What’s the best way to connect with your prospects and customers? Start a conversation.

Conversational marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies for moving buyers through the sales funnel. As its name indicates, this technique focuses on using conversations to create authentic experiences and build relationships.

Rather than making people fill out lead capture forms and wait for a response, conversational marketing utilizes tools like intelligent chatbots and targeted messaging to engage with people in real-time. The easier it is for people to interact with your business, the easier it will be to convert them. And they’ll appreciate the accessibility. 

Let’s take a closer look at what this type of marketing is all about and how you can use it to your advantage.

Marketing is Evolving

Let’s face it; the world is evolving. The traditional way businesses market and sell no longer aligns with how today’s consumers buy things. The customer experience is changing, in large part, to messaging apps and readily available content. When we’re not speaking to someone face to face, we’re communicating with them via other real-time methods, like text, email, or chatbots. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s the closest thing to a real conversation.

Also, 88 percent of consumers are doing their own research before making purchasing decisions. With the amount of content and resources available online, it’s no wonder consumers are taking the reigns and educating themselves. These real-time, conversation-driven apps can capitalize on this trend and reach consumers while they’re researching. 

And businesses are taking notice. It’s said that by this year, 80 percent of businesses will have some kind of chatbot automation in place. And while that’s a great step towards adopting conversational marketing as part of your strategy, it’s still important to fully understand the benefits of it and a recommended way for getting started. 

Benefits of Conversational Marketing

If you’re still not convinced that adopting this new type of marketing is worth the time and effort, here are five real benefits you’ll achieve by doing so. 

  •  Humanize your brand and create a more pleasant buying experience
  •  Break down barriers so you can learn more about your customers
  • Easily vet your leads to determine which are a better fit, which can also improve conversions
  • Avoid unnecessary back-and-forth, establish and address pain points more quickly, and therefore shorten the buying process. 
  • With less time spent with each lead, you’ll create more time in your day to grow your sales pipeline

Getting Started with Conversational Marketing

The good news is, you don’t need to get rid of your entire approach and start from scratch to take advantage of conversational marketing. In fact, it’s something that is meant to be complementary to your existing strategy. Here are some suggestions for getting started:

1. Replace forms with messaging or chat to engage leads.

Provide website visitors with an option to instantly start a conversation without making them fill out a form. You’ll end up with opportunities to deliver a more personal experience, which can lead to higher conversion rates. Realistically, you can’t have someone manning your website 24/7, so that’s where intelligent chatbots come into play.

2. Understand the wants and needs of your leads.

Using conversational marketing can also help you qualify your leads faster, which will improve your chances of conversion. For instance, you can program your bots to ask fundamental qualifying questions similar to those you normally include in your forms. Artificial intelligence technology will enable the bot to understand the lead better, so you’ll end up with more pre-qualified prospects.

3. Recommend the next step to move leads through the sales funnel.

Chatbots might be great at providing basic, 24/7 support, but when it comes to closing the sale, nothing beats human-on-human interaction. You can leverage conversational marketing to route hot leads to your sales team, where they can then be handled by a live agent. This enables reps to focus 100% on selling, which will inevitably boost your bottom line.

If you’re looking for a newer, better, and more effective way to gather leads and convert them into paying customers, adding conversational marketing into the mix is the ideal solution.