How Chatbots Are Influencing the Future of Content Marketing
Call it counterintuitive, but using robots may be one of the best ways to humanize your brand and enhance your content marketing efforts.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Modern consumers crave authentic conversations. To deliver on those expectations and provide more personal experiences, marketers are constantly seeking powerful content tools and better, smarter tech. Although turning to robots doesn't immediately sound like the best way to have more human conversations, chatbots can empower brands to improve their content marketing strategies and meet evolving customer needs.
Rise of the Machines
Automated chat technology has quietly become one of the most powerful marketing tools in the industry. According to Business Insider, messaging apps overtook social media in number of users back in 2015. Apps like Facebook Messenger and the popular Asian messaging app WeChat have helped drive this growth.
Messaging apps today aren't limited to the text-based communications of apps past. They are multitools that enable users to send money, communicate via images and video, and connect directly to their favorite brands. As audiences turn toward highly curated, personalized content and experiences instead of blanket posts, these in-message interactions are more important than ever.
People like chatbots because they provide most of the services of traditional apps without the headache of downloading and setting up the apps and creating new accounts. As more services become compatible with chatbots, users will begin to show a preference for companies that don't force them to leave the environment of their messaging apps.
Fortunately, chatbot technology isn't limited to tech giants and other industry dominators. The cost to implement chatbots is pretty reasonable, and with the right chat tools, any company -- even ones without coders on staff -- can get started.
Why Every Company Should Consider Using Chatbots
With low barriers to entry and limitless possibilities, every company should experiment with chatbots. By bringing bots into the fold, marketers can keep their tech current with the latest industry trends while enjoying these benefits:
1. More personalized user experiences
There is simply too much content, data, and advanced technology available to brands right now for any company not to be personalizing its audience's experiences. Through chatbots, marketers can make users feel special and remembered, forging positive connections through authentic conversations. Chatbots empower marketers to deliver even general content in a personalized way.
Users who are interacting with bots tend to want something specific -- and they want it fast. By building bots that sift through existing content and give users what they need when they need it, you can not only strengthen your content distribution strategy, but you can also create a more positive brand experience for your audience overall.
Plus, the data from those interactions can be collected and used to help you improve your tactics. As chatbots evolve, users' expectations of their capabilities will rise, but so will their appreciation for the companies behind them.
2. Brand humanization (ironically enough)
Consumers aren't dumb. They know when they're talking to a bot and when they have a live human on the line. You should never try to pass off your bots as humans, or you'll likely risk becoming a target for ridicule on social media. Instead, brands should identify their bots as bots, then infuse their electronic helpers with personalities that reflect their values and images.
Bots are inhuman by definition, but that doesn't mean they can't have their own personalities. Some bots are sassy, while others are blunt. Some are quirky, and some are pseudo-arrogant. The personality of the bot should reflect the brand that built it. Even though users know the bot isn't a real person, those human touches (when combined with helpful functionality) create memorable, authentic brand experiences.
3. Increased engagement
People want to engage with authentic content and personalized experiences. When chatbots provide those things, audiences gravitate toward them. Users trust the bots (and the brands behind them) to fulfill their needs and come back repeatedly if the bots prove their worth.
You shouldn't view bots as robot servants, blindly delivering content to users. Instead, treat chatbots as extensions of your brand -- because a customer who has an experience with a bot, positive or negative, will remember that as an experience with the company. If your bot does what it's designed to, then you're better poised to stay top of mind with your audience and engage them with content over time.
Chatbots are the one of the best ways for marketers to leverage technology into better conversations, better engagement, and better personalization right now. By building chatbots with these purposes in mind, companies can join the automation revolution and start getting more from their content.