“The only constant in life is change.” – Heraclitus
Voice technology has become the most disruptive force to hit the world ever since the internet became a visual medium. As of today, more than 20% of all searches are voice-led. By 2020, over 50% of consumers will be using voice-activated technology daily, says BrightEdge.
When one thinks of voice, it’s hard not to think of Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Samsung’s Bixby. These ‘intelligent assistants’ are leading the way by making shopping lists and music playlists, booking appointments, keeping personal journals, and switching bedroom lights for their users.
Mark Zuckerberg is far too excited when it comes to voice technology. A yet to be named Facebook Assistant is in the works. And he is personally testing “Jarvis AI” in his home. Fun fact: Morgan Freeman provides the voice of Jarvis for Zuckerberg. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?
Imagine being as cool as Tony Stark in a few years? That dream is not far from turning into reality today. That’s how we know we have arrived in the post-mobile world!
But how is voice faring in the world of marketing? Let’s take a look:
- Some brands have gotten an early start within the voice space to build relationships with consumers through interactive experiences. [Business2Community]
- 24% of internet users prefer using a personal assistant than visiting a website to interact with a company. [Capgemini]
- In 2017, 3.1% of marketers integrated voice search into their content marketing strategy. [BrightEdge]
- 43% of companies have already invested in technology to enable voice marketing. [Digiday]
The future looks bright indeed!
If you are planning to adopt voice technology for your marketing, here are four insights that may interest you:
Using digital assistants to shop is happening for real
Throwing light on digital shopping techniques, an Adobe Analytics Report stated that while not many smart speaker owners committed to placing orders over their device, they heavily use them to make an informed buying decision (47%), compare product prices (32%), or add items to the shopping cart (43%).
Today, voice shopping is valued at $2 bn, and it will touch $40 bn by 2022. Global brands like Domino’s, Johnnie Walker and Nestlé have already started integrating voice technology into their marketing strategies to build a better connection with their customers.
Let us take Johnnie Walker for example. It has found an interesting to personalize the shopping experience for its customers using Alexa. Amazon’s virtual assistant first asks the consumers questions regarding their preferences and then recommends the Johnnie Walker product that’s most suitable to them.
A voice-based commerce experience is catching on.
Companies are using digital assistants for internal use
Of course, they are. Enterprising B2B brands like Salesforce are already lending their voice to the whole digital assistant conversation. The cloud software company has launched Einstein Voice which is an extension of its Einstein AI platform.
The digital assistant allows sales managers in operating cloud services and dictating memos without touching a screen or typing anything. Einstein Voice can also be integrated with similar technologies to help deliver team pipeline updates, calendar appointments, and other key priorities to the team efficiently.
Another exciting product called Einstein Voice Bots from Salesforce enables customers not only to build their voice-activated assistant but also brand it accordingly and engage the end-user on any smart speaker.
Integrating voice technology into your marketing isn’t easy
Your content marketing and editorial strategies should reflect how business plans to leverage the technology and how invested are you in it from a content point of view. Before you take the plunge, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are your target customers comprised of smart-home enthusiasts, early adopters who are FOMO-driven or users from other demographics that are more likely to engage via voice than other platforms?
- Can you make your content experience valuable with voice for your target customers?
- How likely are you going to succeed in your marketing efforts via voice?
If you are not sure about either of your answers, then it is best to wait to bank on this technology, and not waste resources when you are not adequately prepared. Study how other businesses and even your competitors are using voice to create a better customer experience.
The voice revolution is going to start with a “search.”
More than one billion voice searches are conducted in a month, and 40% of adults and 55% of teens use voice search daily. To engage consumers, it is necessary for content marketers to emphasize on short-form content products that offer quick and crisp answers to the users.
In regards to SEO, marketers should acknowledge SEO guidelines related to spoken word search behaviors and informational needs. Get your content to appear as a featured snippet on Google. That’s how it will get fetched by Siri, Cortana, and others.
When focusing on voice-search optimization, it is essential to remember that the virtual assistant can only deliver a single search result per request. Moz Founder Rand Fishkin also points out the demand for traditional SERP results, and typed results will continue to grow because of the increase in search results.
How we perceive SEO is going to change in accordance to how voice technology is used for marketing purposes.
Please remember: voice will soon become an additional interface for marketing purposes and coexist with other mediums like digital, print, TV and radio. It brings with it an entirely new way of interacting with customers and add higher value to their lives.
What do you think about voice technology?
Are we ready to make it such a massive part of our lives, personally and professionally?