By Barry Eitel
As most marketers understand, the vast majority of web traffic never adds a dollar to a company’s earnings. A typical website monetizes roughly 1 to 3 percent of the traffic that visits the site. Of course, any website that can increase the percentage of traffic that earns money will be competitive.
To accomplish this, some marketers are turning to social media chatbots to connect with customers. Not only can chatbots reach out to consumers directly, but the whole process is automated.
With a user base of 1.2 billion, Facebook Messenger has become some of the prime real estate for those willing to experiment with chatbots. The seeds of Messenger were included in a 2008 update to Facebook as its chat function, but Facebook rolled Messenger out into a new standalone app in 2011.
Most importantly for brands, Facebook launched a bot platform for Messenger in 2016 that allows companies to build chatbots to directly interact with users.
Even though the platform has been around for several years, Messenger chatbots have not reached a level of saturation that other social media advertising strategies have. It represents fertile ground for marketers looking for a unique opportunity to engage customers, according to Arvell Craig, the CEO of Chatbot Funnels.
“As a marketer, I can see possible a land-grab of underpriced attention and ROI,” Craig believes. “Even if it’s for a short time, it would be worth it. Chosen right, and invested strong, the arbitrage can be delicious.”
Most online advertising is passive by nature – consumers view an ad while scrolling through social media or publisher. Chatbots allow companies to directly connect and communicate with potential customers, making them ideal for boosting sales, as well as a company’s profile. Earlier this year, Facebook brought more artificial intelligence capabilities to its Messenger chatbot platform, making them even more powerful for marketers.
“Unlike email, a chatbot has the ability to cut through the noise and get up to 90 percent engagement,” Craig says. “And because the chatbot behaves closely to personal interaction, it makes the user experience much more impressive.”
Craig says Messenger chatbots can be paired with other online marketing strategies, like sequenced customer onboarding and gamification.
“Messenger is the perfect environment for adding gamification – it’s almost native for it because of the personal feel users get from interacting with your chatbot,” Craig suggests. “Users already report that Messenger makes them feel that businesses care about them – so show them your business is not only caring, but fun.”
Anyone curious about adding Messenger chatbots to their marketing mix must check out LeadsCon Connect to Convert from Oct. 3 to 5 in Boston. Craig will reveal his chatbot secrets at the session “How to Automate Your Sales With Facebook Messenger Marketing.”
At the session, Craig will share how companies can utilize user data from Facebook to boost chatbot engagement with Messenger. He will also explain how to automate the experience.
Because it connects the older, tried-and-true technologies of chat with the cutting edge of AI, Facebook Messenger holds a lot of potential for marketers. With the right chatbot, brands can create long-lasting relationships with their customers.