11 Effective Ways to Use Virtual Assistants for Marketing

11 Effective Ways to Use Virtual Assistants for Marketing

Peiru Teo
May 22, 2019
11 Effective Ways to Use Virtual Assistants for Marketing

Table of contents

Congratulation on your first virtual assistant! Now, let’s find out the 11 most effective ways to promote your virtual assistant.

After completing all steps to build your first virtual assistant, your virtual assistant is now online and ready to talk to your customers. It’s now your turn to bring users to your virtual assistant, and we will help you with the most 11 effective ways to promote your virtual assistant.

Use Unique URL, QR Code and Messenger Code

Nowadays, most messaging applications are able to generate a unique URL that can be opened in any modern web browsers in order to initiate a chat with someone who owns the username, including your virtual assistant. In Facebook, the unique URL formed in this format:{username}. This {username} is taken from your Facebook fan page username. If you do not have a username yet, you can set it up from the Page Info section. If your virtual assistant is deployed on Telegram platform, the unique URL will be{username}. If your virtual assistant is on Line, you will have your unique URL like this:{user_id}. If you put your virtual assistant on Skype, it is more advanced than three previously mentioned platforms, and it will be something like this:

QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone. The process behind this QR Code is similar to opening the unique URL. We will convert our virtual assistant’s URL into QR Code, then put it in non-clickable places e.g. images, videos, stickers, billboards, and product packaging. Users will scan the QR Code using their smartphone’s camera, and if the messaging application is installed on their device, it will be automatically opened and they are ready to talk to your virtual assistant.

Messenger Code is a modified version of QR Code, but it is specific for Facebook Messenger platform only. Messenger codes can be scanned through the Messenger app (only available on iOS and Android) to instantly connect the user to your virtual assistant, no typing needed. Just like QR Code, you can also put your Messenger Code to non-clickable places or anywhere in the real world where you want people to try your bot.

Implement Facebook Web Plugins

It is a big benefit if you consider Facebook as a platform where you will put your virtual assistant on. Facebook provides some web plugins where you can easily put it on your website. At least there are two kinds of plugins you can have: “Send to Messenger” plugin and “Message Us” plugin. There might be no difference between these two since they are performing the similar task: bringing the customers to the virtual assistant. But there are different processes behind these two plugins.


“Send to Messenger” Plugin

Using this plugin will trigger an event from your website and send it to your virtual assistant. The advantage of using this plugin is you can pass custom data from your website generated by the users and send it to your virtual assistant, so they will have a specific and customized chat experience. The data can be anything like product name, total amounts to pay, tracking id, or everything else.

Read more about Send to Messenger buttons here.


“Message Us” Plugin

This plugin will immediately start the conversation with the virtual assistant and send the users to the Facebook Messenger without passing any data. On the web, users will be sent to, while on mobile, users will be sent to the native Facebook Messenger app.

Read more about Message us buttons here.

Promote on Bot Stores

Believe it or not, there is something called bot store out there (some people call it bot directories). It is like an app store in your smartphone, but it is for bots. These kinds of store are not officially supported by the messaging app platform, but they will be very helpful to find (and promote of course) the bots you need. You can submit your virtual assistant to those bot stores and get it promoted. The requirements for your virtual assistant to be promoted may vary depends on the bot stores, so it might be very helpful to carefully read and review their Term of Service before submitting your virtual assistant.

Here are 9 bot stores we can suggest:


Share Your Virtual Assistant’s Story

If promoting your virtual assistant in the bot store is not enough, you might want to consider sharing your virtual assistant’s story. This is where you put your experience from time-to-time, your customers’ feedback, or the virtual assistant’s new features. Basically, it is everything about your virtual assistant. This kind of story will keep your customers interested in your virtual assistant and you can share the stories on your Facebook fan page, on Medium, or on your company’s blog.

For example, take a look at Poncho, a weather bot. The bot does its job to inform the people about the weather and give some suggestions related to the weather, nothing very special. But what makes it special is because the developers are sharing the story and it keeps the users curious about the bot. You can read the stories here:

Create a Landing Page

This landing page is mostly being used for someone who already heard about your virtual assistant and decided to seek for more detailed information about it. It gives them an option to first read and your distinct value. Without the introduction, you’re leaving them to deduce the virtual assistant’s functionality by themselves. So, it is better for you to be prepared and create a dedicated and SEO-friendly landing page for your virtual assistant. Put all the information about your virtual assistant in that page, what is your virtual assistant capable to do, how to use it, or how to notify you in case they find out the virtual assistant doesn’t work as expected.

Update Your Facebook Fan Page Cover

People don’t usually notice that you already have a virtual assistant integrated to your Facebook fan page. Furthermore, a virtual assistant is not a visual element, and it makes it even harder for them to notice. Fortunately, you can utilize your business’ Facebook fan page cover.

Here’s an example of image of an arrow on Facebook fan page cover.

You can highlight that “Send Message” button by changing your Facebook fan page cover with an arrow pointing to the button. This trick can help your customers notice it and persuade them to click the button.

Put in The Status/Post Update

To emphasize the message that you have done in number 6 above, you can explain it in the status/post update. Tell your audience that you already have a virtual assistant and they will have more benefits if they want to use the virtual assistant (immediate responses, far more accurate and detailed information, etc.).

You can also embed it with the virtual assistant’s in-action screenshots to show them how easy it is to use your virtual assistant. The clearer and more detailed your post, the higher the chances for your audience to use your virtual assistant.

Submit Your Virtual Assistant to Facebook Discover Tab

Facebook Discovery Tab

If your virtual assistant speaks English and your business is based in the U.S., Facebook gives you a privilege to submit your virtual assistant into their Discover Tab. Discover tab is a section where people who use Facebook Messenger can browse and find bots, nearby places and business to message. The benefit of this feature is your potential users can find your virtual assistant easily without the need to leave the Messenger app, and can directly start a conversation with your virtual assistant. Although Facebook says there is no filter and rank system for this section, please make sure that your virtual assistant has:

  • Low block and report rate
  • High responsiveness rate
  • Making a good use of the platform features (buttons, menus, etc.)

The “Message Us” Button in Facebook Ads (Paid Promotion)

You may have used a Facebook Ad to promote your Facebook fan page before. Now, you can put a native “Message Us” button on your Facebook fan page instead of another button (Sign Up, Learn More, etc.), and when your audience clicks the button, it will start a conversation with the virtual assistant.

This button will work like Facebook web plugins, if they are on the desktop, they will be redirected to, and if they are on mobile, a native Facebook Messenger app will be opened.

Sponsored Messages on Facebook (Paid Promotion)

Facebook launched this feature to help you reach the people who are already interacting with your Facebook fan page. The idea is to put the advertising right in their Facebook Messenger app and when they click the ads, they will start a conversation with your Facebook fan page, or in this case your virtual assistant.

In addition to Messenger ads, businesses can continue to use Messenger’s existing advertising solutions to:

  • Open conversations with click to Messenger ads
  • Manage conversations within the Messenger Platform
  • Re-engage those conversations using sponsored messages

New Messenger Platform Features Link Ads to Messenger (Paid Promotion)

This is pretty similar to tips number 8. In tips number 8, you will promote your Facebook fan page with the native “Message Us” button. But now, instead of promoting your Facebook fan page, you will create a regular news feed Facebook advertising post with the Facebook Messenger as the destination (not website click, new likes or everything else). If you are lucky (the feature is still beta and currently available only in the USA), you can also integrate it with payment.

Facebook Messenger as the ad destination

With these guides from us, you are now ready to bring more users to talk to your virtual assistant. If your business still does not have any virtual assistant, let’s make one together!