Are Chatbots the future of digital marketing?
Chatbots aren’t new to 2018. They have been around for decades. They have been constantly evolving over the years to become what they are today. There are a lot of Chatbots that have been designed to work for Social Media platforms. These kind of Chatbots aren’t relatively new either, they have been around for a few years, but it is only now that business and marketers alike are taking advantage of this unique system to market their brand or product. In the current marketing climate, it doesn’t matter whether you’re the head of marketing of a fortune 500 company or run a small digital agency, you have a lot of resources at your disposal to be a great marketer. Chatbot tools come into this category and will definitely take off in the new year.
What are Chatbots?
You may be thinking to yourself “What is a chatbot?” Simply put, a Chatbot is a robot designed chatting. Modern Chatbots live on the internet and can be used for a multitude of reasons. From designed for entertaining the masses to commercial use and everything else in-between. There is a lot that you can do with a chatbot. From a marketing point of view, you can reach your target audience within the platform where they are messaging their friends. In this blog I will focus on Facebook Messenger, however, there are Chatbots for every platform such as; WhatsApp WeChat, Telegram, Slack and so on.
How are Chatbots beneficial?
As I have said, there is a lot you can do with a chatbot, but I haven’t actually told you what you can do, so that’s what I’m going to do.
For a bit of context, I am currently in the process of developing a chatbot of Blue Whale Media for use in our competition draws. In this chatbot, I must store data such as how many entries a person has got or which competition they are involved in. This is one benefit, you can store information within the chatbot. You can store absolutely anything if the consumer provides it.
The biggest benefit of Chatbots is that they are built for automation. When you’re not online then your bot can handle things for you. From simply letting people know that you’re out of office or taking them through the process of booking an appointment. Don’t get me wrong, they are time-consuming to set up, but once they are then they’re fully automated and you can continue to work on them from the back end.
The Cons of Chatbots
So I have mentioned the pros, but there must be cons, right? Of course, there are. My biggest problem with Chatbots is that they can be very tedious at times. It’s similar to building a WordPress website in the sense that you have to tell the bot what to do and you it doesn’t always want to do it. Then you have to try and find a fix to the problem. Finding fixes is hard, especially when you’re like me and google your way through life. When Google doesn’t have the answer I feel lost (insert laughing emoji here). To be honest, this is the only problem that I have encountered. This is personal to me, and I’m sure you may feel differently towards chatbots (if/when you use them).
Are Chatbots the Future?
I know what you’re saying “But Ben if they were the future wouldn’t big business already be using them?” Yes, they would, and they are! A lot of entrepreneurs that you see on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter etc are already using chatbots to drive traffic and get the best possible results from the campaign. The thing is, the masses aren’t overly aware of how they are pulling this off. In my opinion, Chatbots are going to become a massive trend in 2019 for smaller businesses.
To conclude, look into chatbots! They may be the best thing that you ever invested your time and money into, but then again it may be the worst. If you can make them work for your business then do it. They are great for driving traffic to your website.