When was the last time you’ve been helped by a customer service chatbot? Chances are that you’ve encountered a chatbot recently because their adoption among online businesses is rapidly accelerating. According to Statista, the size of the global chatbot market will reach $1.25 billion in 2025, which is an enormous increase since 2016’s value of 190.8 million.
And they’re getting increasingly effective at solving customers’ problems, too. Only 13 percent of global customers reported that chatbots were “not at all effective” at resolving their requests while 33 percent of them thought they were “very effective.”
But the potential use of chatbots isn’t limited to customer service. Another area where they can make a huge difference for businesses is content marketing.
If you’re wondering how a program designed to simulate conversations can improve the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy, then find the answer in the next section.
Chatbots: Perfect Tools to Personalize Marketing Outreach?
“Personalization is extremely important in digital marketing because generic content just doesn’t resonate with customers,” explains Jeff Terrell, an email marketer from Citatior. “Marketers understand that, but they’re having a hard time implementing personalization techniques.”
For example, 2017 State of Email Marketing report by Ascend2 found that personalization of email content was “difficult” for 32 percent of marketers.
But why so many marketers struggle with personalizing their content? Well, there are several reasons.
First, content marketing by itself is no easy tactic and requires a lot of time and effort to research, create, distribute, and promote content.
Second, many marketers don’t know about their customers enough to provide relevant content to them.
Third, they may lack tools that can help with effective data collection and content distribution without demanding a lot of investment.
Artificial intelligence in the form of chatbots can help businesses overcome at least two of these challenges. For example, they can provide customers with relevant content based on conversations with them, recommend additional reading, schedule conversations with prospects who are ready to talk business, solve some of their requests, thus assisting them during every stage of the sales funnel.
In other words, chatbots could be an extension of your content marketing strategy that enables you to interact with your target audience while collecting valuable data and insights along the way.
However, in order for personalization to happen, digital marketers have to understand how to develop chatbots able to do that. Consider these tips.
- Teach your bot to answer both open-ended questions (those that can be answered require descriptive answers containing more than one word) and closed-ended questions (those which can be answered by a single “yes” or “no.” Since error-free interaction is critical, many businesses developing scripts for chatbots use proofreading tools such as FlashEssay, Hemingway Editor, and EssaySupply. To find reliable scriptwriters, review sites like OnlineWritersReview are often used.
- Analyze the conversations that your marketing team is having with leads and customers and identify the most common themes and topics. Use this information to train chatbots to participate in such conversations and bring value.
- Begin with several chatbots and extend their network gradually, as they learn more about your customers and how to deliver personalized experiences to them.
Other Ways in which Chatbots Can Improve Your Content Marketing Effectiveness
There’s a lot of ways in which chatbots can change your current marketing strategy and make it easier for your target audience to connect with you and receive relevant content.
1. Reducing Barriers for Communication between Brands and Customers
Chatbots are quickly gaining an advantage over mobile apps, and businesses are increasingly choosing chatbots. There are a number of good reasons for that, including:
- Messaging apps (Viber, Facebook Messenger, Telegram) are becoming more popular. In fact, messaging apps have surpassed the most popular social media apps in three years ago, according to Business Insider
- The app boom is over. Businesses have a hard time persuading people to download apps and engage them, and this is supported by research
- People prefer conversational user interfaces over apps most of which don’t present a quick way to connect with businesses
So, people prefer chatbots because they can provide the necessary information without additional headache of installing an app creating an account, remembering login and password etc.
The Food Network chatbot, for example, can immediately find recipes whenever a user needs them without having to browse the app or site of the brand. This is an excellent example of how a Facebook Messenger-based bot can provide relevant content based on a user’s preferences, within seconds.
By connecting a social media chatbot, a user can eliminate any communication barriers and enjoy fresh content.
2. Provide Immersive Brand Experience
Chatbots are a great solution for businesses that are looking to establish a strong online presence. For example, Not only they can supply relevant content based on a user’s preferences, but they can also provide immersive brand experience.
Just think about it: a chatbot that has a visual analysis capability can analyze images sent by a customer and help them. For example, a customer can upload a photo of a product and share it with the bot and it will analyze it and generate similar products, recommendations, and other helpful information.
3. Increase Newsletter Engagement Rate
Email marketing is huge as well, but with the chatbot usage steadily rising, you can expand your content distribution with them. For example, you can use your Facebook-based chatbot to send your newsletter right into Messenger instead of using emails. As the result, you’ll increase the chance that your subscribers will see it because the notification about your message will pop up on their screens.
“Moreover, you can send rich cards, videos, pictures, and plain text messages to ensure that a subscriber gets content in the form he or she prefers,” recommends Sam Rose, a digital marketer from Resumes Centre.
4. Ask for Content Ideas Directly from Leads/Customers
Generating new content ideas is always a challenge for digital marketers. In fact, a survey by the Content Marketing Institute found that “producing engaging content” was the number one challenge faced by B2C content marketers.
Chatbots can help mitigate the problem of a lack of ideas for engaging content. For example, you can insert appropriate questions and requests in their memory and let Natural Language Processing do the rest.
A great example of brands using chatbots is a beauty brand Sephora and their Kik. It requests users to take a short quiz that asks them questions about their product preference, frequent questions about the beauty industry, product suggestions, and tips.
Time to Develop a Chatbot
The use of chatbots by businesses is rapidly increasing, and content marketing is one of the areas where they can help. Already, they assist businesses in the ways described above, and it’s safe to assume that they have the potential to change the landscape of content marketing, so becoming an early adopter is highly recommended.
Before you start developing your own chatbot, ask yourself the following to make sure that you’re doing it right:
- Does my business have to provide 24/7 customer service?
- Are there any areas in my content marketing strategy that need improvement?
- Do I need to personalize the brand experience of my customers?
If the answer to all of these questions is “yes,” then developing a chatbot is definitely something that you should do!