Are You Ready for the New Era of Voice Marketing?

As voice recognition technology comes of age, the implementation of voice functionality is happening at a break-neck pace.  Voice recognition is finally refined. Consumers have turned the corner on using voice search on their smartphones, and sales of voice-enabled virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa and GoogleNow are skyrocketing.  Soon, the use of voice in search will nearly equal that of text. The implications for marketers and organizations are enormous. Leaders need a voice strategy now, whether it be focused on how they integrate voice into their daily operations, or how they position marketing to take advantage of the new voice landscape.  

Improvements in Voice Recognition

In the early years, there was only Siri, and she left a lot to be desired. She was incapable of recognizing anything other than the simplest of requests.  On a good day, with only simple requests, word recognition was still less than 80%. The accuracy of word recognition is now closer to 95%, despite increasingly complex requests.  As a result, voice has now reached a tipping point and consumers are adopting it an exponential rate.

Surge in the Number of Voice Searches, and in the Sales of Voice Devices

Within a year, the search rate of using virtual assistants like Google Now, Siri, Alexa, and Cortana jumped from 0 to 10% of total global search volume(50 Billion Voice searches per month). In the last year, reported sales of voice assistants like Amazon Alexa have been in excess of 20 million.   It is estimated that by 2020, half of all searches will be voice.

Voice Search means Voice Marketing

With the growth of voice search steady and increasing, its potential to affect the way businesses get found become bigger.

There are estimates that by 2020, half of all search traffic will come from voice searches. It’s not going to replace screen-based searches, but it will warrant enough effect for businesses to start using voice marketing tactics to rank high on these searches.

With Amazon as a new contender for voice searches, a lot of voice marketing strategies will be new. Many people don’t have a proper strategy yet. It needs understanding and development before experts can formulate a proper strategy.

Right now, Amazon’s Echo relies on “skills” to give data reference for it to form its responses.

An example of this is Yelp’s database, which Echo uses to look for local service providers. As more skills become part of Echo, the more complicated it becomes for businesses to optimize themselves through various information sources.

Echo’s skills continue to grow over the years. In the beginning, there were only 130 skills available. Now, there are over 1,000. but Amazon hasn’t categorized or prioritized skills like other app stores.

Considerations when creating a Voice Marketing Strategy

It’s time for businesses to start optimizing their content to rank high in voice searches made through smart assistants like Alexa.

Voice searches take many forms, such as searching for products to buy on Amazon. Here are some things to consider if you want to rank high in international searches:

Capture your Name and Topics
In the early days of the internet, there was a rush to own domain names.  Next came the focus on keywords for search. For voice, both are important, and it is now urgent to get preference for certain terms and phrases that lead consumers to your brand.

Launch Your Own Alexa Skill, Google Action, or Voice-Enabled App

Right now, if you do not have an Alexa skill, Gooble Action, or Voice-Enabled App, your customers you cannot reply to consumer inquiries about your brand or your key industry topics. To take advantage of the surge in voice searches, you need Alexa Skills, Google Actions, and/or an App.  

Start Local

Voice marketing will benefit local businesses first. The reason behind it is that 22 percent of total voice searches contain queries about local content and information. A good example is the people asking Siri about the closest supermarket locations in their area.

If you have a physical location for your business, the best move for voice optimization is to claim your Google MyBusiness. It helps voice assistants find your business location faster when people ask for it. Customers will ask for your location before considering a visit to your store or office.

It’s important to manage your business microdata like addresses, product names, and business names. A lot of local consumers like including this information in their voice queries.

Provide Quick Answers to FAQs

The reason why most people use smart assistants is due to their time-saving nature. Customers expect quick answers to their quick questions.

About 61 percent of annual voice searches consist of question phrases. If you want to get through to your audience, you need to create content that answers questions. A good way to do this is to dedicate a webpage to FAQs as well as short blog posts with titles that match customer queries.

The most important thing to remember is to write these posts in a natural way.

Keep them short and snappy to give customers the type of answer they need for their questions. They’re looking to save time, so get straight to the point and don’t beat around the bush.

Make sure you get into the mind of your customer when writing the content. It allows you to know the kind of questions they will ask. This allows you to produce the answers they need and stay on top of voice searches.

Get in on the Ground Floor of Voice-Marketing

Given the newness of voice search, being optimized for voice search is an immediate competitive advantage.  Just as traditional SEO has evolved, so too will voice. Those who act fast to optimize their audio content for smart mobile and home voice will only build on that advantage.  

Voice is a new frontier for most people, including those already experts in SEO and digital marketing. Voice Marketing is going to evolve rapidly, and it’s important to get with experts in Voice technology and marketing to continue to take advantage as changes occur.  

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