How to drive User Engagement using Chatbots: A Marketer's Guide!

After the industrial revolution, the machine replaced human labor. Now virtual software have started replacing human presence itself! That’s right folks, the digital revolution is spearheading humanity to a new frontier.

We are not just referring to Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana or Iron Man’s Jarvis. We are referring to chatbots that are being used by thousands of companies.

This is the reason why the likes of Slack, IBM, Cisco and Betaworks have invested a whopping 450 million dollars for developing Bots.

So what is a Bot?

A Bot is a software application that helps out a customer get relevant information quicker than ever! It is becoming the number one tool to engage with smartphone users. Chatbots are very helpful when it comes to simple activities like ordering food, checking movie tickets or even booking a cab.

chatbot interface demo
[Credits: Link]

Why are Bots becoming popular?

Users who are not very tech savvy will find Bots more helpful than trying to download and figure out a new app. A lot of research point out to diminishing app store revenues and poor app discovery problems. Moreover, every app has its own user interface, its own rules, and its own way of interpreting how to “filter your search” or “choose the right options”. Apps are also battery draining. As apps lose their luster, marketers are exploring other avenues like chatbots.

According to a ComScore study, an average user spends about half their time on apps, that too predominantly on one app. Comscore people use one app 50% of the time

That app is Facebook.

People use FB app the most!

So instead of making new apps which never get found, it’s better to introduce chatbots in Facebook to engage with your customers.

So how do you build a Bot?

It is not wise to spend tons of money in developing your own Bot when you have cheaper and more reliable options.

Here are 5 top platforms that can build Bots for you:

Chattypeople

chatty people

Chattypeople is an innovative Bot building platform that allows businesses to create Bots in record time with no coding. It works with Facebook Messenger and Comments. You can even push your offer to your users. To top it all, it integrates seamlessly with Stripe and PayPal.

Facebook Messenger Bot Builder

Facebook Messenger Bot Builder

Facebook allows developers to build their own Bots to run on the Facebook Messenger app. It's a sophisticated platform with a lot of resources.

Telegram Bot builder

Telegram

Telegram is a mobile and desktop messaging app with a focus on security and speed. It has opened up its’ Bot builder API and platform for 3rd party developers. Brands can integrate the API with YouTube for an enhanced user engagement.

Kik Bot builder

KIK bot builder

Any developer can build a Bot for Kik. A lot of tools and resources are available. And once you build your own bot for Kik, it will be available in the Kik bot store.

Chatfuel

chatfuel

Chatfuel was launched for Telegram but is now heavily concentrating on Facebook messenger. You don’t need programming skills to create your own Bot. It seamlessly integrates with YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and others as well.

How can Bots help your marketing?

  1. Increase efficiency: A chatbot can talk to thousands of customers at the same time. This is a significant improvement from its human counterpart who can at most chat with 3 customers simultaneously.
  2. Save money: Most customer queries will be repeated. It doesn’t make much sense to hire a human being to repeat the same answers again and again. Using a chatbot is the easiest solution.
  3. Round the clock service: Chatbots don’t need sleep like their human counterpart. So you can stay connected 24/7 with your customers from all parts of the world!
  4. Attract Millennials: Millennials have been chatting during the major part of their lives. It is the popular mode of communication they are familiar with. A recent study by Software Advice states that 83% millennials prefer a chat system instead of phone while contacting a business.
  5. Shoot up engagement levels: It is a known factor today that higher engagment with customers can boost up sales. This is why every business is using Social Media heavily. Chatbots can be a game changer as it takes engagement to a whole new level.
  6. Visual engagement: When a customer asks a question, Bots can use visual content like videos and images to connect with them. This will take user experience miles ahead.

The power of Bots

Imagine visiting “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” in Cleveland. Rock and roll Hall of Fame You see a picture of music legends - “The Bee Gees”. Being someone who grew up listening to their “Stayin Alive”, it brings back memories.

Beegees Stayin Alive CD Cover
You can’t resist taking a selfie of you with the group’s picture in the background. You share the picture with The Hall of Fame on Facebook. The Hall of Fame’s Bot on Facebook recognizes the picture. The Bot suggests a short clip with the story of how “The Bee Gees”, became associated with the movie “Saturday Night Fever”. The Bot also lets you know that the group’s poster from SNF, is available at the Hall of fame’s souvenir shop. You also get to see pricing and size options. We are moving towards an era where Bots will be impacting customer experience.

Which brands are already using Bots?

Many big brands are using Bots with immense success.

UNICEF

U Report Bot

It has come up with a U-Report Bot that allows youngsters from around the world to speak about issues their community is facing. U-Report also answers to questions related to legal rights, health services, education, etc.

Uber

Uber Bot

Users can now request a cab via Facebook Messenger! They can also notify their friends the estimated time of arrival. All without the Uber app.

Sephora

Sephora Bot

The beauty brand is using Bots on Facebook and Kik. Sephora users take a photo of a Sephora ad. to access the brand’s tutorial on makeup.

Dominoes

Dominoes Pizza Bot

Dominoes allows you to order pizza anytime anywhere via Twitter, Facebook Messenger, Amazon echo, smartwatch and more!

theScore

thescore Bot

It’s a dream come true for sports fans. This Bot gives users latest scores, news, game reminders and much more in Facebook Messenger. Everything is personalized according to the user’s favorite team.

eBay

Ebay Bot

eBay started off with a simple Bot that notified users 15 minutes before a listing ended. It also tells users about outbids that happen in the last 15 minutes. Now they have upgraded it into a personal shopping guide who brings you the best available deals.

How do you measure a Bot's success rate?

Many Bot platforms like Facebook, offer plenty of analytics for a business to know how well their Bots are fairing.

  • Reach: The total number of users interacting with your Bot.
  • Average session duration: The average time a chat lasts. Less session durations might not always be a bad thing especially when it comes to Bots like weather reporting Bots.
  • Frequency: The number of times a user interacts with the Bot.
  • Click through rates: Higher click-through rates mean that the Bot is helping your customers.
  • Lead generation rate: How many leads has your Bot generated? The more, the better!
  • Conversion rates: Higher conversion rates mean your Bot is a rockstar salesman!

Are Bots, the best tool out there for user engagement?

There is no doubt that once AI gets developed further, Bots will become “the” tool for engagement. As of now, most Bot conversations rely on scripted dialog and there are a few obvious pitfalls to overcome.

It cannot completely replace an app or a website. However, it can ease a lot of communication with your customers that too at a rapid pace.

However, choosing the right Bot platform, with a secure interface that delivers the right kind of content, is the key. Remember, chatbots are a rising trend. Leverage it early on to race past your competition!

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