Business Owner’s Guide: The Rise of Chatbots for Marketing
With digitalisation and messaging apps on the rise, chatbots are gaining popularity among businesses and consumers as well. In particular, they’re being used increasingly often for marketing.
If you’re wondering how to use a chatbot in Singapore to market your business, you’re on the right page. Today, we’ll share how chatbots can help your organisation.
What are chatbots?
Chatbots are computer programmes. They’re designed to respond or engage with received messages automatically, without manual prompting.
Simpler chatbots rely entirely on pre-programmed responses for specific questions or keywords in messages.
For example, one could be programmed to respond with “Fine, and you?” if it receives a message that says “How are you?”.
There are also more complex chatbots, though. These can actually employ machine learning to predict the appropriate response to messages based on historical data.
Either way, a chatbot is essentially a piece of software designed to automatically reply to messages without a human manning it, as it were.
Chatbots can be found in a variety of forms and platforms now. You can find ones on social media messengers like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and also standalone ones like Cleverbot.
How do people use chatbots in marketing?
You’ll find people using chatbots for business in all sorts of ways now. If even the idea of chatbot search engines has been floated, you can more or less guess how versatile these programmes are.
Most often, though, the bots are used to answer support questions and start conversations with website visitors as needed.
You’ve very likely run into these bots already at some point. It could be from an interaction with a company or from visiting a website with a popup chatbot in the lower right corner.
But there are more ways chatbots help businesses promote their products and services. Here, we can look at the ways chatbots can help your business.
1. Save time and money
This is easily one of the biggest ways chatbots help your marketing and offer value to your business. They free up so many resources!
In the first-place, setting up a chatbot is often a one-time investment. You can even use free messaging platforms for it.
It may require maintenance or updates to its responses and functions occasionally, sure. Even so, you’d still spend less on that than on training a whole team.
This helps you stay competitive even with businesses that can afford a lot of manpower.
Working with only one receptionist who can barely handle the influx of demo or appointment requests coming in? Let the chatbot do the scheduling.
Struggling to deal with all the inquiries at Support and Sales because you’re undermanned? Let the chatbot handle them.
For example, Mastercard has a chatbot on Facebook Messenger that lets you do things like check on account transactions automatically. That’s amazing convenience and less work for your actual staff!
2. Increase lead generation
Chatbots are great for generating leads – they can even nurture and qualify them!
The most obvious example is one we’ve already mentioned: the popup chatbot that often appears in a corner of your browser when you visit a website.
They often ask if you have questions, if you want to schedule a demo, and so on. Those are all ways of generating leads.
You can use the same chatbot to nurture and qualify leads by programming further responses and queries into it.
The chatbot could ask the prospect things that can help your teams better identify the prospect’s situation in your conversion funnel, for example, which can help you figure out how to deal with them.
3. Boost customer engagement
You can use chatbots to send out targeted messaging that can boost customer engagement and increase brand visibility.
On social media, for instance, you see a lot of brands using chatbots to broadcast news about product launches, events, etc.
You can also use them to send consumers reminders or engage them in conversations.
You can talk about products or services they’ve previously purchased or expressed interest in. You might even suggest related ones!
Spotify, for instance, has a chatbot on Facebook Messenger that allows you to not only find music but also get recommendations from the bot on what else to listen to.
4. Provide fast-response services
Here’s another of the areas where chatbots truly shine.
Unless you have a lot of staff, it’s often difficult to respond quickly to customers’ messages or enquiries. Chatbots, being automated, can make up for that gap in manpower.
And that’s hugely important, since customers nowadays expect faster responses than ever before.
Most companies tend to take much longer than that to reply, though. For instance, as far as emails go, most companies don’t even reply. Those that do take an average of 12 hours.
So, you can get a real competitive edge over others by offering your customers a quick-response channel via chatbot. You also get bonus points for offering a 24-hour service (since bots never sleep!).
5. Collect data for analysis
This is related to what we’ve already said about using chatbots for engagement. You can use them to ask consumers questions and gather data through tools like surveys.
The data you get from their responses can be aggregated and processed. This can help you gain crucial insight into the needs and preferences of your target audience.
Get started on your chatbot marketing
So now you know that chatbots could be just what your business needs to free up more resources and improve the way you get your messages out to people.
The next question is if you’re ready to use one yourself.
You very likely have a lot of questions, like how to create a chatbot, what it’s best used for in your situation, and more.
That’s where we can help.
We’ll help you figure out where a chatbot might be best employed in your business, how to achieve it, and the like. Contact us for a chat for your digital marketing needs.