There’s a fierce debate going around the world: whether or not to include chatbots in a digital marketing strategy.
The debate mainly revolves around the fact that chatbots are part of Artificial Intelligence and have nothing to do with digital marketing. AI is an emerging field and chatbots aren’t as sophisticated as one may expect. On the other hand, there’re proponents who strongly recommend you should include chatbots in your digital marketing strategy.
However, if we look closely at digital marketing and AI, the close link between these two distinct technologies becomes very evident. To an experienced digital marketer, the benefits of including chatbots in a digital marketing strategy would be immediately appealing.
Personally, I believe that you should include chatbots in your digital marketing strategy. And there are strong reasons for my suggestion.
Therefore, let’s begin by understanding chatbots.
In the simplest language, chatbots are AI-driven software that can simulate or copy certain functions of humans. The best example would be the chatbots of certain banks. When you see the box ‘Chat’, you get an automated response that sounds like a human. They can guide you through various processes such as checking your balance, requesting a debit or credit card block or replacement, money transfers, and much more. Some of these chatbots can also be seen on Facebook pages of companies and eCommerce websites. These are only some functions that chatbots can do. Therefore, here’re some top reasons you should include chatbots in your digital marketing strategy.
Top Reasons You Should Include Chatbots in Your Digital Marketing Strategy
I will highlight some of the main reasons that you should include chatbots in your digital marketing strategy. And include them at the earliest possible too.
1. Chatbots for Lead Generation
Lead generation is one of the main reasons that companies use chatbots as part of their digital marketing strategy. Whenever a prospect enters the website or social media pages of a company, a chatbot is available. Visitors have to key in their email ID or social media credentials to start chatting.
The chatbot thus enables you to generate leads by capturing the email ID and social media details. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can send emails to the user since that amounts to spamming. However, if the prospect appears serious, you can utilize these credentials to further your digital marketing efforts by providing a ‘Subscribe’ link through the chatbot.
2. Chatbots Can Display Various Options
Think about this scenario. An investment advisor or banker will get fed-up making complex calculations before customers make up their mind on investing or saving money. They have to consider several factors such as income, expenses, projected gains, and taxes, among others. Now replace this with chatbots. The function becomes very simple. A customer simply keys in the numbers and gets the response almost instantly from the chatbot. Because during the chat, a computer does these complex calculations rather swiftly. Therefore, a chatbot can display various options to a customer- whether it’s banking and investments or about some product or service. Chatbots can give near-instant responses on how much someone can expect or what one can get for a specific amount of money.
3. Social Media Scheduling
If you’re having social media pages on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, using chatbots can be very useful for digital marketing. You can schedule your posts on social media with chatbots. There’s several software available that enables you to automate the process. All you need do is create the posts and schedule them with the chatbot software. The software does the rest. Scheduling social media posts is extremely important when you’re functioning in an area with different time zones or need to post something at frequent intervals to reach a larger audience across a larger geographical zone. And especially if you wish to handle various social media platforms at the same time for digital marketing strategy. It’s humanly impossible to manage social media round the clock. Therefore, the best way is to use chatbots and matching software to do this digital marketing process.
4. Better Website Management
This is one excellent example I’ve personally seen from a healthcare company. The chatbot asks your location and nature of the illness. It then asks specific symptoms. Once you’ve completed these details, the chatbot directs you to a medical practitioner who is geared to provide you some basic advice. Of course, they don’t prescribe through the website. But you can easily schedule an appointment at the earliest with a medical practitioner through the chatbot. The main reason I’m impressed with this chatbot is the efficiency at which it guides you to the nearest medical expert. This speaks well about the company’s digital marketing strategy using chatbots. Any person facing a medical problem can seek almost immediate assistance and avoid long queues typical at emergency departments at clinics and hospitals.
5. Future Proof
And finally, when you include chatbots in your digital marketing strategy, you’re making it future-proof. Meaning, your digital marketing strategy can withstand any new challenges that AI and its increasing use may throw for your company or a client. Unfortunately, a lot of digital marketers remain blissfully unaware that AI can be safely and efficiently integrated with digital marketing using chatbots to provide a better customer experience. The chatbots we see now are just precursors of more sophisticated ones that are anticipated to enter the market. Additionally, we will also be seeing rapid innovations in AI that may render digital marketing processes altogether redundant. Every digital marketer is aware of the fact that Google algorithms matter a lot. And there’re no foolproof ways to beat Google algorithms to top search engine results without digital marketing. However, AI might reduce the importance of digital marketing.
6. Chatbots Help Funnel Information
A good chatbot that has excellent features and has been properly programmed can actually help funnel information swiftly to readers. Often, readers do not have the time or inclination to go through entire content because they might not have adequate time. In such cases, digital marketers can use chatbots to provide the necessary bits of information to readers. For example, a reader can request some information and the chatbots can directly take them to the relevant link to your website or blog content. This is a superb way to engage readers. It keeps people interested in your website and content.
7. Chatbots Overcome Content Shortcomings
Content on any website or social media page isn’t always the latest. That’s because it’s humanly impossible to update information on a blog post or website content due to time limitations. However, chatbots can help bridge this information gap. Generally, any reader will visit and read content on your website only if it’s relevant to something they’re doing or wish to do. And if they can’t find the necessary information, chances are they’ll never visit your website or blog site again. But add a chatbot and everything changes. Readers can be provided with the latest information and you can solve all their queries through a good chatbot.
Chatbots are here to stay and are the future of AI. Therefore, it’s essential to converge the two technologies- AI and digital marketing together to get better results for your own company or the website of a client. Various digital marketing processes become simpler when you utilize chatbots.
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