If you’re not interacting with Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant on a regular basis, you’re about to join what is soon to be the minority of people who haven’t yet gotten on the voice technology train. For marketers, voice is the latest “new frontier” to be added to their digital marketing strategy.
Marketing strategy guru Jay Baer recently compiled a list of voice content trends he took away from the Voice Summit 2019 conference earlier this year. Here is Jay’s list:
- Let user needs dictate voice content. Before investing time and resources into developing or purchasing a voice app, look at how your audience engages with your brand. What does your audience need to know about you? Is voice the best way to deliver this information?
- Merging voice and chat. Many organizations have been using chat for a few years with success. Combining chat with voice is a good way to leverage applications such as Q&A and news/updates to consumers using voice technology. As an example, Jay discusses how KLM Airlines merged their successful messaging app into an Alexa skill for Amazon Echo voice devices. There isn’t a lot of effort involved in combining a chatbot into a voice app using a platform such as Voicify.
- Merging voice and visual. It didn’t take Amazon long to go from voice speakers alone to a combination of voice and visual with Amazon Show. Other brands have developed their own voice/video combinations as well. While the voice/video combination offers much more utility, it also brings an increased level of development complexity.
- Clash of the formats. Those of us of a certain age remember Betamax vs. VHS and IE vs. Netscape. You had to pick one over the other and never the twain would meet. Although Amazon has been the big dog in the voice speaker market, Google is making inroads and even Apple is getting into the market. So the question for marketers is: Which platform do we go with? A voice CMS (like Voicify, previously mentioned) can help with making a voice application workable on both Amazon and Google devices.
- It’s up to you to make your voice application known. Once you’ve developed your voice application, it’s up to you to make your audience aware of it. Neither Amazon nor Google will help promote your voice content. It will take a multi-channel effort.
- Start small. While voice apps can do a lot of things, you can take yourself down a rabbit hole trying to make your app do too many things at once. It’s best to start with a use case that fills a need for your organization and develop a voice app that does a couple of things very well. If you want more voice skills, it may be best to develop several voice apps that work well rather than trying to navigate the complexity of including multiple skills in one app.
- A “voice intranet.” It is possible to limit access to a voice app by approving people or email addresses. Thus, an organization could give employees access to information such as HR policies and procedures, or operating policies and procedures. Other intra-organization activities like project management might also be amenable to a voice application.
- Doing the right thing. Jay was gratified to see that ethical and societal considerations for voice technology were a focus at the Voice Summit 2019 conference. Even something so seemingly simple as the ethnicity of the voice used by smart speakers should be considered. Consumer trust is an issue, with many people concerned about smart speaker privacy and the “always listening” feature. Consumers are also concerned about hacking potential.
Is your organization using voice technology? If so, what trends are you noticing?