Thoughts, stories and ideas.

It was staggering to first see brands send out promotional campaigns on platforms like WhatsApp. Traditionally a one-to-one media which was often used to strengthen interpersonal relations, this, along with Facebook Messenger, have recently found favour with marketers.

The reasons are simple:

  1. It resembles an e-mail marketing campaign,

  2. It’s perhaps as easy to execute, and

  3. People aren’t yet averse to opening messages they receive on chatbots.

But, with marketers reporting open rates and click-through rates to be as high as 88% and 56% respectively, E-mail marketing is up for an uphill battle from the new and upcoming modes of marketing.

Facebook Messenger specifically, with the oh-so ready-to-help ‘Messenger Bots’ or ‘chatbots’ has developed into one of the most powerful tools in digital marketing. Luckily, the usage of such tools is still in its nascent stages, where its usage to promote content, has not been abused to the extent it is possible.

Now’s the time to leverage the First Mover Advantage (FMA) of chatbots. This means, that if you’re the first one employing a marketing tactic, you invariably get all its advantages. The earlier you adopt chatbots to market your offerings, the more you’re likely to benefit.

We’re in a phase where prospects are far more likely to open, respond, and perhaps, even click a direct message on Facebook. Success rates as mentioned above may be difficult to replicate with E-mail marketing, where there’s a general feeling ‘E-mail fatigue’ in users. Chatbots are new, they’re conversational, and thus, very hard to ignore.

Facebook Messenger has around 1.3 billion users currently, which is massive, really! It’s only fitting, then, that the top messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, and WeChat, are increasingly finding more takers amongst a diverse audience, than the top social media apps such as Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

You’d resonate with tools like MailChimp and Mailjet, which are still extremely popular among businesses looking to push out offers and newsletters for their E-mail Marketing. The ability to market an offering through a channel like e-mail can potentially scale up to an incredibly high ceiling. Yet, it’s becoming more and more expensive to acquire E-mail addresses from prospects.

The engagement rate from E-mails is increasing at a steady pace, as compared with social media tools which have the potential to engage with and grow exponentially in a shorter period.

The Rise of AI-powered Chatbots
A chatbot is a service powered predominantly by Artificial Intelligence that one interacts with via a chat interface. It could live in any major chat product such as Slack, Facebook Messenger, and Text Messages and is popular for being accurate in its real-time responses.

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Picture Credits: matthewbarby.com

The chatbot intuitively listens to and understands what the user is looking for. All the user has to do, is initiate a conversation with the chatbot, prompting it to “Get Started.” Then, it’s the chatbots’ turn to take over and help you.

B2C businesses, particularly those with a wide range of products, stand to benefit the most from chatbot marketing. E-commerce businesses have experimented with chatbot content that allows the customer to ask for products that they’ve been searching for. Chatbots then present those links directly on Facebook messenger, where one can read descriptions, and even make payments.

Ads to Messenger

Facebook has opened up the possibility for marketers to run ads directly on Messenger. Therefore, now, anyone who has opened your ad on Messenger can continue their engagement with the chatbot directly within Messenger.

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This skips the complicated process of trying to acquire an E-mail address outside of Facebook’s platform. Nurturing a lead has become much easier, where the whole engagement cycle happens within Facebook. This invariably results in a better conversion rate.

Conclusion:
Chatbots as a tool for Content Marketing

Chatbots are indeed very friendly creatures! Brands like Saffola Fit Foodie are successfully using the chatbot on Messenger to deliver their message about eating healthier, through a host of healthy recipes that are available on their website. The chatbot suggests a range of healthy recipes for the user based on an analysis of their choices. They’ve broadly customized the flow of conversation, which helps the user choose from a range of recipes based on lifestyle choices, tastes, and preferences as well as their mood at that point in time!

Chatbots can do a lot in rapidly engaging customers with informative blogs and listicles, which can go a long way in making your brand relevant among your target audience.