Clickbait is old news as Chat Advertising surpasses even the most popular video ads – which currently make up more than half of digital ad campaign spends. Bot-based ads are closing sales faster than you can say Suri, making it the number one preference of digital marketing agencies.
By Archana Khatri Das
The days of peddling outrage content – the go-to-default of clickbait – may soon be gone as chat ads or messenger chats, which create personalised engagement with consumers, is creating a definitive shift in audience expectation – whereby emotionally-charged content is ditched for content that helps customers solve real or perceived problems.
According to a recent Gartner study, companies are experiencing a sustained drop in human-to-human and e-mail interactions and it is projecting chatbots to be involved in 85 percent of all types of customer interactions by 2020.
Chat ads are automated bot-based coded programmes that interact back-and-forth with customers in a natural and contextual manner like any other customer care representative of a business. The chatbots continue to improve the user experience as they learn from each user-engagement, answer queries and offer solutions and make way for strategic marketing and selling of products and services.
Nielson’s Facebook Messaging Survey conducted in early 2018 revealed that 53 per cent of people would be more open to buying a product if they chat with the business directly. The survey further added that 18 million businesses are already communicating using Facebook Messenger; customers and businesses are exchanging 2 billion messages directly per month.
Chat-based marketing provides targeted user insight, understanding biases and preferences. The conversation can take place on designated chat windows, forums, instant messenger services or social networking sites. The programme initiates direct conversation with target consumers and is also capable of sharing content like video, text, image or a link in order to meet the prospect’s query.
Chat bots are proven to be a better alternative to online registration forms. Bots disburses information like sharing notifications with a prospect regarding a new product launch, promotional newsletters or upcoming sales events – with higher reader engagement than email direct marketing.
Chat ads play a key role in promoting real-time solutions 24/7. Previously, consumers had a wait-period of 24-48 hours for an email response to queries. A Harvard Business Review paper on how response times impacted lead generation shows a tenfold decrease in the possibility of connecting with the lead if the business delayed a response by five minutes. If the response time was delayed by 15 minutes, the business may have potentially lost all possibilities of making future contact with the lead, as the consumer quickly engages with the next competitor.
According to Juniper Research, businesses save over four minutes per query, on an average, compared to traditional call centres handling the same query, which typically costs around USD 30 per interaction as well as potentially negatively impact prospect sentiment.
Chat bots also conduct self-analysis after each engagement to gain a better understanding of the user and to improve each subsequent engagement to improve sales conversion rates over time.
Chat Ads Versus Video
Video marketing has dominated digital advertising over the past few years; boosting engagement within highly targeted market segments. Marketers used a variety of formats besides video ads like product demos, vlogs, tutorial videos, customer case studies, interviews, customer testimonials, live stream etc to complement a successful fully integrated marketing campaign.
Cisco’s Visual Networking Index for the period 2016-2017 estimated that of all the traffic on the internet by 2019, 80 per cent will comprise of videos; global video traffic was projected to rise threefold from 2016 to 2021.
However, it appears that since the emergence of chat ads and its open rate of around 80 per cent, which is previously unseen in any other marketing channel, combined with the inherent quality of personal engagement on any device, at any time, means video may no longer be the leading hero of a digital campaign strategy.