You’ve innovated by choosing digital as your medium for your publication. Now, it’s time to forge ahead and work towards keeping ahead of the curve by incorporating conversational marketing and chatbots in your digital publishing strategy.
So what is conversational marketing? In short, it’s one of the emerging marketing trends that focuses on using one-on-one interactions scaled up to be included in your overall marketing strategy.
Just as how digital publishers have now adopted social media marketing, marketing automation, search engine optimisation and user experience in websites, and targeted ads, they should now consider some of the emerging best practices in marketing such as incorporating chatbots and having a conversational strategy in place.
But its not simply a matter of adopting it because it’s new or because other industries are doing it. Actually, it’s about making marketing more personal again.
At the end of the day, people buy from those they are familiar with, and having a conversational channel in place will help your digital magazines achieve a more personal relationship with your readers and help build trust that there is someone human on the other line that wants to help them if they’re having a problem.
Actually, it’s highly likely that you are already undertaking a form of conversational marketing.
If you have email or have your phone number available for your customers or potential subscribers, then you’re already present in two out of three of the most common conversational channels there are; the third is live chat (whether in your website, or social media, or even Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger).
What differentiates these channels from the others that we’ve normally tackled is that we are engaging in one-on-one conversations.
Using chatbots and conversational marketing in the digital publishing industry
If you have an official website for your publication, having a live chat functionality allows your visitors to immediately converse with one of your representatives or get assistance from a chatbot.
If you have a whole subscriber lead qualification system where you gather and categorise your potential subscribers for future targeted promotion campaigns, then a well structured conversational strategy and script will allow you to already categorise your leads on the spot and gather information from them instead of waiting for them to visit certain pages or convert somewhere.
Some chat tools are even quite proactive where the chat box automatically opens, and a message is sent to the visitor asking if there is anything they need help with. This basically cuts through the mental icebreaker for visitors where they don’t have to make the first move anymore.
Ensuring that your followers or visitors on social media can chat with you is a best practice. Remember that social media is about interactions. If you just use social media as a way to disseminate information instead of having interactions with your audience, then they may lose interest.
Whoever handles social media should also have a strategy on how to handle inquiries via chat according to an overall conversational strategy that fits with your marketing plan.
Finally, you should use chatbots for your actual readers that use your digital magazine app. One way is to adopt it as a kind of personal assistant within the app by allowing readers to ask for articles of a certain topic or date, or perhaps to search online on other articles written about the same topic to help the reader have a deeper view on the subject. Another is it should also answer questions regarding subscriptions and payments.
Digital publications, being at the forefront of innovation in their own field, shouldn’t rest on their laurels and should instead push forward on continuing to innovate. The application of chatbots and having a conversational marketing strategy within digital publishing should be explored.