No ifs, just bots

Five brilliantly creative chatbot examples for marketers.

In the last twelve months, chatbots have shown themselves to be a nifty tool for marketing and sales.

By May 2018 there were 300,000 chatbots on Facebook Messenger alone – three times more than in 2017.

It’s easy to see why chatbots are on the rise. They can provide personalised customer service, deliver customised content, throw together your perfect outfit, tell you a joke, sort an Uber, offer up recipes … You get the idea.

For marketers they make a lot of sense.

Chatbots can have CTRs ranging from 15% – 60%, which, even at the lower end of the scale, is much higher than the average email marketing CTR of 4%.

And there’s the benefit of learning more about your customers too. With the data you gain from interactions, you’re in a better position to serve up future offers and content that better fits with your customers needs and tastes.

So how are the most innovative brands using chatbots? And how can we be creative with them?

This year I’ve had a ton of fun discovering chatbots on Facebook Messenger, Kik and on browsers. Here are five of my favourite chatbot discoveries of 2018.

1. National Geographic ‘Genius’ series

Talking to people beyond the grave? With chatbots this is perfectly possible. When it came to promoting their Genius series, National Geographic created a messenger bot that let you have a chat with one of the greatest minds in history: Albert Einstein.

Of course the chatbot told you about the upcoming series, but it also created a fun experience, with pearls of wisdom and scientific quips to boot.


2. Tech Crunch

This is easily one of the best news bots I’ve discovered. Through Facebook Messenger, TechCrunch lets you quickly see the top stories, search for specific topics and gives you the chance to decide how often you get updates.

What’s really smart here is that the bot learns from the articles you read and then serves you more of the stories you’ll like. Can’t ask for much more than that.


3. Woebot – Facebook Messenger and an app

I love the name of this. And the idea is even better. Woebot is an artificially intelligent chatbot that uses the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT to help improve mental health.

It starts by taking you through a recommended two-week programme where it checks in with you every day. At each point it offers up relevant exercises, lessons and stories from its highly experienced clinical team.


4. Wateraid bot – Facebook Messenger

While a lot of chatbots give you basic information, this one from Wateraid used more immersive storytelling to engage you in their work.

Through the chatbot, Sellu, a farmer, fisherman and father, took you on a guided tour of his home and introduced you to his family.

What made this so engaging was the fact it included photos, interactive questions and videos – including one where you accompanied Sellu on a bumpy motorbike ride.

All in all, it was a really emotive way of encouraging donations and showing existing donors exactly how their money was making a difference to people in Sierra Leone – and beyond.


5. Kia – Chatbots inside display advertising

A few weeks ago, Kia revealed new digital display ads featuring an integrated chatbot. Rather than going onto Kik or Facebook Messenger, it’s now possible to chat with potential customers wherever they are.

The Kia conversational ads let you browse the range, find out your car’s trade-in value and help you book an appointment with a salesperson.

I’m sure we’ll see much more of these going forward.

So… there you have it. Five of my favourite chatbots from the year. There are so many more fun, informative and creative chatbot examples out there.

Do go and explore. (And if you’re interested in creating a chatbot, you know where we are).


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