While there’s a lot of fear one day robots will take over the world, for now they’re here to make our lives easier and ramp up our digital marketing strategies. Known to us digital marketers as chatbots, there’s no denying their impact on our jobs as well as our clients’ businesses.One of the fastest growing trends for 2018, chatbots are a great tool that allows brands to create deep and ongoing relationships with customers through one-on-one conversations. From creating an innovative booking process to answering questions and solving problems, the chatbot communicates with your customer so you don’t have to offer physical support.This all sounds a bit too good to be true, right? But it’s not. Read on to find out why chatbots work and how they take your digital marketing strategy to the next level. What are chatbots and how do they work?Chatbots - in essence - are robots designed to automatically engage with users that interact with your brand through a Facebook advert or through your website. They allow you to build customer relationships through conversations and provide instant replies to the questions they want answers to. This is all done through a software that allows you to create multiple pathways that users can be taken through based off the various questions they might ask. A chatbot also allows you to attract new customers through paid advertising. This is done through various types of Facebook adverts and allows you to target new customers through the interest and demographic based targeting available within the Facebook platform. By creating multiple pathways, you can capture users at all points of the purchase funnel, whether they’re new customers just discovering your brand or repeat purchasers coming back for more. By creating a web for possible questions and answers, as well as points to obtain customer information, the chatbot not only provides your customers with an efficient service, but also captures their information through a casual approach that doesn’t leave them feeling like they’re giving away their precious details to an untrustworthy company. Key benefits of chatbots and how they can help your businessThere’s so many ways a chatbot can improve a customer's experience with your brand. So much so that 35% of consumers want to see more companies using chatbots and by 2020 over 80% of businesses are expected to have some sort of chatbot automation implemented. Here’s just a few of the benefits of incorporating a chatbot into your marketing strategy: 1. Lead generationA chatbot can capture all the information you would usually get through a Facebook lead generation advert and more. Information such as their name, email and phone number as well as their purchase intent can be obtained through the pathway they take. Through a chatbot, the conversation can be far more casual and the users may be more willing to give their information to brands compared to filling in a form on an advert, making them so much more powerful than a lead generation advert. In fact, chatbots drive a 266% higher conversion rate than an average social advert. 2. Save money and timeThrough the use of a chatbot, you can provide 24 hour assistance and service without having to pay an employee to sit there and answer messages and emails. Not only that, but the chatbot can serve multiple people at one time.3. Customised, personal experienceA chatbot allows you to provide an extra level of service to your customers by delivering a personalised experience to the user. Not only that, a chatbot can also be customised to suit your business’ branding, style and tone, so you can provide a consistent message throughout all of your marketing. 4. Provide a fast and efficient service51% of consumers say a business needs to be available 24/7. Through chatbots your customers will get a fast and efficient service by having their queries answered immediately. This not only helps you provide a standout service, but can also help retain potential customers as they’re less likely to search for a competing brand while they wait for your reply. How chatbots tie into the customer journeyThrough the chatbot pathways, brands can discover customers at all stages of the purchase funnel, whether they’re just browsing or enquiring, or are ready to make a purchase. By using this information effectively, brands can turn the enquiry into a purchase by feeding them through a customer journey map.A customer journey map can take a customer who’s not ready to commit to a purchase after the initial contact through the bot and feed them through a process by continuing to develop a relationship. For example, if the customer isn’t interested in converting after the first sales call, placing them into an email automation workflow that aligns with the awareness and research stages will allow you to reconnect with them later down the track when they might be more inclined to make a purchase. So, if you want more leads generated, better customer service and the ability to offer 24 hour support to your customers, stay competitive in modern marketing and invest in a chatbot. Get in touch with Bang Digital to see how we can incorporate a chatbot into your digital marketing strategy.