Business is no longer about building products and services and then waiting for people to flock over to purchase them. Today, it’s about continually innovating being in constant conversation with our customers.
The move to conversational marketing
Data and metrics are really valuable; some would argue that they are the holy grail. However, with the widespread implementation of social media marketing; businesses are seeing that customers are preferring more personalised interactions. Customers are giving us feedback and telling us exactly what they want, more than ever. It’s pivotal that businesses and startups take the time to listen intently and ask the right questions.
“There’s a reason why only 43% of people answer cold calls, and the average email open rate is about 20%, and the average landing page conversion rate is just 2.35%…” – Erik Devaney
When we move to customer-driven marketing, we get to the core of what makes our products sell, and eventually what key factors will make our business grow.
We’re all selling something
An enormous part of our wellbeing rests in our ability to persuade an influence people. We’re all salespeople because we have to compete for attention all the time. We have to let go of all the negative connotations that ‘selling’ has accrued over the decades – you know, the sleazy car salesman type selling. Buyers and sellers now have the same power because they both have the ability to know as much as possible about the product that they’re involved with. This means that sellers are kept in check because buyers power that they’ve never had before – information. However, buyers don’t necessarily want swarms of info about your product features. They want to be reached on an emotional level by empathising with your company values and by understanding the greater benefits that your product will have on their lives.
When we think about conversational marketing, we want to listen, ask questions, diagnose the customer’s problem and prescribe a solution. Here are some ways to get started.
How to implement conversational marketing
We want to focus on the channels that enable us to talk to people in real-time.
Facebook and Instagram can do this with their messaging feature, and websites are seeing incredible engagement through using a chatbot. Customers want their questions and queries answered in real-time, and if we can’t readily provide those answers, the reality is that they will go somewhere else.
There are 3 steps to implement here:
Organise someone who’s in charge of social media responses and who can respond instantly.
Hire a tech person for 10 minutes to set up a chatbot feature on your website.
Actively start conversations
It’s important to join relevant conversations and invite people to participate in your current conversations. This engages customers and lets you position yourself as a thought leader in your field.
Engage, engage, engage
Jump into social media posts, forums and blog posts where there are vibrant conversations already happening. A good place to start is to set up alerts and social listening for your business, products, topics in your niche and mentions on social media.
1) Set up Google Alerts for your business and other relevant topics in your niche
This lets you see where you’re mentioned on the web in blog posts and articles. This is great because you can share this content on your own platforms to build your authority and also engage with new audiences by leaving comments on their post.
2) Use a social listening tool like Hootsuite to notify you of where conversations are happening on social media. This is a great way to engage with relevant and timely topics. It lets you jump into a place where there’s already a buzz.
3) Ask relevant questions. Social media is a platform for customers to share their knowledge and be part of the action. Give them a chance to get involved by asking questions that they care about. This will start new conversations and create attention around your business.
Customers love it when brands respond to them in a thoughtful and helpful way – best of all, in real-time. These tools will help you to start new conversations and jump into ones that are currently happening.
Why you should start your conversational marketing strategy
A conversational marketing strategy does 3 things really well:
It captures engaged leads
It qualifies based on their current needs and pain points
It provides them with answers to their questions and an actionable solution
It increases the momentum of customers coming to you, rather than you going to them, interrupting their day, and trying to close them within a specific window. It puts the customers in the driver’s seat and enables you to help them, right there and then. We’ve all become sensitive to the sales tactics of telemarketers, car salesmen and door to door salesmen – there’s nothing wrong with those professions, but their marketing style is just not effective anymore. Customers don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to, instead, they want to sell themselves on something and expect us to be ready with support and implementation.
So, the key takeaway is that when you add in some personal flair and attentively converse, you’re building a stronger brand and making more sales because:
you know exactly what the customer wants
you have shorter sales cycles, and
you build a stronger brand by having more authentic customer interactions.