You hear about them everywhere, intuit that they are important. You think that maybe you should have one already in your content strategy, but you do not even know where to start. From today on, chatbots will no longer be a mystery to you.
A chatbot is a technology that allows a user to have a conversation with a computer program, usually within a messaging app, such as Facebook Messenger, Slack or Telegram.
Knowing your definition is fine. But what really works to understand a concept is to see it with our own eyes. Let’s find some examples:
Allows you to check flights and make arrangements through Facebook Messenger.
Offers the possibility to reserve a table in a restaurant.
Delivers useful content for marketers.
Searches for products among several fashion ecommerce and shows them in Messenger.
In all of them we can experience first-hand how a chatbot works: it recognizes our natural language and performs the actions we entrust to it. Like Siri or Cortana, but in text format. In addition, thanks to Artificial Intelligence, they learn about our tastes and habits. This is how it offers services and products in an increasingly precise way.
WHAT ADVANTAGES DO CHATBOTS HAVE?
The answer is many, since by eliminating an interface full of buttons and menus the need to learn how to navigate in it also disappears, which entails:
- Ubiquity, because with a simple messaging app that includes the possibility of including bots we can open all the conversations we want with stores and services.
- Authenticity, since we use what is most natural for us to interact in real life, which is language.
- Accessibility, with a much more comfortable and intuitive interface.
- Efficiency, the user gets more with less.
It is true that today chatbots are no more than digital concierges. We must bear in mind that this has only just begun and proof of this are the latest trends that have been observed around them:
- The use of messaging applications is already surpassing social networks. It shows how people prefer conversation to relate, with fewer interfaces in between.
- 20% of Internet searches are done by voice. Attendees are used as Siri, without the need to type in the search engine interface.
- Natural language interfaces, such as chatbots, are moving fast in the curve of technology adoption.
- In China WeChat has had great success in its application, allowing millions of people to interact with their software through voice.
These data can be framed in an evolution of the user interfaces that walk towards their elimination, and towards an interaction with the software without screens or menus, based on the recognition of the natural language and the AI. This will completely eliminate the “friction” between user and software, and involves a small revolution in the use of technology.
CONTENTS AND MARKETING IN A CHATBOT
The first thing we need to know to design a chatbot is what service we are going to offer, and how this “converts” into a conversation. With this clear, you have to design a conversational experience, and even “design” the personalization of the bot.
This design should try to take the user to the conversation that the bot knows and in which it can offer value. The bot’s questions, for example, should never be opened. They must give predefined options, so that the user does not go by the branches, misleading the bot.
This design must be accompanied by a content strategy for chatbots, since content is what the bot will offer within the conversation we have designed. Hence the importance of managing them well to achieve a value interaction for the user.
To achieve this we must develop a new paradigm of content classification, with powerful semantic relationships, good architecture and an adequate taxonomy. In addition, a set of vocabularies controlled and that fits with the conversation we want to develop.
All this must be developed through trial and error, allowing the AI of the chatbot to learn, achieving an increasingly contextual and fluid interaction. The work of the content strategist, which will help the chatbot to offer the best content, is fundamental.
How does all this affect marketing?
Chatbots open new possibilities for interaction with customers. In Messenger, for example, a chatbot can:
- Send messages with hardly any limitations after the first interaction.
- The input of the users allows to segment them dynamically from the conversations.
- You can send messages from automated workflows.
- You can send advertising, invitations and discount coupons. Very segmented according to the behavior of each user, through Facebook Messenger.
The pioneering experiences in this case show CTR and high engagement. Partly thanks to a one-to-one communication that does not have to compete with anyone in the chat. Although, as always, we must not forget that we all HATE spam. And more if it is a spambot! Therefore, AI and chatbots must always serve to provide much more value to users. If we achieve this, we will surely succeed.