Buzzwords like artificial intelligence, automation, chatbot, etc. are infiltrating the marketing industry. With so much chatter about the current and future employment of technology in the digital marketing sphere, it’s more important than ever to be on top of the latest trends to ensure your brand doesn’t fall behind. So what’s trending now? Chatbots.
You’ve heard of – and probably interacted with many – chatbots before. But instead of the whole “robot takeover” vibe, these chatbots are improving digital marketing like nothing the industry has ever seen before.
What even is a chatbot?
Glad you asked! A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) powered computer program that ‘chats’ with online users to help answer their questions and guide them in the right direction. This automated service is designed by human programming, which is typically made up of coded if-then scenarios to teach the chatbot how to reply to questions. Due to AI learning processes, a chatbot usually improves over time as it chats with more and more people.
There are two main kinds of chatbots: informational and utility. Informational bots basically provide a new format for consumers to receive content, ideally in a more engaging and personal manner.
Utility bots are meant to solve users’ problems by answering questions, assisting with online purchasing, scheduling meetings – you name it. Depending on your platform and goals, one kind of chatbot may be more useful for enhancing your digital marketing approach than the other.
What are the benefits of a chatbot?
Having a chatbot at your fingertips puts your business at a huge advantage. For starters, bots are highly cost-effective. One chatbot can operate 24/7 and reduce (if not eliminate) the need for readily available service representatives.
Chatbots are also very easy to set up and greatly reduce customer wait time. On top of providing speedy responses, bots can analyze and gather data from the users they speak with, providing valuable information about your consumers’ wants, needs, and online behaviour. Thus, chatbot insight can help direct future marketing efforts.
What do chatbots have to do with digital marketing?
Everything! Chatbots provide a service for online browsers, offering a quick and direct solution to whatever question or concern they may have. Because chatbots can be on any of your platforms, consumers can seek and receive help from your bot no matter where they are. Whether it’s your landing page, Facebook page, customer service page, etc. Chatbots can, therefore, eliminate the gruelling process of waiting on hold to speak with a representative or for an email response that might never come.
The one-on-one interaction consumer experiences with a chatbot can also help them build a relationship with your brand. The ability to get quick support 24 hours a day encourages people to trust in your brand and its customer service performance.
The functionality of a chatbot also allows your brand to connect with many more people, facilitating more marketing conversations and higher conversion rates. Plus, by automating a huge part of customer service (without sacrificing helpful support), you can focus human efforts elsewhere.
This is not to say that chatbots are ready to entirely replace humans in customer service. But to point out the potential for increased efficiency made possible by bots. Not all consumers will be satisfied with the response of a chatbot and request human contact.
However, a representative will be able to see all of the information given to the bot and adjust the conversation accordingly – as not to waste anyone’s time. Real conversations can be optimized by the initial steps taken by chatbots.
Where do I learn more about what a chatbot can do for me?
Digital marketing is just the tip of the iceberg. For more information, check out Discover.bot – a chatbot development resource site that has the scoop on all things chatbot. Learn about the history of bots, artificial intelligence, and even how to build and develop your own bot.