Messenger chatbots are the next big thing in today’s marketing. Major media have been reporting on this new marketing aid since their introduction in late 2016. Everyone agrees – chatbots are here to stay. But that isn’t all. Their use is growing extremely fast, too.
What is a chatbot?
A chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users.
Chatbots respond to natural language text or voice and respond conversationally.
As a computer program, chatbots may also tap into powerful API’s (application programming interfaces) to have data driven features like CRM integration, Booking System Integration,etc.
Chatbots are also called intelligent virtual assistants, voice assistants, invisible or conversational commerce and chatterbots.
- “A chatbot is an artificial person, animal or other creature which holds conversations with humans. “ – chatbots.org
- “Chatbots are small programs that integrate with a chat platform and provide some advanced type of functionality in a fairly easy fashion.” – TechCrunch
Chatbots reduce friction between users and businesses to allow things that the PC, web and email are just not capable of doing.
For the first time ever, bots will let you instantly interact with the world around you.
There’s no new app to download, no new account to create, and , perhaps more importantly, no new interface to learn. You just scan and chat. They can reduce friction to as close to zero as computing allows.
There really isn’t any good reason to wait, get a chatbot for your business now. The rise has begun and the savings of chatbots are huge.
Companies who have already discovered their potential are Nike, Spotify, The Wall Street Journal, Lyft, Pizza Hut and many more. Do you notice anything interesting in this list? These companies are active in completely different industries. Because of their dynamic nature, chatbots can be programmed to handle almost every computer-related task.
Some use cases we frequently see are:
- Restaurants: Take reservations, take delivery orders and have walk-in guests place their order through their phone instead of talking to a waiter;
- E-commerce: Broadcast special offers to those who have previously expressed interest in those products, Customers can buy products without ever leaving the Messenger app, Cart abandonment reminders, Nurture and grow your customer base;
- Human Resource departments and Recruiting Agencies: Take applications and qualify candidates by asking them relevant questions to the position;
- Financial institutions and Day-traders: Real-time, automated news flashes and price updates;
- Hotels: Take bookings, showcase for the hotel and its services, Sights in the area;
- All businesses: Find and qualify warm leads, AI answers to FAQs, Create compelling offers for new or existing customers only;
- And much more… what are the main problems your business is currently facing? Chatbots can likely help you solve it – if even just by winning time on repetitive actions!
Remember that all these actions are automated and can be targeted based on the bot users’ information.
Can you imagine how much time and money you will save and how that’s going to set you apart from the competition? And how your customers will see you when your bot is on their messenger list alongside their close friends and family? And it gets better… You will even answer them faster than any of those people!
Some Cool Bot Features
- Respond to inquiries on your page
- Landing page/website integration
- Higher open + click-through rates = better nurturing
- Bots +FB ads = BFFs
- Auto Reply to comments
How To Get Your Very Own Chatbot
After discovering all the cool bot features, you might want a bot too.
Well, that’s what this chapter is all about!
There are 3 ways to get your own bot and I will dive a bit into each of these ways so you will know which option is right for you.
Remember, whichever method you choose to go for, the fact is:No marketing strategy + poor user experience = useless bot – The result? People will actually stop using the bot or even block it.
Method # 1 Hire a team of developers
This option is for large enterprises and businesses who can afford to pay for a team.
They either work with a company that already has a team or they put together their own team.
As you can tell, such bots are very advanced and expensive.
Method # 2 Do it yourself
For those who want to DIY, there are two options:
– Code your own bot (if you have coding knowledge)
– Use a chatbot building platfrom (no coding knowledge)
No matter which option you pick, you must know:
– How to setup the bot flow/personality,
– How to craft a great user experience and write engaging conversations
– How to segment audience
– How to create sequences
So, what do you do if you can’t hire a team or don’t want to DIY? Then the next method is for you.
Method # 3 Get a chatbot expert with a marketing background
With this, you don’t get a bot only but an actual plan that ties in with your business road-map. It’s like the best of both worlds.
I fall into this category of experts with my marketing + chatbot skills all rolled into one. My approach to Messenger marketing is to create bots with personality backed by a solid marketing strategy.
For every project that comes my way, I dig deep to understand the business’ product/service, their goals and their ideal audience.