What is conversational marketing? It's the experience of having 1:1 engagement between you, your buyer, and your customer in the form of real-time conversations.
Before going in further, let us first identify the problems with the current B2B buying process. This would help give you context for how conversational marketing is the smartest solution for your sales journey.
Problem #1 One-way communication
In the last few years, people have been wired to communicate over synchronous conversational apps like Whatsapp, Wechat, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage. They all send and receive messages almost instantaneously and makes us feel like we're having the next-best thing to face-to-face conversations.
But businesses don't seem to leverage this mode of communication in their buying process.
When a prospect lands on a B2B website then oftentimes the only available mode of communication between the business and the prospect is asynchronous - Email.
Emails are certainly not the best option available for businesses when an average open rate has fallen below 20 percent for all B2B industries.
Problem #2 Pushy marketing
The other major problem in B2B marketing is pushy messaging which includes asking for email, blocking the whole page with pop-ups, etc.
These practices are only hurting the user experience of your prospect on your website.
It becomes more absurd when such pushy content tries to engage with a website visitor at the wrong time. Why would someone want to sign up for your newsletter before reading any of your content?
Your marketing will always feel pushy when it is not driven by your prospects.
Problem #3 Long waiting time
Oftentimes, one has to go through a series of questions in the website form before the actual conversation starts between the business and the prospect.
This process is neither convenient for prospects nor businesses, as there is always a long waiting time in getting a response from either side.
With conversational marketing, businesses can take a step ahead and easily eliminate these problems in their buying process.
What is conversational marketing?
Before we tell you what all conversational marketing is, first understand what conversational marketing is not.
There are a couple of applications in conversational marketing and the most common one is a chatbot. But many people have mistaken conversational marketing with just chatbot.
Chatbots are just a small part of the entire conversational marketing realm. If you want to call your marketing process as conversational marketing then make sure you have these 3 attributes in your strategy.
Yes, we know this keyword has been overly used by many marketing solutions. But if you dig deep then most of them just provide some level of personalization in the conversation with their prospects.
Here, 1:1 engagement means to have a buyer-led conversation with a business where the focus is not just to market your product or provide self-assertive content to the buyer, but instead help them in their buying journey.
A knock on the door marketing conversation is gone where businesses ask visitors to try signup or download a pdf or join a newsletter. Buyers are not interested in such pushy marketing anymore.
They want to be heard and need someone who can understand their business problem and guide them to the best possible solution.
For this, they are required to have a real conversation with the business.
But businesses are making hard for their buyers to reach them. An email conversation takes time and it's not always suitable.
If I have a query regarding a product right now then I don't expect a business asking me to provide my email address and contact me after 2 days to provide the solution.
Everyone today expects everything in real-time. Look around you, we all are equipped with a ton of conversational apps that we use very frequently.
Whatsapp Wechat, facebook messenger, iMessage are all examples of conversation happening in real-time. But when it comes to having a conversation with a business, we are forced to rely on the asynchronous mode of communication.
There will always be some waiting time in getting a response and the connection with a business is not present whatsoever.
Let's take an analogy here. If you walk into a showroom and asks a query to one of their employees. What if he didn't answer your questions then and asked for your email and told you to expect an email from them in the next 2 days so that they can arrange a call from their executive? This would be ridiculous. Right?
But when it comes to online business, it doesn't look that ridiculous because we all are used to this, but in the function, the process is still absurd.
With conversational marketing, this asynchronous mode of communication will be replaced with real-time communication.
Businesses can easily leverage the habits of people of having a real-time conversation through a chat.
In today's digital era, buyers are well informed in advance. Having a myriad number of review sites, and product comparisons in their disposal, today's buyers don't need to experience obtrusive content from sales and marketing folks.
In conversational marketing, the buyer has complete control over the buying experience. So much so that they define their CTAs.
The whole experience in conversational marketing is focused on the buyers' intent and consent. Any good conversational marketing solution should precisely try to understand the intent of the prospects and get their consent to provide any informative content.
What are the best practices for conversational marketing?
1. Prioritise your buyers
If your website attracts thousands of visitors everyday then it is not possible to have a dedicated sales rep to attend all such visitors. It's always better to see what all visitors are hot leads by qualifying them through a chatbot.
2. Integrate with your Marketing Automation
This will help you automatically qualify your website visitors based on account and lead score present in your Marketing Automation.
3. Tell your visitor if you're a human or a chatbot
If you don't then it is likely that a conversation between your prospect could turn sour. There is a vast difference between a human having conversation vs a bot trying to mimic the conversation. By telling them explicitly, you're eliminating the false expectation that your visitors might have before engaging in the conversation.
4. Utilize chatbots to fix meetings
When it comes to B2B sales, nothing is better than having your best sales rep talking to your prospect. But they are human after all. They can't be available for 24x7. In this case, you should program your chatbot to fix a meeting with your best sales rep.
Conversational marketing is the next big thing in the marketing sphere. Marketers can easily engage with their prospects and increase the number of MQLs into opportunities.
Insent.ai is a B2B Conversational Platform that enables marketers to engage with their ideal prospects in real time. Insent.ai identifies the prospects before they sign up on your contact form, gauge the engagement and fit of the account and alert the right SDR while the prospect is browsing on the website. The SDRs will get contextual information + in-website conversational platform to initiate a chat with the prospect.