Why Chatbots are the Next Big Thing for Your Digital Marketing Campaign
When it comes to digital marketing campaigns, the norm for brands is to build a campaign microsite. However, having been in this industry for over seven years, my take is that the time and effort spent on such projects does not justify the returns. Especially when brands are planning to run the campaign periodically for only 2-3 months.
While campaign microsites are still relevant for brands looking to build an immersive visual experience (if you have the budget to burn), there’s a much more practical way to run short-term marketing campaigns. Enter Chatbots — God’s gift to digital marketing campaigns.
In previous articles, we’ve talked about Chatbots and their usage. Today, we’ll discuss why in this digital landscape which is increasingly leading towards mobile, brands should strongly consider the use of Chatbots for their next marketing campaign. For the sake of clarity, I’ll be focusing on the Facebook Messenger platform.
Shift Towards Messenger Apps
Research indicates that chat applications like WhatsApp and Facebook have already taken over social networks, and according to statista, usage of Facebook Messenger has already hit one billion active users, making it (along with WhatsApp) the most popular chat app in the world.
With such trends and statistics, brands should already start aligning their digital marketing strategies towards chat applications.
Optimised for Different Platforms and Devices
One of the most painful tasks when it comes to building a campaign microsite is to optimise it for different devices and browsers.
With Chatbots, most of these issues are resolved as the Facebook Messenger app is already built and optimised for almost every mobile OS and desktop browsers out there.
One of the biggest questions is how brands can leverage on the leads they have collected during the campaign. Typically they would send out EDMs/SMSes to continue engagement with users. Such activities require considerable effort and possibly budget from importing the new leads onto a database to designing a compelling Email or SMS message, etc.
As Emails and SMSes are on a different platform, users will often find it intrusive as they will feel that they have been added to the list without permission, and all we know where these Emails/SMS will end up eventually.
With Chatbots, besides being able to collect user data such as Emails and SMSes, you’ll also have the option to broadcast messages to users who have previously initiated a chat with the brand directly through Facebook Messenger. Besides being a fuss-free process, message broadcasting via Facebook Messenger is less intrusive, as users can scroll back to check their previous engagement with the bot.
Quality Time = Better Brand Recall = Better Conversions
As people are spending most of their time on chat apps, chatting has become a natural part of our lives. As compared to filling up a form, spending time chatting with a Chatbot is an activity which people are a lot comfortable with and are willing to spend more time with it.
This would lead to better brand recall and subsequently, better conversions.
Turn it Off and On Whenever You Want
As campaigns usually have a timeframe, it is important to pull the plug once you reach the deadline to prevent users from trying to participate after the campaign has ended.
Chatbots can be instantly switched on and off with a click, no coding experience required!
Implementing a Chatbot might not be “cheap” but it sure is cost-effective, after implementing your first Chatbot, replicating it for the next campaign is just a matter of changing parameters like conversation flow, the tone of voice and visuals from a Dashboard.
Similar to a CMS-like WordPress platform, all you have to do is to edit the content from an easy-to-use interface.
Note: Most decent developers will include a CMS when implementing the Chatbot for the purpose of future customizations. However, there will be some cases where developers will hardcode the Chatbot, meaning if you don’t have any coding experience, you’ll have to go back to them for any changes, and that will also mean additional cost.