For several years now I’ve been raising my hand and saying…
“Hey, the future of marketing online is conversational!”
And then… this last weekend…
TOTAL confirmation of that vision of a conversational future.
I flew down to Austin, Texas to attend the Conversations 2019 conference.
The company behind the event was ManyChat.
ManyChat is chatbot platform for Facebook Messenger. It’s the largest platform of its kind in the world.
As I was sitting through the presentations, it became clear to me – as it was to everyone else there – that chat marketing is the future.
Slide after slide confirmed that people prefer text to voice when communicating through their smartphones.
More interesting still – and surprising to me – is that more and more people prefer to receive marketing messages through Messenger.
And this is a rich medium. Messaging doesn’t mean using only text. You can use emojis and GIFs. Short video clips too.
Best of all, if done right, chat marketing can be deeply conversational.
Wait…what? You mean my Messenger app is going to be flooded with promotional ads?
I know, a scary thought.
Facebook already has some really tough rules when it comes to companies broadcasting promotional pitches through Messenger.
And from what I hear, those rules will be getting tougher.
In other words, Facebook wants companies to use Messenger as a way to engage with an audience.
We should use chat marketing as a way to be more conversational.
The opportunity here goes way beyond chat marketing through Facebook Messenger.
Messenger is huge, simply because of the reach it achieves.
1.3 Billion people use Facebook Messenger, sending over 20 billion messages to each other every month.
But plenty of chatbots are being developed independent of Facebook.
Drift is one of the leading lights in this space, helping companies add real-time help to their websites.
And as for voice…
Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana and others are, of course, conversational by definition.
Long story short… whether through text or voice… taking a conversational approach to connecting with your prospects and customers is the future of marketing online.
The technology platforms are in place to deliver chat marketing. But hang on… what about the words?
When I was at the conference, I had a moment of deja-vu.
It felt a little like 1997 again.
Back in the late 90s I was attending marketing conferences where the focus was very much on the technology and design side of the web.
Almost nobody was talking about the words.
And without words? Well… you have nothing.
It felt a little the same at this event.
A ton of excitement over the platforms.
But very little mention of the words.
To be fair, some speakers did touch on the topic of writing for chat. But for the most part people were focused on the tech, the tools and how to use them.
There is a HUGE future here for conversational copywriters.
If a business is going to build relationships through chat marketing, the words have to be central to its strategy.
Just as they are on the traditional web.
Yes, you can use emojis, GIFs and video clips… but the heavy lifting will be done with words.
And this is where the big opportunity lies for copywriters.
Not for old-school copywriters who focus on long-form, broadcast copy.
But this will be massive for conversational copywriters… the writers who understand that the web and mobile need copy that is built on natural, everyday language.
For conversational copywriters, the future is looking very good indeed!
And yes, early next year I plan on publishing a new course on copywriting for Chatbots and Messenger.
But first, before you think about taking that course, take the foundational course I’ve already published… Conversational Copywriting for the Web.
It’s the starting point for your conversational copywriting journey.