Chatbots are effective engagement tools, and if implemented properly, they can build your sales pipeline and monetize your social media accounts. Chattypeople, a leading bot-building platform, allows you to build a complex chatbot in a matter of minutes. That being said, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to chatbots, so you have to build a chatbot based on your company’s specific needs.With Chattypeople, you can build a complex bot that can carry out multiple tasks. Some companies can benefit from using chatbots as a customer care tool, whereas businesses that offer online purchases can use chatbots as a direct sales channels. For your chatbot to succeed, you need to look at your company, see what features would benefit your users, and base your success metrics off of those features. Building a successful chatbot is always challenging, and it requires a high level of adaptability. I’ve developed a guide to help you understand how chatbots work and how to build a successful bot for your company.
The benefits of chatbots
Chatbots have been around for some time now, but technological advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have allowed them to transcend their usual roles and functions. Chatbots can be designed to help customers, entertain users, and market your products to your target audience. In addition to the above, your company can benefit from chatbots because:
- They are a symbol of innovation, which captivates most audiences
- They reach potential clients through their preferred apps and platforms
- You can set up a chatbot that provides customer support 24/7
- They can deliver personalized ads
- They can help you nurture your leads
- You can monetize your social media
- You will save time, which you can invest into developing new products or strategies
Building a successful chatbot
As I mentioned before, the purpose of your chatbot will heavily influence its success. However, there are many other characteristics that define successful chatbots. Generally speaking, successful chatbots tend to act very human-like and offer valuable features that help users. In order to build a successful chatbot, you have to:
Choose your bot’s features carefully
Find a platform that enables you to create bots that are capable of carrying out basic and complicated tasks alike. The more features you add, the longer it will take to build your chatbot, and the more likely it will be to malfunction. Instead of cramming your bot with every single possible capability, you should build a fine-tuned bot with features that add value. Jokes are great, but users will appreciate a chatbot that can also answer their questions or help them in some way. In order to be successful, your chatbot should be able to provide:
- Your company’s contact information and operation hours
- Prices, offers, and promotions
- Product or service descriptions and specifications
- Background information about your company
Give it personality
Your chatbot is an official representative of your brand, so its conversations now constitute part of your services and products. In order to provide the highest user experience, you have to give your bot personality. When I say personality, I mean making your bot sound less like a machine. Remember, don’t try to fool users into thinking they are interacting with a human. Instead, inform them that they’re talking to a chatbot using human-like language and context to create a smooth experience that will leave them wanting more.
Make your chatbot proactive
Because modern chatbots are relatively new, many users are not sure how to use them and sometimes decide not to interact with them at all. To counter this build a proactive chatbot that interacts with users as soon as they open their chat window. Try to avoid generic introductions and open your conversation with relevant options. For example:
- View your company’s contact information
- Browse through products
- Make a purchase
- Manage or change orders
Use your bot as a customer service tool
Traditionally, chatbots have been used as a customer care and self-serving tool because they give clients a sense of empowerment. In addition to this, using your chatbot as a self-serving tool will also save you time and resources. To use your chatbot as a self-service tool, you should give users the ability to:
- Change their profile information
- Update their billing details
- View plans, products, and services
- View their purchase history and order statuses
- Process orders and payments
- Schedule appointments with human representatives
Incorporate your bot into your marketing strategy
A stand-alone chatbot can still have an impact on your brand, but the most successful bots are used as a part of a holistic online strategy. Remember, your chatbot interacts with users through their preferred social media platforms and devices, so there is an extra level of connection. Use this to your favor and design a chatbot marketing strategy that speaks directly to your audience. Some ways for you to incorporate your bot into your marketing strategy are:
- Using it as distribution channel for exclusive promotions and offers
- Collecting user information to build buyer personas
- Promoting your bot through paid and organic channels
Connect your chatbot to ecommerce platforms
One of Chattypeople’s most exciting features is its ability to monetize your social media platforms. You can connect your chatbot to e-commerce platforms to take orders and payments via messages, posts, and comments. Combine this with the ability to manage orders through your chatbot and you will provide users with a perfectly seamless buying experience!
Optimize your bot
The best tools provide in-depth metrics you can use to track the performance of your chatbot. You can also use this information to optimize your bot for better performance. Use A/B tests to find the perfect level of humanity for your bot. Other aspects of your chatbot you can test are:
- Its introduction
- Its tone of voice
- The conversation flow
- Features and self-serving options
- Calls to action
Building a successful chatbot can have a huge impact on your company’s growth. Follow the steps outlined above to build an effective chatbot that can help you build your sales funnel and, in turn, get more conversions from your social media platforms.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Everything You Need To Know About Instagram’s New Shopping Features
The app is giving influencers and brands new channels on which consumers can discover them.
Influencers and brands have two new ways to sell products to users scrolling and tapping through their Instagram feeds. After a summer of testing shopping buttons that drive purchases via Stories, the Facebook-owned app has launched them for businesses in 46 countries.
It’s also begun rolling out a personalised shopping section in the Explore tab, which Instagram redesigned earlier this year to feature AI-powered channels categorising content based on topic (e.g. travel, art, decor).
The shopping tab will be a place for users who know they want to browse and potentially buy, with Instagram’s algorithm serving up brands the user already follows or would likely be into, based on past activity on the app. Meanwhile, the shopping bag stickers in Stories will give users a chance to not just admire their favourite influencers’ outfits, but actually click through and learn more about promoted items.
Since Instagram began testing the feature in June, more than 90 million users per month have tapped to reveal tags in shopping posts, according to a Sept. 17 Instagram blog post. The app already allows brands to purchase ads in the form of Stories.
More than 400 million accounts watch Stories daily, and one-third of the most-viewed Stories are from businesses, Instagram also reports.
Instagram has been testing shopping in feeds for nearly two years.
Related: Creating Power Digital Campaigns
Back in November 2016, the company explained on its Business blog that online shopping often involves research and deliberation, rather than impulse purchases, which is what led Instagram to build out shopping posts that would provide consumers with information about products without having to leave the app until they’d made a purchase decision.
Salesforce has forecasted that the referral traffic Instagram drives to retailer websites will increase by 51 percent between the 2017 and 2018 holiday seasons, according to Adweek.
Speaking of leaving the app, Instagram is rumored to be developing a standalone shopping app, according to The Verge, but the company declined to comment on these reports to both The Verge and Entrepreneur.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Social Media Marketing For Start-ups: Essential Tips
There are plenty of ways to get the leads your start-up needs, but only a few tactics you’ll need in your arsenal to get the job done at a limited cost to your burgeoning business.
Social media marketing, when you’re short on funds, can seem like an intimidating prospect. If you and your team aren’t already knowledgeable about digital marketing strategy, you may think it’s impossible for you to manage marketing campaigns yourself. With a bit of determination and a great deal of studying, however, your startup will be able to successfully launch, direct, and refine your own digital marketing strategies.
What things can you do to help your start-up get more press, attract more customers, and get more brand awareness? There are plenty of ways to get the leads your start-up needs, but only a few tactics you’ll need in your arsenal to get the job done at a limited cost to your burgeoning business.
Get to know your niche
Many young companies adopt random acts of internet marketing. They’ll throw a few hundred dollars into promoting Facebook posts without necessarily understanding how to communicate to their audience.
Before you dive into advertising and promotion platforms, you should spend some time to define – and to get to know – your niche.
To help define your target market, use questions like:
- Who are your existing customers?
- How would you group them?
- Who does your product or service help?
- Does your product help business owners, stay-at-home parents, college students, or someone else?
- Who are you looking to reach out to?
- That is, are you looking to refine your target market or expand it?
Once you’ve answered a few questions like the ones listed above, you should be able to get a better idea of who you’re marketing to. With an understanding of who you’re communicating with, you should be able to craft a tailored message about your brand.
Related: 10 Laws Of Social Media Marketing
Choose social media platforms wisely
Many start-ups try to master as many social media platforms right at the start. Instead of dividing your attention between Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you should identify one or two social media platforms that will help you market your product or service. This is why defining your target market at the beginning is so very important.
You must first decide who your message is intended for before writing, editing, and positioning that message. After you’ve got your target market down, you’ll be able to pinpoint which social media platforms can serve you best.
Here are a few examples to give you an idea of which social media platforms are best suited for your needs:
- Best for blog links
- Frequent posts: 1-4 posts every few hours is the most effective
- The community is open to businesses promotion
- Best for communicating to existing customers
- Daily posts: 1 post every 2 days is the most effective
- Users respond best to images, videos, and clips
- Strictly promotional posts are undesirable
- Building readership and/or a following is slow
- Better suited for long-term growth strategy
Do your social media research
Start conducting some preliminary research about social media platforms. Build a profile of each, listing their pros and cons. Try investigating other social media platforms such as GitHub, Stack Overflow, and Quora. While these aren’t platforms as large as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, they could have a far greater impact on your start-up.
Answering questions on Quora and interacting with other users on GitHub, for example, could help you build genuine business and customer relationships.
Concentrate on mastering a few channels
Ultimately, it’s important to concentrate on one or two social media platforms based on your target market and your goals. Attempting to have a significant presence on all of them will prove expensive, time-consuming, and, at worst, counterproductive.
Focusing on one platform will allow you to track your marketing efforts with greater precision, revise your marketing strategy more easily, and help you speak more directly to your target audience.
Digital marketing, while best left to a team of experienced marketers, content creators, and creative designers can be done by your team.
Start-ups tight on cash don’t need to fret, they only need to do a bit of market research and direct their energy accordingly. After narrowing down your audience and performing some preliminary research on social media platforms, you can start working on your social media marketing strategy.
Master a few channels rather than trying to dominate all of the social media space. Keep conducting research as you start your marketing campaigns. Each community naturally changes so you’ll want to keep up-to-date. Leverage your research and dedication to get the most out of your startup marketing.
How To Create The Best Small Business Website: 5 Easy And Effective Steps
Check the steps below and get ready to create a successful small business website.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. If you don’t have online presence, it will become difficult to obtain the results you expect. Your target audience is using the internet nowadays for almost anything. So, if you want to attract more customers and build your brand reputation, you need to build a website. This is how you will be able to expand your business in an easy and not so expensive way.
On the other hand, you don’t have to be a savvy web developer to create a basic website and let the others know about you. Web development and design software have evolved a lot and now you can use several website builders to develop a functional site. You will have plenty of templates to choose from to increase your business’ visibility.
Check the steps below and get ready to create a successful small business website.
Easy and Effective Steps to Create a Website for Your Business
1. What is the purpose of your website?
It doesn’t matter if you develop a simple or a more complex website. Before you start working on anything related to your website, you should start with saying what your company does. Your customers need to understand from the first minute they access your homepage what is your mission and vision. They don’t have too much time to invest when they enter on a website. So, you can make their journey smoother by telling them from the beginning about you. In case you are not so talented at writing, you can use writing companies like RewardedEssays or SupremeDissertations to give you a hand.
2. Choose a domain name and a web host
Even though many think they shouldn’t focus too much on it, the domain name is an important feature of your website. You will use the URL to promote your business to existing and future clients. So, this means that your domain name should be explicit and talk about your business to anyone who wants to find more about you. A domain name should be short, clear, without acronyms or numbers. What is more, you shouldn’t forget to check if your domain name isn’t already taken by someone else.
Apart from a domain name, your website will also need a server where all your data is stored. When you own a small business, creating your own web host will represent a serious financial effort. So, it would be more cost-wise to choose an external host.
As your business grows, you can choose a different host, or you can ask several providers to work on a personalised solution.
3. Build your website’s pages
You will need more than a homepage to create a good website. If you want your customers to understand that you are a professional in what you do, you will create several pages dedicated to different elements of your business. For example, you can include a catalog with your products or a blog.
Natalie Andersen, CEO of GetGoodGrade mentions that “It is obligatory that apart from the homepage, a website should have at least a page with the products’ catalog and a Contact Us page.”
Below you can find a list with the minimum number of pages a professional website should have:
- Homepage – here you will include details about your business, making sure that you also talk about your mission and vision.
- List of products and services – your customers need to know what are the products and services you offer. This will help them decide whether you can answer their questions and provide a solution to their problems.
- About Us – “About Us page is the place where you talk about your story. Your target audience wants to know more about yourself. This is how you will create a connection with your customers and let them know more about you”, says James Daily, Head of content department at FlashEssay.
- Contact Us – it should include your address, email, phone number and working hours. You can also include the links for your social media profiles.
Furthermore, if you want to achieve an international presence, you can also use the translation services offered by IsAccurate. Thus, you will be able to address your message to a wider group of people and expand your business on new markets.
Related: How To Secure Your SME Website
4. Test if your website works properly
Christopher K. Mercer, CEO of Citatior recommends that “before you launch a website, you should first test whether it works. You cannot tell your future customers about your website without knowing for sure that it will work without problems once you launch it”. Therefore, you should click on each page and check whether it has any errors. You still have time to fix something if necessary.
Once you have launched your website and something goes wrong, it will become more difficult to do any change. Plus, always remember that the first impression matters. So, you need to be perfect in the eyes of your customers.
5. Maintain your website
After you launched your website, this doesn’t mean that your work is done. You will need to keep your customers engaged and curious about your business. Therefore, updating the products’ catalog constantly or producing content for your blog will keep your audience informed about what you can offer and the latest trends in the industry. Plus, you should also check if your website is up to date with the latest add-ons. If you don’t know how to produce new content for your website or you feel that you are not talented enough, you can collaborate with HotEssayService or RatedByStudents for professional writing services.
It shouldn’t be complicated to create a website for your small business. As long as you keep a clear structure and create a story around your business, you don’t have anything to worry about. It is very important to understand that a website is very important for your business visibility. Thus, you should put all your efforts into it.
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