Meet Fernando Amaral, VP of Marketing at Landbot.io. We discuss why Landbot.io is rethinking the traditional SEO approach, how podcasts are the most effective method to generate awareness content, and the future of chat marketing.Artificial Intelligence is on the verge of transforming the digital marketing world.In many ways, it has already started – the AI magic of chatbots has quickly become a must-have for businesses that want to get ahead of the competition and supercharge their digital efforts. After all, chatbots excel at providing additional avenues for customer service and personalization, effectively turning good customer service into a superior user experience. Our CEO, Paris Childress, recently connected with Fernando Amaral from Landbot to talk about unlocking the power of chatbots and building a robust objective-driven content strategy. Ready to dive in?Are Chatbots Just Another Tech Hype?Chatbots, like any conversation, are a two-way street – users can find information quickly anytime, anywhere, while brands can identify and nurture qualified leads, gather feedback, and provide more effective customer support.A leading solution that enables companies to seamlessly create and integrate a chatbot on both popular messaging channels and API-enabled channels is Landbot.Landbot’s VP of Marketing, Fernando Amaral, is convinced that chatbots are here to stay, it just boils down to understanding how to use them. Fernando believes that the hype around chatbots that sound like a human, or even pretend to be a human, is fading away as that’s not where most of the business value is. He further adds that – as long as the chatbot can solve the customer’s problem – it’s fine to interact with it, “it’s really about automating processes that are useful for the customer and not necessarily pretending to be a person.”Making Chatbots WorkThe potential and benefits of chatbots are clear, but how do you make your chatbot stand out?Now that chatbots have passed the trend stage, Fernando explains that “it’s about the value that they can create. Chatbots and automation of customer interactions and conversations can be extremely valuable if used in the right way.”One thing you need to know is that – although a chatbot should be able to perform tasks on its own – human support is still needed. While there are many ways you can use chatbots, human intervention is key for configuring and optimizing the chatbot system.Let’s walk through two strategies you can use to make your chatbots more effective. Offer Personalized ExperiencesThanks to the AI capabilities of chatbots, they can utilize analytics and previous chat history to understand the context and background of the user.This enables you to create hyper-personalized messaging experiences that blur the line between bot and human, and let customers get what they want (and get it faster). To help businesses build a conversational flow with advanced features and easily implement it on their website or other communication channels, Landbot offers an intuitive, no-code drag-and-drop builder.The platform also enables you to elevate customer experience based on user interactions and even add nifty touches like GIFs. Besides the builder, Landbot offers in-depth conversation analytics and an all-in-one multi-agent conversation manager. Meet Customers Where They AreKnowing how to create your own chatbot – and having the right platform that enables you to do so – is important. But step one of the process raises one big question: how do you choose which platform to leverage for your chatbot? Fernando believes it’s key to engage with customers where they are. As message-based social apps like WhatsApp, Kik, and WeChat become more popular among users, they emerge as crucial channels for businesses. Where Landbot saw big opportunities rising was WhatsApp. Perhaps unsurprisingly, as the Meta-owned platform is seeing a whopping 40% increase in usage due to the Covid pandemic. With 2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp has also released, and is continuously improving, an application and a suite of tools just for businesses. The best part? The WhatsApp Business API solution allows you to integrate your business profile with the tools and systems you are already using, or automated conversational assistants such as Landbot. Two ways Landbot’s VP of Marketing suggest you make the most of WhatsApp chatbots include:Doing Facebook ads directly to WhatsApp so that the ad can directly open a WhatsApp conversation through Facebook’s own platform.Thinking about WhatsApp as the website itself. Instead of sending users to your webpage, you’re continuing the conversation or starting a new one on WhatsApp. Ultimately, Fernando adds, “all the ways you can send someone to a website, you can send to a WhatsApp conversation.” How to Utilize Chatbots in Tandem With a Freemium PLG ModelWhen it comes to customer acquisition, Landbot leverages two main funnels – a freemium model and the bot itself.The traditional one, as Fernando shares, revolves around allowing people to sign up and try out the product right away.Landbot implements a product-led growth motion combined with a freemium acquisition model. Simply put, a freemium is a two-tier acquisition model that divides your product into two versions: free and premium. Free users have limited access to (selected) features, while premium users have access to richer functionality. In effect, by balancing the freemium tightrope, “you get a bigger ecosystem to play around with.”With all that in mind, Fernando strongly discourages using the tool for the sake of using it, as “when it’s not bringing any additional value, it might just be creating friction.”This is why Landbot’s prospects can also get in touch with the customer support team either through in-product bots or go ahead and talk to sales directly, without trying the product. What We Can Learn From Landbot’s Content StrategyWhen it comes to content marketing, Fernando shares that Landbot’s marketing team dedicates a big chunk of their efforts to the distribution part at the beginning of content production. To get the ball rolling, they focus on several key questions: How is this content going to be consumed and distributed?Is it going to be found on a Google search?Is it going to be distributed on social media and reach people there?Are other people going to reshare this?How are people going to find out about this content?In addition, any content that Landbot creates is crafted to fit into one of two main objective buckets:Generate awareness: “getting more people in our target market to know about Landbot, to know that we exist. And this is a very initial step at the very top of the funnel.”Have an impact on consideration: sparking a conversation about the problems that the product solves and “putting Landbot in their [customers’] heads as a possible solution for the things that they want to do.”All this means that every piece of the company’s content should serve one of these two objectives. If it does not, “it’s not really worth doing. There is really no purpose in just filling a content calendar.”Leveraging SEO to Impact ConsiderationIn one of his podcasts, Fernando was challenged by Rand Fishkin that the golden age of SEO is over. “He [Rand Fishkin] started his company without doing SEO and he still doesn’t do it,” Fernando says “I started to question that strategy and the reality was that a lot of the content we were publishing was never really bringing any SEO traffic.”Landbot hasn’t given up on SEO. Rather, they’ve decided to get more strategic with it and lean further into the consideration objective. “We still have some very strong SEO pieces from the blog. When you look for WhatsApp marketing, WhatsApp chatbots, and things like that, we do have articles that are bringing traffic and sign-ups. So there’s still that side to it but not in the broad sense of just generating awareness with any marketing search.”Updating content has been another key piece of the puzzle. Even though “we all know it’s right, it’s not the most exciting thing to do as a marketer.” Yet, refreshing old content and taking stuff that works (or almost worked) and updating, publishing again, and boosting those results can be immensely helpful for boosting your digital efforts.In fact, refreshing and republishing some of your most valuable content can improve your posts’ position in the SERPs, as well as maintain your rankings. It is a great way to get more mileage out of your pieces and has been a proven way to double a blog’s traffic for a number of businesses.Utilizing Podcasts to Boost Awareness With plenty of room to enter the space and relatively low production costs, launching a podcast was an exciting endeavor for Landbot. Exactly 30 days after the launch date, the company recorded an impressive win – hitting 10K downloads in just a month. Source: landbot.ioSo how did they do it? “All topics that are interesting for our audience, not necessarily about ourselves or our product, bring them into the conversation; earn their [people’s] trust and build credibility and brand awareness,” Fernando explains. Here are three other ways that Landbot’s VP of Marketing suggests can help you promote and make the most of your podcasts.Repurpose the Podcast Into a Cohesive Blog Post Transforming (repurposing) your podcast into a well-rounded blog post is the ultimate opportunity to stoke the conversation further and provide extra value. It is the prime spot to dive deeper into the topics you discussed in the episode and expand on them. Once they’ve crafted the podcast-based blog post, Fernando shares that they publish and distribute it on social media, do some social media advertising, and then put the podcast on all the podcasting platforms.Promote the Podcast Content on Social Media Speaking about advertising podcast content more efficiently, Fernando shares that one strategy they use is crafting guest-focused micro-videos from the interview. To create awareness, he makes the videos available for the company’s own social media team, for the guest, and for anyone else in the company that wants to use it. If you’re looking to get more out of your podcast strategy, be sure to consider sharing your micro-videos, as well as any rich media, images, teasers, and anything else you can think of. Here are some ideas to get you started:Create short soundbite clips. You can upload them to platforms such as Soundcloud or iTunes and share them on Twitter.Tease the next episode ahead of time.Pull out insightful or inspirational quotes from the interview and turn them into images. You can then share them as standalone posts with a link to the podcasting platform.Pin the episode’s Facebook post or tweet and feature the URL to the podcasting platform. Feature behind-the-scenes as part of your Instagram or TikTok marketing. Make the Podcast Content Valuable and Easy for the Guest to ShareTo make your podcast content more valuable for the guest, one advice Fernando has is to try and understand what is your guest’s agenda and what do they want to talk about at that time. Remember to “make the content good, make them look good and sound smart, and make it valuable for them to share.”Another factor to bear in mind is making the podcast content easy to share. Fernando’s go-to strategy is giving guests easy access to the drive with the videos, as well as the blog post and all the relevant links. Then, it’s up to the guest to decide if and how they want to use that content.Ready to Embrace the Future of Marketing Automation?Artificial intelligence is racing to dominate. It certainly has its place in marketing, and that place continues to expand and contribute as technology advances. While we’re still navigating this new space, one thing is for sure – chatbots and AI-powered buyer journeys are here to stay.So what does that all mean for the future of marketers? Head out to our blog and discover more about AI automation and the future of digital marketing.