Inbound marketing and marketing automation, these terms have become a mantra for those seeking heightened results in their online lead generation. But as with all marketing activities, it is often about multiple channels and not singular channels that combine to achieve the greatest results.
These results are often sooner achieved when your sales team have a mix of inbound and outbound activities in place, despite the popular belief that outbound is dead.
The results can be better still when you add chatbots into the marketing technology stack.
In my previous article, how to close leads with chatbots, I ensured that I told you what I am achieving with the chatbot software and also what you should do to ensure you succeed. Prior to that I also talked about the art of conversational marketing and why that is important to brands and businesses.
It's to that end that I am going to explain why conversational marketing for chatbots is like inbound marketing for content.
What am I talking about?
In short, it’s like this. Marketing and sales are now aligned to one objective, if they aren’t in your business, it’s back to inbound marketing 101 for you. If they are already in an alliance then read on, it’s about to get interesting.
Let’s establish a common ground to start from.
Inbound marketing is the strategy or process. Typically within that strategy, you or your agency or consultant partner will create a funnel. That funnel is designed with conversion purposes in mind.
From the graphic above you can see that there are 4 stages within the inbound marketing process. Attract, Convert, Close and Delight.
That process could really be considered a funnel in itself, comprising of 4 smaller funnels, each stage representing a funnel opportunity, each with its own aims and outcome.
In reality, we would like to ATTRACT the prospect (someone searching the web for a product or service like the one you offer) into our first funnel.
This funnel needs a combination of the following services to create it:
- Buyer Persona Creation
- Keyword Research & Analysis
- Content Creation (Blogs, infographics)
- Social Media Distribution
- Paid Search Traffic
- Call to Action
- Landing Page
- Download offer (ebook, webinar, case study etc)
- Marketing Automation Platform (Hubspot, Pardot, Infusionsoft etc)
So takes quite a lot of effort to set up and initiate. Once you have your prospect into the ATTRACT stage funnel, your strategy is to nurture the prospect into your CONVERT stage funnel which would have all of the above but also introduce:
- Email Marketing
And once you have that funnel implemented you follow up with your CONVERT stage funnel. This is simple, add consultations or trials if software-based and you have your 3 main funnels completed.
Now, whilst we associate each stage of the funnel with a certain stage of the buyers' awareness, we also know that we can’t fully anticipate what the prospect will type into the search engine to find you.
We also can understand that once a prospect has converted (signed their details for your content) and gave permission for you to nurture them through the process, it could take weeks, sometimes months.
So what happens is the prospect is ready to buy but has typed a search term we deem in the ATTRACT stage and not the CONVERT stage?
We could lose that opportunity because the content doesn’t support the intent.
However, if you had a chatbot on the landing page, blog post or even services page within your website, you can capture the intent of the visitor immediately.
Using the chatbot to offer intent lead conversational marketing with the strategy to simply ask the visitor what they are looking for, where they are with their current services, strategy or supplier and if they want to speak to a person or get a call back you qualify that prospect in under 3 minutes.
As your marketing automation, this process is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. It’s there to support your business and speed up the conversion process.
Just so you know, we x11.5 the revenue in the first month over the cost of the investment.
It’s not a huge figure I admit, but it has paid for itself already for a whole year and we’re just getting started. As we develop more playbooks for conversational marketing, designing bots for specific services and levels of business development we can even further qualify prospects and also transfer them live to our sales team.
We’re all looking to qualify intent and get back to the prospect as they want us to, but within hours or minutes of qualification and start those great sales conversations.
Hopefully, you can see the benefit of having your inbound marketing strategy supported by a conversational marketing strategy and wish to pursue that to ramp up qualified leads, increase closing times, provide alternate channels for your prospects and leads and ultimately increase revenues.