By the end of 2020, 50% of all internet searches will be voice-based. In the meantime, 1 in 3 American consumers will be using smart speakers regularly with the help of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Apple’s Siri. Voice marketing isn’t the biggest industry trend yet – many consumers remain hesitant due to data concerns – but it is quickly progressing toward a top trend. Older generations can quickly catch on to the simplicity of voice assistants and younger generations are engaging with these devices routinely and viewing them as lifelong friends, making them popular in every age demographic. The power of voice, therefore, will continue to grow, making it imperative to test and think about how to reach future consumers.
What is the current state of voice marketing? Where is it headed?
Voice marketing, or the act of reaching consumers through audible assistants in homes and on mobile devices, is all about confirmation, assistance, and entertainment. Some only engage with their devices when asking about the weather, others to just order groceries, but many use their Alexa or Google Assistant to play games and find answers to ridiculous questions. Whatever the reason, users find joy in receiving immediate answers that are quirky and to the point. Because of this, there will be more than 50 million virtual devices and 100 million virtual device users in the US by the end of the year. As voice-enabled devices grow in popularity, expect voice marketing to do the same. It’s a new, interesting way to reach consumer – of any age.
According to a recent eMarketer report, 62% of US Senior Decision Makers will be investing in voice marketing within the next 2 years. 29% of respondents, on the other hand, claim to be investing in the power of voice over the next year. The idea of “being there first” is clearly an objective for many. Voice marketing, now placed as that small device in the corner of the room, will soon jump into television screens, cars, kitchen appliances, and into every aspect of our daily lives. With these intense and promising opportunities at hand, begin to consider how your business can leap into the conversation as soon as possible.
How does one become a voice marketer?
To become a leader in voice marketing, businesses are recommended to consider the following with utmost speed and vigilance. Note that Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa refrain from accepting paid advertising, but implementing these skills can result in increased brand visibility across devices. With voice, you speak to the consumers. But to get there, you need to speak to the technology:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
To get through to voice assistants, you must consider what your consumers are asking and how they formulate their inquiries. Many refrain from mentioning specific brands in their questions, but SEO can be leveraged to make your company the go-to answer. To begin optimizing, research keywords in your industry to find commonly addressed questions and concerns. Think like the consumer and delve into their world. Consider:
- How would they ask the question?
- What phrasing would they use?
- When would they ask it, and why?
Once you find concrete answers, craft your brand’s website with posts and blogs that resolve these issues and make note of popular keywords. Know your audience, put them first, and focus on how their searches change over time to rank ahead on Google search pages. From there, begin to develop Alexa Skills or Google Actions (apps that device users can install) with the intent to launch them in their respective marketplaces. Continue to deploy them and learn from them. Gather analytics and insights about how your app is being used and adjust SEO as necessary to craft the strongest consumer experience possible.
Branding, Not Selling
As aforementioned, many audible device users refrain from mentioning specific brands in their voice searches. These devices aren’t designed just for shopping, so think of smart speakers as an opportunity to form engaging, one-of-a-kind brand experiences. Through interaction (sans selling), loyalty can be gained. To achieve this, think about creating apps that are entertaining or service-oriented. A brand’s app could be a story for children or an advice platform for adults. The more out-of-the-box the idea, the better.
Voice marketing is a new means of reaching your audience and, unlike other platforms, builds off of consumer responses in real-time. Until paid advertising is offered, use these devices to engage in natural, creative ways in a tone that speaks to your brand. By 2020, more than half of American homes will own a smart speaker. In 2019, begin to optimize, create, and launch audible programs that can prepare your business for the conversational future that’s right around the corner.
Its time to embrace voice marketing trends
Voice Marketing has been a hot topic over the past few years. As Amazon and Google continue to expand and better their voice assistant offerings, people are quick to adapt to this trend. Consumers are often seen talking to their Google Home or Alexa, asking questions out loud rather than typing into a search engine. As these devices become even more popular and voice technology adapts to other formats – such as automotive and kitchen appliances – there will be no choice but to adapt.
Although paid advertising is not yet a part of these offerings, finding ways to shift your brand to voice marketing is imperative in the years to come.
Digilant has identified ten programmatic trends that will impact 2019. To read them all, you can view our infographic here.