Speaking is the new typing — and if consumers have their way, a whopping 50% of all search queries will be voice-based by the end of next year, according to ComScore. As touch points become listening points,’ marketers are scrambling for ways to inject their brand messages.
So how can engagement marketers join the conversation? Here are five things you need to know about the voice-activated future of marketing:
1. Relax, it’s still early days — but the voice revolution is moving quickly! No worries if you’re still figuring out your voice strategy; so is the majority of the marketing industry. In a current BrightEdge survey, only 21.2% of global marketers considered voice search a “big marketing trend.”
2. Prioritize optimizing your brand for voice search. If you're planning to focus on a single aspect of voice marketing in 2019, make sure it's optimizing your brand for voice search. Marketers need to focus on ranking top-of-the-list – called “position zero” – in the featured snippets displayed prominently by Google. Playing with a website like Answer the Public shows how to phrase common questions in your field.
3. Prepare for the battle of voice ecosystems. The future of voice-first ecosystems will be a high-stakes battle for dominance. The key players are already Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa (which holds about 70% of marketshare, according to CIRP), Google Assistant, Baidu’s DuerOS, Microsoft’s Cortana and Samsung’s Bixby.
As the battle heats up, marketers need to choose their alliances wisely and build strong relationships early on. And despite the current ban on third-party ads, they are very much the endgame for major players.
4. Stake your claim now. Remember when YouTube showed no advertisements? That’s pretty much the state of voice marketing in 2019, and it’s not going to stay this way. The time is now for marketers to innovate and hustle, developing successful strategies, like focusing on location. 76 percent of smart speaker users perform local voice searches at least weekly, 46% even daily (BrightLocal). Make sure your brand marketing is location-optimized, and your Google My Business listings are up-to-date.
Remember that voice searches tend to be conversational, like: “How long does the closest hardware store stay open?” On that note, the most prominent trigger words in spoken queries, according to SEOClarity, are question-oriented, like “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” “how,” “can,” “top,” and “best.” Ask common questions using these keywords in your content and your rankings will go up.
5. The future of voice marketing will be personalized. As 40% of adults use voice search every single day (Branded3), they will come to demand the same level of personalization and relevance found on other channels. To make this kind of magic happen, marketers need to optimize their data architectures so insights from consumer profiles are available across all channels — including voice — for a seamless journey.