Lately, there has been a lot of local interest in chatbots, there is a slowly growing list of local brands using them as well. Unfortunately, when most brands and agency’s talk about chatbots, they talk about 24/7 customer service.
Chatbots can be so much more than that.
The conversational technology has the ability to actually engage with consumers, to get them excited and invested as well as help your brand receive important feedback.
Plenty of brands are showing us that chatbots aren’t just menu providers or an FAQ answering machine. Although some local audience segments are still resistant to the growing trend of chatbots, it simply means that we are still in the tipping point before the mass use of the technology.
So, how do you actually get customers to engage with your chatbot?
Gamify the experience
Games have been around since ancient civilizations, and continues to be a popular part of our culture, whether they are physical or electronic. A main reason why gaming continues to be such an important element in our lives is their achievement mechanics.
We naturally feel good when we accomplish something, whether it is simply finishing a task or winning first place. Games and gamified experiences do the same with achievement unlocks, level ups and etc.
By creating your branded chatbot with game-like features, you can engage users with entertaining and memorable experiences.
Let’s look at 2016’s Zootopia movie. To promote the movie, Disney created a chatbot based on main character Detective Judy Hopps who engaged fans one-on-one with a mystery and detective game based on details from the film.
According to TopBots, “on average, users spent nearly 10 minutes solving crimes with Judy. Many repeated the game several times do try all the different mysteries and outcomes.”
The game included several game features including multiple storylines and outcomes, casual storytelling and an achievement award in the form of a customized Zootopia Police Department badge, which people were encouraged to share on their social media.
Engagement posts? Why not engagement bots and chats?
Sometimes complicated technology doesn’t need complicated content or strategies.
Chatbots are programs created to stimulate conversations, so why are we limiting it to menu providers and telling people our working hours?
Boost your brand engagement by letting people directly engage with your brand through your new chatbot.
For example, when planning content for a paint company, content creators lean towards posts such as “the best paint colors for ___ room,” and post the theme around once a week or month.
Rather than letting users go through your page to find each post, let your chatbot do the work. Enable your messaging service to provide a menu of the best colors for each room, letting fans choose from a list or by asking a question.
This provides fans with a 2-way conversation, allowing them to control the conversation while engaging. It also allows a smooth journey down the sales funnel, using the bot’s knowledge to interest them in buying from the brand.
A great example of how brand can engage through chatbots is through local bag brand Palma, whose recent teaser for a new product release came as a survey for people who spoke to the brand on Facebook.
The chatbot asked fans if they could guess what good news the brand had to share, if right, the fan would get a discount and the ability to pre-order. It also asked those that weren’t interested in the product why they wouldn’t buy it, resulting in feedback for the brand to work on.
This is a great start for the brand but not its first time using chatbots, and although the journey was too directed, it did its objective and engaged users for both sales and feedback on possible future products.
Push the boundaries of storytelling with an interactive story told through online conversations. Storytelling has become the main buzzword in marketing circles for a few years now, we recommend it for ads and branding, but what about our conversations?
Storytelling can and should be part of your content strategy, leading users through your funnel and to conversion. For instance, when British virtual rock band Gorillaz was releasing a new album, they looked to engage their current fan base with a fun and interactive story across different platforms.
Fans were treated to a real-time storyline, where they could engage with one of the animated band members, Murdoc.
Fans on the band’s email list received emails to help the character survive in prison after being falsely accused. They were encouraged to chat with Murdoc through Alexa devices, Skype, Facebook Messenger and Kik.
With the rise of IoT, users are becoming more used to devices continuing their experience. Most digital messaging services already have instant updates to both their desktop and mobile versions, Google Chrome allows users to open the same tabs from different devices onto a new one, and more. The seamless experience is slowly growing to become an expected part of digital services.
Create a seamless experience, such as with the Gorillaz example, through multiple platforms using chatbots and accompanying technology.
For example, user inquires sent on social media messengers can be sent to the website’s FAQ or landing page where the chatbot will continue the conversation to help push the user through the funnel.
This isn’t simply about answering questions, the seamless experience becomes a part of the customer journey from awareness all the way down to consideration and conversion.
Although chatbots are still developing its reputation in Egypt, and many older generations prefer to talk to someone real, it’s no secret that it will become an important part of the conversion journey. If brands learn to use the technology to engage rather than simply blast messages or give information, the transition for fans will be an easy one and they might end up enjoying your brand more through it.