Customer buy-in is crucial to building relationships with customers. Engagement increases awareness. It creates instant trust with strangers and increases revenue as delighted customers buy more often. Conversational marketing helps you achieve this.
While the idea of marketing conversationally has long been an aspiration of dedicated marketers, it’s becoming a reality as technology catches up. And it’s vital to understand what makes this type of marketing so different from more traditional methods.
What Is Conversational Marketing Versus Traditional Marketing?
When conversing, you emphasize real-time, two-way, personal interactions between customers and your brand. This can happen across many channels, including chatbots, messaging, apps, and social media. When brands become truly conversational, it signals they’ve grown up into a mature omnichannel experience.
This contrasts with traditional marketing. In this type of marketing, you’re generally speaking to customers through advertising.
The traditional approach has its place. You certainly need it for initial brand awareness. But if you’re speaking with someone in real life and never listening to what they have to say, they won’t engage with you for long. The same thing happens online.
You could falsely assume that traditional marketing only includes old-fashioned media like television, flyers, radio, and newspapers. Nope. Just because you’re digital marketing doesn’t mean you’ve escaped traditional advertising’s bad habits. Let’s take a closer look at the differences.
Side-by-side Comparison of Convo and Traditional Marketing
Traditional methods can help customers solve their problems. But it takes a while, and they may end up with solutions that aren’t ideal for them. That’s because traditional strategies cast a broad net and try to retrofit solutions onto customers rather than vice versa.
Conversely, when you’re conversational, you listen to customers first. You seek to understand what they want. This allows you to develop products people need and help customers find the most relevant solutions for their problems. You’re personalizing the experience.
Furthermore, strategies like omnichannel messaging allow you to interact in real time, so there is no delay between question and answer. That’s important because 90% of customers now expect real-time customer support.
A traditional methodology builds trust through frequent repetition and bold promises that often focus on what the company does rather than customer needs. You have to trust that they’re telling the truth.
On the other hand, when you become a conversational brand, you show customers you’re trustworthy through consistent, tech-enabled, yet human experiences across channels.
Show customers you’re listening to them (through data) by launching SMS campaigns that feel personal, not promotional. Further, build trust by engaging with them directly and providing meaningful and responsive support. As a bonus, others can see public interactions on social media and review sites. That becomes social proof that can build instant trust.
Generating Brand Ambassadors
In the olden days—okay, marketers still do this today—you may have used earworms, obnoxious repetition, and meme-worthy slogans to try to stick in people’s heads. This allowed you to generate buzz around your brand as multiple people were exposed to the same media.
What happens when you take a more conversational approach here? You deliver the personalized experience customers have come to expect. This generates brand ambassadors and drives growth. It’s no wonder that according to the State of Customer Experience report by Mitto, scores of companies using mature, conversational omnichannel strategies are 50% higher.
Reaching Customers Through Text Marketing
A traditional text messaging campaign can be boiled down to sending ads through messaging. You cast your net broadly to see who bites.
How do you make this conversational? You do so in 2 primary ways:
- Use omnichannel data to deliver the most relevant offers and content to each recipient. It feels personalized.
- Don’t use SMS solely as an ad platform (which it’s not). Instead, build campaigns that encourage interaction. Enhance your ability to provide text support using solutions such as chatbots that can answer immediate questions. Build an efficient agent workflow that allows them to connect with humans faster for more complex support.
Now, your brand feels conversational. As long as you listen to customers first, you have the opportunity to guide that conversation and meet business goals.