Smart speaker owners want to hear from their favorite brands, but you'll have to get creative to reach them. The smart speaker industry is growing exponentially. TechCrunch reports that 146.9 million devices were sold globally in 2019, which is up 70% from the previous year.
As you build voice-marketing campaigns for this year and the future, consider these strategies for immediate success.
Voice marketing is an emerging industry, but user-adoption is growing quickly. In 2016, Mary Meeker, founder and general partner of Bond Capital and author of the annual Internet Trends Report, found that voice-related commands had increased over 35 times since 2008, and that universe of interactions has exploded since then. As an advertiser, it’s up to you to take advantage of the move towards the voice. If you fail to do so, you could find yourself left behind as this soon-to-be $40 billion marketing channel moves forward.
With an eye to 2020 and beyond, here are four strategies that will get you the most from voice marketing technology.
1. Answer the questions people are asking
What kinds of questions are people asking that you can answer?
Many voice queries are questions that consumers want to be answered quickly and efficiently without having to scroll through a website to find the content. Before you can provide those answers, you must anticipate what people will be asking.
For example, consumers might commonly search for information on how to remove a stain from a pair of jeans. If you own a clothing store, this query is relevant to you and content you can put on your website.
Of course, whether or not you’re the site a search engine finds will depend on the rest of your SEO strategy, as it’s all interconnected. You’ll need relevant, authoritative content for search engines to consider you an expert and improve your ranking, but you have no chance to rank if you don’t answer the questions being asked by your target audience.
Content that ranks well as “snippets” is especially important to voice search. This is the information that often appears in self-contained answer blocks on Google search results pages. Whether the search is performed on a phone or a smart speaker, voice search prioritizes those kinds of quick answers.
To provide snippet-friendly content, try putting an FAQ section on your website that features questions your customers frequently ask. When a smart speaker is asked a question, it is likely to return these kinds of answers before content that’s buried in longer text. If you have the right kind of content on your site, smart speakers and other voice-activated devices could start turning to you for answers.
2. Write conversational web content
Another strategy to attract voice-activated visitors is writing large amounts of website content in a conversational manner. Blog posts are an excellent medium for this because you can speak directly to the consumer in a way that is similar to speech.
The closer you can get to mimicking real speech on your website, the easier you’ll find it to reach people who are speaking into their voice-activated devices. Google reports that 70% of requests through its Assistant service come in natural, conversational language, rather than through keywords like a typed query. Tapping into this trend makes it easier for search engines to find your website when conducting a voice search.
There is a simple reason for this: People speak differently than they type. Rather than using keyword phrases like “remove stain from jeans,” they might say “how do I remove a stain from my jeans?” instead. On average, humans can speak 150 words per minute but only type 40 words per minute, so you can expect more words in their queries.
3. Go local with your marketing
Voice searches are frequently conducted in the car or on the go when consumers are looking for something local. In fact, Google reports that about one-third of all mobile searches are location-based.
To get the most from your voice campaign, focus on the local element to ensure your business name is out there when shoppers are looking for the services that you offer in your area. Listing your address, or addresses, prominently on your website is important because Google and other search engines will find this information and match your business to the searcher’s query. Larger retailers often keep a list of their national or global locations on their website, making them visible in location searches, as well. Many consumers will add the words “near me” or “in Chicago” to their search, so you want to be ready for them.
The “near me” search is particularly interesting because Google knows where people are thanks to its location service. If your storefront happens to be close to the consumer’s current position, there’s a good chance your business will be presented to them.
4. Integrate online and offline marketing using voice
The one problem with voice-activated search is that it doesn’t bring users to your website. When you answer a potential customer’s question, the smart speaker or voice assistant will verbalize your website content to the user, but that person may never set eyes on your products.
It’s the same with offline marketing. When you send out direct mail, use print or television ads, do radio spots or podcasts, or put up billboards and signage, you might reach customers, but they may forget what they saw before they have a chance to visit your website.
So, what’s the solution?
There is now Voice Activated Call to Action technology that ties everything together to enable full CTA functionality for your offline advertising.
Through this technology, you can present offers that include special codes via offline media. Customers can then access these offers through a voice-activated device and receive information via text messages to their smartphones.
The result is that you get the customer to your website while still taking advantage of this new trend in marketing.Respond Fast can help you tie your offline marketing to online devices through our Voice Activated Call to Action technology. This technique also provides real-time feedback on the effectiveness of non-digital advertising. Contact us to find out how we can maximize your returns on your offline and voice marketing campaigns.