AI ChatBot Marketing Guide

How to Create a Successful Bot Marketing Strategy

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What is Bot Marketing?


Many believe we are yet again on the verge of having a new technological breakthrough in the marketing world. Bots, the marketing version of drones, have not yet been perfected, but they are already disrupting the interaction between consumer and brand.

Despite bots causing a tremendous amount of headaches to marketers, their benefits by far outweigh their current flaws. Chatbots are slowly entering the mainstream of marketing, providing tangible value to brands worldwide.

Despite bots not being new to the world of marketing, the technology that drives them has improved significantly, giving them natural language capabilities not seen before. With this in mind, marketers are required to act fast to ensure they remain one step ahead of competitors.

We’re going to teach you how to get started in the world of bot marketing. This guide will help you understand the reasons why companies are shifting to bot marketing, the challenges marketers face, and how to create a successful bot marketing strategy for your company.


Why Bot Marketing?


A Shift in Consumer Preferences

According to Ubisend:

  • 51% of people expect a business to be available to answer questions 24/7
  • Just under 46% would rather contact a business through messaging rather than email
  • Over 49% would rather contact a business through messaging rather than on the phone

This means that:

  • Consumer preferences have changed, and many have now adopted messaging, text messaging, and phone calls as their preferred methods of communication.
  • Consumers don’t want to be put on hold for hours, therefore messaging is the next best thing.
  • Businesses are attempting to incorporate these easy forms of communication into their marketing strategies.
  • Many organizations are now setting up bot shops enabling them to communicate easily with their clientele.

Keeping Up With the Competition

With Facebook aiming to become a key driver of Messenger-based commerce with its announcement of bots for Messenger back in April 2016, it is no wonder others are jumping on the bandwagon.

To compete with the big names, startups are having to incorporate bot marketing into their strategies from the get-go. With these technologies not being perfected, it is an industry worth getting into early to maintain an edge on the competition. Developing an effective bot requires time, so you’re better off starting now and making adjustments along the way.

To Satisfy Consumer Demand

By incorporating bots into your marketing strategy, you will satisfy your consumer’s demand for instant gratification. This is because:

  • Bots are now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any inquiries.
  • Your consumers will see that you are attentive, and always there to help them with their queries.

Although you should make sure your customers know they are talking to a bot, they are now able to respond to people with a level of empathy, making them more human-like. People who have to stay on hold to speak to a company, more often than not, leave. Bots can cut out the waiting time, giving your customers the attention they deserve.

Bots Can Track User Data

Although important data is still missing, bots can monitor consumer data while tracking behavior to enhance future marketing endeavors; a task humans find overwhelming. This data is essential to improving regular problems customers encounter, such as finding a specific product or service.

The data gathered by bots, although not perfect, allows marketers to make amendments to their strategies according to consumer needs and desires. This also makes personalizing a consumer’s shopping experience easier and enhances the overall interactions between you and your audience.


What Challenges do Marketers Face When it Comes to Bot Marketing?


A Decline in Their Mobile Application Usage

Businesses have spent so much time over the past decade perfecting their mobile applications. Unfortunately, with the rise of the bots comes a decrease in mobile application usage and this can be frustrating for organizations.

This new aspect of a business’ marketing strategy means organizations may have to start fresh learning about an entirely new service, perfecting it, and launching it to the public.

Bots Have Not Yet Been Perfected

Unfortunately, a common challenge for marketers is that bots are nowhere near perfect yet. The truth is, despite them being readily improved upon, customers still risk receiving an entirely irrelevant answer to their important questions. Or worse in the case of Twitter’s Tay by Microsoft, who learned how to send offensive and racist messages to readers.

Artificial Intelligence has allowed bot technology to evolve since their beginnings, but these do cost more. To create a bot that will be able to understand, respond, and interact is important but to do so, more sentiment analysis will be needed.

Natural Language Processing is far from perfect, and even with this high tech A.I., there are still significant risks in your bots’ ability to communicate with your customers efficiently, and more importantly, politely and in context.

Bots Are Still Missing Important Data

One of the key advantages of bots is their ability to track user data at a speed and ease that humans cannot. However, unlike with mobile applications, in-depth analytics for bots are not as easy to come by.

Because of this lack of data, companies are currently unable to extract crucial data about their clientele that would allow them to serve them better. Nevertheless, now is still the time to add bot marketing to your strategy as the day will soon come where this data will be available.


Creating a Successful Bot Marketing Strategy


Get Started Quickly

Despite the fact that robots are not yet taking over the world, bots could be the next go-to tool for marketers across the spectrum. Chatbots are entering the mainstream of a marketing strategy and acting quickly could position you miles ahead of your competitors.

Chatbots are not new, but as we mentioned above, the technology driving them is evolving rapidly. By being a first mover, you will be able to not only innovate faster than others in your industry but also mark your spot as a leader in the space. The Economist highlights the chatbot epidemic as a larger, growing trend towards text-based services, one you shouldn’t miss out on.

Don’t Over Complicate Your Bot

Because the technology for bots has not yet been perfected, keeping your bot simple will allow you to create one perfect product, rather than a complex one with multiple glitches. In fact, in the context of chatbots, less is currently more as multiple A.I. features can hurt your user’s experience rather than helping it.

To not over complicate your bot marketing strategy, consider what functionalities your target audience will value the most. Bots work better with limited functionality that can be repeated. Keeping your bot focused is key to keeping it more functional. Tay, for example, was aimed to be more life like. In doing so, Tay could have jeopardized Microsoft’s reputation. 

Kik and Telegram allow companies to set up automated accounts that are very simple and help customers with basic tasks. Examples of services these bots can help with include:

  • Finding a specific product on an internet store
  • Sharing information regarding delivery details
  • Assisting with payment processes
  • Ordering food
  • Getting the weather forecast
  • Getting help to register to vote
  • Booking flights, trains, or taxis

These bots are not meant to take away value from applications or customer care services already put in place, but enhance them by offering customers a convenient and efficient service that is timely and easy.

Create a Well-Defined Bot Marketing Strategy

Many marketers worldwide incorporate bot marketing into their marketing strategies but do not design an entire strategy dedicated to solely bot marketing. In fact, bot marketing is the same as any other endeavor; it involves planning, precision, research, and the correct implementation.

To start building your strategy, you need to clearly define what the problem or opportunity you are trying to address is. For example, H&M’s bot helps customers quickly find the product they are looking for on the website. Establish whether you are:

  1. Trying to build a reputation for your brand
  2. Creating awareness about a product or service
  3. Driving a direct action on your website

When putting together your strategy, answer these simple questions:

  • What purpose will my bot serve?
  • Is this truly necessary?
  • Is it providing value that the customer is not currently getting?

Once you have done this and established the purpose of your bot, explore the possible opportunities available to you. With the mound of technology at your fingertips, choosing the right features and tech for your bot will make all the difference. Remember, keep it simple.

Partner Up

It is impossible to know all the ins and out of messaging services and A.I. This allows for a vast opportunity to partner up with a startup that has experience in the domain and already knows everything there is to know about services such Messenger, and so on.

Startups in the industry most likely already know about the technology currently available. Not only this, they are learning about the new technology that will soon come to the market. Partnering with a startup of this nature will not only keep you one step ahead of the game but also allow you to grow alongside it.

Tailor Your Bot to a Single Campaign

As mentioned earlier, it will be extremely difficult to build a bot that is tailored to every service, question, product, and aspect of your company, especially if it is your first bot. This can lead to extremely dangerous glitches that could destroy your entire brand.

Start small. Focus your new bot on one single campaign or aspect of your company. By doing so, you will take away the pressure of delivering an all-inclusive, customer care bot to your customers that will, in reality, not be perfect.

Focusing your first bot on one campaign will allow you to complete it and take a step back to evaluate its success. From there you can establish what worked well and what needs improving on.

Test Your Bot and Fix Your Glitches

With bot technology expanding exponentially, bots today need to have a shelf life. By shelf life we mean: bots need to be updated on a very regular basis, meaning that your bot will change substantially with every update.

This is one of the key reasons designing a specific bot for each campaign, product, service, or page, will make your bot developer’s task easier in the long run. A bot designed to answer a broad spectrum of questions will need many resources, leading to more possibility for error.

It is recommended you update, change, or completely redesign your bots regularly from the moment you start using them. Experimenting will:

  1. Educate you on what your customers want from their chatbot experience
  2. Tell you what your customers currently enjoy from it
  3. Help you make improvements based on their feedback

Because many bots still offer slow response times, limited product or service offerings, and confusion, it is crucial you test your bot to improve your customer’s experience. With future improvements on the horizon, you will soon see more robust data coming your way, another reason to test your bot to tailor it to what your customers truly want.

Consider Geography When it Comes to Platform Usage

Understanding where your target audience is located is key to any marketing strategy, and a bot marketing strategy is no different. Usage will depend on the geography of your clientele and knowing what is popular in the area you are targeting is essential to the success of your bot.

Internet and social media usage completely differ according to location. For example, according to Smart Insights, Facebook is most visited by people in the Philippines whereas Youtube is most visited by those from Mexico.

When it comes to platform usage, ask yourself these questions:

  • Where is my target audience from?
  • What is my target audience accustomed to?
  • What is my target audience expecting from me?
  • How can I deliver this to them?

Make Sure Your Bot Gets to the Point

Customers using chatbots are not looking for a long, in-depth, and meaningful conversation. They have a problem or query that they would like assistance with quickly. Commonly, people use chat bots to get a problem resolved without the need for long waiting times on the phone.

Chatbots allow for all the above and with consumers expecting more from businesses, making sure your bot is equipped to answer the right questions at the right time will profoundly improve your customer’s shopping experience.

Don’t Pretend Your Bot is Human

Although some customers would not be able to tell the difference between a bot and a human online interaction through a messaging service, it is not advised you pass your bot off as a human. Despite many companies believing it will make them more credible, it can actually pave the path for mistrust.

Don’t Solely Rely on your Bot

More importantly, always pair your bot to a human. Because human languages change so regularly with new words added into the mix every so often, bots can struggle to keep up. When this happens, you can be at risk of losing customers. Their customer experience is tainted with their unsolved problems.

Bots are perfect for answering simple, strategic questions but if they are put in a situation where these questions evolve into a conversation, only the most advanced bots can keep up. Make sure your customer care team is around to save the day. Because of the glitches associated with the modern day bot, many organizations couple bots to humans, meaning members of your team can jump in when the bot isn’t right for the task.

Avoid Making These Common Bot Marketing Mistakes

Now that you have an outline of your bot marketing strategy, it is essential you avoid making the below bot marketing mistakes:

  • Not building a dedicated website page for your bot.
  • Not listing your bot in bot directors.
  • Forgetting to leverage existing customers for promotion.
  • Programming your bot to be overly pushy or spammy.
  • Making your bot too broad. Keep its functionality and utility clear at all times.
  • Not giving your bot a unique name.
  • Not doing all the necessary post-launch tests.

Stay Ahead of the Game to Achieve Success

The specific value of chatbots fully depends on your organization’s communications with its customers. But, it is without a doubt that companies worldwide are having to embrace yet another digital tool to succeed.

Messaging platforms have now exceeded social networks in popularity, so learning how to be successful in this environment will dictate how the future of your relationship with your customers evolves.

Luckily, bots are still very new to the marketing world. But, by embracing this new trend, creating an efficient and simplistic strategy, working with the right partners, staying focused, keeping your target audience’s needs in mind at all times, and working with your current team members on a specific vision, you will be sure to hit the ground running in the bot marketing world.

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