Chatbots are ushering in a new form of communication that is making its mark in marketing in a big way. 2016 was the year of chatbots, as numerous retailers took to using them to expand and personalize their brands. The explosions of these bots are no mistake, as retailers are finding that consumers are responding less to old marketing techniques and responding better to new and more innovative ways that seem more personal. This new trend of personalizing marketing strategies makes the combination of chatbots and influencer marketing an almost match-made in heaven.
What Exactly is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is a computer program, which conducts conversation via auditory or textual methods. In layman’s terms, it is a robot that has human-like conversational abilities. With the use of Artificial Intelligence these computer programs can mimic conversation, and in turn, get smarter as it interacts in conversation with people.
Media giants and retailers alike, such as Facebook and CNN have taken to chatbots in various ways through the Facebook Messenger app. Mark Zuckerberg debuted it’s chatbot in April of last year and has since been making waves by partnering up with brands like 1-800-Flowers─whereas you can say a name of a friend on the app and a chatbot will send flowers to them. Chatbots are highly customizable, making it a great option to engage customers across the retail board.
This trend of taking a more sincere and genuine approach to marketing is nothing new as influencer marketing takes place over old marketing strategies.
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What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on utilizing key leaders to drive your brand’s message. Instead of sending your message directly to consumers, you hire influencers to get the word out for you. It gets the focus on key individuals, or types of individuals, rather than the target market as a whole. The aims of influencer marketing is to harness the influence of key individuals on the social web to meet a business goal by building mutually beneficial relationships. It will be beneficial in a way where both the brand and influencer get exposure through the collaboration.
This type of marketing happens a lot through popular YouTubers who partner with top brands in their specialty. For example, beauty bloggers─more than a million subscribers have taken a “Trip with Tarte” where they are taken away on an all-expense trip and wined and dined with a packed full itinerary. All they have to do? Record the entire trip and flood their feeds with the hashtag #trippenwithtarte throughout the trip. This yearly event has resulted in exposure to millions, which is prime time in the world of marketing.
Last year a study from influencer network Takumi revealed that brands were more interested in working with influencers over traditional celebrities, while separate research indicated that women, in particular, are reluctant to engage with an influencer’s post if it doesn’t feel genuine.
What Do You Get When You Combine the Two Together?
The answer is marketing magic.
In December of last year, two tech firms combined to create the “first ever” influencer chatbot for the US brand Cover Girl. The two firms, marketing platform The Amplify and chatbot developer Automat, turned online influencer Kalani Hilliker, star of Dance Moms, into an AI bot. The bot was hosted on the messenger app Kik and made to simulate the personality of the star to see Cover Girl coupons. The invention ended up being a hit, with 91% positive sentiment among users. It also generated 14-times more conversation then Kalani’s average social media update.
How to Create Your Own Chatbot
Much online software is making it easy for you to create your own chatbot online. Sites like the tool I started, chattypeople.com, are making it easy to create your own bot with absolutely no programming background necessary. It is even free to start, and made to grow, as your use for it increases. Integrate it seamlessly into Facebook Messenger, and in no time you will be a chatbot pro.
By combining chatbots and influencer marketing, there is no limit to the possibilities that can ensue. It no longer takes rocket science to create your own chatbot, as online services have made it more feasible for anyone. The only limit is your imagination, so what heights will you take this ultimate combo breaker to?