No longer just a foreign concept from science fiction, bots are an increasingly larger part of a marketer’s toolkit. Only in their infancy, bots are slowly changing the way marketers interact with consumers, and how news and updates are being distributed. Ranging from simple chatbots to data reporting, the growth of bots has been exponential since their launch on Facebook in 2016. If you’re looking to bring your interactions with consumers to the next level and keeping your business up to date with the latest tools, then bots are where you should be investing your money.
Recently, you may have noticed an increasing amount of pop-up chat windows welcoming you to the website and trying to find out how they can help you. Generally, this window will have a name and a photo to make it seem human, but it’s actually a bot. The quality of bots out there at the moment allow you to program it to ask certain questions to gain information on what the visitor is trying to achieve so as to better nurture the lead into a sale. They are even designed so that when the bot sends a message, it feels like it was sent by a human and not an imitation of one. This helps to build trust and allows consumers to feel comfortable with being open on what they’re after (whether that’s a service, product or even trying to make a complaint). Some bots will chat with potential customers to the point when they think they’re ready to make a deal, and then push it onto a member of your sales team to close. This can help all businesses save time and money and ensure that your team only interacts with people who are ready for purchase.
Facebook has been one of the biggest advocates of AI bots, especially through their Messenger service. This is because the majority of consumers prefer communicating with businesses through a private message system compared to over the phone or via email. The bots that can be utilised through Facebook range from lead generation to shopping assistants helping pick out products. Since their inception, messenger bots have been consistently proving themselves as an effective way of pushing people to your website. They also provide the extra benefit of allowing you to gain huge insights into your customers as you’ll be able to get data from their Facebook page as they interact with your social service. Demographics and geographical locations are a massive asset to any digital marketer and with these new technologies, you’ll be gaining them directly from the horse’s mouth instead of via hours of research.
Bots just aren’t for your website and social media; some bots have integration with other platforms, like Hubspot. These AI helpers can quickly scour through all the data you’ve collaborated and provide you with the results. This may seem like a small thing at first but every minute saved from clicking through to the depths of the reporting software, is a minute you can be spending on more hands-on tasks. These features are at their most useful during the campaign planning stages as with just a few keystrokes, you can get all of the data of an ideal customer, channel and post times. This can make the process of creating your future campaigns and analysing, and reporting on your past ones much easier and more fluid than it has been previously.
Bots represent what could be the next big change in digital marketing. They allow for the automation of simple but time-consuming processes, make the information you need readily accessible and they can integrate into most aspects of the online landscape. If you’re after a technology that can aide you through all aspects of your marketing suite, bots are one thing that you should definitely be investing in.