A successful marketing campaign isn’t about having the biggest ad spend. Your goal as a marketer is to show a potential customer down the sales funnel in the most cost-effective way possible. Simply increasing the ad spend will not solve the problem. By appearing before your customers at the right moment, your chance of converting them is greatly increased. Determining how often, when, and where to get in front of the customers is a perpetual question that every marketer has to answer.
Even though you need to be there in your customer’s mind during every critical stage in their decision-making process, appearing too often can backfire. There’s a limit to how often your ad should appear in front of a potential customer. Ad frequency should be tested carefully to maximize conversions while minimizing ad spend.
Do you remember a time when you visited a site and then their ads followed you everywhere? At some point, it may become annoying to be exposed to the same ad over and over again. The desired marketing effect is lost, and the potential customer develops a negative feeling towards the brand. Not only that but the brand also risks seeing their marketing costs skyrocket because most ad platforms will penalize ads with high frequency to provide their users a better experience.
If you have been advertising on Facebook, you probably have experienced a decrease in your CTR (click-through rate) the more you show your ad to the same user. Lower CTR means your ad will appear less relevant in Facebook’s eyes, hence, a lower ad relevance score. As a result, your CPC (cost per click) will go up. The same is true for Google Ads, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms. Banner blindness occurs when a user is exposed too frequently to a banner/ad, causing them to totally ignore it in their mind. When ad frequency is not optimized, what you get in return are annoyed prospective customers and less return on investment.
To cope with this problem, marketers have to come up with unique and personalized ad copy for the target audience and optimize ad frequency to avoid the adverse effects. Conversational marketing is the latest tool added to the marketer’s arsenal to help them cope with ad fatigue and get ahead of the game.
Conversational marketing personalizes the way you interact with prospective customers. Instead of serving them the same ad over and over again, you can instantly build a 1:1 relationship with them as they interact with your chatbot and collect valuable data based on their preferences. There’s no need to worry about crafting the perfect discrete message for each customer nor optimizing ad frequency to avoid ad fatigue and banner blindness. With conversational marketing, prospective customers are no longer anonymous data points in your analytics panel. They become individuals that you can communicate directly with. Since their personal preferences are collected, you know exactly how far they are along the funnel and what they want.
Take the case of a holiday shopping campaign. With traditional marketing, you hardly know whether you are advertising to a person who is shopping for themselves or for their loved ones. This could get interesting when it comes to gender-specific ads. We all know most lingerie ads target women. However, there is still a small percentage of men who shop for lingerie as gifts to their beloved wife or girlfriend. Not knowing the target audience well can lead to bombarding them with totally irrelevant ads and therefore wasting your ad dollars. The competition for ad clicks even gets fiercer during the holiday seasons, effectively shooting your ad spend through the roof.
Smaller businesses with no dedicated marketing team almost stand no chance of competing against big established corporations given their limited resources and lack of time. To big corporations with a marketing department, increased ad spending may not be an issue. However, why waste your marketing resources when there are more efficient ways out there to convert the customers? With a conversational marketing campaign, you no longer play the guessing game. Right from the start, you can trigger a guided conversation with a prospective customer through the use of interactive chatbots. What question will appear next will totally depend on their answer to the current question. Your prospective customers can comfortably interact with you using their favorite messaging app. You, the brand, can track where they came from, what they want, and at what stage of the funnel they are.
The best thing is, many brands successfully convert prospective customers right within the conversation. There’s no need to fill out boring forms or dial a number to make a reservation. This streamlined conversion process doesn’t just benefit the brand, it also improves customer experience. In the case of a lingerie brand, you can easily start the conversation by asking them who they are shopping for, thus avoiding bombarding them with the wrong messages.
People love messaging. A study conducted in 2017 discovered that 50% of all US Internet users chose text messaging as their preferred mobile communication channel. It’s hard to find someone who is not on at least one social platform these days. Facebook Messenger alone processes 20 billion messages monthly. It’s estimated that the number of messaging app users will reach 2.48 billion by 2021.
As more businesses are jumping on the bandwagon, the emerging messaging channel risks facing the same problem that other preceding channels face: advertising abuse and messaging fatigue. As an early adopter of conversational marketing, you could minimize the unwanted effects by applying the best practices to your marketing approach.
The personal nature of conversational marketing compared to other channels provides you a unique opportunity to form intimate relationships with your customers, provided you prioritize quality over quantity. When done right, it is the best marketing opportunity that sets your business apart from the competitors.