As we know, chatbot technology has already been utilized by many brands, in their marketing efforts. Along with the rise of social media, the influencer marketing has taken huge leaps in its popularity. It has become the new hot trend among YouTubers and other internet celebrities around the world. In this article, I explain the role of social networks in influencer marketing, and how influencers and brands can benefit from integrating a chatbot into their influencer marketing campaign.
What is an influencer?
To put it shortly, influencers are individuals who have spent time building their own brand and cultivating their audience. They usually have a following in a particular niche. Influencers can be celebrities, industry experts and thought leaders or bloggers and content creators. They may have a following of millions or they might be so-called micro influencers with smaller audiences.
With authority, knowledge or position influencers can affect their followers’ purchase decisions.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is content-driven marketing done by an influencer in collaboration with a company. Influencers communicate with their audiences nowadays mostly in social media through videos or blog posts.
A quite common method of influencer marketing is an exposure for the company’s product in the influencer’s social media channel. After trying the product influencers usually give positive feedback and recommend it to the followers.
Nielsen’s survey in 2015 showed that a recommendation from a person that you know is still the most trusted form of advertising among consumers. 84% of the respondents answered accordingly.
Through mutually beneficial collaboration both sides get what they want. Companies get more visibility for their brand and also a possibility to increase sales of their products. Influencers get sponsorship money or other benefits like free products from the sponsoring company.
A service agency also can act as a third-party to pair the brands and the influencers and aid with the campaign planning and management.
Most of the companies can’t afford airing time on a television spot. That's why working with an influencer in a social media platform is a brilliant alternative. Using a channel where the influencer reaches 100,000 – 200,000 followers and the company won't have to pay almost anything for it, is a very efficient way of marketing.
Marketing through social networks allows for instantaneous purchase processes. After seeing the item, consumers can connect to the online retailer immediately. It makes social networks very effective for spontaneous purchases.
Chat messages are replacing emails as a tool for customer engagement
People aren't so interested in email marketing anymore. Many consumers aren’t comfortable providing their email addresses in exchange for free downloads anymore. They might even unsubscribe from email lists because they get too many emails in general. If a company keeps spamming emails or using irrelevant content, they are guaranteed to lose customers from their lists.
In a survey made by MarketingSherpa,
No. 1. reason for unsubscribing from email lists was "I get too many emails in general."
No. 2. reason was that emails "are not relevant to me",
No 3. reason was "I receive too many emails from this company specifically".
Some of the respondents described emails as “boring, repetitive and always trying to sell something.”
According to GetResponse's 2018 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, the global overall email open rate was 24.82%. The overall click-through rate was 4.07%. These numbers aren't so bad for email's standards, but compared to SMS open and click-through rates they are pretty weak.
Messaging apps are taking over
The top 4 messaging apps have already surpassed the amount of monthly active users on social media. As the popularity of messaging apps has increased, the interactions between companies and customers have also moved to these new platforms.
According to multiple sources the average global SMS open rates are around 94% - 99% with a click-through rate of 36% on average.
With these high numbers in SMS, we can expect somewhat similar rates from messaging applications. Nowadays you can even receive your text messages through Facebook Messenger. According to a famous digital marketer, influencer and entrepreneur Neil Patel, a marketing campaign of his friends conducted using Facebook Messenger showed an open rate of 88% and a click-through rate of 56%.
With these kinds of rates, influencers can grow their lists enormously in no time.
How would chatbots be helpful in influencer marketing?
Because of the popularity of messaging apps, it is only logical for influencers to interact with their followers through these platforms. By integrating a chatbot into your influencer marketing campaign, you can provide automated content promotion, generate leads, deal with multiple visitors at once, gather information, and offer personalized content around the clock.
Influencers have their brand that they want to promote. It’s a business like any other, even if influencers don’t usually have their own employees. Many fans and followers would like to interact more with the brand. Unfortunately, there’s not enough time and resources for one person to answer all the messages and queries from a huge follower base, and there won’t be any live chat staff to do the job either. Here a chatbot comes in.
Get a chatbot with a personality that fits your brand
A well designed, AI chatbot with a character that matches the brand will interact with the followers for you. You don’t want to have an ordinary and boring bot, that doesn’t stand out from other bots anyhow. It is essential to give the chatbot right kind of personality that will fit the image that your brand tries to present. For example, providing a chatbot with some of the characteristics of the influencer is an excellent way to start. Chatbots can be programmed to act and talk in many ways.
Through collaboration with the influencer, chatbot developers can make the chatbot to mimic the way the influencer talks. The bot can use similar slang, accent, tone, grammar, and vocabulary as the influencer. The aim is to make the visitors feel like they are talking with the influencer himself/herself. It gives the visitors a neat and more personalized experience when they communicate with the bot.
Even though the chatbot’s personality resembles the real person, it is important not to try to trick the followers or visitors to think that the chatbot replying is the actual person. As a fun example, if Usain Bolt participated in influencer marketing campaign that utilizes a chatbot, the bot on Usain Bolt’s Facebook Messenger could be called “Usain Bot”. It makes it clear that you are talking with a bot, but also creates the feeling of talking to the celebrity instead.
Chatbots can interact with many people at the same time
Even if the influencer would have time to answer to the queries and questions of the followers, there’s no way of talking to multiple users at once. A chatbot, on the other hand, has no problem with attending numerous conversations at the same time. Moreover, chatbot’s can provide comprehensive answers in no time.
Chatbots are great at producing personalized content
Depending on the niche of the influencer, a chatbot can be programmed to provide content useful for the audience. For example, a personal trainer influencer could have a chatbot that gives fitness advice and information. Users could also ask for fitness and health-related questions. What kind of workout they should do or when to have a rest day, and so on.
The bot can advertise brands’ products by showing a video where the influencer is testing and pitching the product. As mentioned before, people trust most a recommendation from a person that they know.
Chatbots are a magnificent way for influencers to share the latest news and weekly content with the followers. Also, users can ask the chatbot for whatever news and info they want to know on a particular topic.
Furthermore, chatbots gather useful information from every interaction they have with users. Subsequently, the accumulated data will be very beneficial for the future development of the chatbot, so that it can provide even better-personalized content for each individual.
Chatbot stays active around the clock
Famous influencers have followers around the world, which will cause the difference in time zones. Some followers might want to interact with the brand when it is night in the influencer’s country. Because chatbots can stay active 24/7, the influencer won’t have to worry about potential queries and questions made by followers at night, anymore.
Reaching greater audience
To utilize the chatbot technology, you’ll need an impressive landing page, that invites your visitors to start a chat. As soon as they click to chat, your chatbot will send the first message. When the visitor replies to the first message, they will get automatically added to the messaging list. Another option is by creating an opt-in button to your landing page. It will lead the visitor to the first opening message and simultaneously adds them to the chat list.
Like in most of the digital marketing campaigns chatbots are a powerful tool in influencer marketing as well. The high open and click-through rates in messaging apps showcase the effectiveness of these platforms. The potential to interact with humongous audiences is definitely something that influencers should try to exploit. The best way, and maybe the only way to achieve this is by integrating a well personalized AI chatbot into the marketing campaign.
If you have your own webpage and you have considered integrating a chatbot into your business ecosystem, you should check Kwork Innovations Ltd. Kwork is a company that is specialized in web and AI technology. They can produce a fully customized chatbot for your needs, with precise natural language processing, text analysis and computational linguistics for English, Swedish and Finnish.
Kwork also offers chat support staff for your live chat services, and consulting for all kinds of live chat and chatbot services, as well as Facebook Messenger marketing for chatbots.