Humanizing Brands: Why Conversational Marketing Is the Next Big Thing
What is conversational marketing? How can you use it to humanize your brand, boost interactions & build brand loyalty? Learn everything you need to know!
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Conversational marketing is a great way to put a human face on a brand. It makes potential customers comfortable talking and interacting with the brand they are interested in. That is why this type of marketing is the next big thing in the digital world.
In this digital era, customers are constantly bombarded with articles or blog posts offering information and solutions that often feel impersonal and so far away. In fact, as there are more and more options they have online, they prefer to interact with brands in a more casual, friendly way.
This is where conversational marketing comes in handy in today’s digital marketing field.
Let’s start with the most obvious question. What is conversational marketing, anyway?
What is conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing is a term coined by the company Drift. It means marketing efforts that focus on creating a dialogue with customers. It shouldn’t be confused with conversion marketing (although the two aren’t mutually exclusive), which focuses on converting leads into customers.
As you may have guessed, the number one reason why conversational marketing is used is to create brand awareness and brand loyalty. If you have a single enticing offer, you may be able to get a few conversions (purchases). But if you want to think about your brand’s sustainability in the long term, then a conversational marketing strategy is definitely worth considering.
A conversational marketing strategy can apply to various different channels, including social media, website design, and email marketing.
Now that we know what it is, let’s look at some of the key benefits of conversational marketing.
Benefits of conversational marketing
Before you spend a lot of time developing a strategy, you want to have a clear idea of why conversational marketing is effective, and how it can help your brand. Here are some of the main benefits.
Making your brand more relatable
In today’s noisy marketing world, you need to make sure that your potential customers feel heard, understood, and listened to. That is how you win their heart and generate more trust.
One of the best ways to help you make those potential customers comfortable is to show that you are a brand that talks like an ordinary, usual person. In this case, conversational marketing is one of the most powerful strategies to help you humanize your brand.
Humanizing your brand means that you allow your brand to communicate in a way that customers understand and can relate to. As a result, potential customers can truly share their concerns or simply ask questions that are beneficial for your brand growth.
A conversational marketing social media approach is especially effective in building the more “personal” side of your brand. You can use social media to start relevant conversations for your clients, such as this awesome Hubspot post that prompts a conversation about goals and productivity.
Image credit: Super Office
With their contact info, you can begin your conversational email marketing campaign. Sending several emails to establish how you can help a potential client solve their problem most effectively. Instead of bombarding them with promotional messages, create a dialogue to build trust.
Or, you can take a totally different approach, and make conversational marketing social media more playful. This is one of many conversational marketing examples. However it’s perfectly on-brand for Old Spice, so it’s no wonder lots of people who like the brand engaged with this pretty random (and brilliant) tweet.
According to the 2019 Edelman research, 81% of consumers say they need to trust a brand before purchasing. It may seem like a lot, but remember that your customers always have options to choose from.
Adopting a conversational marketing approach can help you build that connection and trust. Instant responses to people’s queries, and - 8 out of 10 businesses have reported a growth in revenue after introducing live chat services.
Another very interesting number from Sprout Social is that 77% of consumers prefer to buy from brands they follow on social media. So a conversational marketing social media strategy isn’t just useful for making your brand more relatable - it can actually help you boost sales!
Move customers through the sales funnel faster
By now you should have a rough idea of what conversational marketing is? So, let’s look at how it might work in practice.
A person lands on your website. They are greeted with a personalized chatbot message.
It may seem counterintuitive, but all this work will actually help potential clients move down the sales funnel faster. Making customers feel valued and understood will prompt them to make a purchase decision faster.
Improved customer satisfaction
When you ensure your potential customers engage with your brand in a more convenient manner and not asking them to wait for callbacks or email replies, it naturally follows that their experience will be better.
Conversational marketing is mostly about listening to your customers when they're in need and talking to them in a way that they’re most comfortable with. In this case, the aim is to make sure that you provide what you need and prefer to make them feel fulfilled and satisfied.
It should come as no surprise that marketers choose customer satisfaction as their most important measure of success in customer service.
The more satisfied customers, the higher your chances to keep them coming back to your brand. Satisfied customers also tend to recommend your brand to their friends and families. And that’s how you become a trusted market player with a better brand image, making it much easier for you to outstand your competitors.
How to use conversational marketing?
These were just some of the ways in which conversational marketing can help your business grow. So, let’s look at a few specific tactics and conversational marketing examples to help put the plan into action.
Social media conversational marketing
Although we spend more time using some of these channels, between 2019 and 2022 all industries have seen a drop in engagement rates for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. So, while people might see your posts, getting them to engage with might be a lot more difficult.
This is where starting an interesting conversation with your followers can help. Create polls, ask them questions, or think of user-generated content that you can share.
Conversational email marketing
Despite all the advances in the world of digital marketing, email is still one of the channels with the highest ROI.
One of the reasons for this might be that when they read emails, people are much more concentrated on them than they are skimming a social media post.
So, a conversational email marketing strategy is a great way to build on that momentum and start productive dialogues with your target audience. Surveys are always a popular way to gain insight and build personalized experiences.
However, you can also invite people to respond to your emails directly, to highlight the issues most relevant to them.
According to the latest Tidio research, 62% of consumers prefer to use a chatbot than wait for a human agent to respond to their query. There are multiple reasons for this. First, chatbots are usually much quicker than a person. Next, they eliminate the possibility of miscommunication between agents and customers. Finally, with the development of AI, chatbots are now able to complete around 70% of conversations, and provide a more organic, conversational experience.
The areas in which human agents are still preferred are customer complaints and troubleshooting. However, other tasks such as bookings, learning about products/services, and upselling are already handled exceptionally well by chatbots.
This is where things get interesting! Although ads often use straightforward CTAs and language that inspires FOMO, a different approach can be very effective!
Here’s a great example from Vichy. Instead of the usual banner ad to advertise a discount, the company utilized this chat flow to help people discover personalized skincare solutions.
Brands these days have a lot of competition to beat, so authenticity is imperative. Using messaging that’s close to your brand identity and values is terrific, but getting customers to engage with them is the next step.
Developing a conversational marketing strategy can increase your revenue and help you build long-term brand loyalty. We hope some of the tactics discussed here will help you get started!
Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.