A business may create content with different goals in mind. Still, one main goal for most businesses is to engage with readers, and push them toward making a decision, whether it is purchasing, downloading, or watching something online. Here is the ultimate guide to conversational content strategy.
Your customers are human beings with emotions like anger, love, and fear. Traditionally, we’ve heard that the key to a powerful engagement is to trigger the emotions, and this purpose is met when there is a two-way conversation between parties.
What Is Conversational Content
The more you engage with prospects, the more they’re willing to act in a way you want. Here is where conversational content comes in.
In conversational content, the goal is to write and address the needs in words customers actually use. You must write something they actually want to read, share, and engage. The messaging should form the conversation in a meaningful way.
Messages should be written in a way that ends up in a two-way experience. In conversational content, the goal isn’t to drive sales immediately but to influence.
If you can influence people, not only will sales happen automatically, but you’ll also build customer loyalty, and they’ll start recommending your business to others.
Why Conversational Content Matters
The interactions between businesses with their prospects, through various channels, are getting more conversational, and this will change the engagement patterns. Consumers expect an immediate response from brands they try to interact with, which will lead to more adoption of chatbots and nascent AI-powered tools.
Here is why you should embrace conversational content, and make sure it is aligned with your inbound strategy.
Collect meaningful insights directly
The first and foremost benefit of conversational content is collecting insights directly from prospects. Through a healthy interaction, they’ll sign up for a newsletter, follow you on social media, and engage through different online channels.
Consumer-oriented insights are vital for brands that are striving for deeper relationships with prospects. Moreover, with rich and detailed data in hand, they don’t need to play guessing games anymore.
The collected data can be used for various purposes, including optimizing future interactions, filling the gaps in product or service support, refining marketing strategy, seizing untapped opportunities, or making more insightful decisions.
Customer journey optimization
The experience you create for customers and the impact you make on them determines whether they purchase from you again or give up the card. According to Salesforce, for 80% of customers, a brand’s experience is as important as its products or services.
From interacting in social channels to closing the deal, is a bumpy road that needs optimization. Don’t forget you have insights in hand, and here is a great chance for optimizing the customer journey and making it customer-centered to add more value. These efforts finally lead to strengthen customer relationships and build loyalty.
Conversational content is a reliable approach to position yourself as an authority in the market. In today’s fast-changing, dynamic business environment, there is a game of trust. Consumers ask: Why should I interact with you? Why should I buy from you?
You need to give them a reason to trust. Those who lose the game of trust must wait for the coming of winter. More customer-centric interactions are key to this.
The Power of Talking Directly to People
As a marketer, you know how important it is to deliver a personalized experience. Look at it as a conversation with a friend, colleague, or family member. Try to stay away from the common marketing and sales tone, and drive the conversation to a friendly atmosphere where a two-sided dialogue takes place.
Here are some quick tips to multiply the effectiveness of your conversations.
Meet customers at their place
Some marketers struggle to figure out what channels do prospects prefer most, and what type of content is more appealing to them. Remember, an effective conversation always happens in customers’ place, not the place you’re expecting.
Finding the right place for conversation is one of the essential components of inbound marketing and determines messaging’s quality and effectiveness.
Just ask yourself a simple question: What channels do my target audiences use? Through well-defined research or a customer survey, you can find the best answer. Also, investigating the buyers’ persona can help find the channels in which prospects operate more.
Collect and integrate data
Your CRM team and customer service reps are currently using technological tools to provide customers with rich and real-time support. Every business needs first-party data about its prospects’ interests and expectations.
The more data you collect, the more fruitful conversations become. The data can be gathered through subscription and registration data, surveys, social media monitoring, marketing analysis, or transaction tracking.
But every data must serve a purpose.
“The ultimate purpose of collecting the data is to provide a basis for action or a recommendation,” W. Edwards Deming.
After data collection, it’s time to integrate. Integrating and sharing the data with the CRM and customer support department brings convenience to the conversations.
You may have several touchpoints with customers, and integrated data prevents customers from repeating the same problem every time they try to interact with you. You know it’s really frustrating!
Let’s dive into how to develop a conversational content strategy and build a solid relationship with customers through it.
4 Steps to a ‘Conversational’ Content Strategy
Keep in mind that conversational content doesn’t overlap with your existing content planning and inbound marketing strategy. Accurately, conversational content is a part of inbound marketing, and they are all in the same wagon toward a common goal, which is increasing engagement.
1. Set the KPIs
The first step to implementing a new conversational strategy is to set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the effectiveness and performance of conversation efforts over a period of time. The KPIs must be clear, relevant, and scalable. Likewise, they need to be coordinated with the customer journey and conversion funnel.
Here are some KPIs to consider for your conversational content strategy. You can set the KPIs according to the business goals and overall strategy.
- Content views
- Mentions by influencers
- Comments, likes, shares
- On-site metrics like page views, bounce rate, and time-on-site
- Conversion rates
- Multiple interactions
2. Write in language customers actually use
When writing conversational, you shouldn’t sound like a robot, and every word should convince the prospects that you are addressing them in person, not in a general tone. This way, they feel connected and ready to start the interaction.
The lack of personality is the killer of engagement and leaves you in vain. Your high school English teacher won’t penalize you for breaking some grammar rules here, so break some rules, and write in a tone that entertains, encourages, and engages readers.
Finally, bear in mind that you do not overuse conversational tone in your interactions with prospects. Everything in its moderation is best, and using too much conversational language may alienate the audience. Never sacrifice the brand and business prestige for an interaction.
- Use “You” and “I” instead of third-person
- Write short sentences
- Use contractions
- Ask questions to engage
- A little formality is needed
- Don’t use Passive voice
- Remove excessive jargons
- Don’t write in the same way you talk
- Don’t be rude and rough
3. Go beyond chatbots and messaging apps
Despite the convenience that bots brought to business-customer interactions, they still have a long way ahead to replace humans.
According to a survey by Blue Fountain Media, 47% of respondents prefer human interactions to AI. By the same token, 86% of consumers prefer to ask for human support if the bot fails to meet their request. People out there aren’t just the consumers of your content, and they’re looking for a human-made experience in their interactions rather than just chatting with a bot.
Bots are smart and AI-powered, but even the smartest bots can’t share empathy. Empathy is your weapon to position yourself at the heart and mind of prospects and let them to feel secure and heard. Don’t ignore it.
Don’t forget Offline channels.
Conversation doesn’t necessarily need to happen in an online environment. Sometimes the ROI of an offline channel outperforms online. For more effective communications, you can schedule face-to-face meetings (by respect social distancing, of course) with consumers.
4. Measure & optimize
Finally, it’s time to measure your efforts, see what’s working, what the areas of improvement are, and what should be left. Investigate the data you collected from consumers, and refine the strategies according to the insights.
Great Examples of Conversational Content
Learning a new language through participating in conversations can accelerate learning, but if you feel embarrassed, Duolingo bot is here to be your partner. This bot simulates human-like conversations for learners and constantly updates its core to learn new phrases.
“Students master vocabulary and comprehension skills with Duolingo, but coming up with things to say in real-life situations remains daunting. Bots offer a sophisticated and effective answer to that need.” Duolingo CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn said.
HealthJoy is a healthcare startup that uses an AI-powered chatbot, named Joy, to provide users with doctors’ information, insurance plans, health recommendations, and more. Companies can manage their healthcare costs with HealthJoy, and save a lot of money thanks to its wide-ranging programs.
- Whole Foods
Whole Foods uses a bot on Facebook Messenger to help users with recipes. Finding a recipe has never been as easy as it is with the Whole Foods bot. The bot even allows searching for a recipe with emoji.
Deploying a conversational strategy isn’t a new concept, and many brands are using it for a long while, but the way you execute the strategy is the key factor. We live in an age that personalization is getting more hit, and consumer’s interactions are heavily affected by the conversational patterns. Every brand needs a conversational strategy to stay on the radar of consumers.
Image Credit: judit peter; pexels