We’ve all heard of Siri, Alexa, and Bixby – and as these artificially intelligent (AI) assistants worm their way into our hearts, new avenues for voice marketing can be explored.
What is voice marketing?
A marketing strategy is used to reach an audience through voice-enabled devices, powered by voice assistants to meet their needs and expectations, by adjusting the brand messaging based on the context of the query.
Well, that’s the boring version…
Voice marketing was born with radio–recorded marketing snippets, which we have come to know and hate for interrupting our groove when listening to our favourite station, is just one form of voice marketing. You may be familiar with podcasting, flash briefing, and branded content.
We hear voice marketing in our everyday lives, whether it be on the TV, the radio, our devices… Yes, those voice assistants are in the same basket.
For a quick overview, Google rolled out the option to double-tap the home button on our phones to simply talk to the device instead of inconveniently typing. A game-changer for the texting generation whom we judge from traffic light to traffic light.
Apple’s Siri added a bit more flavour to the option which was a quirky, witty, and sometimes sarcastic programmed personality. For those of you with Apple devices, try asking Siri to divide by zero and listen to what she has to say…
For online searching and conversations with your phone, Google and Apple captured the market. Samsung, in playing catch-up, enabled the Bixby voice assistant with a unique perspective on wine, a deeply rooted grasp on the internal device settings, and integrated her into the camera.
Alexa, from Amazon, changed the game. Her programming allows her to make online orders on your behalf, control your smart appliances, and so much more.
There is no doubt that our voice assistants are easily smarter than we are – and as ingenious and awesome as they may be, we realised early on that this opens a whole new level when it comes to voice marketing.
Types of voice marketing
There are three main types:
Sonic branding – This is the strategic use of music and sound to reinforce brand recognition. It’s the audio version of visual branding. It’s what customers associate with the brand when they hear a sound. For instance, the Apple start-up sound or McDonalds catchphrase, “I’m Lovin’ it”.
Recorded audio – These are those podcasts and flash briefings. Due to its ability to be listened to anywhere, the growth is enormous. Check out the stats a little later in this article.
Voice search optimisation (VSO) – The future of search is moving towards voice, and valuable content will be put in front of the consumer. Remember our mention of Alexa, Bixby, and Siri? This is a new form of SEO (search engine optimisation), except for voice-related content and like traditional SEO, it is becoming vital for business success and ROI.
Why you should consider using voice marketing
More than one-third of the total US population aged 12 and over (104 million) are consuming podcasts monthly, representing 16% year-over-year growth. For more stats, please click here.
Voice marketing isn’t going to go away. It’s on the rise and will continue its trajectory for the foreseeable future as these trends that we have noticed are on the rise in the UK, Europe, Africa, and the rest of the world as well.
The benefits of voice marketing:
- Being a natural and intuitive way to communicate, it affects how people will react to your brand
- It’s more conversational, emotive, and allows for more content absorption in comparison to the time it takes to read a text
- People are lazy and convenience is key – we speak up to three times faster than we write
- Brands should use it to help solve customers’ problems and answer questions
- Search engines are starting to favour audio content
- Helps your brand get discovered by VSO
- Helps avoid empathy lost in a text
- People have their smartphones on them all the time
- It can do everything, like make notes, place orders, and get information
- Quicker turnaround time for tasks to be completed
- Avoids human error
- It’s convenient
- Increases brand recognition by association
- Accessible to everyone of all ages, including the visually impaired
- Can be easy to record it at home and you don’t need a fancy setup to start off.
So, do yourself a favour and help your brand get heard (excuse the pun).
Voice marketing: How to get started
Follow this guide to get started:
- Build a strategy for the customer journey from discovery to action
- Consider your brand position and customer needs to deliver personalised experiences
- Determine if the conversation is the right fit and if your customers would be interested in it – always add value before extracting it
- Think about competition – what you are going to do differently and how you are positioned
- Optimise for how people use voice i.e., answer one question at a time
- Ensure you provide accurate, real-time information to avoid any confusion or irrelevant information for the customer
- Test and test again – learn from your mistakes and be open to experimenting with what works
- Start small after experimenting and add functionality as you go – this avoids overwhelming customers and trying to meet all the needs at once (it’s better to fine-tune what’s working before moving onto the next set of deliverables)
- Use existing tools like the Play Store app, such as Narrator’s Voice or Voice Over to help you get started – as you start learning you can start focusing on your own.
Voice marketing brings new opportunities for your brand. We hope after reading this you have a clearer understanding of what voice marketing is, why it’s important, and how to get started.