When you hear the term “chat marketing,” you might be thinking: “What? Another type of marketing I need to include in my outreach strategy? When will it end?”
Between social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and now chat marketing, you might be wondering how it all adds up to more business (and more profit) for you and your company. Does it have to be so complicated?
No, it doesn’t need to be complex or time-consuming. In fact, chat marketing is what ties together all of the other components of your marketing strategy for a comprehensive approach to lead generation.
Better yet, chat marketing is easy to automate so it offers a streamlined sales funnel and an immersive client experience, all for minimal effort. Simply put, chat marketing is a way to simplify your life while enhancing the buyers’ journey—and you don’t have to sacrifice any of your brand’s authenticity.
Why Chat Marketing?
We just closed a year where people relied on virtual solutions more than ever before. Due to the pandemic, people turned to the internet for everything from buying groceries to hosting birthday parties. Social media remains a linchpin of online communications, but in 2020, we actually saw more users on messaging apps (2.7 billion) than social media (2.66 billion) worldwide.
In recent years, the average buyer’s preferences have shifted away from phone and email communications to quick, convenient messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and DMs on Instagram and Twitter. They value instant gratification; they don’t want to wait around for an email reply or to schedule a phone call. They expect answers as soon as their questions arise. Accordingly, it makes sense for industry pros to get onboard with chat marketing to engage prospects through their preferred channels.
In addition to convenience, chat marketing also offers a custom, one-on-one interaction that provides prospective clients with a fully personalized experience from the comfort of their smartphones.
Automation Meets Authenticity
Chatbots are not new to the market, but in the past, they’ve typically been viewed as robotic or impersonal channels that are designed to provide only a few specified responses. Today, chatbots have evolved to become the most valuable asset of a holistic marketing strategy.
As business owners, we understand that each user has a unique set of needs and preferences. Fortunately, technology has reached a point where a chatbot can cull through someone’s shared personal details and pull relevant details to form a custom discussion: first names, geographic locations, relationship statuses, mutual friends, and other details can all influence the flow of a conversation, thanks to Facebook Messenger’s API.
When you funnel social media, blog posts, email content, and other marketing tactics to your Facebook chatbot, you end up with a single, consistent place to gather information and kick off the sales portion of your buyers’ journey. You may automate the first several questions (i.e. “What is your budget?” or “Have you booked a venue yet?”) and pick up the discussion once a lead has been qualified and you have more details on hand. You can also set it up to store responses in a CRM platform so it will always pick up where it left off with any given user, providing them with a fully personalized experience.
Chatbots are there to streamline the sales and marketing process, but you retain full control over every step of the process—from writing automated responses in your brand voice to deciding when to take the conversation offline. Your interested leads, on the other hand, are free to learn more about your business and share details about their event without the pressure of having to submit a formal inquiry or speak on the phone.
Starting Your Chat Marketing Approach
Naturally, the first step in getting started with chat marketing is to create a chatbot that can streamline your messaging apps. ManyChat is the leading platform for this purpose and serves as a pretty comprehensive CRM software to generate automated funnels.
Once created, I recommend installing your chatbot in at least three places: your website, your Facebook Business page, and your Instagram. Ultimately, all roads will lead to your Facebook Messenger link (m.me/YourFacebookPage), where users will be met by your friendly, welcoming chatbot.
From there, the buying experience is up to how you develop it. Perhaps you have a series of automated questions each user must answer before you jump in to schedule a consultation. Maybe you link it to an appointment scheduling app like Calendly, so users can pick a time slot and you don’t have to touch anything until a new meeting pops up in your calendar. You might even take it a step further by integrating Zoom to automatically generate an invitation link to add to your calendar and send to the user.
With the help of Zapier or another third-party integration software, you can also link it to your CRM platform to automatically create a new client account and populate a proposal template based on their information.
There is so much you can do with chat marketing and creating a chatbot is simply the start. Automation is a must-have element in every modern business, as the market demands immediate and convenient solutions to their questions. Chat marketing is still on the newer side of marketing, so take this opportunity to get ahead of the curve and implement automated chatbots before your competitors. In addition to a streamlined approach to sales and marketing, you’ll also find that your prospective clients are happier and more engaged in authentic, meaningful interactions with your brand.