Peanut butter and jelly. Coffee and donuts. Milk and cookies. What do these all have in common? Besides the fact that these words have probably made you hungry by now, they are perfect pairings that create the best flavors when put together.
In the world of marketing, we also have our version of perfect pairings. When one marketing idea complements another, magic happens; for example, integrating AI chatbots and influencer marketing.
Let me expand on that:
In December of last year, two tech firms joined together to create the “first-ever” influencer chatbot for the US brand, Cover Girl. The two firms, marketing platform The Amplify, and chatbot developer Automat turned online influencer Kalani Hilliker, star of Dance Moms, into an AI-powered bot.
The bot was hosted on the messenger app Kik and was made to simulate the personality of the star to sell Cover Girl coupons. The simulation ended up being a hit, with a majority positive sentiment among users. It also generated significantly more conversations than Kalani’s average social media posts.
Before we go into more detail on how to create a chatbot and integrate it with influencer marketing, let’s review the basics.
What is a Chatbot?
Put simply, they are robots that have human-like conversational abilities. Chatbots are conversational robots that act as marketing, sales, and customer care tools. Basically, customers can get the information they need by opening a chat box on a website or on social media channels and asking their questions to the chatbot representing the brand.
Although some chatbots are created by a set of functions, the newest, most popular forms of chatbots are AI-powered. Aside from being able to mimic human conversations, chatbots become smarter the more they interact with people. Marketers are adopting AI to power their bots because those powered by rules and functions are limited to how you program them.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Because consumers have shifted towards social media over the past decade, they often look at their peers for advice on their buying decisions. Instead of simply listening to what a brand has to say about their own products, they look at consumer reviews as well as those of their favorite celebrity personalities. That’s where influencer marketing comes in.
Influencer marketing is when a thought leader, industry specialist, or celebrity, with massive followings on social media platforms, promotes a company’s product or services through their own channels. It’s a more organic and direct way for brands to get their message across to their audience.
The Benefits of Integrating Chatbots with Influencer Marketing
Needless to say, integrating AI-powered chatbots into your influencer marketing strategy is an unconventional way to promote your brand. However, influencer marketing is engaging everyone from millennials to the baby boomers through distinctive campaigns.
Customers today are reluctant to connect with brands if it doesn’t feel genuine, a key reason why marrying these two very personal forms of marketing is essential to creating long-lasting and trustworthy relationships with your customers.
Integrating chatbots with influencer marketing has a number of other essential benefits for brands of all kinds. Aside from adding a level of personality to your brand on social media messaging platforms and creating a new way of communicating with your audience, this integration is:
- A powerful way to integrate word of mouth into your marketing efforts
- A great way to reach your audience where they are most likely to be
- A way to connect with customers who are more challenging to reach
- An alternative to paid advertising which has been proven to be a less efficient form of marketing
- Placing marketing within an organic content
- Targetable and trackable
- Able to generate a return on investment that is up to 10 times greater than traditional digital campaigns
How to Integrate Chatbots with Influencer Marketing?
We’ve explored the purposes and functions of chatbots and influencer marketing and the potential benefits of integrating the two, but the real question is how to integrate them. Here are some suggestions:
1- Use a Chatbot-building Tool
Before you can integrate chatbots and influencer marketing, you need to get your chatbot up and running. Luckily, these have become increasingly easy to make thanks to chatbot building platforms such as Chattypeople. With Chattypeople, you can create a chatbot in minutes without prior coding or programming knowledge. Chattypeople will enable you to create a chatbot that:
- Integrates with Facebook Messenger, posts, and comments
- Can take orders directly from Facebook Messenger, posts, and comments
- Integrates with all the major payment systems
- Can push personalized promotions, deals, and offers, on demand
2- Find Influencers Who Believe in Your Brand
Once you have the chatbot, you need to find the influencers. Think of influencers who fit your buyer persona and who would genuinely appreciate your brand. You also need to consider what influencer marketing campaigns they have been part of in the past if any, and you need to establish a budget by which you can operate.
3- Set Up a Targeted Campaign Through Your Chatbot
So, you’ve got your chatbot and you’ve found your perfect influencer. Next, you need to set up a targeted campaign through your chatbot. To do so, you must:
- Determine your goals
- Choose the right social media channels
- Think about your publishing schedule
When creating your influencer marketing campaign through your chatbot, you should focus on one product or service. Chatbots are, above all, robots. They, therefore, cannot get it right every time. If you are investing time, money, and resources into an influencer marketing campaign, you want everything to run smoothly; therefore, make sure that your chatbot is up for the task, and that these two not only work well together, but create value for your customers.
4- Tell a Compelling Story
Your chatbot influencer marketing needs to tell a story; it can’t be just about selling your brand, products, and services. The reason your consumers are engulfed by your chatbot is predominantly because of the influencer from which it is derived; therefore, you need to portray the story of that influencer through your chatbot.
When doing so, however, it is essential that you do not try and trick your audience into thinking that they are talking to that influencer in real-time. For example, to make it clear that the KalaniBot was, in fact, a bot, the response to a question it did not understand would go something like: “Hmmm, I didn’t get that. Kalani’s taught me a few things, but I’m still learning.”
5- Make Your Campaign Visible
In addition to the above, you need to make your new chatbot influencer marketing campaign visible. You need to tell your audience about your new campaign on your website and through your social media channels, but you should also:
- Create relevant hashtags
- Ask your influencer to share any posts relating to the chatbot
- Ask your influencer to create their own posts
- Create a landing page for your new chatbot campaign
6- Give Your Chatbot Personality
If your chatbot does not show signs of your influencer’s personality, it’s just a normal chatbot. Your audience wants to engage with your influencer, and despite you telling them that they are still conversing with a robot, they don’t necessarily want to feel like they are.
You need to ensure your chatbot portrays the same personality traits as your influencer throughout the conversation flow. You could do so by introducing different media, emojis, and through specific conversation flows that give a bit of insight into that person’s preferences, habits, lifestyle, and so on.
7- Optimize Your Chatbot For Better Performance
From the moment your chatbot is launched and has its first conversations with your audience, you are going to gather new, priceless data that you need to analyze in order to continue improving its performance. The information you gather will allow you to improve your chatbot’s conversational capabilities, and adapt calls-to-action to push your audience towards your final goals.
Founder and CEO of Amplify, Justin Rezvani, puts it perfectly. “Bots represent an opportunity for the industry to close the conversion loop by tracking clicks to purchases,” he said. “This means more transparency and accountability for how well your strategies and content perform.”
Chatbots are taking the marketing world by storm, as they allow companies to gather data beyond their expectations. On the other hand, influencer marketing has a proven track record of engaging customers in a way that no other marketing technique can.
The combination of the two will allow you to reach your audience through their preferred communication channels while influencing them with the celebrity figure backing your brand — a winning strategy if you ask me, and something that the KalaniBot proved to be correct.
According to the results, there have been 14 times more conversations with the chatbot, more than 91% of those being positive. Not only this, the average 17 messages per conversation lead to nearly 50% of coupon deliveries and more than 50% click-through on the coupons delivered.
With these results, it’s clear that chatbot influencer marketing is something that more brands need to be leveraging to achieve their goals. By creating a chatbot and finding the perfect influencer for your brand, you will have the two key tools you need to create a marketing campaign that you can evaluate and optimize in order to succeed.