9 Things You Probably Don’t Know JVI Mobile Marketing Does

9 Things You Probably Don’t Know JVI Mobile Marketing Does

Since you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with JVI Mobile Marketing — but if not, it’s a small digital marketing agency that’s been operating out of North Carolina for the past 10 years, dreamed up by its Founder, CEO, and Serial Entrepreneur Jay Vics.

Here, we’ll get into a little more detail about Jay’s “serial entrepreneur” part of his impressive resume as we explore all the different services he’s created or put his own twist on to help business owners nationwide.

1. HowTo.Agency

If you’ve known us for a little while, you’re probably already familiar with this one; If not, JVI Mobile Marketing created HowTo.Agency because one day, Jay had an epiphany: some people who desperately need and/or want marketing help can't always afford to hire someone to do it for them… or sometimes they just would rather do it themselves!

HowTo.Agency is the perfect resource for business owners who want to take their marketing efforts into their own hands. We offer a wealth of resources, including tips, tutorials, and more. Our goal is to provide business owners with the tools they need to succeed — at no cost.

2. Local5Stars

If you're a business owner, then you know how important online reviews are. They can make or break your business.

That's where Local5Stars comes in.

With our reputation management software, you'll be able to collect online reviews from customers faster and easier than ever before. Plus, our software will help you track your online reputation and optimize your marketing strategy accordingly.

So if you're looking for a tool to help improve your business's online reputation, then look no further than Local5Stars.

3. The LENS Method

The LENS method, developed by JVI Mobile Marketing, is an effective social media strategy that can help you get the most out of your social media platforms. By following the LENS method, you can ensure that you are using social media to its full potential. These are the types of posts you should be putting out on your socials:

L- Listening

These are the types of posts where you’re asking your followers to engage with your content! If your post is intriguing enough, people will even do it on their own without you having to use the words “comment below”.

E- Educating

Give your followers fun facts or tips related to your product or industry! The more they can learn from you, the more they will trust you.

N- Networking

This is a “goodwill” post in which you talk about and tag other people or brands that are in your same industry. If you’re at a physical location, you can mention other stores or events nearby.

S- Selling

This is the one you’re probably already good at! It’s exactly what it sounds like – posting about your product or service with the intention of persuading someone to buy it.

By following the LENS method, you can maximize your social media efforts and achieve your business goals. Try it today!

4. Subscribestage.com

Subscribestage.com is a website built by JVI Mobile Marketing that gives people tons of information about all the different ways to get customers to and through the subscribe stage.

The subscribe stage of the customer value journey is when a potential customer opts in to receive something of value from you. This could be a newsletter, a free e-book, or access to exclusive content — to name a few.

There are tons of different subscribe stage strategies out there, and it can be tough to know which to pursue. That's where subscribestage.com comes in. We've gathered an extensive amount of information on all the various options, so you can make an informed decision about what will work best for you.

5. ManyChat Chatbots

ManyChat is a chatbot software as a service (SaaS) that can automate marketing campaigns on Facebook and Instagram and can be used in a variety of marketing campaigns.

These chatbots allow for real-time communication with your customers, which will help to maintain a personal touch with your audience in a way not previously possible without hiring in-house staff or using expensive outsourced software development services.

This is one of JVI Mobile’s favorite secret weapons, allowing them to help many companies become more efficient in reaching their audiences through automated marketing campaigns on social media.

When you go to Manychat's website just enter the email address associated with your Facebook Page, hit "Sign In", and then follow the steps to configure ManyChat.

6. AdvertisingGreensboro.com

Advertising Greensboro is a website created by JVI Mobile Marketing, meant to act as a directory for local businesses in the Greensboro, North Carolina area. The website includes a comprehensive list of businesses in the area, complete with contact information and links to the businesses' websites. Advertising Greensboro is a great resource for anyone looking for local businesses in Greensboro!

In addition to being a directory for local businesses, Advertising Greensboro is also home to Meet the Experts, a podcast hosted by Jay Vics of JVI Mobile Marketing. Meet the Experts interviews experts and owners of Greensboro businesses, providing listeners with valuable insights into the inner workings of these businesses. If you're looking for information on Greensboro businesses, Advertising Greensboro is the place to go!

7. Meet The Experts

As we just mentioned above, Jay Vics, Founder of JVI Mobile Marketing and HowTo.Agency, interviews experts and business owners about their businesses on Meet the Experts. This podcast is all about helping listeners learn from those who have succeeded in their fields while giving business owners a free "commercial" essentially all about them and their business!

Since this is a podcast, it comes at absolutely no cost to the interviewees. Also, Meet the Experts is a great way to learn new information while supporting small businesses.

Hear more about it from Jay himself!

8. Double Your Sales Discovery Session

This is a complimentary 90-minute session with Jay Vics, owner of JVI Mobile Marketing, where he will help you figure out how your business can get more customers and sales.

Most businesses want to double their sales but don't know where to start. This “gifted to you” session with Jay presents you with the perfect opportunity to get started. During this session, he will help you identify what's stopping your business from reaching its full potential and give you the tools you need to start making more sales. Don't miss out on this chance to take your business to the next level!

9. HowTo.Strategize – Digital Foundations Bootcamp

Are you ready to take your business to the next level?

If you've been through a Double Your Sales discovery session (mentioned above), then you're ready for the digital foundations bootcamp. Jay Vics of JVI Mobile Marketing leads this approximately 4-hour session that will start you on a path to predictability and profitability in your business or non-profit.

We will figure out your ideal client, your customer value journey, and your growth scorecard (which helps us figure out if it's working) to uncover any bottlenecks and opportunities in your current marketing strategy.

By the end of this bootcamp, you will have a solid foundation on which to build your digital marketing strategy. Register now and let's get started!

What Will Digital Marketing Look Like in 2021?

What Will Digital Marketing Look Like in 2021?

people will still be told told to stay home in 2021

What Will Digital Marketing Look Like in 2021?

Although 2020 is finally over, there are still a lot of questions that we can’t answer.

How soon until we know how effective the new vaccine for COVID-19 is?

When will the pandemic end?

When will we return to business as usual?

For small business owners, that last question looms large. With COVID-19 cases spiking across the country and the probability that we’ll be back to only essential businesses opening their doors to the public, it’s crucial to take a long view of the marketing landscape.

Because there are so many unanswered questions, the marketing trends for 2021 have a slightly different focus than might be the case in a typical year. Here’s what’s on the horizon.

Focus on Customer Retention

I’ve talked a lot before about how much less it costs to retain customers than to win new customers. In 2021, it’s going to make a lot of sense to put your marketing budget into customer retention. Holding steady in a global crisis qualifies as a win.

Social media and email are the best tools you have available to drive customer retention. By encouraging existing customers to follow you on Facebook or subscribe to your list, you’re gaining the ability to stay in touch with them. You can offer special deals, keep them informed, and remind them of why they chose your product or service in the first place.

Product and Service Availability as a Priority

We’ve all experienced issues with product availability as well as with delayed deliveries due to the pandemic. The key to customer retention in 2021 is ensuring that your customers have access to your products and services. And, if they don’t, letting them know why.

If you have the financial wherewithal, then it may make sense to increase your inventory and beef up your fulfillment to make sure that you can ship products out quickly. For companies providing services, you may need to think about alternative or extended hours, curbside pickup, and other adaptations to meet your customers’ existing needs. At the same time, you’ll need to communicate clearly about delays and shortages to minimize the risk that customers will abandon you for a competitor.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation has been a trend in digital marketing for years now and that’s not going to change. 51% of companies were already using marketing automation as of the end of 2019 with a slight edge to B2C companies. However, 58% of all B2B companies said they planned to add automation.

Automation can include everything from simple fixes such as email autoresponders to complex solutions such as chatbots and digital assistants. Chatbot technology is within reach thanks to free chatbot builder tools like Manychat — which is what our company uses. You don’t need to pay a programmer to build an effective bot.

Want some creative ideas for a chatbot or want to find out if they are right for you? Check out one of our latest pieces on the subject

chatbot developer near me

Here at JVI Mobile Marketing, our CEO is actually a chatbot marketing expert and even wrote a book about it. We would love to help build you a bot that’s right for you and your business needs. Want to learn more about chatbots? Click here.

Interactive Content

There’s no doubt that there’s still room for static content, meaning content that your followers read, watch, or listen to on their own. That said, one of the biggest content trends for 2021 is the rise of interactive content as a way of engaging customers and providing value at the same time.

Interactive content can take many formats, including:

  • Calculators
  • Quizzes
  • Questionnaires
  • Games
  • Polls
  • Interactive Videos
Women interacting with phone in 2021

The reason for the rise is two-fold. First, interactive content is fun for your followers and can make them feel more engaged with your company and brand. Second, the data you collect – whether it’s in the form of quiz responses or information entered in a calculator – will help you learn about your audience. You can use the information you collect to fine-tune your marketing and increase new customer acquisition and customer retention.

List Segmentation

Another key element of customer retention is list segmentation. With marketing budgets shrinking, it is far more cost-effective to segment your list than it is to send the same emails to everyone expecting to get a high conversion rate.

Segmentation can be done using any factors you choose, including:

  • Previous purchases
  • Product preferences
  • Location
  • Industry

You have the option of segmenting your list based on the data you’ve collected from your subscribers or asking them to self-segment by sending out a survey or email where they can opt into and out of your content. Either way, the result is better targeting and a higher return on your investment.

Automated Bidding for Google Ads

In-house automation isn’t the only way to streamline your marketing in 2021. While automated bidding for Google Ads isn’t new – it was first introduced four years ago – it has been greatly improved in the past year.

The benefits of automated bidding are clear. By taking advantage of automation and letting it handle bidding adjustments, you can dedicate your valuable time to improving your PPC ads and increasing your marketing ROI.

Optimizing for Voice Search

Voice search optimization isn’t an option anymore – it’s a must. 40% of all internet users in the United States have used voice search and those numbers are only going up. So if in 2021 you’re ignoring voice search in your optimization efforts, you’re making a mistake.

You can optimize for voice search by making the content on your website conversational and accessible. Keep in mind that conversational still needs to apply to your audience. If you own a B2B tech company, your audience’s conversation may include jargon.

Instead of focusing on short keywords, try building your content around common questions and responses. Using questions in your blog headings and other content – and having a robust FAQ on your website – will make it easy for potential customers to find you using voice search.

Non-Linear Buying Journeys

The rise of digital has undoubtedly shaken up traditional marketing. When you consider the many ways that a potential customer can learn about a company or product, it’s hardly surprising that you can’t count on a linear buying journey to be the result.

How to respond? The trend is toward an omnichannel marketing strategy that includes:

  • Website content
  • Social media
  • Advertising
  • Mobile apps
  • Chatbots

Your goal should be to provide any customer or potential customer with a seamless experience across channels. Customers should get the same tone and information on Facebook that they do from a chatbot on your website, your mobile app, or your landing page.

Overall, agility is going to be the name of the game in digital marketing in 2021. We can’t know yet what the new year will hold, but businesses that remain flexible and adaptable have the best chance of continued growth and success.

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How Chatbot Marketing Works 101

How Chatbot Marketing Works 101

Hello, and welcome to chatbot marketing 101!

It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of a chatbot would have seemed like the stuff of science fiction, right up there with Daleks or droids.

Not anymore.

In fact, chatbots are everywhere these days. They’re readily available, highly effective, and – believe it or not – not that expensive to create.

That said, a lot of small business owners aren’t on board with them yet because they don’t understand how they work to improve marketing and attract new business.

By the time you’re done reading this article, you won’t be able to use lack of knowledge as an excuse anymore. Get ready to learn everything you need to know about how chatbot marketing works.

What is a Chatbot?

Chatbot is short for chatterbot. A chatbot is a computer program and a form of Artificial Intelligence. It uses something called Natural Language Processing (NLP) to simulate human speech.

When programmed properly, a chatbot can interact with customers on your website, on social media, or via a messaging app such as Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, or Kik.

If you’re like a lot of small business owners, you might hear ‘artificial intelligence’ and default to thinking that it’s going to be hugely expensive and time-consuming to incorporate AI or a chatbot into your marketing. As you’ll see, that’s not the case.

How Does Natural Language Processing Work?

I want to say more about NLP because it’s a big part of what makes chatbots work. I’m not a programmer or an AI expert, but here are some things you should know.

Natural Language Processing is what allows users to type a question into a chatbot and get a relevant, useful response. In other words, it allows the chatbot to interpret the question correctly even if it is not worded in a way that’s standard or grammatically correct.

As human beings, we have built-in NLP. If someone talks to us and misuses a vocabulary word or uses an incorrect verb form, we can still understand them in most cases. That’s because our brains auto-correct the mistakes they made and tell us the intention behind their words.

NLP allows chatbots to understand conversational intent. It knows what a customer wants to ask even if the customer doesn’t word it in an expected way.

If you want an idea of how NLP works, pay attention the next time you use a virtual assistant such as Alexa, Siri, Cortana, or Google Voice. You’ve probably noticed that these assistants can grasp your meaning even if you misspeak or stumble over your words. That’s because they use NLP to get at the meaning behind your words.

Pretty cool, right?

What Are the Benefits of Chatbot Marketing?

Now that you have a basic understanding of how chatbots work, let’s talk about their applications in marketing. Chatbot use was already on the rise, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made their benefits more apparent than they were before.

Using chatbots in your marketing can help you:

  • Provide around-the-clock customer support and service – chatbots are always ready to help
  • Redirect customers to self-service options and make their experience more enjoyable
  • Triage incoming customer service requests to flag the ones that need your attention
  • Speed up your service and reduce waiting times for customers
  • Move people through your sales funnel quickly
  • Suggest products and services for potential customers to try

What I hope you can see from this list is that chatbots, when used properly, can speed up the process of turning a visitor to your website or social media page and turning them into a lead, and then into a paying customer.

By collecting information to qualify leads, they can allow you to focus your attention on the people who are most likely to buy from you. And, if you own a retail business where lead nurturing isn’t a big concern, they can direct customers to the products they’re most likely to buy.

In other words, chatbots provide in-the-moment interaction at an affordable price.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Chatbot?

When I talk to small business owners about chatbot marketing technology, their most common objection is the price. The perception of anything related to artificial intelligence is that it will be both expensive and complicated. Let’s get the cost part out of the way.

If all you want is a simple chatbot to handle basic customer interactions, you can use a chatbot builder and create one for very little money. Examples of builders include:

Some of these builders, such as Flow XO, offer free trials or even free versions. Opting for one of them will limit your programming choices, but it’s a good way to familiarize yourself with bots and get a first-hand look at how they can help your business.

Even if you opt for a paid subscription, you can build a simple chatbot for under $1,000. Of course, some businesses spend far more than that for custom chatbots, but you don’t need to do that to reap the benefits of chatbot marketing.

Isn’t Building a Chatbot Complicated?

The second main objection to chatbot marketing is that building a chatbot is complicated. As you’ve probably guessed, using one of the chatbot builders I’ve listed above takes the guesswork out of chatbot programming.

If you were to try to build a chatbot from scratch, there’s no question that you would need experience with both computer programming and AI. It’s not a job for amateurs. But using one of the builders, most of which use simple drag-and-drop technology, makes it as easy as starting a free blog or creating a meme.

Please don’t let fears about the technical aspects of chatbots keep you from using them. Those fears aren’t realistic – and you’ll be missing out on one of the best ways to market your business.

How Chatbot Marketing is Used

Now that you have a framework for understanding chatbots, let’s dig into some of the ways that you can use chatbots in marketing. There are layers of technology, starting from basic and going all the way up to include advanced bots. Most small business owners will start with the basics.


The first tier of chatbot strategy is so simple that you won’t even need to build a chatbot to use it. On Facebook Messenger, businesses have the option of setting up an autoresponder that will reply to messages instantly, letting customers know that you’ll reply to them as soon as you can.

While autoresponders won’t really shorten your lead time or help you convert customers, they can satisfy the need for an instant response, making potential leads feel that you’re paying attention and giving them reassurance that they’ll hear from you soon.

List Notifications

The next tier of sophistication involves building what amounts to a list and using a messaging app to send notifications to people who have messaged you in the past. Again, this is a feature you can use on Facebook Messenger without building an actual bot.

The benefit of sending notifications is that it’s a quick way to get the word out when you have a new product to launch or you’re running a promotion. The downside is that, for now, you’ll need a minimum of 1,000 people to use this feature on Facebook.

Sales Funnel Strategy

Earlier, I mentioned that chatbot marketing can be used to shorten the time it takes people to move through your sales funnel. There are two different options to consider:

  1. A basic funnel strategy that amounts to a slightly-more-involved version of autoresponders. To use this strategy, you can send automated messages to recipients and ask them to respond to questions.
  2. A contextual funnel strategy that uses NLP to respond to questions and direct leads to products and resources.

You can decide which option to choose. Both can be worthwhile depending on your needs. For a business where lead nurturing can be minimal, the former is probably enough to get you started. If lead nurturing tends to take a long time, you may benefit more from a contextual strategy that allows for natural interaction throughout the nurturing process.

The AI-Powered Marketing Strategy

chatbot marketing depicted as two robotic AI's chatting with eachother

Now it’s time to go beyond the basics. A marketing strategy that’s powered by AI might include:

  • Automated customer support
  • Handling of repetitive tasks, such as order tracking or password resets
  • Sales suggestions
  • Redirection to self-service options

If you want to take it even further, then you can use a tool like DialogFlow, which is a cloud-based software owned by Google. It allows you to “train” your bots.

The concept of training might sound odd, but here’s what it means. A basic bot searches for keywords and provides a boilerplate response when it recognizes a keyword. For instance, if someone types “Reset password” into your chatbot, the bot knows to walk the person through the password reset process because it’s been programmed to recognize those keywords.

With the training option, chatbots can interpret language using NLP. Over time, the machine teaches itself using something called machine learning. It picks up clues from context and gradually learns how to interpret and understand language even when it doesn’t match the keywords it’s been programmed to understand.

This type of marketing strategy allows bots to nurture leads in a way that feels natural and intentional. Instead of answering multiple-choice questions, the chatbot can ask and respond to questions in a conversational manner.

Omnichannel Chatbot Strategy

The top tier of chatbot marketing involves omnichannel marketing, where you integrate your marketing and chatbots across all platforms, ensuring that your customers will have a seamless experience wherever they engage with you and your company.

That might mean taking the people from your Messenger list and exporting them to a list that you use for email or a text notification list. Keep in mind that you’ll need to get permission to add people to those lists. You’ll also need to let them know if you’re collecting and saving data from their chats.

Within Facebook Messenger, you can ask people for information that you need to add them to other lists, including their mobile number or email address.

Other potential integrations include mobile payment options such as GooglePay or Apple Wallet. Today’s consumers are comfortable with mobile technology and may prefer to pay you with these tools. They offer encryption that protects users from identity theft.

Getting Started on Chatbot Marketing

If you’re convinced and you want to give chatbots a try, here are my suggestions.

  1. Try a free chatbot builder to get your feet wet.
  2. Start with simple, automated responses.
  3. Let your customers know that your chatbot is there for them to try.
  4. Solicit feedback about your chatbot.
  5. Refine your offerings as needed.
  6. Step up your chatbot to include NLP and machine learning.
  7. Integrate your chatbot across multiple platforms and channels.

The bottom line is that chatbots are here to stay. Eventually, you’re going to need to build one – and you might as well do it now when getting on board with the technology can give you a leg up on your competitors!

Do you want to learn more about how a chatbot can benefit your business?

Click here to learn more about our Chatbot Marketing Service today!

5 Creative Ways to Use Facebook Messenger to Promote Your Business

5 Creative Ways to Use Facebook Messenger to Promote Your Business

5 Creative Ways to Use Facebook Messenger to Promote Your Business

Facebook Messenger is a tool many of us use for instant messaging with our friends – but did you know that it’s a useful marketing tool, as well? It has become one of my favorite ways to connect with existing and potential clients on social media.

There are some useful options included with Facebook Messenger that you can use to improve customer service, promote your products, and more.

Not convinced? Here are some numbers that might do the trick.

  • Open rates for Messenger marketing are 70% higher than for email marketing.
  • There are more than 300 million active bots on Facebook.
  • Facebook Messenger has over 2 million monthly downloads in the United States.
  • Facebook users exchange more than 20 billion messages with business every month.

Those numbers are impressive by any standard. So, now that I’ve convinced you – you are convinced, right? – here are 5 creative and easy ways to use Facebook Messenger for marketing.

#1: Remind Customers About Appointments Via Facebook Messenger

If you allow clients to book appointments with you on Facebook using the “Book Now” button, then you should be using Facebook Messenger to follow up and remind them about their appointments.

To turn on the button, simply click the blue call to action button on your business page. Choose the “Book with You” option and fill out your appointment preferences. When you’re done, go to your Inbox and click the Automated Responses menu.

Scroll down until you see the Follow-Up options, then click to enable Appointment Reminders. Messenger will send an automated reminder 24 hours before the scheduled appointment.

#2: Start a Facebook Messenger Conversation

Do you have a killer piece of content to promote? If you do, then I strongly recommend using the “Get Messages” feature on your next Facebook post.

When you create a post on Facebook, you’ll see a list of options below the message space. One of them is “Get Messages” and it allows the people who see your post to click to send you a message.

The best use of this feature is to promote a lead magnet. When someone wants the content you’re promoting, they’ll click the Send Message button to request the content. You can then get their contact information and send them a pdf of the content or redirect them to your download page.

If you don’t have content to promote, you can still use this feature to allow people to request more information about your business. It’s a great way to initiate a conversation. Just keep in mind that Facebook has rules about how often businesses may send messages to people. Make sure you stick to their guidelines.

#3: Answer Frequently Asked Questions

Most businesses have Frequently Asked Questions on their websites, but you can use Facebook Messenger to provide responses to your followers as well.

To set up FAQ on Facebook, you’ll need to go to your Facebook inbox and scroll down to Automated Responses. Then, enable the option for Frequently Asked Questions.

You’ll get a screen that allows you to tap a plus sign to add questions. It works a little differently from a regular FAQ. When someone messages your business page, they’ll get a list of FAQs and can tap the question they want answered. When they do, they’ll get the response you entered.

To make the best use of FAQ on Facebook Messenger, follow these best practices:

  • Keep your answers short and to the point.
  • Ensure that information provided matches the information on your website.
  • Make it clear that the response is automated.
  • Double-check all links to make sure they work.

Setting up an automated FAQ is a good way to make sure that questions are answered quickly. It will also help turn on the badge that lets customers know that you respond quickly to messages.

#4: Use Facebook Messager to Contact People Who RSVP to Your Event

woman holding coffee smiling  at facebook messenger on phone

If you use Facebook to create events and invite people to them, you can set up Facebook Messenger to allow attendees to message you and to start conversations with them.

When you set up an event, you’ll see an option that says, “Allow Guests to Message [Your Page] About Reservation.” Once enabled, you’ll get an automated message whenever someone makes a reservation for your event. You’ll be able to respond, thus starting a conversation with an attendee who may turn into a paying customer.

Of course, this option works in reverse too. Attendees will be able to message you directly with questions about the event.

#5: Create Ads Targeted to People Who Have Messaged Your Page

While all the above methods for using Facebook Messenger can be effective, I’ve saved the best for last. You can use the Custom Audience feature on Facebook to create ads targeted to people who have messaged your business page in the past.

You can choose any time frame. Simply click the “Add People to Your Audience” option and then select “People who sent a message to your page” option. Next to it, you can fill in your chosen time frame. I recommend going back a full year unless there’s some reason that you want a narrower time frame.

You can get even more detailed if you want to. For example, if you’ve ever used Facebook Messenger to conduct a survey, you can create ads targeted to specific responses. If you gave your respondents four options, you could create ads targeted to each response.

What I like about this tool is that it offers a very affordable way to engage in targeted marketing. When you take the high open rate for Facebook Messenger into consideration, there’s a good chance that your targets will see your ad. That’s not something you can count on with traditional Facebook ads that display on the News Feed.

Facebook Messenger is more than a fun way to connect with friends. If you use it properly, it can be a powerful marketing tool that allows you to connect with your customers on a personal level, boost your conversions, and increase your profits to grow your business.

JVI Mobile Marketing uses Facebook chatbots to easily keep your customers in contact with you in all these ways and more! Go to our website to learn more about what we do and book an appointment so we can chat.

How your business can benefit from Chatbots

How your business can benefit from Chatbots

robotic hand typing on keyboard, emulating chatbots

Here, we’ll tell you all about how your business can benefit from chatbots.

2019 has been the year of the chatbot. Businesses who have adopted the chatbot trend have been able to support and scale their business operations by offering convenient and efficient communication to their customers. Implementing chatbots has also helped businesses increase their sales, by providing 24/7 chat support to customers who need questions answered before they buy. So, what is a chatbot and how can your business benefit from one? Sit tight! We’re about to unpack everything you need to know.

What is a chatbot? 

A chatbot is an automated messaging system or computer program that interacts with your customers on your behalf. Chatbots are integrated into the back end of your website and pop up as a chatbox on the front when a visitor reaches your website.

Welcome to the future! 

In 2001, A.I. might have spurred images of a young Haley Joel Osment. Jump forward 18 years and A.I. (artificial intelligence) is at the heart of modern-day advertising and marketing. In marketing, the role of artificial intelligence is to anticipate the customers’ needs and provide the information or resources they need to make a purchase decision.

If you’re trying to get your head around how artificial intelligence is used in marketing today and how you can leverage it in your business, start with understanding and using your own chatbot.

How does it know what to say? 

Your chatbot is prepopulated with a series of questions, answers and resources to help your customers through their purchase journey. Think of it like a smarter, more engaging FAQ channel. The prepopulated list of questions and answers is meticulously mapped out and tells your chatbot how to behave or respond when certain actions are taken, or questions are asked.

More advanced chatbots and virtual assistants can be customized to do a lot more than handle customer queries. They can be integrated with booking systems and other communication platforms enabling people to make reservations and purchases.

Chatbots for the hospitality industry (hotels and restaurants) 

20 years ago, you might have found Trudy or Kenneth at a desk answering the phone and taking reservations in a dusty old reservation book. In 2019, you’ll find Trudy and Kenneth enjoying the finer things in life while their chatbot takes care of bookings and reservations for them.

Benefits of chatbots for hotels and restaurants

Here’s what you can expect from effectively implementing a chatbot on your hotel or restaurant’s website:

∙ An increase in direct bookings. Visit Skyscanner or booking.com to see their reservation tool in action.

∙ Reduction in office hours. A chatbot can handle many questions and activities that would otherwise be managed by a receptionist.

∙ A better understanding of the different profiles of guests and travelers and appropriate offers based on their profiles.

∙ Better customer experience. Guests can opt-in for information on things to see and do in the area, helping them get the most out of their stay.

∙ Better customer service. Guests can get the support they need 24/7.

∙ Better customer satisfaction. The ease of booking through a chatbot is unbeatable!

∙ An increase in reviews. Emails requesting reviews get lost in a busy inbox. A chatbot prompts reviews that are quick and easy to submit.

Best chatbots for the hospitality industry

Our recommendations for chatbots in this industry are TrilyoHiJiffy, and LivePerson.

Chatbots for the retail industry

Simplicity makes sales. If retail brands make it easy for their customers to buy from them, they will! Chatbots help retailers make more sales by providing customer support and customized suggestions to shoppers, increasing the chance of a sale.

shoppers can be helped by chatbots

Benefits of chatbots for the retail industry

In retail, some of the benefits of implementing a chatbot include:

∙ Less abandoned carts. We’ve all added items to a cart and failed to check out (for whatever reason). A chatbot reminds you to checkout, encourages you to complete your purchase or offers you a discount if you check out within a certain timeframe.

∙ Enhanced and smoother customer service. Chatbots are available 24/7/365 to answer any concerns a visitor might have about a product. Knowing everything you need to know about the product increases the likelihood of you making a purchase.

∙ Customized post-sale offers. Chatbots can send custom offers and information to customers based on their previous purchases.

∙ Increase in conversion rates. Lack of sales on an Ecomm website is often as a result of a poorly designed conversion funnel. Chatbots make the purchase journey super simple helping increase conversions.

∙ Driving sales! All these benefits combined naturally drive sales.

Best chatbots for the retail industry

IBM Watson AssistantBold 360 and LivePerson.

Top 3 best chatbots in 2019 and 2020?

There are hundreds of chatbots available to you. Some paid, some free. Some basic, some customizable. Here are our top picks for chatbots in 2019 and 2020.


The thing we love most about LivePerson is that it is suitable for all industries. Text messaging, Google Rich Business Messaging, Apple Business Chat, Line, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Google AdLingo can all be integrated into the chatbot.


Designed for the needs of enterprise brands Inbenta has a simplistic interface and can handle simple demands with a high level of intelligence. The best feature Inbenta has to offer is the ability to detect when the conversation needs a human to step in.

IBM Watson Assistant

Suitable for big brands and businesses, Watson Assistant has been designed by IBM, the leader in A.I. solutions. This chatbot is a lot more advanced and recommended for larger businesses that require more extensive support and chatbot capabilities.

Regardless of your personal views on talking to a robot, customers set the demands and don’t really have a preference when it comes to dealing with a robot or a human, as long as they get what they need*. Your business could very well be a chatbot away from better customer support, happier customers and more sales. So, what have you got to lose?

Reach out to us below to set up a chatbot of your own!

Can Reviews Affect Your SEO Rankings?

Can Reviews Affect Your SEO Rankings?

Can Reviews Affect Your SEO Rankings? You already know that local SEO is the name of the game. It’s essential to send Google signals – through keyword use and other SEO techniques – that your business is local. You also want them to know who it serves and where it is.

What you might not know is this:

Your online reviews play a direct role in your business making the cut to appear in the Google local three-pack.

In case you don’t know, that’s the collection of businesses that appear at the top of Google’s SERP when someone searches a keyword. It turns out that one of the keys to landing a coveted spot in the three-pack is getting good reviews. Here’s what you need to know.

The Proof That Reviews Matter

How can we tell that reviews make a difference in SEO rankings? Google’s algorithm is proprietary and the known ranking factors (keywords, links, and Google Rankbrain, to name a few) don’t include reviews.

Local SEO experts have been saying this for a years, but it’s actually fairly easy to see that reviews are important. Google any local business category and you will get a list of results with a three-pack at the top. When you look at the businesses that made it into the three-pack, you’ll most likely see the following:

  • Star ratings pulled directly from online reviews of the business
  • Keywords in those reviews

For example, if you searched for the keyword “Spokane hair salon,” you would see reviews that related to that keyword. That’s all the proof we need to know that reviews make a difference in determining which businesses appear at the top of the SERP.

It’s also worth noting that the Local SEO Guide found that local reviews were the second most influential factor in determining search rank in their 2017 Local SEO Ranking Factors study. The influence in this study appeared to be limited to reviews that specifically included the keyword searched. Customers, however, are likely to use the most commonly searched terms naturally.

In addition, LSI keywords that are related to the search term may also play a role. Try Googling your top keyword and looking at what’s highlighted in the reviews in the three-pack. You may notice that reviews that use semantically-related words show up even if they don’t use the precise term you searched.

Reviews Affect Your SEO Rankings
Photographer: henry perks | Source: Unsplash

The Reasons Google Likes Reviews for SEO Rankings

There are some concrete reasons that Google thinks reviews matter. They’re directly related to the ways that Google’s algorithm has evolved. In the early days of the internet, it was possible to get a page to rank highly on any search engine by stuffing it with keywords.

That changed because it omitted any concern for the experience of a user who clicked through to a site. After all, if you could click on a site because it ranked for a keyword only to find that it was useless to your needs, you wouldn’t revisit it. You might even resent the search engine that directed you to it in the first place.

With that in mind, here are:

The Top Three Reasons Google Likes Reviews for SEO Rankings

  1. It trusts outside sources more than it trusts you (at least when it comes to the relevance of your site.) This first reason is related to the ongoing importance that Google places on authority backlinks. It stands to reason that it would accept mentions and references from other sources as proof that your site is relevant to certain keywords and topics.
  2. Google uses written content as a way of determining authenticity. When customers write reviews, they describe your business. They may even include information that’s not on your website. Even if you don’t list reviews on your site, these things can help flesh out the information on your site and give Google more context for its interpretation of your site.
  3. Click-through rates also influence Google’s ranking algorithm. That might seem obvious, but what you need to know is that a business with lots of good reviews is, inevitably, going to get more clicks and traffic than a business with a few mediocre reviews. It’s in your best interest to encourage reviews if you want to boost your Google rank.

These three things explain why reviews matter to Google. The key takeaways here is that Google takes outside resources into account to help it determine the authenticity and usefulness of your website. Users “vote” for your site by writing reviews and describing your site. Just as web users trust peer reviews to help them make buying decisions, Google trusts them to help it make recommendations of which sites are most likely to be useful for the keyword searched.

How to Make the Most of Your Reviews

Here are some quick tips to help you make the most of your reviews:

  1. Claim your listings on all relevant review sites. This includes Yelp and Google My Business, as well as local review sites. You want to make sure that you use keywords in your listing, link to your site, and include relevant information that will help people find you.
  2. Link to your review pages directly from your website so customers can leave reviews if they want to.
  3. Put a reminder about reviews on your receipts or comment cards. Remember that dissatisfied customers are often motivated to leave reviews, but happy customers will do so if you make it easy for them.
  4. Send a note to your email list with a link to your review sites and ask them to leave a review.
  5. Reply promptly to negative reviews to try to resolve them and get the reviewer to update their review.

These things will help you dial up the impact of your reviews and help you get into the coveted local three-pack for your most important keywords.

Reviews matter…

You know that, and now you can do something about it. Organic traffic is increasingly difficult to come by but encouraging and highlighting your reviews can help you get the biggest possible bang for your marketing bucks.

To learn more about how we can help generate more reviews that will positively impact your SEO rankings, fill out the form below and we will reach back out to you.


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