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How Conversational Marketing Can Save Your Company

conversational-marketing-save-your-company

As we navigate this unusual time, conversational marketing should be top of mind. Your customers should take top priority. We say that should always be the case, but we all know that they slip down the numbered list for many brands.

If you think conversational marketing is just for the “big guys” you’d be wrong. For starters, all companies should be focused on customer experiences and relationship building.

Here’s how to do that with conversational marketing.

What Is Conversational Marketing?

Conversational marketing is simply having real-time conversations with your would-be or actual customers. However, it’s not limited to just one tool or type of software.

It can look like:

  • One-to-one conversations on your social channels
  • Live chat on your website
  • Chatbots
  • A dedicated Slack Channel

At the end of the day, conversational marketing is customer support. It happens in real-time, right when — and where — the customer wants to have the conversation. Now, this may mean you have to introduce artificial intelligence in the way of a chatbot to be readily available. And that’s okay.

This type of marketing allows for a feedback-oriented approach to your most important asset: your customers.

Not only that, but conversational marketing can also help you:

  • Drive more engagements,
  • Improve customer loyalty
  • Deepen your customer base, and ultimately,
  • Increase revenue

Take it from me, the list above is the biggest reason thinking conversation and not campaign can help you through these tough times.

Creating A Conversational Growth Strategy

So, how do you get started? Of course, as with all marketing, the answer is: it depends. It depends on what your own business goals are.

You may choose to use human-only support agents or bot-only efforts or some combination of both. To note, we believe the best operations utilize both bots and humans.

And the smarties at Salesforce agree. Research from the tech giant shows that:

80% of service decision-makers believe AI is most effective when deployed with — rather than in place of — humans.

Here’s how we see conversational marketing working in the sales & marketing cycle:

Conversational-Marketing-B-Squared-Media

Let’s outline a few areas of conversational marketing that can help you achieve your marketing and sales goals.

Marketing & Brand Awareness

Using simple, quick answers (from humans!) to potentially complicated questions about your product is the easiest way to stay top-of-mind. Have you ever been looking for an answer to something, say on Twitter, and had a brand respond with a delightfully helpful (not sales-y) response? That’s just one example of conversational marketing helping with brand awareness.

In the least, you make a connection. With the most, you could make a sale.

Sales

Conversational marketing often leads to conversational sales.

Any of the below can use a human or a bot to help with conversions and sales. How you go about it is up to you and your limitations.

But, there’s an even easier way to dip your toe into the conversational waters …

EASILY Focusing On The Customer

Many brands start with marketing or sales when it comes to conversational marketing. But there’s another way!

Customer experience lends to ALL THE THINGS — and all the right things — when you think of the customer’s journey.

Our Director of Customer Care and I help break Customer Care down in the video below.

Customer Service & Care

Lastly, customer service is low-hanging fruit when it comes to conversational marketing.

Nearly 70% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for servicing (compared to 33% for social media marketing). If a customer has a problem with a product or service, they’re more likely to visit your social channels than use an 800-number or send an email. We’ve seen this first hand with our online customer care solutions.

Additionally, customer care can help many departments within an organization. From marketing to sales to product development … where else do your customers tell you exactly what they want or need? You don’t get those insights on your website or with ads.

Your customers are already giving you an invitation to the conversation. Are you joining them?

Conversational Marketing = Think Conversation

To sum it up here’s something to think about: customers are tired of unresponsive brands and are looking for 24/7 service.

Conversational marketing is a way to solve that problem. Today. For your current customers. And your would-be customers.

We’ve seen it time and time again: the companies that become more customer-centric also tend to sell more stuff. It just makes sense when you look at the top customer pain points. We’re tired of being ignored. We’re tired of being looked at as a dollar sign. We want to converse with you!

And if you converse with us, that’s where the magic happens.

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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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Sprout Social Agency Partner & Founding Member
Category: Digital Marketing, Return on Conversation (ROC)
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