Your new business approach for 2018: conversational marketing

In 2018 we are already seeing big brands such as Decathlon, Nespresso and L’Oréal taking a conversational approach to their marketing strategy through the use of real time messaging which includes channels such as WhatsApp and Messenger. How about applying conversational marketing to your online business strategy? iAdvize outlines 5 key components of the conversational marketing approach for you to stand out from the crowd this year and become conversational, results-oriented and influential in 2018! 

#1 – Think both mobile and desktop for the user experience 

The days of just using a desktop are over. Online shoppers are now hyper connected, they can switch from one device to the other in the blink of an eye. And most importantly, they expect you to offer them the best possible experience no matter which device they may use (computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.).
So learn the mobile and desktop codes. Adapt to them, learn from them. Distinguishing different mobile and desktop behaviours helps you become more helpful but it also helps you offer a seamless user experience. The more you consider your design, marketing, conversational and user experience strategies according to the type of devices used, the more relevant you will be for your target audience.

Tip: when it comes to a conversational marketing approach, you need to know that mobile and desktop users have different behaviours. Mobile users use and accept emojis and abbreviations more easily, they prefer concise answers while desktop users are more prone to accept longer and more detailed explanations. Also, mobile users can use both native applications and mobile browsers, so take the time to learn more about your users’ behaviour and develop a strategy that’s adapted to them!

Read more: How’s your mobile strategy?

#2 – Be conversational, it is the era of hyper-personalisation 

You may have already noticed it, messaging is now a must online! Online stores multiply their conversion rate by 10 using messaging apps compared to online stores which only have self-service. Why? The era of hyper-personalisation is underway and includes everything in its path. Online shoppers have new expectations, they don’t want brands to only sell them a product or service, they expect them to offer them the right product or service that fits their context and preferences. That’s where you can differentiate yourself from others.

Tip: Deploy an omni-channel strategy, be everywhere 24/7 across the channels used by your customers. The customer is king, so talk to your customers and prospects, learn more about them, interact with them to know exactly what they expect from you and how you can support them at best. But never forget you cannot help everyone at the same time, so target and segment your audience! Engage the contact opportunities that have the most added-value for your business to have personalised and engaged interactions.

Read more: From emails to Messenger: more human and personalised interactions

#3 – Be your customers and prospects’ guide 

Just like a mountain guide, you are your online visitors’ shepherd. It’s your job to guide them through your product offering when they need help. Your help is crucial to them and it’s what is going to make them come back to your brand or not. That’s why it’s really important for you to take action, be a guide, offer your help, ask if you can be of any use.

Tip: to be a guide, you need to be an expert. Only offering a traditional customer service is not what’s going to differentiate you from the competition. Offering experience with your products, a really passionate dialog about your offering is what makes the difference. That’s why collaborating with influencers, independent experts is so powerful: it’s a win-win situation as they get paid to help their peers while your brand empowers its users and becomes truly authentic!

Read more: authenticity and brand image: how can independent experts reinforce 2 essential aspects of your marketing strategy

#4 – Be available at all times, boost your conversion rates 

Prospects and customers do not stop being interested in your products and services when your customer service team stops working in the evening or at weekends. On the contrary, 60% of online purchases take place during the evenings or at weekends. That’s your time to shine, that’s your time to convert the best leads and become the brand online shoppers want to talk to because they know you offer a personalised, real-time customer service strategy.

Tip: as mentioned in the previous points, you need to be authentic, conversational and a guide for your visitors. Providing them with professional customer service 24/7 would be a waste of time and money. And there are many other options at your disposal: you can develop chatbots for frequently asked questions, you can collaborate with independent experts and influencers that are willing to advise your visitors whenever they are available wherever they are to assert themselves as experts and gain additional income for sharing their savvy knowledge.

Read more: create a winning conversational marketing strategy

#5 – Build a customer retention strategy, take care of your customers

The probability of selling a product is between 60 and 70% for an existing customer against 5 to 20% for a prospect. That’s why it’s time for you to bet on long term customer relationships and not just focus all your efforts on customer acquisition. The customer lifetime value metric is your new key performance indicator in 2018! It helps you estimate the value of your future relationships with a customer and helps you decide how much you are willing to spend to reach and get customers for your business. That’s definitely the new indicator you should focus on for a successful online strategy in 2018!

Tip: all the previous points embody the conversational marketing approach and are at the service of your customer retention strategy. So be conversational, be available at all times for your customers, be their guide, offer them a great user experience on both mobile and desktop devices and, last but not least, be attentive to make sure visitors remain loyal to your brand and become your best ambassadors.

Read more: CLTV: What is it Customer Lifetime Value and how do we calculate it?

Let’s see how you have enhanced your online strategy thanks to conversational marketing by the end of the year!

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Ludivine Kasteleyn

French and Belgian born in France and interested in everything related to Marketing, Foreign Languages and the Web.

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