We have all heard or read about Artificial Intelligence or AI taking over a lot of jobs in the future as automation increases efficiency. These terms at times may often have us thinking if AI is the thing that affects only the engineering side of the economy, or can it affect other areas as well? Well, the answer is a big YES! With markets becoming saturated and making it a tough competition for the new businesses to grow, people have started adopting AI in marketing, especially digital marketing. It works and produces far better results on the strategies created by it in comparison to the ones generated by humans.
Today in this blog I will be sharing on how one can benefit from AI and maximise their returns using the minimum resources possible. I will be talking about things like Chatbot, content marketing, maximising your leads and building your website. So, lets dive straight into it.
On an average 98% of the users leave the website without any engagement. So, you will be looking for a virtual assistant that can work 24*7 on your website to boost up the engagements. A chatbot on your website will interact with your users and increase your engagements by a huge margin. Moreover, nearly 85% of the interaction online will happen with chatbots by 2022. Currently, over 1.4 billion people use chatbots daily. This means that it is also a growing market.
Obviously, these are enormous numbers, but the question that remains unanswered is, why a chatbot?
The average conversion rate of any website is around 1%, that’s a lot of potential traffic wasted. A chatbot here starts a conversation with the user immediately when they start going through your page. In fact, 55% of the businesses have reported a greater lead generation due to chatbots. Ecommerce websites reported around 20% increase in sales because of chatbots. According to a study Consumers cite “24-hour service” as the biggest benefit of having chatbots available for the online services that they use.
In an increasing online world, where everything is a click away, consumers also want their queries solved in a few clicks. Chatbots are essential as they give a quick response to queries. It is estimated that 70% of the white-collar jobs will require chatbots by 2022. It is worth nothing that, the global market of chatbot is valued at 1.23 billion dollars with a staggering growth rate of 25%!
Let’s first get the basics of a chatbot in place and then I will be speaking on how you can create a chatbot.
What is a chatbot?
Chatbot, short for “chat robot” is a computer program that takes the place of a natural human conversation online. Think of this like Siri from Apple or Alexa from Amazon. It’s an inexpensive method of conversing with your customers on your website.
Let’s now understand how we can analyse the need for a chatbot for your website. You need to research your engagements over all the platforms to decide if you chatbot should function on a set of commands or use Artificial Intelligence. Chatbots working on a set of commands are the most basic, here a user selects an option from a given set of commands and the chatbot responds to each command. The ones working on AI are best for initiating a more human like conversation.
However, the obvious question in one’s mind would be, now that I have a chatbot, how do I decide its name in a way that people would want to talk to it? Which brings me to my next point.
Deciding a name for your chatbot
Any chatbot platform will ask you to first pick a name for your chatbot. It’s always better to give your chatbot a human name and personality. People would always interact more actively with Alexa than if it were called an Amazon bot. According to a study, 40% of people prefer interacting with a female named chatbot. No wonder Siri’s voice by default is that of a female. With the name of the chatbot ready, let’s figure out a method of creating a welcome message for your users in a way that is pleasant to them and doesn’t annoy them like a pop-up ad!
How to create a pleasant welcome message
Most of the Chatbot platforms provide you with an introductory message which you can use. However, its better if you craft your own welcome message. Here are some tips:
- Use simple language with short sentences
- Try using a bit of a humour or emojis in the welcome message
- Your chatbot should mention its capabilities – is it going to connect you to a customer service or subscribe you to a newsletter and so on
Another thing to keep in mind to limit yourself to not more than 3 sentences for the chatbot, else its perceived as a spam by the user and most of the times they won’t even read the entire message.
For example, if you are running an online bookstore then your chatbot can have a welcome message like – “Hello, my name is XYZ, I will be your virtual assistant for the day. I can help you select the best book for you. Please type in the genre that you are looking for.”
This chatbot is limiting itself to 3 short sentences and is to the point and conveying its capabilities. Such messages will reduce any chances of the user being disappointed.
Well, now that you have attracted the user, the obvious concern is to design messages to keep the conversations going.
Keep the following things in mind:
- No long questions else the user may immediately drop out. The questions should be such that it can be answered in a few words.
For example: If you are a restaurant owner, then your chatbot message should be “Enter 1for Italian, 2 for desserts” and so on rather than “what would you like to eat today?”. This makes it convenient for the user to know what you are offering by just pressing a few numbers.
- Offer the user a way out anytime and have a good closing message. After every conversation, your chatbot should offer a user an option to close the query. This is crucial as an endless chatbot will create a negative impact on your product. Once the user decides to close the conversation, the closing message should be brief. It should thank the user for viewing your website or product and should ask the user to come back again.
Now with the basics taken care of, let’s see the technical aspects of a chatbot and the ways one can set it up.
For this you must understand Natural Learning Programme (NLP). In simple terms, NPL is a branch of computer science, that enables machines to understand human language, not to the extent that humans can, but well enough to execute tasks. You can either code everything right from scratch or use NLP based platforms.
How do I code from scratch?
You can open-source libraries like Apache and Stanford. Open-source libraries are platforms means that a set of codes and be used by anyone for free. Think of it like a recipe to any food.
Pros of coding from scratch:
- You have an absolute control over everything
- You can customize your chatbot according to the website
Cons of coding from scratch:
- It takes a lot of time and efforts to create a fully functioning chatbot roughly around 2-3 months
- You may need to spend another 3-4 months in getting data to help the chatbot interact more naturally with the user
How do I code using NLP based platform?
In this you save yourself from loads of understanding of machine learning. It uses something called as an application programming interface or an API. API is like your bank’s ATM. It makes it convenient for you to withdraw money rather than going to banks and standing in long queues. The money here is nothing but the code/data that you will need.
Pros of NLP based platform:
- You will get access to APIs of the leading software companies like google, Microsoft and IBM which will help you enhance your chatbot
Cons of NLP based platform:
- Despite shortening the backend work, a lot of time will still be needed to help the chatbot interact more naturally with the users
How do I create a chatbot if I don’t know coding?
You can either hire a person who is an expert in this field, or you can create a chatbot using many websites that offer you chatbot services. What are the advantages of not coding a chatbot? Firstly, you will get a chatbot ready in a few days. If you were to sit and code, then it would take at least 3-4 months to get the chatbot ready. Also, the cost required to hire a programmer to setup and maintain a chatbot is going to be costlier.
If you are looking to setup a chatbot for your website, then I recommend Bluehost, which offers chatbot plugins like FreshChat, UserLike etc. That provides the users a clean dashboard, detailed reports of the customer pain point which you can use to further optimise your landing page which will boost your conversions. Some of the chatbots even give recommendations to the user for which product they can buy!
Another important aspect of digital marketing is content marketing which is evident by the fact that content marketing on an average gets 3 times more leads than paid advertising and roughly 60% of the marketers agree that content marketing is the biggest marketing priority. Let’s explore some of the best ways to do content marketing.
Content Marketing is the most basic and core aspect of any digital marketing strategy. The best part about this area is that you can set it all up for very less money, thereby boosting your ROIs for your business. Companies like Bluehost provide their expertise in this field at incredibly low prices. Let’s look at some of the ways you can make a large profit in this field.
Video Marketing has come to the spotlight and the go to style for marketers. Due to ever decreasing internet prices, people prefer watching videos related to a product before buying it and they account for roughly 97% of the total buyers. Even in the B2B domain, roughly 70% of the businesses have started using it now. What companies usually do is that for every 3-4 blogs they publish, they summarize that into a short 3–4-minute video. Since video marketing is new, it provides excellent opportunities for brands big or small to leverage it and position themselves in the market.
One of the biggest advantages of this is that it helps you to stand out from the crowd. There isn’t one business area left where there’s no competition. Hence its extremely competitive for companies to stand out. In a place where the market is almost saturated, brands start looking for the new emerging trends in Digital marketing to leverage that. Furthermore, people have started recognising the value of a brand’s story over its product, so if you want to connect with the audience, tell them your story, tell them what makes your company valuable to increase your sales.
Create mobile friendly content. Due to COVID-19, people are now spending roughly 5-7 hours a day on their smartphones. Around 60% of the users leave a page just because it takes more than 3 seconds to load, this implies that if you have a web that takes around 10-20 seconds to load then you are increasing your bounce rate by nearly 120%. So, creating mobile friendly content means having the main parts of your content like pricing, locations, CTA button easily accessible to them will drive up your sales by nearly 65%.
For the content keep short paragraphs of not more than 5 lines. Use bullet points, have headings and subheadings and a font size of at least 12 points. Try to summarize your content as much as possible, as mobile users look for quick and easy to read content.
Rise of User Generated Content. Due to ever-increasing fraudulent activities on the internet and even if leave this aspect aside, any social media or website isn’t social without having any inputs from the consumers. Taking small initiatives by re posting the content shared by your user, adding testimonials, or having a referral programme, is a tried-tested and a sure shot marketing strategy. In fact, this is the core of Tesla’s marketing strategy. The best app for leveraging this is Twitter. You can even start a giveaway contest on twitter to generate some customer-based content. This will help your brand become more customer centric and build a personal rapport with them.
Good user experience is indispensable. Though people stress on the fact that blogs over 2000 words will get you reach, but what’s the point of a blog if it fails to entertain, engage, or provide any key takeaway for the user? Since your page has around 10 seconds to convince the user to explore more, taking care of things like font sizes and colour psychology will help you in creating long lasting effects for your page.
Use intent-based content. The basic strategy of any content marketing is to create blogs for your products and services and to increase the reach of your blogs, use certain keywords. All that is good, one can also take this another level up by analysing “why” your customer is searching for your product. This can be easily addressed by adding FAQs to your websites and taking care to keep them short. The content should be easy to read and understand by all. The best practice is to use bullet points and keep the sentences short. Strengthen your product by adding any stats or studies of your industries that can create a sense of reliability.
Now that we know the importance of digital marketing, is there any way to get inexpensive advertising in this field? The answer is a big Yes! Bluehost uses state of the art AI named Cobiro, that incorporates the best keywords for your website, which improves your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy.
Now that we know about chatbots and content marketing strategy, lets look at how we can build a website to integrate all of this
Building your website
Gone are the days where you had to be an expert programmer and designer to create a beautiful website that gets your returns. Using Bluehost, you can create a website in just minutes. Bluehost’s smart AI guides creates a professional website and optimizing it for every use.
Let’s find out how we can do that:
- Select a domain name
a. Be brandable and memorable over generic. Using a unique web domain name will help you stand out from your reader’s minds. Its always a good thing to research the websites in your area of expertise to prevent any copyright claim to your websites. For example, my website: profseema.com is more memorable and brandable than marketingconsultancy.com
b. Choose easy to type domain names. Having a brandable and easy to pronounce domain name along with an easy to type domain name is just cherry on the cake. In the last 5 years the mobile traffic online has increased by more than 200% which means that hard to type domain names will usually be autocorrected by phones which will lead to a substantial loss of traffic. Also try to not have any hyphens or numbers in your domain name as that also will lead to a loss of traffic as the memorability aspect of your website will take a major hit. Also, when you have a number on your website it will be hard for the visitor to remember if the number was in words or numeric.c. Register your web domain name. There are thousands of different web domain hosting websites to choose from. Bluehost web hosting provides an affordable and powerful web hosting site with prices starting from as low as 399 Rs.
- Creating your website interface
Bluehost allows you to create a website for your e-commerce needs or for building your WordPress page.
For example, you have started a samosa shop and you want to create your website for it. So long into your Bluehost account, and go to website builder and then type “Samosas,” over here
Image credit: Bluehost
Then the AI system of Bluehost shows the best cover page that you can use for your website, like this:
Once this is done, you can further customize your webpage by adding link, content etc.… and your very own website is good to go
A few tips from my side that you can incorporate in your website is:
- Using the right color patterns
According to a study, 93% shoppers focus on visual appearance of the product alone before buying it. Close to 2/3rds of the consumers won’t buy their favourite product unless it comes in their preferred colour choice. Colour psychology plays a key role in determining consumer’s perception abouts goods and services
The main aim is to create a combination that has a contrast so that your text or image is distinguishable or easy to identify from the rest. Lack of contrast will instantly strain the user’s eyes. How do I create a contrast? If you look at the colour wheel, picking any two-colours which are at the opposites, for example, Blue is opposite to orange and yellow is opposite to purple. The general rule is to use 70-80% of one colour and the remaining of the other colour.
- Colour psychology of blue: conveys a sense of trust, calmness, and intelligence that’s why it’s one of the widely used colour. In fact, blue is one of the most preferred colours for any brand. That is why many hospitals also used softer tones of blue. Tone means adding grey to you colour.
- Colour psychology of red: Conveys strong emotions like power, security, and urgency. It’s one of the reasons why fast-food brands use red colour as its effective for getting more sales. But if your message isn’t conveyed in the right tone or sense, then the same red colour will convey anger, danger, aggression, and pain.
- Colour psychology of purple: The logo conveys royalty, prestigious, wisdom and wealth. Because of this reason it’s used by many beauty products as well. However, it’s an unpopular colour choice for energy and agriculture sector.
- Colour psychology of yellow: It conveys happiness, fun and sunshine. It’s one of the few colours that instantly lifts the spirits of the person. Yellow is best used with slight presence of darker colour like red which instantly attracts the user. However too much yellow conveys fear, caution, and anxiety, which is why it’s used as one of the traffic lights.
Now that we have the website in place, the only thing remaining is how to get more leads. Let’s explore that as well
How to generate more leads?
For generating leads firstly, you will need the customer to click on some action button that could either be signing up to your website or your newsletter if you have one and it makes sense to have these action buttons at places in the website that can maximise the returns. For this you need a few measurable parameters also known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These are indicators that can tell you how successful your marketing campaigns or strategy are working.
Some of the KPIs to measure are
- Organic searches: Organic searches mean the total number of searches of your website without using any paid marketing. This is one of the most important KPIs to track for your website. Your aim should be to have more than 16% of the organic searches converting to your customers.
- Bounce rate: This is a newer KPI and is an important one as it shows how user friendly or user appealing your website is. On an average, a bounce rate less than 40% is amazing and more than 70% means that the customers are not able to find what they are looking for. Also, if the bounce rate is around 35%, you don’t have to worry much as even the best websites have a minimum bounce rate of 25%.
- Scroll depth: This KPI shows the percentage of the total content your user goes through. This is important as it will help you to place the Call to Action or CTA button within the scroll depth. According to industrial standards if your page has more than 2000 words then average scroll depth should be 75% and if it’s around 1250 words then 50% scroll depth is good
Now the main tricky aspect is to analyze this data and make meaningful conclusions out of this. Don’t worry but, Bluehost comes to the rescue here as well. Its state-of-the-art AI system analyzes and groups the leads into various categories and even generates customized emails for each group to follow up which can maximize your returns.
In the end, AI might sound like a thing only for tech-based companies, but it’s all about capitalizing on these facilities to strengthen your business. Just make sure to stick to the basics of having a good content marketing strategy and build your further business on it by having a good website, chatbots to increase your engagements, and a good lead-generating strategy.