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How to Build A Successful Chatbot

Chatbots can help customers, entertain users and market products to your target audience.

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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

Related: 5 Easy Ways to Get Users to Your Website

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.

Related: A Guide to Optimising Your Business’ Social Media Usage

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

Related: Victoria Grech’s 7 Rules To Making Powerful Marketing Videos On A Budget

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

Finally…

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.

Marsha is a Growth Marketing Expert business advisor and speaker with specialism in international marketing.

Online Marketing

The Launch Of Instagram TV

Giving a run to other institutions for their money, Instagram today has launched IGTV, a new application that will allow users to upload videos on its Instagram facility.

Jandre de Beer

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_igtv

Commencing with one minute long videos, speaking at the launch today, Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom, announced that users can now upload up-to an hour long video. This application will allow famous videos from celebrities. However, with IGTV, one does not necessarily need to be a big-name or famous, since creative individuals and groups can upload videos.

For now, everyone who enjoys the clutter free, easy to navigate Instagram, will be able to upload an hour-long video, except the smaller and new accounts that will enjoy this application after the expansion of the facility. This application will be globally available on Android and IOS and will allow viewers to browse through many longer videos, as well as visit the browse tabloids or suggest followed videos.

Furthermore, viewers will have the choice to watch ‘old’ videos and also get notifications on recent uploads. IGTV will also allow creators and inventors to develop Instagram Channels with various videos that other viewers can subscribe to, drive traffic of viewers to particular videos, granting the inventors the capability of uploading clear links of the video.

Related: The Insta-Evolution: 5 Years of Selfies, Hashtags and #TBTs

Systrom confirmed that there will be no advertisements on IGTV for the meanwhile. He added that this is still a great platform to put up advertisements at a later stage, as creators or inventors put in more time into videos for IGTV. This translates into an opportunity to make money. Instagram will not pay creators for the IGTV videos at this stage. IGTV has so much potential since creators will be from the over 1 billion current Instagram subscribers. At the same time, this could be big business, since the number of subscribers may rise.

Expectations are there to add to the monetisation option, and these include the potential of Instagram getting profits close to $5.5 billion in 2018, as compared to Facebook, which is just above $202 billion.

Moving up from just filtering and sharing photos, today Instagram has advanced from mobile networks, screens, and cameras, of which neither the longer videos could be supported. This has opened a new mobile TV for teens and families.

Additionally, Instagram can become the dependable place to view something on that small screen via creators’ and publisher video content curation, as opposed to YouTube, which always has a wider breadth of content.

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Online Marketing

5 Steps In Adwords Competitor Analysis: A Practical Case Study

In the second part of this article, we’ll be getting practical. What steps to take and what to do in each step.

Steven Slotow

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adwords

In PART ONE of this article on the importance of competitor analysis in an Adwords campaign, we demonstrated to you the value that can be uncovered by performing a proper analysis of what your foe is up to on Adwords and how they can actually help you do better.

In the second part of this article, we’ll be getting practical. What steps to take and what to do in each step.

Pens sharpened? Batteries charged? Lets go!

As a case study of a local Adwords campaign, we’ll be taking a look at one of the main spenders on PPC in South Africa, booking.com, and see what information can be gathered about their competition in paid search results.

Step 1. Find out who your client’s true competitors in paid search are

First of all, let’s get on the same page, by stating that your organic and paid search competition is not the same thing. If you know who you share the SERPs with, it doesn’t mean that you’ll share the paid ads section with the same set of companies.

Booking.com knows what we’re talking about.

Here’s the organic part of the SERP for ‘book a hotel’. Booking.com shares it with Trivago, hotels.com and Agoda.

serp

They could have thought: Okay, so these are my competitors, I know what they’re up to, I’ll look into their strategies and I’ll be fine in both organic and paid search. But wait, what is happening there at the top of the SERPs? Who is this dark horse?

hotel-booking-serp

It’s Expedia! In organic search it stands further down from booking.com than the rest of the domains from the first page, yet in paid results Booking and Expedia are the closest rivals.

Related: 16-Step Blueprint to Master Your Digital Marketing

But that is just one keyword. There are many other keywords for which the companies want to advertise in Google, so to know whether you’re actually competing with them, you need to evaluate your competition level.

It’s a simple process of comparing the number of keywords you have in common versus the number that are unique with that competitor.

paid-keywords

By estimating this value, you can distinguish your true competitors from big generic brands, niche competition and temporary distractions in the paid search.

Jokes aside, Booking and Expedia share a relatively similar online presence and are, of course, familiar with each other’s PPC strategy. That said, if you’re not a huge domain and know your usual competitors, it is even more frustrating to miss an audacious market newcomer or an organic outsider trying to cut the line and get to the top of the SERPs with an aggressive PPC campaign. So, the analysis of your true competition should be performed regularly. For the agencies that we support, we usually revise the competitors list once every quarter.

Step 2. Estimate your competition PPC budgets

Now that you know who you are rubbing elbows with in paid search, try figuring out how much they spend on PPC. There’s no way to know exactly what their budgets are (except for corporate espionage, but we don’t recommend that), but you can still make use of an estimation.

For that, you need to know how many keywords they target in paid search, what their cost-per-click values are, as well as their estimated search volumes. That is practically impossible to reveal manually, but the competitor analysis tool in SEMrush for example provides you with an estimation of the company’s PPC budget based on the data from their keyword database. Similar tools should be found in whatever quality software you’ve opted for.

Here’s the info we could gather about Booking.com by solely analysing the keywords for which it was showing up in paid search and the CPC values of those keywords.

booking-com

Though it is a rough estimation, this info is helpful in planning your PPC campaigns in a way that meets with market trends.

Step 3. Find out your competitor’s unique keywords

What’s even better about competitor analysis is that it will help you save time by not needing to do the tough jobs yourself by letting you (legally) steal the best ideas from your competition and dwell on them. Remember, if you’re doing it to them, they’re probably doing it to you as well! All’s fair in love, war and paid advertising!

What’s the practical value of this? Well, your competitor’s unique keywords can be your missed opportunity.

keywords-match

By comparing the keywords that Booking and Expedia are bidding on, we see that there are a lot of keywords related to means of travelling and travelling companies in Expedia’s portfolio, but they are missing in the Booking.com set. It is obviously just another tactic for such a big brand, but for a smaller company, this comparison list could be a golden goose of new ideas.

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

Step 4. Research your competitor’s ads and banners

If you have ever been online, you know that the SERPs are crowded. The served results in both organic and paid search have to constantly overcome the viewer’s lack of attention, so the message in your ads should be short, clear, and actionable.

Your competitor’s copy can be a  great source of information.

competitor-adverts-and-banner

Comparing your ads to your competitor’s allows you to see the context and the standards of messaging in your niche and adjust your voice to or diversify from the usual tone.

Also, sometimes you need to develop multiple ad copies with similar content. Whenever creativity abandons you, you can look into your competitor’s copy and borrow a few ideas from them.

Step 5. Check your competitor’s target URLs

Imagine running an online retail business. Summer sales are coming, and you want to promote your goods with an AdWords campaign. Apart from the keywords that you want to bid on and creating appealing ad copy, you also need to think about the page which your ads are going to take your leads to.

Is it common in your client’s niche to have a specific landing page for a promo like this? Or is it enough to have banners on the home page? Take a look at your client’s competitor’s target pages and find out.

seasonal-sale

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Online Marketing

The Value Of Competitor Analysis On A South African Adwords Campaign

If you have doubts about the efficiency of an AdWords campaign being run in South Africa, here are some stats about the South African market to convince you.

Steven Slotow

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Running a successful AdWords campaign can sometimes be like trying to understand the maths that Elon Musk is using to put a human being on Mars: you’re pretty sure it will work, but trying to figure how and why burns too many brain cells.

Well, help is at hand! In this TWO PART article, we’re going to demonstrate to you the value of performing a competitor analysis on an Adwords campaign, and show you just how and what you should be looking for.

As a digital marketer of any kind, you’ve probably had a crack at running and managing an AdWords campaign. Let me guess:

  • Predicting the results and outcomes was impossible;
  • You outsourced to an agency this one time. It cost you a fortune and they kept asking questions you couldn’t possibly have answers to;
  • Setting the budget was more complicated than understanding the nature and purpose of Snapchat;
  • And speaking of budget…it’s NEVER enough and always runs out too quickly.

Nobody is arguing with the fact that AdWords is one of the most complicated digital marketing efforts that you can undertake on behalf of a client or yourself. However, if done right, it could also be one of the most rewarding, effective and business-altering activities you could do.

Related: How to Use Pay Per Click Using Google Adwords

If you have doubts about the efficiency of an AdWords campaign being run in South Africa, here are some stats about the South African market to convince you:

South African PPC market in numbers

In 2017 the total spending on Google ads in South Africa across all industries reached $30 million. The market’s thriving!

google-ads-spend

And these websites were the most generous spenders on Google ads. If only your budgets could compete, right?

top-advertisers-in-google

However, these were the industry’s spendaholics.

Generally, businesses are way more careful with their PPC budgets: only 3.8% of all the companies spend more than R50 000 monthly, and the majority of 34.1% is just indulging their curiosity with somewhere around 1000 bucks a month.

percent-of-advertisers

And if you worry about your ad copy, take a look at the most popular phrases and CTAs used in South African ads:

top-phrases-in-adverts

Related: Implementing 2 Advanced Google AdWords Strategies

So, how do you enter that market AND, at the same time, save your money?

Well, that’s like eating an elephant — get help and do it in pieces.

If you thought that running and managing an AdWords campaign was complicated, try getting advice from the pros on best practices to net best results. Just like deciphering that Musk math again.

  • Split test your copy
  • Use different ad extensions… or all of them
  • Try out different calls to action
  • Manage and track your budget daily
  • Get your targeting on point

But also don’t forget about the foundation of any marketing campaign, digital or not: research your competition.

As wholesalers of digital marketing services to South African digital agencies, by far one of the most important and most advised best practices we suggest to the agencies that we support when running an AdWords digital marketing campaign is to ensure that they practice comprehensive and thorough competitor analysis.

What is competitor analysis for your Adwords campaign and how do you streamline it?

adwords-competitor-analysisRunning a competitor analysis during an AdWords campaign is like having a video camera in your competitions training session. It’ll help you pull back the curtain, see what they’re up to and adjust your efforts accordingly to ensure optimum results from your AdWords campaigns.

In our experience, many companies do not perform PPC competitive research, or don’t do it as often as they should. However, not having the full picture about your PPC competition is risky and can result in running ineffective campaigns. That means wasting your or your client’s budget without netting tangible results or missing the opportunities available to your client by underinvesting.

But recognising the difference that competitor analysis can make in your AdWords campaigns is only the first step. The next step is to find the right tool to help you perform your competitor analysis on a regular basis. The stats and data provided in this article were pulled by our team using SEMrush. It’s a software that we have found invaluable in helping us to provide white label, wholesale digital marketing services to the South African and international digital agencies that we support.

That being said, there are a wealth of similarly effective and powerful digital marketing tracking tools on the market worth investigating. We encourage you to get out there and see what works best for you.

Related: 16-Step Blueprint to Master Your Digital Marketing in 2016

The data that you should drill out of your competitor analysis

On all the levels of digital marketing, there’s a constant rivalry between best practice and revolutionary ideas. The question of whether to follow a well-trodden path or to do things differently in an effort to distinguish the brand you’re working on is always on the table. Or desktop in the case of digital marketing.

However, to make an informed decision you need to know the niche you are playing in as well as its main players. These questions will help you gather that information:

  • Who is your true competitor in paid search?
  • How much do they spend on PPC?
  • What are their most profitable keywords?
  • What do their ads and banners look like?
  • What URLs should your ads target?

Now you know WHAT to ask. But what do you do with the answers and how do you use them to improve your own Adwords performance.

In PART TWO of this blog, we’ll be diving into just that. CLICK HERE TO READ ON!

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