You’ve launched your bot. Well done! Now how do you get people to interact with it enough to prove its value and get the word-of-mouth rolling? More specifically - how do you market it?
Bots! Bots! Bots! - but why?
Let’s take a look at the environment today. In 2012, 63.1% of internet users were also social network users and these figures are expected to grow. That is a fact that most brands are (should!) be aware of. However, broken experiences still move people from social to websites, and from websites to emails. As well as making the customer journey long and tiresome, this also serves to make brand seem unapproachable - especially if we’re talking about customer service.
Social media is defined by content - however, with the latest updates to the Facebook algorithm, about 2% of your audience will get to see the content you so tirelessly worked on. No matter how good your content is, not all blogs or videos get to become viral - especially if your audience is small to begin with. And yes, that is even if they liked your page.
In addition, with 3 million apps available, smartphone users spend about 80 percent of their time on just five apps - notably Facebook, WhatsApp and Snapchat. Meaning that if your next plan was to create an app and hope that users install it, unless you pose a threat to one of the five, then your investment might as well go somewhere else.
So what is your best alternative for getting your content out to the audience that matters and is interested in what you have to say?
Facebook is now giving you the option with Messenger Bots. If your fans interact with your bot or subscribe to what your bot is sending, you will be able to send them personalized messages that can advance your relationship. For brands that means the dual-benefit that content goes in front of the right, interested eyes - while the same time furnishing audience insights. Fans are actually telling you what they want to read about!
“If you want to get people to download an app now and turn on push notifications, good luck. We have app and notifications overload, so the ability to build that experience in Messenger and reach your customer base and manage the whole lifecycle is a very powerful thing,” explained Facebook VP of messaging products David Marcus.
“If you want to get people to download an app now and turn on push notifications, good luck.”
- David Marcus, Facebook VP of messaging products
You are probably already experiencing bots published by online media. I myself get a curated message from both the Techcrunch and Business Insider chatbots.
Being able to personalize my requests by adding different keywords, I now get such tailored-made content that I am looking forward to their message every day. And this is the exact feeling you want your audience to experience. When was the last time someone said that about any brand’s Facebook posts or emails? The exceptions are increasingly rare, as there is an overflow of newsletters and posts, all probably filled with relevant content. However, with limited time in a day, and a packed inbox or Facebook feed, it’s hard to filter.
But good bots can do that for you, on a much limited investment than an app, and with a higher degree of efficiency since people opt in to your updates.
3 qualities of a good chatbot
- Useful - probably the most important thing to consider. Making bots for the sake of saying you have a bot is the wrong approach. Your bot should solve a problem for your audience, or it should add to the overall experience they have with your brand.
- Easy to use - while bots may still be in an incipient stage, the interaction flow should be intuitive. Start from the premise that users will not spend more than a few seconds trying to figure out how your bot works. Make it clear, drop clues and hints and most importantly test it out on several people.
- Reinforce your brand’s personality - no matter what type of bot your are using, the conversation should reflect the brand voice. If your bot is a separate endeavour, such as Poncho, then make sure to bring some life into it by creating a persona.
The value of chatbots for consumers
It’s all about exclusive, highly personalized experiences users can get - anything in the form of exclusive content, competitions, timely and 24/7 customer support and many others. For example, Pizza Express tested the potential of a chatbot with a bit of fun over the holidays. The famous pizza chain created the bot-based game Shake The Tree, in which visitors to their restaurants scan Facebook Messenger codes placed on tables, play the game and get the chance to win prizes including free pizzas and Dough Balls. The game proved to be a success bringing in 75,000 players in the first two weeks and is expected to reach 100,000 by end of week three (or around 7% of Pizza Express’s customers). .
A bot with a similar purpose but without the viral appeal of a high-stakes competition is Trim, a financial advisor bot that helps people with their tasks.
Trim owners claim that the by reminding users of their subscription fees, Trim has saved them over $6,000,000.
How do you actually bring the chatbot to the masses?
1. Bot-centered campaigns: One of the first things you can consider is simply making a post notifying the audience about your new development. However, to better reach your intended market, you can consider boosting the post or creating an ad targeted to specific audiences most likely to use your bot. Specialized tools can help you create these very specific targeting options. Be sure to highlight why people should interact with your bot (consider the exclusive content mentioned before - for example, why not think of a quiz?).
2. Conversation-centered posts: With new CTAs for posts, you can also create Facebook posts and campaigns tailored to starting conversations.
3. Facebook has also recently added new CTA buttons for Company pages. The “Contact Us” CTA can indicate to your fans that you are ready to start a conversation.
4. Used in a creative way your cover picture can also turn into a CTA. By adding a marking signal pointing to your actual CTA button, or simply using the photo to showcase the bot can be powerful ways to get some much-needed awareness.
5. Use the Messenger QR-code as profile picture with m.me link in the description to draw attention to your presence on messenger
6. Embed Messenger buttons, provided by Facebook, into your website to enable anyone who clicks them to start a Messenger conversation with your company (like the one you see below this post).
7. Use customer matching by reaching people in Messenger via their phone number. Conversations started in this manner will be received as message requests by fans and the dialogue can only continue with the person’s consent.
That bots will be big in 2017 and beyond is fact not supposition. More and more brands are queueing up to use bots in new and creative ways. There has never been a better time to put your brand on the map with the help of chatbots. Want to get a better understanding of how bots can help your business? Or do you have a creative idea ready to take Messenger by storm? Then contact Spectrm.