Chatbots are a rising force in digital content marketing. Join me and chatbot-expert Kelly Noble Mirabella as we talk about how to use chatbots and content repurposing together to maximise engagement on Facebook.
In short, a chatbot consists of a flow of “decision logic”, something you’ve undoubtedly come across before. Think to a time you found yourself trapped in an automated phone conversation where you have to press buttons when prompted! Or even worse, voice recognition where your voice just isn’t being recognised!
That sort of technology used to be relatively expensive and complicated to set up. Now, with the advent of chatbots, the same sorts of tools are available to all of us. What’s more, chatbots can really boost your ability to get your content in front of your audience.
Listen to the podcast episode below, or keep reading for even more information.
If you’re wondering what you can do with chatbots, the possibilities are endless.
Uses range from simple menus that direct people to FAQs or somewhere else on your website to complex sales funnels that integrate with Facebook Messenger.
What makes it so exciting is more and more people are using the Messenger platform and preferring it to things like phone or email. It’s growing so fast and I remember Michael Stelzner talking about FB messenger and messenger bots in his keynote speech at Social Media Marketing World in 2018. His view was messenger is a really powerful marketing tool, and chatbots are are not to be underestimated.
You used to have to code your chatbots.
You can still build them from scratch using Facebook’s app developer platform if you want to create amazing bots with unique features. For most of us, however, 3rd party tools like Manychat and Chatfuel are more than enough to create what we need.
Both these tools are very different. On the podcast Kelly shared that her favourite is ManyChat, mostly because it has an easy visual builder to create your automation flows, similar to InfusionSoft.
They both have free trials so you can figure out for yourself which works best for you. They also both have free e-courses on the topic. Kelly has loads video tutorials on her YouTube channel as well. Even if you’re going to outsource part of your chatbot system, it’s best to learn how to do it all yourself so you can properly manage whoever you hand it over to later.
First and foremost, you’ll need a business page to have a chatbot on Facebook.
People need to engage with you through a trigger you previously set up to get added to a chatbot list. It’s not enough just to like the page.
Encourage visitors to engage with something like, “[Comment below/Message us] to let us know what you want to see from us next, and we’ll send you a message right back.”
To set up the trigger, you’ll need to make a growth tool.
In the back end of your chatbot software, you’ll see the option to create a bunch of growth tools.
For example, you can create a Facebook post that triggers a chatbot when someone leaves a comment.
Another great one is “Ref URLs”. You do loads of things with these such as adding them to buttons on your website or emails. Plus you can easily track who comes through which URL, which is really important for audience segmentation.
Once someone triggers a growth tool, your chatbot will send them a message. Use this first message to confirm what they’re subscribing to.
Chatbots are amazing for audience segmentation.
You can track what people click on and over time you can serve people more of what they love and less of what they ignore, driving click-through rates (and audience happiness) through the roof.
For example, Kelly sends her audience a bunch of different things. They get news about the world of chatbots, a weekly video tutorial, and a notification if she’s ever on a podcast or featured in an article.
All this content creates a “subscription-based blast” of information. You can then use subscribers’ choices about what they want to consume to segment them. Over time, everyone will have their own tailor-made stream of content.
Kelly has a great video tutorial on how to deliver lead magnets using chatbots.
It works in a similar way to mailing list lead magnet delivery except, instead of emails, you’re sending them instant messages.
A pro tip Kelly gives you in this tutorial is to have people engage with the bot before getting the lead magnet by replying with “YES”. Doing so gives you extra privileges when it comes to broadcasting promotional content to them.
If you use Facebook ads, chatbots are your best friend for building custom audiences.
When you export your chatbot data into the Facebook ads manager, you’ll see close to 100% import rate!
Importing data from an email list is more like 50% because people sometimes use different email addresses for different things, and not all your email list are on Facebook.
Chatbots, however, save people’s Facebook user ID. The only way you won’t get a match is if someone has left Facebook.
If you wanted to do YouTube or Google ads, you could use Zapier to export information like their first name, last name, and email address (which you will have to ask them for). Zapier can put that information on a Google spreadsheet, which you can then use to create audiences on other platforms.
When you’re multiplying your content by repurposing it, you can use segmentation to send each audience member exactly what they want to see.
If everyone gets to consume your content in the way that they find most comfortable you’ll see your listenership, open rates, and click-through rates all increase.
You can create a choose-your-own-adventure...so if they click on all the videos you can tag them as such, and then when you come up with a bonus video, you might not send it to everyone, but you would to people who have shown reliable interest in that type of content.
We have a lot of clients who use Facebook Live as the core of their content repurposing strategy.
Say you’re one of them and you have a weekly live show, which you then turn into a highlights video, a podcast episode, and a blog post.
You can use your bot to reach out to your audience and say something like:
“If you missed the Live Session (or it’s just not your thing), you can catch the highlights video, download the podcast, or dive into the blog post guide.”
Your message would end with buttons to each of those destinations.
You’re serving people a buffet, and they can choose exactly how they want to consume your content!
They get to choose the medium they prefer, and the more you know what they prefer, the more you can serve them things they will engage with.
Another tip for live sessions: Send out a message before, during and after.
I was sceptical of chatbots at first.
My first exposure was of people using chatbots to trick people into getting on their list!
Like any brand new tool, short-term marketers quickly swooped in and did their best to ruin the party!
I don’t want to scare anyone off, because chatbots represent massive potential, but you ought to understand the common temptations and pitfalls which Kelly and I talked about on the podcast.
The “black hat” chatbot marketers made this mistake right from the beginning. They would publish a post and encourage you to leave a simple comment below. What they neglected to mention, however, was that leaving a comment would sign you up to a chatbot!
It is against the terms of service not to inform people when they’ll be subscribed to a chatbot.
Kelly explained that you don’t need to use the work “chatbot”, however. You just need to say that they’ll be hearing from you via Messenger.
e.g. “Comment below and we’ll send you a message to say Hi.”
Kelly includes an unsubscribe button in every chatbot message.
Why would you want anyone there who doesn’t want to be? If you make it hard or confusing to unsubscribe, you’re only going to create a bunch of frustrated people who don’t even want to be there.
Very bad for your brand!
Besides, under GDPR regulation, you need an unsubscribe button in every single message sent to anyone in Europe.
The unsubscribe button is not a built-in feature, so make sure you find it and switch it on right away.
You’ll see big numbers from gaming the system, but don’t be tempted.
Building things correctly will yield better results and keep your brand safe.
It’s better to have 100 subscribers who are really happy to be there and are engaged than 10,000 randoms who don’t care one way or the other about your content.
Always remember the golden rule, treat others the way we want to be treated.
The simplest way to get started is to set up a welcome message with a menu attached to it.
You can try something like:
“Thanks for getting in touch. Here are some places you can go:
[ Latest blog ]
[ Learn about us ]
[ Work with me ]”
Once you have that, you can start dabbling with the next level.
Learn how growth tools work by creating a Ref URL. You can then add that URL to any button you like and directs them to a quick message:
“Thanks for subscribing! We will send you our weekly blog post shortly
[ Subscribe to Blog ]”
Make sure that everyone who comes through that entry point is tagged as such so you can send them specific broadcasts.
Finally, once you’ve repurposed your content into text, audio, and video, notify everyone with a broadcast that gives them 3 options of how to consume your content.
Track who chooses which option and put them in different segments so you can send more video options to the video-lovers and so on. Soon, you could build the most highly engaged audience you’ve ever seen, all by combining chatbots and content repurposing into your strategy.