As a business owner or marketer, you understand that the bottom line for any effort is a return on investment. So while we can promote the benefits of conversational marketing all day long, if you can’t prove success with hard data, it’s not an effective business strategy.
In the third part of our blog series on conversational marketing, we’ll dive into the data. Below we explain the metrics you can use to show your CMO or manager that these tactics can and will drive more sales or leads.
Beyond just increasing revenue, we’ll explain how you can use conversational marketing to enhance customer service, as well as glean insights to bolster other areas of your marketing strategy. Finally, we’ll leave you with examples of companies killing it with their messaging for inspiration to embark upon your own journey in conversational marketing.
Measuring the ROI of Conversational Marketing
In part 2 of the blog series, we touched on how to build a conversational marketing strategy. But, how do you ensure that it’s actually successful? Moreover, how do you measure success? As with all digital marketing, sometimes it’s challenging to prove that increased engagement and outreach with your target audience makes a difference when it comes to dollars and cents. While it’s nice to have a functioning chatbot on your site, a CEO/CMO might not think it’s worth the time and investment unless they see immediate results.
To understand what a successful conversational marketing strategy consists of, and to evaluate and quantify yours, look to the following data points.
Monitor Traffic to Landing and Product Pages
When using a chatbot to direct traffic to landing pages (for example, to answer common questions or sign up for a demo), or to product pages, measure that traffic. Specifically, compare traffic from before using a chatbot to after to see if there’s an increase. You can also use this data to judge the effectiveness of specific campaigns, like if you drive leads to specific seasonal products from your conversational marketing efforts. For companies with many products or services, you might also consider creating specific landing pages for chatbots.
If you need help understanding which content marketing metrics to track in general, start with this helpful guide from our President, Holly Rollins.
Keep an Eye on UGC
One of the main purposes of conversational marketing is to provide a better experience to your audience, user, customer or client. Compare and contrast user-generated content such as on-site or third-party reviews after you implement conversational marketing to see if user satisfaction is higher, or if there are mentions of your customer service efforts. For example, if you can show that you have X more reviews or that a certain percentage mention your stellar customer response rate, that’s solid proof that your conversational marketing benefits your audience and improves overall satisfaction.
Ask for Customer Feedback
You can also take a more direct approach and ask the user for feedback. Consider ending all conversations on your site’s chatbot or social media messenger with a request for feedback. You can link to a review form on your site, or ask for feedback in the message screen itself. Use these responses to evaluate your process, and if needed, improve or optimize it. Most importantly, you can get collect candid, direct feedback to take to up the chain.
Track Leads and Conversions
The most obvious metrics to track ROI on conversational marketing are of course, leads and conversions. If you’re making product recommendations with your chatbot or Facebook messenger, are those sales increasing? Are you getting more qualified leads from site visitors engaging with your chatbots? Whatever products or services you promote, if conversational marketing increases sales, you can show your efforts are affecting the bottom line.
(Pro tip: Check out our list of the 7 most important SEO KPIs you should be tracking for even more tips on how to use your analytics to optimize your digital marketing).
Using Conversational Marketing to Enhance Overall Business Practices
With most chat and social media messaging platforms, there’s a wealth of real customer interactions to mine for data and insights. Once you start conversing with your audience, you’ll have what many companies pay thousands of dollars for via focus groups and demographic research. You have real customer and client feedback on your products, opinions on your marketing and content and proof that your message is clear.
So let’s talk about using that to your advantage and repurposing to help your overall marketing.
Create Content Based on Popular Conversations
Facebook’s Messenger platform is one of the most popular social chatbot tools. According to their internal data: “In 2018 there were over 300,000 active bots on Messenger, and over 8 billion messages exchanged between people and businesses each month; that’s 4x the number of messages exchanged in 2017.”
What’s more, each and every conversation is searchable. Use the search function to look for popular terms or phrases when leads interact with your live or automated chats. You can then use this information to track trends or understand what your target audience is chatting about the most. Using those insights, ideate content or blog posts surrounding those topics. For example, if you run a beauty supply e-commerce site and many people have asked how to mix and match your products, perhaps you develop a blog or vlog series with tutorials.
Alternatively, you can also understand at which stage in the sales funnel your leads have the most questions or even at which touchpoints leads fall off. In an article for Zendesk, we chatted with content marketer Jessica Thiefels about a similar approach to using customer support data to create content. Thiefels explains, “Help centers are valuable repositories for hundreds, potentially thousands, of customer questions and by applying content strategy, you can leverage this information to create marketing content that addresses specific customer problem areas.”
Develop Ads to Answer Common Queries
Do a deep dive into customer interactions to find which questions come up the most. For those creating paid social ads, you can consider including answers to these inquiries in your ad copy. You know that qualified leads have particular questions about your product or service, answer them with social ads that are also targeted towards that same demographic/audience to draw them in.
Don’t forget about measuring the ROI. With both of these approaches, you can easily compare the performance of past content or ads to the new ones created using conversational marketing. Hopefully, you’ll get equal or better results using these insights.
Companies Hitting the Mark
As we finish our three-part blog series on conversational marketing, let’s look at a few companies using innovative techniques to connect with their audience. While you might not have the same budget or resources as these large companies, you can use the strategies to inspire your own conversational marketing.
Sophie & Trey
E-retailer Sophie & Trey has an automated chatbot on their Facebook page with four of their most common inquiries. Digital clothing companies such as this really understand their audiences and overcome the hurdles of buying online. By offering specific paths for help, including a personal shopper (see option: “Can someone recommend something for me?”) — they personalize and connect with their potential customers. This tactic is even more important when you can’t physically try something on.
This healthcare company built a digital knowledge base for common medical related inquiries and used conversational marketing to launch it to an international audience. Healthtap was one of the first to take advantage of the Facebook messenger platform, as they explain to Mobi Health News. When someone types in a health-related question, they provide answers from their large database of resources or can connect users to one of their medical professionals on call.
Image source: Topbots
When launching a new show “Genius,” National Geographic raised awareness by playfully using Messenger. If users chatted with their Facebook page, they would receive clever responses in the voice of Albert Einstein. The results were 6-8 minute average conversations, 11 turns per conversation, 50 percent user re-engagement, and an involved community of followers, according to Social Media Week. Talk about a successful campaign!
For an example of on-site chat program success, Leadpages used the Drift platform to increase their conversion rate by 36 percent. As Drift’s case study explains, beyond just chatting, they “target specific pages and site visitors with proactive messaging campaigns, [that] could open up a ‘fast lane’ for their best leads.” Leadpages used automation features to suggest educational content to targeted visitors on specific pages; for example, someone looking at the pricing/features comparison.
Image source: Drift
Use Conversational Marketing to Reach and Engage With Your Audience
Now over to you! No matter your industry, company size or resources, you can employ conversational marketing to better reach your target audience, engage site visitors, answer questions and most importantly—increase revenue. Whether it’s on social media or a chat platform on your site (automated or live) your marketing efforts should always begin with a conversation. In a message-saturated world, it’s what the modern consumer expects.
If you need help sourcing, implementing or project managing a conversational marketing campaign or effective messaging strategy for your business, get in touch with us today.