Spotlight on Chatbots: How to Update Your Marketing Strategy

By Katherine Nails, April 04, 2018

Picture an employee who is punctual, efficient, and doesn’t mind odd or long hours. And the best part: they don’t care about picking up a paycheck every two weeks.

This employee probably sounds like a myth. But with today’s chatbot technology, it’s becoming a tangible reality. Here’s what you need to know about chatbots and how they can enhance your marketing strategy.

What Are Chatbots and How Do They Work

A chatbot is a service that you interact with via a chat interface. The interface can be its own application or web page, built into a company website, or a part of social media messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger.

Chatbots can serve a wide variety of purposes. Some are programmed to help lonely people by interacting with them like a friend. Others are used to provide answers to customer-serviced related questions or complete online transactions. There are two kinds of chatbots: intelligence-based chatbots and rule-based chatbots.  

Netalogue_Bot

Source: Netalogue

Intelligence-Based Chatbots. “Smart” bots that use Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) systems learn from every interaction they have, whether it be with humans or each other. Information sent to them gets translated through the NLP layer and processed, then a response is sent back through the NLP.

Blog.WizeLine

Source: Xenon Stack

These bots can respond to just about anything that’s said to them. They can also send photos, links, and other information pulled from the web. The more they’re used, the smarter they get, enabling them to perform tasks in an increasingly efficient manner. This type of bot may help with troubleshooting on a website.

Related Post: Good vs Evil: What You Need to Know About Internet Bots

Rule-Based Chatbots. These chatbots are generally more simple than intelligence-based bots and are cheaper and easier to build. They only respond to specific, pre-programmed commands with pre-programmed responses. They don’t learn, don’t evolve, and are only as simple or complicated as they are programmed to be. This kind of bot might ask what kind of topping a customer wants on their pizza.  

How They Can Enhance Your Marketing Strategy

Now that you know the chatbot basics, here are our top three ways bots can be optimized for your marketing needs.

1. Social Media Marketing. Chatbots can reduce time spent managing and monitoring your social media, specifically the messages you receive. They can subdivide inquiries so that they are sent to the correct departments, they can answer questions about your brand, and they can even help customers find products.

Related Post: How to Expand Your Reach and Generate Leads With Social Selling

During the holiday season, Nordstrom released a chatbot on Facebook and Kik. It helped customers find gifts by asking them questions about who they were shopping for.

MoneyMagpie

Source: Money Magpie

2. Market Research. Using chatbots to conduct market research can be more convenient for both you and your research panel. 

Instead of using valuable human resources to have the conversation and collect data, you can use chatbots. This will free up your staff to complete other tasks, and a bot will be able to synthesize and analyze the data it collects in a quicker, more effective manner. Your panel will also thank you because instead of having to travel to meet in person or get dressed to speak over a video chat, they can participate from the comfort of their home.

Related Post: 5 Ways Malicious Bots Can Devastate Your Online Presence

3. Content Marketing. Chatbots can also help you enhance your marketing strategy through content marketing. Because intelligent chatbots collect data every time they interact with somebody, they hold a lot of information about your potential customers. 

You can have your chatbot analyze the data that it collects from interacting with people. Then you can use that information to create and distribute more relevant content. 

Conclusion

Chatbots can do anything from telling you the weather to organizing your schedule and talking to customers.They can help you create a successful program that ups your returns and identifies your marketing needs.

Simply use one of the many available platforms to create a bot that meets your specifications. In no time, you’ll see your productivity go through the roof.

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Katherine Nails

Katherine Nails

Katherine Nails is a former eZanga Content Marketing Intern. She is a student at the University of Delaware, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Media Communication, and minors in Journalism and Integrated Design. When she’s not tracking down a source for her school’s student newspaper, you can find her relaxing with a good book or movie. More Articles by Katherine Nails