What is conversational marketing really?

Having conversations are pretty much the basis of all human interaction. We talk to each other to share information, make connections and find a community. We often end up sharing more than we were intending to. Potential customers reach out to businesses to initiate conversations, but this is often where things fall apart.

That’s where conversational marketing comes in. In the everchanging consumer climate of the digital age, talking to your customers and knowing what they need is paramount. This enables you to provide them with the best service or product (and ultimately make a profit).

So what is conversational marketing really?

How and where can you use it?

To put it simply, conversational marketing is having a conversation with your customer. It’s a strategy that can give your business the opportunity to engage with customers on a more intimate level, offering them an authentic customer experience that they will appreciate in the long run. When a business or brand fails to engage with their customer authentically, they run the risk of losing the prospect, because their customer doesn’t feel valued.

There are plenty of ways to engage with your customer on a deeper and more intimate level, so let’s talk about the most valuable ones.

Email

Email can be used in an authentic way to reach out.  A conversation is a two-way street, and anticipates a response. Implementing this in an email strategy is as simple as asking your audience a question. You can then use that response to segment your audience.

To use an example, if you sell wine, send your audience an email asking which type of wine they enjoy more. Depending on what they choose, they get separated into various audience segments that helps you direct the right marketing messages to the right people.

Live chat

Live chat on your website is another great way to build a relationship with your customer and keep them interested. Think of it this way: your customer can chat with you, ask you questions and find out more while they’re considering making a purchase from you. Using live chat mechanisms for your business is a great way to drive more sales, as well as reducing the time it takes to make a sale. You should, however, consider the time and cost involved in having someone available to monitor chats to your website.

Chatbots

You can’t talk about conversational marketing without mentioning chatbots. These nifty programmes are incredibly useful for starting and maintaining a conversation with your audience. They are budget friendly and don’t require a staff member’s presence.

Social Media

If you aren’t having conversations with your customers on social media, you’re missing a pretty big trick. Real-time conversations are one of the best, but sadly underestimated, methods of engaging with customers. If you want to maintain customer interaction on your social media platforms, there are a couple of things that you can use. Chatbots (as we’ve mentioned) are great for keeping the conversation going even when you’re not there to respond, so why not set up those automated responses on your platforms? And if you’ve decided to incorporate live chat, make sure that everyone on your team knows who fields enquiries and what the turnaround time is for responding.

Conversational marketing isn’t just an awesome way to drive sales and increase revenue. It’s also an ideal way of establishing customer satisfaction, getting quick and honest feedback, and building a community, which is what you want your audience to be. Open yourself (and your business) up to conversations with your customers, and you’ll see the returns.