Chatbots have been around for quite a few years now, making a name for themselves mainly in customer support and lead generation.That’s great!Both areas are essential for business success. But, at Landbot, we like to go beyond what’s expected of chatbots… and take it just a bit further.That’s why, this Halloween, we decided to explore the idea of using chatbots and a conversational approach for creative marketing campaigns with a touch of gamification.
Psst! If you haven't played yet, get to it now to avoid spoilers!
There are plenty of ways to engage with customers.
So, why chatbots?
Most importantly, why now?
First of all, it’s hard to ignore that 2020 everything as we know it on its head. That everything includes marketing and the brands’ ability to communicate and engage with their customers.
2020 forced governments, education, healthcare, and business online not for the pursuit of innovation but necessity.
Perhaps, you are thinking… “Well, my brand has been doing everything digitally for ages. This changes nothing.”Not necessarily.
If you are lucky enough for your workflows to have remained undisturbed and unchanged, kudos.What did change is people.
Caught up in insecurity and isolation, the connection became more important than ever.
So, while the world is in a hurry to get digital, the visionaries are in a hurry to make the digital ever so human. And THIS is when the chatbots sweep in.
Chatbots have the ability to connect through messaging. A way of communication that only comes second to the actual conversation. They have the ability to react in real-time, personalize experiences, collect data… and so forth. No need to repeat the entire mantra.
What I would like to highlight, though, and what was our goal, to begin with, is the chatbots’ ability to adapt to creative ideas and your ability to access and afford this advantage thanks to no-code and low-code platforms.
Chatbots as a Way to Gamify, Engage & Entertain
When it comes to marketing, up till now bots have been known to dazzle with their personality. However, for us at Landbot, that’s just very tip of the iceberg.In past months, we started playing around with the idea of conversational gamification.
Why not use chatbots to engage with audiences much more creatively than ever before?
After all, the gaming industry is crushing it like there is no tomorrow.Games are so attractive because they take us out of the audience and make us active participants…. The heroes, the villans… and chatbots can do exactly the same (while helping you reach your marketing objective, obviously).
Our first attempt at gamify ing chatbot interactions was our digital chatbot escape room campaign which aimed to demonstrate new Landbot features in a fun and engaging way. It was the most successful Landbot launch campaign to date generating hundreds of signups, subscriptions, social media mentions, and valuable recognition on Product Hunt.
The success opened our eyes to the potential of chatbots in creative marketing campaigns as well as the role of no-code in streamlining them.
This time, we thought Halloween 2020 deserved an experience that fun but still safe. So, we put our heads together and came up with a Mystery Trick-or-Treat Halloween Adventure!
Unlike our previous campaign, this one offers an additional layer of engagement. After completing the experience, the users can customize several elements and reshare it with their clients, colleagues, or friends not as Landbot but as themselves or their brand.
The campaign consists of 4 acts, each offering a unique point of engagement.
- Act 1
Act 1 is entirely based on conversation. Here, the user familiarizes her-/himself with the premise and gets a chance to personalize their game experience by sharing his or her name and selecting a Halloween costume to represent them throughout the experience. We have been invited to a Halloween party but before...
- Act 2
The character sets out to trick-or-treat a little. They move from door to door and meet a couple of surprises. The last door represents the party location and is the first element the user will be able to customize afterward. The door features the Landbot logo and name which can both be updated.
- Act 3
Act 3 is the final destination, the party. Here, the character learns there is a real monster present and their job is to find it and save everyone. The premise is simple, converse with the masked attendees and pick up on the clues from what they say to determine whether they are the monster or not.
- Act 4
After the user finds the monster, he or she is taken to the “wrap-up” conversation offering memorabilia of the experience and given the offer to customize it and send it forward.
Halloween Chatbot Experience: How Did We Do It?
Despite using code to give the experience unique touch, the development was significantly streamlined by the no-code integration of the dialogue that moves the whole experience forward.
To make things simpler, each act is a standalone bot. Here is what’s happening inside the builder!
Act 1: Costume Selection
So, you can experience the fading effect:
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The last Code block inside the builder served to initiate the ending of Act 1 and transition into act 2:
Act 2: Trick or Treat
Upon loading the new scenario, the user has a short interaction with the avatar (bat) until a CTA “Let’s go!” appears and the character moves to the first door.
The CTA activates a no-conversation action that is the character moving towards the first door.How does the conversation pick up again?
For that, we used the Landbot builder block called Global Keywords.
Global keywords are very similar to the usual keyword jump except they don’t need to be part of a structured flow and can be activated at any point in the conversation when the keyword is mention.
In this case, when the character reaches the first door, a global keyword “DOOR_ONE_IN” is activated and a new conversation flow opens:
The conversational exchange activates the event (in this case, the virus explosion scare):
This event activates the second global keyword “DOOR_ONE_OUT” activates starting another miniature string of conversation:
Which activates the third global keyword “DOOR_TWO_IN” and so forth.Act 2 finishes when the character reaches the third door and activates the event to load the following act.
Act 3: The Party
Structure-wise, Act 3 is very similar to Act 2 albeit a bit more extensive, since there 6 individual conversation strings corresponding to the party attendees.
Then, we, once again, leveraged the “Global Keywords” block.
This time, the trigger keywords being the name of the masked characters witch which the user will be talking:
- Face reveal
- The main character moving on
The act ends with the user identifying the monster and we transfer to act 4.
Act 4: The Customization
The last act is perhaps the simplest of all as it takes the form of the classic full-page conversation with only slight CSS adjustments to the font. Otherwise, the conversation is pretty straight forward:
There are a couple of key elements to point out.
The bot uses variable-conditioned Keyword Jump back to send the user the group pic with their costume:
This variable data is available in the form of hidden fields in the URL!
Next, to allow the user to customize the experience for their business or personal use, we used a series of pre-set question blocks: text and file upload.
And that is it!
The user ends up with a unique URL they can share with clients, colleagues, family, and friends.
Note: Interested in building something similar? Visit the article again next week, it will be updated with a link to the technical tutorial!
The time has changed and so must our marketing strategies.
At Landbot, we treat every challenge as an opportunity for growth. And so, even if we are forced to keep the interactions online to stay safe, it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the human and interactive aspect of brand-customer communication.
Chatbots, even the basic rule-based kind we built for this campaign, is a powerful technology which potential were only beginning to discover.
Thanks to tools like Landbot, the power of chatbots is ever more accessible to marketing agencies of all shapes and sizes as well as freelance makers.
You can build fun, creative campaigns in a matter of days instead of weeks or months and bring brand-customer communication to life in a way that resonates with current consumer preferences.