Each year the way that bots are being applied gets broader and broader and as I work for a company that specializes in online competitions I’m particularly interested in how they can be harnessed to create a winning contest experience.
Tips for creating a chatbot contest
BeeLiked have recently produced some bots for some very different styles of campaigns. Here are a few takeaways from this.
1. Be aware of the barriers
Any barriers that remove your audience from the story may hurt the user experience. It is details such as clicking yes on a permissions box or being taken to an app that you haven’t downloaded that will leave audiences wary or too frustrated to play.
For example, recently we looked at running a bot campaign via an app such as Messenger or Whatsapp. In order to experience the game the user must give permission to share their data before they could start. We had to consider whether people were comfortable enough to trust bots to do so, or would that put them off. We also had to consider our target audience. Are these the type of users that would really be using these apps or would a different platform be more suitable in this instance?
For a book launch campaign for Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen we created a narrative where the user is Subject 84 and they are being administered an unnerving morality test by ’Dr Shields’.
To build momentum, the audience doesn’t get asked for any personal details until the end of the session where they then get a chance to read the first chapter of the book for free as an extra incentive. If barriers are a concern having a voucher or a freebie is a great way to increase sign-ups.
2. Create your character
Creating a character that your audience wants to interact with is so important. Let’s face it no one really wants to waste their time talking to a robot; they need a personality.
Take for example our recent campaign for Of Blood and Bone from author Nora Roberts. We wanted something that would instantly capture the essence of the book, so fans who have read the first book in the series and newbies alike could instantly get a feel what is in between the pages. The book is set in a post-apocalyptic reality and the chatbot takes on a persona of Chuck, a survivor. Suddenly the user becomes part of the narrative, another survivor communicating at the end of the world.
Don’t forget those small details when creating your personality, such as the speed in which the text appears on the screen. They will help to create an authentic and compelling experience for the user.
3. Don’t be scared to experiment
In many ways, bots are still brave new territory, which means that it is the perfect time to start getting creative and experiment with how they can be used. Include them as part of your marketing strategy and don’t be scared about trying different combinations to find out what works. It need not be expensive, but having different variations and different ways to access your campaign will help you determine what works best for your audience.
Think about how your campaign can stand out. For Dan Brown’s new book ORIGIN BeeLiked created a character called Winston who is Dan’s virtual assistant. The contest was used to determine a book cover for the novel. Winston guides the user through the covers and helps them choose the winner ‘he’ also picks up details of the entrant that in turn is used as part of the next stage where a personalized video is created with this information, and the user gets to take part in the world’s first virtual book signing, where Dan actually writes their name in his own handwriting!
4. Remember the purpose
My last point is to always go back to the beginning. It’s easy to get carried away by a great idea but don’t forget about the purpose of your campaign in the first place. Don’t just use chatbots because that’s what people are doing, use them to create something amazing that enhances the user experience, and makes it a more memorable campaign.
Think about the tone and the character of your chatbot, make sure it reflects the campaign and the brand. There is no point creating an amazing campaign if it doesn’t fulfill your marketing goals.
BeeLiked offers companies an ever-growing portfolio of campaign types that are quick to create, with full design flexibility, performance tracking and data collection capabilities to ensure your campaign and promotion exceed all your expectations.
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