Conversational Marketing for Small Businesses
Conversational marketing involves answering questions and responding to customer feedback. If you consistently get the same question, then your messaging could be more clear. Your product or service might be changed based on customer feedback, which deserves attention.
Conversational marketing isn’t just an online strategy and requires more than digital tools. Regardless of whether you’re connecting with customers online, over the phone, or in person, the conversational approach should permeate everything you do.
Customer-driven marketing is the way to deliver sustainable results, and that starts with a conversation that involves the customer throughout the sales process. That doesn’t mean throwing out all your current methods of data collection; conversational marketing enables you to use that information smartly and add a further dimension to your customer knowledge.
6 reasons why conversational marketing matters for small businesses
Welcome in your potential clients - If you have physical premises, the chances are that you greet people when they enter. From the friendly sales staff to a professional reception desk, what matters is that when someone walks through the door, you or your team say hello. Contrast the traditional office or shop with the online experience. Once they enter your website, the customer or prospect is exploring alone. A chatbot can greet them as they enter, and guide them to what they’re looking for. Of course, some people prefer to browse independently but that can also be an option. After the initial greeting, it is possible to mute the technology and create a button if someone requires further assistance.
Not interruptive - The difference with conversational marketing is not that computers replace human interaction. It is that everyone is having the right conversation, with the right person, at the right time.
Time saving - Small businesses are often stretched, with people fulfilling multiple functions. Conversational marketing allows everyone in the team to maximize their time and that’s particularly important in a small business where everyone’s time is valuable.
Strengthens your brand - The great thing about this approach is that it also means your business is always getting smarter. Everything you learn about customers in conversations via automated programs and one-to-one interaction can all be fed back into the business. This means not only are your sales channels more effective and your team more efficient, but your business is also getting smarter all the time. The difference between traditional marketing and conversational marketing is the same as the difference between knowledge and intelligence. It takes more than data to run a successful business. You need a strong brand, aligned with customer interests. To create that, you need to know what your customers care about and where their focus is. There’s no better way to do that than having a conversation with them.
Continual market research - Conversations amount to real-time data collection which means that rather than wait until your business is declining to survey the market, you have the latest information to quickly and easily spot trends. This supports greater agility within the business. The great advantage that small businesses have is that they can pivot towards customer interests. Large companies may take time to catch up to the market, but conversational marketing can put small businesses at the cutting edge of trends and new opportunities. Conversational marketing can also reveal new market segments. Talking to customers in-depth – something you have more time for once you have tools to qualify your leads – may help you to discover new uses for your products and services. You can market yourself according to how customers see you and highlight what they value most.
Gives you a competitive edge - For a small business that is looking to grow and stay one step ahead of the competition, conversational marketing is an invaluable tool. You and your team will close sales quicker and more effectively, you’ll know to develop a business aligned with customer needs and you may even discover market opportunities you hadn’t previously considered.
10 conversational marketing tools perfect for small businesses
- Intercom has seamless integration between sales and customer support, which can be valuable for product development.
- Drift is one of the market leaders and boasts rapid evolution via AI so that your channels become increasingly sophisticated.
- Drift also produces Siftrock, which is designed for B2B markets.
- Hubspot is an inbound marketing platform that integrates conversational marketing with blogging, social media monitoring, SEO, email marketing, and analytics.
- Conversica allows you to custom-build personas for your conversational marketing; this can be valuable in reinforcing your brand and if you’re running your own business, you can make sure these communications reflect who you are and what your business stands for.
- Saleswhale is designed to book meetings for a sales team.
- Whisbi is a mobile-first tool that is optimized for phones and tablets.
- If you want to test the water, Manychart allows you to create a Facebook messenger bot for free marketing, sales, and support, which is a great way to get started and see some results before investing.
- Other Facebook Messenger services are Mobile Monkey and Chatfuel
Small businesses thrive because they offer customers the personal touch. You might think that installing a chatbot on your website is the opposite of the personal touch and not at all what you wish your brand to represent. The opposite is true. These tools can help to apply the same individualized approach you take when interacting with customers right across your business.
- Conversational Marketing. Caroline (2019). Retrieved from Caroline.