Proven ways to promote your chatbot
If you are thinking about implementing a communication automation system and hoping that a chatbot, as its visible ending, will by attract the attention of your products or services’ end-users, you are wrong. Even if you offer the best solution in its category, without promoting it right from the start, do not expect that it will become known to a wide audience quickly.
The guide I have created features free and paid chatbot promotion options. It’s a set of up-to-date and useful tips and solutions ready – in most cases – to use right away. Importantly, the solutions described in this guide have been tested in practice by businesses, who use our system for communication automation on a daily basis.
Promoting chatbot online in owned channels
I monitor the market and find that chatbots, especially bots on Messenger, are being neglected in terms of promotion. You probably know how much work the marketing and sales departments need to do to bring users to the company’s website and engage them in a specific activity. This is a wide range of activities built on the strategy adopted, which should include specific solutions for the chatbot promotion.
We can develop custom links embedded in banners or other graphics on the website, counting the number of visitors who have navigated to the chatbot from the website, or assign variables to them so that the bot can target them with tailored messages.
You can do this yourself in our platform under the Promotion tab by selecting Links m.me.
We name the link to make it easy to find in the platform. We choose how we want the link to look and where in the chatbot we’d like it to take the user. Once you have shared your m.me links, you can see in the same tab how many people have used them and followed the flow of the chatbot. We create various links to different locations on the site, so that the statistics show which ones are the most effective.
Example of online chatbot promotion: Unity Line and Komputronik
Besides visuals or information on the company website, specific plugins are a great solution to bring traffic to the chatbot. For example, on the Wrocław Airport website they appear in two formats:
- Customer Chat Plugin – very popular, it starts a chat with a bot on a website and then continues it in Messenger.
- Send-to-Messenger Plugin – with this plugin (hidden under a small Messenger logo on every flight, so as not to interfere with the website layout), once clicked, we can immediately redirect the user to the chatbot, while transferring additional data, such as the order number, on which we want to send information to a specific user, or the flight number, which the passenger wants to book.
It’s a good idea to use several options to lead users to a chatbot on the website, particularly at the beginning. This will allow us to obtain valuable knowledge and compare the results of the solutions adopted. Doing so will make it much easier to optimize not only the tool, but also the communication designed for it.
Social media marketing
I’ve seen more than once that chatbots have not been supported even in business social media channels. Yet, these are essential tools for content distribution and engaging with potential customers. Promoting posts on Facebook is just an example. The American giant offers many more options, however, it also depends to a great extent on the people who handle the business social media.
When it comes to information content for your fanpage, you usually use visuals or short videos that explain how a chatbot works. Communicating regularly with your fans about the chatbot features, thus constantly fueling their interest in the tool, should also be a step in the right direction. Just like using Instagram Stories and the swipe up feature, which directs users right to the chatbot or testimonials on Facebook.
Using the auto-reply feature for a Facebook post provides a very good opportunity to engage a larger audience. This feature allows anyone who comments on a post to receive a private message in Messenger, which relates to the post content and at the same time provides added value. Once the user interacts with the auto-reply, they are saved in the system database.
How to write an auto-reply?
1. Create a post and publish it on your fanpage.
2. Give the auto-reply a name so you can find it in the collection – it will only appear in the platform.
3. Select the post you want to add auto-reply to.
4. Choose whether you want the chatbot to respond to the user only once, or every time they comment on the post.
5. Choose whether the chatbot should only respond if the user types the selected word in the comment.
6. Type in the message you want to be sent to the user.
7. To keep the conversation going and for the chatbot to send the user a button message, the user needs to type in a message. Thus, it’s a good idea to encourage the user to do so in the auto-reply.
8. Once the user does, we can decide how the chatbot should respond. At this point, we have a choice of we have a choice of all the blocks in the chatbot..
Using auto-reply on comments, our clients engage users in various games, activities or countdowns that can only be accessed by commenting on a post.
Using the auto-reply feature, businesses actively support the sales through their chatbots on various events, holidays or other important calendar dates. Travelplanet.pl, a popular online travel agency, linked Facebook with its Messenger using this solution. They even went a step further in building relationships with customers by engaging them in the St Andrew’s Day game, the finale of which took place in a chatbot.
This underestimated feature of Facebook also works well in promoting various contests. The number of Komputronik chatbot users has increased several times based on this type of solution.
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Promote your chatbot offline
The Internet provides a great deal of advertising opportunities. But it works just as well to advertise in venues, where potential customers hang out. It may be at beaches, fairs, festivals, waiting rooms, etc., using links, on-air presence, printed materials or QR codes and also sparking the audience’s interest by offering e.g.:
- prizes (enter a chatbot, take a quiz and win a limited edition nail polish or a ferry cruise);
- or simply a good time (enter the chatbot and vote on the next song – the percentage results are always on your screen!).
Customized chatbot promotion
MOICO, a local Internet provider from Wrocław, promoted a chatbot with an urban game. The company wanted to introduce users to the tool and provide an opportunity to visit creative places in Wrocław. To play the game it was enough to enter a phrase in the brand’s Messenger: I wanna play a game. The participant was sent into an urban jungle, full of unexpected twists and turns. The game was made up of several stages, with the Messenger chatbot playing an important role in the game. It guided the participants to the right places and suggested where to look for clues with the help of guessing games, coordinates and riddles.
An example of a clue:
You cannot be hungry in the night,
At Tęczowa eat a burger with delight,
It’s a spot with decent food,
Let your hair down there, dude!
Look for a sticker, where the movies are on screen,
Find a password and hurry up to win!
Venue: Night market at ul. Tęczowa
Each of the eight game stages commenced two days following the start of the previous one. The game finale took place in MOICO BOK, arranged in a jungle style. Finally, participants had to guess the name of a particular plant in the customer service office and enter it into the chatbot. The answer was “ficus elastica.” The time was of essence, as the first person to give the correct answer won.
Winners received the prizes such as: iPhone X, Go Pro cameras, smartwatches and free monthly Internet packages.
Reach big with external media
If a chatbot stands out from other similar tools, has unique features, etc., and is not just another solution in a category, don’t hesitate to let the media know about it.
The businesses we work with often use this PR technique, keeping in mind that it’s still a cutting-edge solution, just emerging of the early followers stage, and is worth communicating. The average chatbot user needs to know how it works, what it is used for, etc. in order to use it. So the key is educating them, including the industry. Every interesting bot in a given category: from tourism, through banking to media, etc., gives an opportunity to demonstrate the solution’s capabilities. Getting in touch with the media is a very good idea both to start a business’ adventure with automating communication using a chatbot, and to show the scale of the tool’s development. Not to mention paving the way and outreach campaigns.
Opt for image-building activities. Organize a contest or quiz in chatbot
Perhaps there’s nothing that boosts social media engagement like a good contest. See what it can look like and what kind of results it brings. And once you decide to get into it, be sure to include in your ads or posts a pushletter sign-up question that direct people to the contest. It can appear at the beginning of the path (which can be risky), at the end, or by using the option to send a message to users within 24 hours following the interaction. When crafting such a message, you just need to make sure that the message doesn’t reach people who have already subscribed to the pushletter.
Promoting chatbot online in paid channels
If a business has scheduled a budget for chatbot promotion, it’s taken a step in a very good direction. The use of paid media doesn’t have to include an extensive promotional campaign. If the chatbot performs a specific task(s) (you run a contest in it, collect leads, sell products), it is worthwhile to direct some traffic to the chatbot as part of your marketing efforts.
Facebook advertising: click-to-messenger
I strongly recommend this solution. It allows you to add the Send Message button, which automatically redirects users to Messenger. It’s best to add it using JSON, which is generated for clients in our platform. This redirects the user to the block of our choice and allows for continuing the conversation in a way that is linked to the ad they clicked. JSON also prevents setbacks from Facebook, who can at times try to include default “accost” options in the first message, retrieved from the site’s settings.
Ads in Messenger
Besides Facebook ads, we’ve also had ads available in Messenger for a while now. This way, we can advertise our product not only in the Facebook environment, but also in the messaging tool itself. One advantage of this type of ads is that it’s difficult not to notice them. Particularly, when the artwork interacts with both the brand and the content we’ve prepared in the chatbot.
With the competition being still low, we can easily reach users using Messenger Ads. However, I wouldn’t opt for “aggressive” advertising there: users are still getting used to the ads that have taken over this popular communicator, so let’s be their guest. ?
As in the case of click-to-messenger ads, Facebook also came up with valuable tips.
As of March 4, 2020, Facebook got down to precisely defining the messages that can be sent by chatbots for free. Instead of the dozen or so tags, you could previously mark messages with (so that Facebook knows within what context you contacted the user), we’re left with 3 for updates (event, account, purchase status) and any single message sent within a 24-hour window of the user’s last interaction with the chatbot.
Changes to Messenger brought about the two new opportunities to communicate with users, namely one-time notifications. It allows you to send a single message on the specific topic to which the user has subscribed (such as the start of ticket sales or the re-entry of a specific product to the range) and messages from fanpages marked by Facebook as the publisher (currently unavailable in Poland.)
Most of the push messages targeted at users should be sent via the ad manager. They look exactly like standard chatbot messages with the caption Sponsored appearing above the content.
Importantly, Facebook stipulates that such campaigns may take even a few days to send (which is why in the case of temporary promotions it’s recommended to start at the very beginning.) Also, at times there are issues with sending emoji in sponsored messages, so it’s best to use the simplest ones, created from standard characters: ? or <3.
Don’t shy away from chatbot promotion
It pays to begin with a chatbot communication plan and take the time to implement it. It will be difficult to see results in terms of engaged users and a growing, extensive user database, unless you do it regularly. Bots on Messenger or any other popular communicator are great tools to achieve your marketing goals and an excellent way to automate your communications, provided you understand their capabilities.
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