It doesn't matter what you're doing by way of online content… everything you do eventually needs to drive people to your business.
And yet, I'm regularly talking with business owners who say “I tried [social media, facebook ads, YouTube ads, SEO, etc.], and it doesn't work.”
But there's a common thread among these businesses: most of their “failed” marketing efforts were set up without any clear, measurable goals. And, it's likely that none of them were part of a strategic marketing funnel.
Look, if you are doing any kind of marketing online, it needs to feed your funnel. Otherwise, you're just wasting time, effort, and money.
Believe me, it's very easy to waste time and money online.
But when you've got a strategy… a plan… a goal… a measurable outcome… only then will you be in a position to truly judge what “works” and what doesn't.
And one of the fastest, cheapest, and most effective ways I can think of to test a marketing message or offer these days is through Facebook's Messenger platform.
Not your website.
Not your email list.
….but Messenger… using a bot (that an automation tool, if you're not yet in the know).
Now, before we go any further, it's important to understand a couple of basics:
1. Once someone interacts with your Messenger Bot, they are officially “subscribed” to that bot, allowing you to send messages to them (and others on your list) in the future.
2. The are MANY ways to get someone to interact with your bot (including running ads, automating responses to Facebook post comments, website widgets, custom referral links, and lots more).
However you get someone to initially engage with your Messenger Bot, you'll be able to automate a conversation, guiding them through a series of questions and answers that will lead them down the path of getting to know, like, and trust you and your business more.
How Do Messenger Bots Work?
Bots are simply pre-programmed message sequences that allow your business to interact with Messenger users.
Along the way, you can ask questions of them, collect contact information and other data from them, and segment them into “buckets” to follow-up with relevant communications at a later time.
Bots can work by providing multiple choice options for people to select an appropriate path for their interactive experience. However, bots are also capable of being programmed to recognize keywords, so they can respond to frequently asked questions.
For example, if someone wants to know your prices, they might type something like “how much does it cost?”
If you see that lots of people are interested in price when interacting with your bot, you can program it to say something like “Are you looking for information on our prices?” along with a prompt for people to respond yes or no, and then guide them to the answer they're after.
In other words, regardless of where your prospect is in the conversion process, your bot can respond with appropriate content that will keep them moving forward in your funnel, helping them more fully trust your business.
Talk about a quick and efficient way to build trust and credibility online! Plus, you can do this on a 24/7 basis!
Create a Topic-Based Sales Funnel, Specific to Your Online Content
Just because you publish a lot of content online, doesn't mean that you're people will buy from you. Content is part of an overall marketing strategy that helps guide people toward an action (like buying or donating or booking an appointment).
You don't create content just for the sake of creating it. You don't just spit out material just for the sake of having something to do. It has to lead somewhere, and this is why all your content has to call people to action. They have to motivate people to either get in touch with you and ask questions, or otherwise reach out to you.
This is why I'm so excited about the power of bots… and in particular, Facebook Messenger Bots.
The awesome thing about these chatbots is that they are inbound, meaning that they only kick into action once a person on Facebook clicks on the link, and their Facebook Messenger app opens. Once that happens, you have them at the palm of your hand.
Not only can you send them an automated response, but within that response, you can send them to relevant content that helps warm them up to you and you business.
For example, this furniture e-commerce store reaches out to me occasionally to ask if I'm interested in information on a particular topic. In this case they are offering to share some tips on selecting a rug:
From here, they can take me to an article or video that shows me exactly how to shop for a product they sell… and then present me with an option to buy.
Best of all, if I don't buy right away, they can send me more messages on the same topic until I do.
Bots Also Solve Problems
When people start engaging with your Bot, they're typically trying to address a problem or a desire they have:
Does the thing you sell solve their problem?
Which of the things you offer is the right option for them?
Can they schedule an appointment or reservation online?
How can they get customer support?
They are trying to figure something out. They are unclear on certain things.
When you make them feel that they matter enough for you to answer their questions, and for you to put in the time, effort, and energy to create a process for them, your business stands out.
You can also develop a bot to connect with your raving fans… which is exactly what basketball's Golden State Warriors have done:
In this case, the team has positioned their brand front and center for their audience, enabling regular interactions inside Messenger, which most of their fans have open on their phones all the time.
This is probably one of the most exciting features of Facebook Messenger automation. A lot of online marketers think that once they use a Facebook chatbot, that it really is just a clunky linear one-on-one automated system.
Most people are under the false impression that a chatbot is simply a knowledge base that uses some sort of weak search engine algorithm to answer questions. And that is a really limiting and crippling mindset, because it doesn't even come close to fully tapping the tremendous sales and customer support opportunities chatbots bring to the table.
This is a form of artificial intelligence, and if you pair this with machine learning and other current technologies, you can create a customer engagement system learns over time. It's as if the customer would think that you are reading their minds.
Sephora does this exceptionally well by providing an interactive virtual product trial experience via their bot:
I don't want to sound creepy, I don't want to sound like I'm invading somebody's privacy, but that's how powerful, robust and truly personal Facebook chatbots can be. By truly answering people's questions, pulling data from their profiles, and customizing the engagement, If you can really get their attention, and this can lead to more to multiple potential sales paths.
For example, if somebody's calling regarding a particular product that you're selling, you can create a logic depending on their specific needs. And depending on the answers they give you, you can upsell them.
You can get them to buy, not just the item that they are inquiring about, but additional items that people normally buy when they buy that item.
It's as if they are surfing through Amazon and they are buying related products. The same logic applies to services. And what's so awesome about chatbots, is they do this in the background.
This doesn't involve like a real, live human being going through all the possibilities. It's not somebody wasting their actual time.
This is all pre-written. This works with existing logic trees based on a predictable range of needs prospects may have. Not only do you stand to make more dollars per customer engagement, but you can add more value to the relationship over time.
If your customers think that they can always come back to you for the answers that they need, precisely at the time they are most in need of such answers, who do you think they will turn to?
They will go to you because they associate you with a positive experience. They associate you with getting the right information at the right time to produce the right outcomes right when they need it. It doesn't even come close.
So do yourself a big favor, invest in a Facebook chatbot infrastructure for your business. Automate multiple potential sales paths within the same logic tree. It doesn't take much, different questions, after all, can lead to different sales opportunities.
The worst thing that you can do is to slam the digital door in the face of your customers, and basically say to them, in so many words, that you couldn't care less. If you want to know how to put a working Facebook chatbot automation system together in your business, click here to learn about our chatbot design an management services.