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What Is Conversational Marketing and How Can It Help Your Business?

Jun 14, 2020 | Digital, Digital Strategy, Marketing Strategy

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Did you know that only 61 percent of marketers rate their current strategy as effective? What’s more, 80 percent of marketers report their lead generation efforts as only slightly or somewhat effective.

Coupled with the fact that only 22 percent of businesses are satisfied with their current conversion rates, a new approach to marketing and customer engagement is clearly in order.

When it comes to moving leads through your marketing and sales funnels as quickly as possible, you must provide customers and buyers with authentic, personalised experiences.

The best way to do this? Conversational marketing.

Keep reading to learn more about conversational marketing and how you can harness it to your company’s full advantage.

What Is Conversational Marketing?

Conversational marketing is a technique that allows you to build relationships with leads and customers through real-time conversations. This form of marketing relies on intelligent chatbots and targeted messaging to engage with people when they’re actually on your website.

Unlike status quo, hands-off marketing, which forces people to go through lead capture forms and then wait who-knows-how-long for a response, conversational marketing makes engagement easy. As a result, you’ll convert more highly qualified leads faster.

The result? Happier senior leadership and more satisfied customers.

Now that you’ve got a basic idea of how conversational marketing works, let’s dive into the ways that it’s impacting and changing the way customers buy.

The Evolving Buyer’s Journey

Standard marketing practices no longer work. Why? Because they’re mismatched with the way customers now purchase things.

Think about it this way. If you’re not talking to people face-to-face, then how are you communicating? Via text, email, or other forms of digital messaging.

It’s no surprise, then, that 90 percent of consumers want to communicate with businesses this way, too. Yet, many brands continue to focus on sales funnels with loads of steps before an email exchange or messaging conversation ever occurs. (If it does at all.)

Is your current sales funnel guilty of this? Take a look at these “typical” customer experience steps for yourself:

  1. Land on your company’s website
  2. Fill out a contact form
  3. Become a lead in CRM
  4. Get scored and assigned a lead
  5. Cold calling
  6. Enrolment in email automation
  7. Responds to outreach
  8. Schedule a qualifying call
  9. Schedules sales call
  10. Answer a cold call

That’s a minimum of five steps before a brand ever reaches out to its potential customer via email! While you might assume that cold calling remains a more effective form of lead capture than emailing or messaging, think again. Only 43 percent of consumers will even answer a cold call.

Average landing page conversion rates hover around a measly 2.35 percent. No wonder so many companies feel frustrated by their sales funnel’s ability to convert leads into sales. What they don’t realise is the sales funnel itself puts multiple barriers between customers and sales.

Conversational Marketing Techniques

Fortunately, conversational marketing removes these barriers, permitting leads to convert into customers. How does it work?

Implementing conversational marketing allows you to establish a new lead-generating channel. This channel complements your existing marketing efforts. Conversational marketing can be distilled into three steps:

  1. Engagement
  2. Understanding
  3. Recommendation

Let’s explore each of these steps further so that you gain better knowledge of how a conversational marketing sales channel functions.

1. Engagement

When visitors come to your site to download something, book a demo, or contact sales, you can use a chat bot to start a conversation. You can, in turn, use this conversation to lead your prospects further along the buyer’s journey to your next sales.

Whether a messenger chatbots or WhatsApp chatbots, they act 24/7 employees. They make conversational marketing work for your brand. When you immediately engage with your customers, you start a relationship, which will lead to better overall customer experiences.

Instead of forcing leads to fill out forms, conversational marketing builds a bond and comes with immediate gratification. For the vast majority of businesses, this approach leads to higher conversion rates, more personalised experiences for customers, and more opportunities for sales.

But your direct engagement with customers doesn’t have to stop there. You can also follow up with the most interested customers instead of waiting for them to start a conversation. This proactive marketing approach lets potential customers know you’re interested in helping them solve their problems.

2. Understanding

Remember that outdated sales funnel we talked about a little earlier? With such an antiquated system, it often took days of marketing automation and nurturing emails to nudge customers towards a purchase.

This approach came at a distinct cost. Research has proven that companies need to follow up within five minutes of initial contact to impact customer sales. Beyond this five minute mark, interested leads fall off by 400 per cent.

Fortunately, chatbots allow you to interact with all visitors to your website within the five-minute time frame. They also understand which visitors are leads and can qualify them for your company in real-time. Best of all, conversational advertising lets you cut out the entire process of follow-up emails.

3. Recommendation

Bots rely on intelligent routing to connect leads to your company’s closers. They can even book meetings automatically with sales reps who can then focus solely on selling your products and services.

All your sales reps need to do is connect their calendars so that the bots can populate them with qualified leads. If you have more than one salesperson covering the same territory, these bots can assign them leads on a rotating basis.

Bots can also guide prospects to collateral and pieces of content, providing answers to the questions that they have. They can nurture leads and further qualify them by delivering the relevant information they need at the optimal time.

Learn more about how an experienced conversational marketing agency can help you ramp up your online game.

A New Way of Marketing

Conversational marketing is revolutionising how brands interact with customers online. The benefits include creating a more human buying experience, which leads to a shorter sales cycle. This marketing channel can also contribute to a better understanding of your customers.

You’ll grow your sales pipeline while converting more and better leads. Are you ready to explore conversational marketing and how it can help you build your brand online? Contact us to discuss ways to achieve your goals.

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