What exactly is interactive marketing? What about interactive marketing for equine business? Think about websites you may visit, and after you click on a certain product, there is a pop up showing another item “you may like”. Or, if you’re endlessly scrolling through horse products on Amazon (not guilty) and click off without purchasing anything, you may see an email in your inbox showing “recently viewed products”.
At an even more technology-based level, there are fun things like chatbots and artificial intelligence. Interactive marketing is a way for businesses to truly connect with customers by customizing the user experience. It’s a nice way to supplement the ads that direct visitors to your website. Interactive marketing can keep them on your site and potentially keep them coming back.
Let’s talk tech to start – so what’s a chatbot and how can it help you grow your business? To simplify, chatbots can be used in place of – or to supplement – traditional customer service. A chatbot is designed to simulate human conversation and is usually displayed as a pop-up on a website. Chatbots can help increase productivity, as simple answers are automated. Potential customers may not want to pick up the phone or send an email for answers, so the chatbot is a perfect solution – instant answers! Chatbots can be set up so an actual human will be notified and can jump in when the bot cannot answer a question that is asked.
There are a few types of chatbots out there; on one hand, simple bots are pre-programmed with frequently asked questions and a variety of answers per the business owner. For example, a simple question would be “When are you open?” and the bot may respond “We’re open Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm”. On the other hand, smart chatbots rely on artificial intelligence to come up with suggestions. This method isn’t perfect yet, but it’s a cool experience and if you have the chance to test out a bot I recommend it.
To recap, chatbots can enhance and streamline customer service, make the shopping process easier, improve a response rate (who wants to talk to a human, anyway?), and automate your FAQ’s. Chatbots and interactive marketing for equine businesses can help in creating time -saving processes. When they save you time and create engagement… it’s a win-win.
Moving on, have you seen ads pop up in your Facebook Messenger app? Me too. Kind of intrusive, but often effective, these ads reflect items that you have already looked at and may want to purchase. There are a few ways to make this happen on your Facebook page, but we’re going to touch on the ‘click to messenger ad’ option. Basically, someone can click on your Facebook ad and it will open the Messenger window via a ‘send message’ button. But wait – there’s more! Let’s integrate chatbots with Facebook Messenger! Someone clicks on your ad, Messenger opens, then the Facebook chatbot takes over, prompting the visitor to ask questions and enter information such as an email address. Send that email address right over to your email platform and hook it up to an automated email blast and you’ve got yourself a pretty fancy funnel! More on that here. Once you have this system set up you can just sit back and watch your leads come in.
Text Message Marketing
We’re going to touch on one more option here (although there are many, many more) – text message marketing. Kinda spammy in my opinion, but nonetheless effective, marketing via text is nothing to LOL about. Text ads can be fun – for example, you can send an automated text (preferably a fun gif) to a customer or potential customer on their birthday with a surprise 20% off their next order. There’s a pretty good chance the customer is going to take advantage of that and buy themselves a birthday present! There are a few things to remember when utilizing this type of marketing – similar to email marketing, there must always be an opt-out option.
We’ll touch on a few more types of interactive and automated marketing techniques in blogs to come, but for now, test out one of our recommendations and let us know if it works for you. Need help setting up a chatbot or lead funnel? You know where to find us.
Daina Behe holds a Master of Science degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University as well as a certificate in User Experience Design, and is well versed in many areas of digital marketing and design. Having been involved in the horse industry for years, she specializes in equine marketing as it brings her passions together. While not working behind a computer, you can find her riding her Morgan or teaching riding lessons to young equestrians.