support costs.
Chatbots are built to help facilitate interactions and conversations to make it a win-win for both the individual and the business. When we take into consideration that more than 50% of customers anticipate that businesses are open 24/7, there’s a huge case for using chatbots to enhance customer service and provide a more seamless experience.
“If you build them correctly to facilitate the transition to a human, it’s going to be a win. Chatbots will be an excellent tool and there is not a business or an industry that can’t benefit from this.” @stellar247 (click to tweet)
We know that people are already spending time in messenger, so as a brand it’s critical for us to start utilizing messenger marketing.
Getting Started With Chatbot Marketing:
The best bots are ones that facilitate a conversation and make a process simpler. Think: grabbing someone’s email.
That’s why the top tip for getting started with chatbot marketing as a brand is to keep it simple.
“Create simple #chatbots. Remember that a chatbot can’t replace everything. Don’t try to add in all of the bells and whistles! Simple bots win. They are the ones that convert and build email lists and help hit goals.” @stellar247 (click to tweet)
Brands also want to put themselves in the shoes of the customer and just follow the golden rule. Think about how the technology can be used to enhance the experience and connect them to a human being when necessary.
The goal is to get people where they need to go, and have functionality built in so that at any point, someone can easily request to contact a human. Building in the ability to contact someone is adding that layer of human touch.
One instance where chatbots can be extremely helpful is when a brand is selling something that people might not want to discuss with a human.
Think: sharing your size, specific preferences or habits… in that case, a chatbot can work seamlessly to provide helpful and relevant information to assist the buying process.
By adding an element of personality through using a sassy tone and/or functionality (like making your bot a puppy) you create an exceptional and memorable experience for your customer.
The main point? >> Whether you’re using it for sales, lead generation or onboarding, bots can be used to facilitate so many interactions!
Where Brands Go Wrong With Chatbots:
Brands can easily overwhelm themselves by trying to do too much with a bot, which often leads to failure.
“A chatbot is only as bad as the people who built them. Simple FAQs work. Don’t do ALL of the FAQs. A chatbot can’t facilitate that and you’re just setting yourself up to fail.” @stellar247 (click to tweet)
The chatbot does a lot of the heavy lifting, but it doesn’t replace everything.
Not to mention, there are a lot of strict rules about using chatbots and how brands can use Facebook messenger.
For instance, the 24-hour rule of messenger was created to prevent brands from spamming customers. What happens is, when an individual starts an interaction with a business through messenger - either by messaging them directly or pressing a button - the business has 24 hours from the last interaction to send ANY message to the person. After the 24 hours, the business has to fall into very specific tags when it comes to the ability to send a message.
Worth noting is that every time someone interacts with the page through messenger, the clock restarts.
The reason for the rules? >> To prevent bots from feeling spammy and annoying. These protective measures keep customers comfortable.
(And if you’re ever annoyed, just remember that all you have to do is type STOP during a messenger interaction to get unsubscribed.)
“We’ve seen the growth of people ruining automated messaging and nobody wants that. But thinking of #chatbots as a utility is a great way for brands to pause and think through how to make things easier for people.” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)
When we understand that chatbots are really meant to enhance and facilitate interactions, not automate them, we have the ability to use them effectively.
How Small Business Can Benefit From Bots:
There are so many different ways brands can use bots to simplify touch points.
For instance, using the comment growth tool to trigger a messenger bot during a live broadcast can take the stress away from the broadcaster. In fact, that’s what we do every week! During Magnet Marketers each week, Jessika reminds the live audience that all they have to do to get this blog post emailed to them is write the word “recap” in the comments of the show and it triggers a messenger sequence.
This functionality creates the ability for us to solve problems, and sell, right then and there on live video!
There’s nothing more powerful than the ability to connect to people the instant they want something from you.
And in today’s post-pandemic world, the power of chatbots goes beyond digital interactions and into in-person interactions.
“The service side is where brands can really shine with this. This is what we’re accustomed to now with the world of Instacart. We want instant gratification and you can still do it even if you’re a small business!” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)
For instance, Kelly shared an example of us of a business “Tap to table” that is solving the problem of people not wanting to touch a physical menu in a restaurant.
This business uses near field communication (NFC) technology which opens the menu up for people so they can order directly from their phone. It even goes so far as to facilitate contact tracing through the bot because the messenger bot has the ability to auto populate that person’s email. (Hey thanks, Facebook!)
Another example? >> A gym that’s using a chatbot to allow people to fill out the mandatory health-status questionnaire, making the entire process simpler.
Putting It All Together:
If your brand isn’t using messenger marketing yet, now is the time to start thinking through how you can take advantage of the tremendous power of this functionality.
We recommend getting started with Kelly’s free foundations course to understand how to use ManyChat.
It’s important to understand the foundations before you get started because there are a lot of rules.
Next, figure out where you’re at as a brand now, and where a bot solution could improve on what you’re already doing.
Maybe your brand can use a bot to collect emails and that would work better than your current landing page. It’s worth taking time to do some split-testing there. Maybe you can use a bot on your live show like we’re doing!
There are SO many ways that brands can start to tap into this functionality to provide relevant and timely touch points with their audience.
As brands, we have to ask ourselves: what are we doing now and where can we add in a bot to complement that solution?
Our biggest takeaway for brands to remember? >> Make the process super simple. Simple bots are bots that convert.
Oh, and check Kelly out because she’s got SO much to offer:
- TONS of trainings
- The Content Marketing Power Up: This is a TOTALLY free month-long live challenge/content marketing course that Kelly is hosting with Yvi Heimman! It’s going to be epic.
- Subscribe to her YouTube Channel
- Watch her ManyChat Playlist on YouTube to get started
- Check out ManyChat Foundations
What do you think about chatbot marketing? Are you inspired to get started?
Share what kind of bot you’re going to start with in the comments below!