Last week in part 1 of our series, we talked about why you would use a bot, how bots are changing the landscape of marketing, and how specific brands have leveraged bot technology. This week in part two, we're going to get into the nuts and bolts of how bots can be used as part of an online marketing strategy, and how you can develop your own chatbot as part of your marketing outreach.
Yes, you can!
It's common for people to feel a little intimidated at the idea of building what is essentially a software robot, but it's actually easier than you think, and there are a lot of great tools that can help you get it done. First, though, you need to decide exactly what it is you want your bot to do. Some of the current chatbot trends include customer service and sales assistance, but of course you can program your bot to interact with your target audience in any way that would help you achieve your goal.
For example, if you wanted to provide a more customized user experience for your customers, you could use a service like Chatfuel to create a Facebook Messenger bot that gets to know each individual user. Once the bot knows a little about what the user is looking for, it can deliver user-specific content via direct message. This could be highly-targeted ads, product recommendations based on stated preferences, or just some friendly tips or relevant conversation.
On the other hand, if you wanted to provide assistance to customers who were coming to your website for help with your product or service, a help desk bot like LiveChat can reside in the bottom corner of the screen, inviting customers to ask questions, give feedback, or start a support ticket.
Many of the popular chatbot services provide a range of features and integrations that you can modify as your needs change. Olark, for example, not only does chatbot support, but also creates bots that can help increase sales and acquire leads. It all just depends on what you're looking for.
The great thing about these services is how easy they are to use - you don't need to know how to write any code, you just follow the setup tutorials and you'll be up and running within a few minutes.
Nuance makes the difference
It's easy to get caught up in the technical aspects of how you're going to implement your bot, but don't forget that your real goal is to interact with people. When setting up your chatbot, it's important to remember that although it is technically a piece of software, it needs to sound human. Most visitors will probably know that they're not chatting with an actual person, but they'll still expect the interaction to feel like a real conversation. So when you're writing the scripts for your bot, make sure you tailor the style accordingly. Keep it flowing and casual, just as if it were you talking to the customer yourself.
Bots have soared in popularity over the past couple of years, and are only going to become more prevalent as AI tech accelerates. If you get in on the action now, you can enjoy what the current generation of bots has to offer, and adapt your strategy as trends evolve.
Cogo Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency specializing in online marketing strategy, web design, SEO and social media marketing. We work with clients in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC and nationally.