As new platforms go, voice is making itself heard. Loudly. Voice-enabled units are projected to be in 45 million homes by end of 2017. So the question for brands now, is: if you’re not speaking for your brand, who is?
For brands in the entertainment space and beyond, having a voice strategy and the content to feed it must be a top marketing priority. Voice, like other emerging platforms — Snap, VR, etc. — is itself an entertainment platform that plays the music we want to hear, catches us up on celebrity news, and lets us listen to interviews, podcasts, audio books, etc.
As entertainment properties seek to develop and evolve their voice platforms, it is helpful to keep in mind how best to build your brand’s voice. Here’s a few ideas specific to the Amazon Alexa Voice Assistant platform:
Voice is a Utility
The voice platform offers studios and networks a variety of new ways to support their brand by building an offering that adds a meaningful service to the consumer.
Voice connected to your home entertainment system will replace the remote control — and with it the complexity for many to actually being able to find what they want to watch. Voice will quickly become the new interface, enabling a much easier way to search, discover and get detailed information on your choice of entertainment. Where is your movie playing? What is the Rotten Tomatoes score? Who is the title actor? You get the idea.
When it comes to the Alexa family of devices, entertainment brands have the benefit of information feeds from IMDb and Wikipedia. But those search tools are only as useful as the data they get.
Tip 1: For all brands in the voice-enabled age it’s important that their Wikipedia pages have up-to-the-minute information. For entertainment brands, it’s never been more important that both their Wikipedia and IMDb pages speak for them. * Extra points if you’re a property who’s promoting the enabling of your Alexa skill via your Wikipedia page!
Voice is the Future
Each time your Alexa Skill is enabled and accessed in a consumer’s home, you are connecting and tracking an incredibly personal and organic form of communication.
One could say it’s the purest form of A/B testing your brand could receive, because its the consumer who starts the engagement and is in control of asking, requesting and wanting to direct the conversation.
This brings us to Tip 2: Your brand voice motto, like the Boy Scouts, needs to always be prepared. No matter what you build as a utility or entertainment proposition, your brand voice should always be listening and able to answer any number of possible queries the consumer has, as they are the ones in control.
As voice continues to grow in consumer adoption and brands continue to adapt and refresh their voice skills, casting a wider net of possible requests to both answer and track will give you better guidance on what and how you refresh next.
The Promotional Marketing Opportunities are Endless
Voice is about starting a conversation. Consumers are looking to engage with brands in the voice space but the style of engagement is very different than visually based communications. With voice, they are listening to what you have to say as they search for answers. This leads to many different ways to share and expand your content.
Jeopardy gives consumers a mini-game to play daily. Alexa will tell you a joke if you ask.
Tip 3: Don’t forget to leverage your most important assets; the voices of your stars and talent can support and promote a new film or series with a more personal and connected advantage over brands who do not already have a “voice.”
Gartner predicts that by 2020, voice will represent 30% of web-browsing activity. It’s time for all brands to find theirs.