Not so long ago voice search was considered something straight from science fiction. Many people may recall scenes from Star Trek, where you could see Captain Kirk talking to the screen. Well, everything went fast, and today more than 20% of all search queries are by voice, and by 2021 more than 50% of consumers will use voice activation technology every day.
When someone thinks of voice assistants, it's hard not to mention Google Assistant, Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa. These "smart helpers" are our right hand when creating shopping lists and music playlists, signing up for receptions, keeping personal diaries and switching lighting in the bedrooms for their users.
A few years ago, Mark Zuckerberg acquired the AI startup Ozlo to create a voice assistant for Facebook – Facebook Assistant, which is still under development. He also personally tests the Jarvis AI in his home. Funny fact: famous American actor Morgan Freeman provides Jarvis' voice for the app. Sounds cool, doesn't it?
But how does the voice live in the world of marketing?
Take a look:
• 24% of Internet users choose to use a personal assistant rather than visit a website to interact with the company.
• 43% of companies have already invested in voice marketing technology.
• The Adobe Analytics report states that smart speaker owners actively use them to make overthought purchasing decisions (47%), compare product prices (32%), or add products to the basket (43%).
• According to research by OC&C Strategy Consultants, in 2022 the volume of voice purchases will grow to $40 billion. Global brands such as Domino’s, Johnnie Walker and Nestlé have already begun to integrate voice technology into their business plan to improve communication with their customers.
If you plan to use voice technology for your marketing, you will need to change some of your strategy:
Adapt the content to the voice
Voice search is different from text search. During the conversation, we tend to use more natural, longer sentences and ask complete questions. For example, "will it rain today" and not just "weather", so companies should review the creation and optimization of content for voice requests, as well as explore new key phrases.
Create your audio content
Turn old, well-performing content into podcasts and videos to give your customers the opportunity to learn the information they need while they're busy on the road, or just tired of reading. Audio newsletter is an update that is sure to bring you benefit.
Set the target to zero position
Over the last two decades, we, users, have become accustomed to first-page results: statistics say that if you're not on the first page of Google search results, you're probably not clicked, and voice search changes everything we accustomed. Its users do not see the results page and then do not decide which link to click, but instead get the best result or answer. This way, companies will no longer fight for a place on the first page, but rather for the best result each time, for each search query. In this case, voice assistants focus on advanced search results (snippet, zero position), which means that companies will also have to implement these best practices in their SEO campaigns.
Compared to text search, mobile voice queries are three times more likely to be based on local results. More than 75% of “smart speaker” owners search for local companies every week, and 53% say they search every day.
To increase your chances of getting into search results by voice, you need to make sure that people speak positively about your business: Google shows results with an average star rating, so reputation will be a significant factor.
Moments that influence appearing in voice search results include: mentions on social media, in media, and the presence of your name in a list of local online directories. Anything you can do to strengthen your reputation will inevitably have a positive effect on your ranking in the local search system and therefore affect the likelihood that your business will be included in the search results by voice.
Create an action for the voice assistant
Another thing your business can do to compete for customers is to create a Google action or skill that allows voice assistants to respond to user commands and requests.
Many well-known companies are creative in their voice strategies, and here are some ideas you can use for inspiration:
• PayPal users can use Siri to send money to friends, family or businesses.
• Nestlé created a skill that gives voice instructions for cooking while cooking.
• Johnnie Walker, with the help of a virtual assistant from Amazon, first asks consumers about their preferences, and then recommends the most suitable product for them.
• Patron tequila brand helps consumers access individual cocktail recipes.
• Tide provides tips for removing stains caused by more than 200 different substances.
• Campbell’s, the world’s largest producer of canned soups, has the skills to help hungry consumers choose and prepare recipes.
• Domino’s allows pizza lovers to place their orders without getting up from their couch, without having to pick up the phone or even place orders online.
Nick Holland, head of digital technology at Domino’s UK, says:
“Domino's is a brand that quickly took advantage of the voice. In the US, we introduced the "Easy Orders" option with one click, which was made available through Alexa. 20% of customers who use Easy Orders used Alexa for this service just two months after launch. This clearly demonstrates how the introduction of voice technology is due to convenience, and consumers are trying to move to this trend.”
As voice technology continues to grow and become more popular with consumers, it is becoming increasingly important for companies of all shapes and sizes to incorporate voice search strategy into their overall digital marketing plan.
Along with the already changed approach of people to SEO, voice search also gives businesses the opportunity to improve the quality of customer service, and brands that want to compete and stay relevant will have to participate in this process.
While your opponents are asleep, you will have new opportunities for a breakthrough. Act now, because in business, even one day can cost you a lot of money.