Chatbots are enjoying great popularity these days and are helpful in many different situations:  There is a company that launched a chatbot that helps people to improve their credit score for instance. Another one helps users to contest parking tickets that were unfairly issued. Chatbots can also help you order a pizza, or give you medical or legal advice.

As we wrote in one of our blog articles before, these bots became a buzzword in the advertising industry. We now take a look into that trend and see what it has to offer when it comes to native advertising.

What are chatbots?

Chatbots are textual dialogue systems and consist of a text input and output mask that enables users to communicate in a natural language with the underlying system. They can (but don’t have to) be used in conjunction with an avatar. In technical terms they are more related to a full text search engine than to artificial intelligence.

There are two different types of chatbots: They can either exist in form of a virtual assistant that helps to find information or buy things for instance or they exist in messaging apps where businesses and brands get the opportunity to be online 24/7 and provide customer support. With rising computer performance chatbot systems can take hold more quickly and to more extensive data files. Therefore they offer intelligent dialogues for users.

How can publishers take advantage from chatbots?

Publishers benefit from that a lot. They can publish their content via the messenger bot and are able to provide the user with articles. This way users do not need to visit the publisher’s website or download the application. There are many ways for publishers to use chatbots. With the messaging apps that are supported by chatbots publishers can increase their reach to unexploited markets. Chatbots enable publishers to reach their audience directly. This “direct-to-consumer” aspect offers the advantage of directly connecting the publishers to the readers.

One of the main problems of online and offline publications is that they also offer a big amount of irrelevant content to their readers. Offline media are not able to do anything against it but online publishers can find a solution to this problem: They use chatbots. By asking questions the bot gets direct information from the users about preferences and behaviour. Therefore, it is easy to offer the right content at the right time.

Subscribers as KPI

For publishers, subscribers are more important than unique visitors. And this is the KPI that chatbots address, explains Max Koziolek, founder of Spectrm.  Subscribers constitute a stable base of an audience. Staying in contact and increase loyalty is made much easier through the innovative technology. This way the bot increases traffic on the publisher’s site and support the monetization of the content.

As one of the first ventures Spectrm allows publishers to create and manage chatbots for delivering content to audiences.  They deliver the content over messaging platforms including Facebook Messenger, Slack and Telegram. They provide an easy to use interface, rock-solid sending infrastructure and proprietary artificial intelligence technology. Koziolek predicts:”Speaking and texting bots will soon be very normal and the challenge for publishers will be to distribute content conversational”. Since this topic is getting more important within the industry Spectrm already works with large brands and publishers from all over the world.

What can chatbots do for native advertising?

Chatbots are the next evolution for native advertising. Today the preferred way of communication is chatting. In 2016 more than 1.4 billion people used messaging apps and according to a study 80 % of all respondents spend their time on the smartphone in messaging apps. Therefore chatting with a bot instead of doing phone calls seems much more attractive to the user. This is where native advertising can come to play. There is a great potential for advertisers to use chatbots to drive value and make sales volume in advertising.

By identifying what type of user the opposite is, advertisers can place and deliver relevant advertisement in the messenger. Especially native content advertisement profits from it: Imagine you are talking to a chatbot about the headache you are suffering from. After that the chatbot will send you a link to an article about “tips & tricks to prevent headaches” and that will redirect you to a blog that is related to this issue. Of course the organization behind the chatbot gets paid for leading you to the blog.

Chatbots are not fully developed yet but they offer great potential for an innovative future of native advertising.

Author: Lucie Feldt