So, you had an idea for you first bot and decided to launch it on Messenger! Now that the work is done, you’re wondering how to bring loads of users to use your bot, and make it unmissable in the botosphere. Here are a few tips, from one bot maker to the other for a successful bot launch.
Make a great bot
User satisfaction is the key element of success for a bot. If users are satisfied of their experience, they will talk about your bot everywhere: word-to-mouth! Word-to-mouth has a great power, as people are a lot more likely to try and adopt something that has been recommended. So make a good bot, polish its identity, and be sure to add a share option at the end of your conversation 😉
Wonder what a great bot looks like? Get started with the Art of Bot Design.
Keep in mind that users like to mess with bots and find their limits. Make sure you support small talk (jokes, answers to smileys or everyday life questions) and provide correct up-to-date answers to attract the greatest number of users, of any generation and environment.
Also, make it visual! Messenger offers loads of elements to make your bot more than just text. From cards to quick replies, you have quite a choice! If you want to discover more, go on Messenger’s documentation. These are very useful to save time, and especially on smartphones.
Share it with the world
Your bot development is done, it’s ready to roll in production!
I hope you thought about making your Facebook page, setting up all your ads, preparing your content, and everything else. No? That’s alright, here are a few things to keep in mind for a successful bot launch.
First, remember, a user isn’t curious, isn’t going to go to great lengths to discover your product. It has to fall on its lap in a pretty package ready to go. To facilitate the onboarding, create a tutorial to explain how to get started with the bot and share it on Facebook, Twitter, and your other active social networks.
Second, put some effort into your bot’s Facebook page. Use an enticing photo and an attractive title: they’re the first two things people see! Fully personalize your page with a description, address, about, and other features Facebook offers. But keep it light! You don’t want to shift the user focus, after all you want him to use the bot. Be consistent in this page with the tone of your bot: is it light and funny, or more serious? Then, keep the page active by posting news about the bot, news about the market and thank your community!
Now that that’s settled, let’s talk about ways to bring focus to this wonderful Messenger bot.
Two stages of communications are often best: one before the production roll, to announce the bot launch date, and another once it’s available online.
For both times, you have many options:
Advertising a bot launch
Get it going! Whether it’s classical or digital publicity, everything is good!
Define which channel is better for your target audience, and create print campaigns, flyers, TV and radio spots, or street marketing (target crowded places such as metro stations or malls to diversify your targets).
If you’re more digital, start with ads on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, create an Adwords campaigns and get the word out there.
Don’t forget to advertise on your own website, and add a button on your front page.
Events are a great way to launch a product and create a buzz. You have many ways!
- Create your own bot launch party: partner up with another company to find a place, determine a budget, create your guest list, send your emails! You can either focus solely on introducing your bot and letting people network, or you can host different talks on how your bot was created, from the technology to the UX and project methodology.
- Talk at different meetups and gatherings: get yourself out there! There are often many different meetup groups about bots, offer to do a talk on NLP, bot building, bot UX, or any other topic you’d like to share with an audience.
- Attend major conferences like VivaTechnology, WebSummit, CES: get a booth and sell your bot! Pitch it to visitors, get feedback, and share your best practices.
When going to events, make yourself visible. Create big board signs with the Messenger code of your bot, customize your booth with balloons, colors, wear branded t-shirts, and offer loads of goodies.
Product Hunt is an amazing way to gain a lot of traction very quickly. However, launching requires a bit of preparation, which Ovi Negrean explained very thoroughly here. I’ll let you get to it!
Content is a way to give back to the community and share your experience while raising awareness for your product. You can create a blog associated to your bot, or simply share on Medium and other blogging platforms.
Content comes in many shapes and forms:
- Articles: pick a topic and share your experience! Why you chose to make your bot multilingual with SAP Conversational AI? Why you decided to use NLP and quick replies together? Why your bot in only available on Messenger? How was your building process? You know a lot, share it with the world, they’ll want to know.
- Tutorials: from basic tutorials such as “how to get started with using bots” to “building our bot in NodeJS”, tutorials are greatly appreciated by fellow developers.
- Videos: perfect for social networks, they have a great viral power! Get your camera and start shooting, or work with freelancers.
Making this content is good, but getting it to people is better! Contact newsletters that focus on bots, partner up with tech bloggers, share it on your social networks, post it on Facebook and LinkedIn groups, include it in your own mailing actions… Loads of ways to get it to the masses 🙂
The press can be an important part of launching a bot! Meet journalists interested in bots and AI, pitch them your product, offer to collaborate with them on a piece, create a working relationship that benefits both.
This is all but an exhaustive list! Use your creativity, be bold, become viral: have fun!
Keep it going!
Users like new things, so update your bot after its launch! Offering new features is essential, so don’t hesitate to create polls on your social networks or ask users to understand what they’d like to see next. The integration of new languages is also a great way to increase your market reach.
And to maintain a flow of new users on your bot, continue actions you put in place during the launch! Change ads, retarget them on specific countries or characteristics, continue writing content, and use your social network tools.