11 advices to drive conversational marketing strategy

#Conversational Marketing

7 min. read

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Aleksandra Đermanović

You're already aware of the potential that instant messaging platforms and apps like Viber, WhatsApp and Messenger might bring to your brand's digital factor x. But do you know where (and how!) to start?

Yes, instant messaging marketing and approach to the development of communication strategy on chat apps are a tiny bit different than the rest of the social media, so take the first step and read below what works and what doesn’t. Even though conversational marketing is not a trend, but it’s here to stay, you need to approach it like you would do any other digital marketing activity – with caution and quality insights. And deem whether it’s a good fit for your brand and business goals.

In the previous blog post, we focused on the origins of conversational marketing, the benefits there are for clients, and the questions you might ask yourself before starting. In this post, we’ll talk about the insights we have learned from the different strategies and tactics we have used on several major conversational campaigns we have worked on and how brands can deploy them.

Go with the experienced team

In recent years, we had the opportunity to work on numerous instant messaging campaigns. As every learning process, we also had our ups and downs; however, with experience comes the knowledge. And with expertise came the awards and nominations. When we start working out with a client an instant messaging approach for their brand, we make it as simple as possible, without using big, complicated words. We go over what opportunities exist there for brands, as well as the pros and cons of instant messaging.

Here, I will be going over the insights the agency has learned from the different strategies and tactics we have used on several major conversational campaigns we have worked on in last years and how you can deploy them. Many of them are rather straightforward. Still, we are aware that most people often tend to forget the most basic principles when they are planning conversational marketing strategy for their brand.

Choose wisely, but choose nevertheless 

1.First, decide which instant messaging app is the right one for your target audience. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber are all no doubt excellent instant messaging platforms, and a lot of people across our region are using them. Some might prefer one over the other, but from the perspective of adoption rates and MAU/DAU, the differences among the three are relatively small. However, you, as a brand, need to decide which of those chat apps can offer the best experience for your audience. What are the possibilities of connecting to other digital channels, integration possibilities, engagement opportunities… and whether their functionalities are aligned with what you want to achieve.

2.Build small but think big. Adding a messaging platform to an already existing digital marketing channels can be a bit overwhelming. It’s, therefore, essential for brands to start small. You don’t have to go all-in, with “all the guns” – community, stickers, chatbot, or solutions integrated with your existing CRM. Companies and brands can begin by promoting a single offer or launching a unique instant messaging channel to their audience. Experiment first and, of course, listen to recommendations that the agency experienced in conversational marketing is sharing with you.

Keep it simple, but not stupid! 

3. Don’t try to overcomplicate things at the beginning just because you have the technology available. Instant messaging platforms need to be reserved for a more fluid, back-and-forth, or Q&A interactions. In that way, you will be able to grow adoption rates at a manageable pace, without putting too much pressure on your digital team. At the same time, you will get quality insights that you can use to improve both your strategy and execution. Afterward, you can grow your instant messaging offering based on the customer interactions they’re receiving.

4. Instant messaging is really all about genuinely connecting with other people around the themes you as a brand and they as your potential customers care about, they want to participate in, or they want to share. Think about the delivery approach. When you plan on using instant messaging platforms, you should think about how you can deliver the content in a personalized and engaging way. How can I make it meaningful to a customer? The experience the customer will have must be well-thought-out, and the platform you choose must align with other channels you’re using to be both practical and efficient.

Develop excellent stories and entice conversation 

5. A good, well-told story will ALWAYS beat the strategic approach. What do I mean by that? If you don’t have several storylines you want to explore with your consumers via messaging apps, the strategy you develop will fall short simply because we as human beings are “addicted” to excellent storytelling. When interactions with brands feel more conversational and story-based rather than transactional – your customers will feel more valued. If you’re unsure how to develop stories for messaging apps, get inspired by the behavior-changing conversational campaign we did for the Ministry of Environment.

6. Drive your community members to a conversation. On messaging apps, people are looking for two-way dialogue and are not happy when you tell them to “click here” or “do this.” So it’s imperative to develop several conversation topics or explore what your customers are interested in. Also, make sure to always focus your conversations and provide a context, together with a goal. Without context, communication is pointless. And without goals, not the brand nor the customers will know where they are heading.

Provide real value, not ads

7. Don’t be intrusive and always make sure the message matches the medium. When your launching either a long-term engagement strategy or a short-term campaign on messaging apps, it’s easy to get promotional. Focus on providing value. If you don’t, you’ll be regarded as a nuisance or an interruption in a person’s private space. Providing value can mean different things to different brands. Take a look at how one Croatian radio station decided to provided value to its listeners.

8. No one likes being sold to. If your business approach is to sell first and talk later, you might want to consider a different communication channel. Or at least an added digital venue to conversational strategy you’re developing. Even though you might believe otherwise, your community members and potential consumers can honestly sense when they’re being sold to. And as a result, they will avoid your channel if it doesn’t feel authentic. So, strive towards and make sure each communication is authentic and personalized. That way, your brand will be well-positioned, and you will manage to increase brand awareness and conversions.

Focus on seamless experience and security 

9. Whenever possible, keep that conversation within the instant messaging channel. When you run a campaign or particular brand activation (couponing, for example), try to keep the consumer within the channel during the whole conversation – don’t drive them away from it, unless absolutely necessary. To have good results, you need to engage consumers on the channel they are spending time on. If you need to switch the channel, make it as seamless as possible for the consumer and limit your steps to – just one.

10. Always choose the most secure instant messaging platforms for your customers. Data misuse is no longer just a concern, but a grave issue we all need to address and be responsible for. Customers what to be able to share their personal information and handle their interactions on secure platforms.

Experiment, experiment, experiment! 

11. Be ready to experiment. Approach instant messaging and conversational marketing with a testing mindset. As with any form of advertising, it takes trying many different things to figure out what works for each brand and industry.

If you want to read more about conversational marketing campaigns we executed for our clients, be sure to check:

If you’re interested in launching a conversational marketing campaign of just want to talk about the options and opportunities, instant messaging apps have to offer, contact us.