• Carma Levene

Bots Up With Barrell

Today we're going to chat bots and I couldn't think of a better person to bring to the conversation than friend of The Marketer, Adam Barrell.


You might remember him from such films as our article on the first iteration of the So Perth Xmas lights bot last year, and Grill The Marketer (he was our very special guest at our last event) but if you don't - he's the Founder of So Perth, Content Marketing Strategist, Husband, Dad and all-round top bloke.


While he's pretty busy working on and growing So Perth (250k followers across social media + climbing) he somehow finds the time to build chatbots for his own accounts and his clients.


Some rapid stats for salivating marketers:


  • So Perth had a site visitorship of 450k in November (it's biggest month yet)

  • The So Perth Christmas Lights bot had 15k users in 2018

  • In its first week of 2019 the So Perth Christmas Lights bot has 5k users

  • 22 new lights locations were added by users in the first week

  • Top searched suburbs are Morley, Atwell and Thornlie

  • 44% of users click through to a new category from So Perth's main bot

  • From there 91% that clicked through to Events subscribed, Eats 83%, and Travel 60%


I think marketers will agree these are pretty impressive - and the Christmas Lights bot hasn't really been promoted yet, It's just had an article and a couple of organic Facebook posts.


Organic reach is not dead! You just have to build an audience first.


But what does the Christmas Lights bot do?

It basically allows you to plot your own Christmas lights trail! You can add and remove addresses and make sure you keep your little ones "wow-ing" as you cruise Perth's incredible Christmas lights displays.


We asked Adam what's changed about the Christmas Lights bot from last year, and it's had some improvements to make it more user-friendly and better at anticipating what you want from it.


You can listen to our full chat with Adam on our latest podcast episode.


One of my big takeaways is Adam's restraint. Launch smart, not hard.


He's launched the bot but is holding back on promoting it as he wants people to actually engage with it. And he knows that of they see the bot promo now, when they're still rushing end of year deadlines and the kids are still in school they might not.

But if he waits a week or so and we're all on holidays, the engagement rate will be higher.


So many people would launch and want to blast promos straight away (maybe marketers are impatient, maybe we just want to share our hard work with the world...)


Another takeaway for me was that he got the Christmas Lights bot article to rank number one in Google for "Christmas Lights Perth" but the job's not done! He goes back and re-optimises if he loses the top spot.


The bot subscriber list will also allow for a retargeting strategy to serve ads that active the bot (via a user leaving a comment on a Facebook post) to anyone who's visited a So Perth Christmas themed article in a selected time frame. Boom!


Something else I didn't know was that with a chatbot you can apply a workflow where you can exclude subscribers - and Adam and I strongly agree that exclusions are often more important than inclusions in targeting audiences. Let the AI do the work - but tell it where not to waste it's time.


Need a bot? Make sure you get in touch with Adam.

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