People often think about tomorrow: what will happen to content marketing? How will it change? What needs to be done so that the work brings results? Let’s try to understand the question of how voice assistants can change not only content marketing, but the search world as a whole.
Voice response technologies continue to evolve and become an impressive force that can dramatically affect the Internet as a source of visual information. First, some statistics:
– According to OC&C Strategy Consultants,by 2022, 55% of the adult population will have a smart speaker. This is more than double the figures given in the 2018 Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report, according to which 20% of the population uses such devices in the United States.
– According to a study by the consulting company Capgemini,24% of respondents would prefer to use a voice assistant than visit an Internet site.
A study conducted by Digiday AI Marketing Summit found that 43% of companies have already begun investing in these technologies to gain access to voice marketing capabilities.
If you can no longer resist Siri’s call-up voice, we suggest that you familiarise yourself with some observations and considerations that may prove useful.
Hi Siri Buy Pizza
Based on the study, the consulting company OC&C Strategy Consultants predicts a sharp increase in the volume of purchases made using voice messages. In 2022, it should reach 40 billion US dollars (compared with 2 billion at present). However, the latest developments in voice commerce have yet to reach the level of mass adoption that retail giants such as Amazon anticipated at an early stage.
According to the Adobe Analytics Report,consumers prefer to use virtual assistant technology to report a decision to buy a product (47%), add products to their shopping list (43%) or compare prices (32%), rather than relying on voice control as basic method of shopping. And even those who use voice technology to order goods do this only in a limited number of cases, for example, when placing single orders for delivery (25%) or re-ordering products (21%).
The future is voice calling
Even if consumers don’t decide to shift the burden of Sunday’s shopping on Alexa back this year, there are many ways to integrate voice response technology into their marketing programs that companies can – and should – take advantage of.
As with most marketing innovations, the impending voice revolution will begin with search queries. In fact, with billions of requests, after all, according to the portal Alpine.ai,now every month users send more than a billion voice requests, and comScore estimated that by the end of 2020, 50% of all requests will be based on voice messages.
In order to be able to compete in this noisy (literally) environment, content marketers will need to take advantage of some SEO recommendations related to information needs and the behaviour of voice search engines. For example, the British content marketing agency JBH posted a blog post saying that voice search queries are most often related to smaller issues and require only the lowest level of direct interaction (at least, according to Google). Content optimisation for voice search engines should include the creation of shorter forms and pages, which allow you to get a quick and concise response to a request – for example, FAQ sections.
*** Information for consideration: when it comes to optimising content for voice search queries, it is important to remember that virtual assistants show only one search result. The key to ensure that your product is the only result, Siri voices can be the presentation of content as sorcerers. SEO expert Stephan Spencer provides useful guidance on how to achieve this. ***
Talk to your customer
We have yet to see the full picture of the marketing potential that the interactive interface provides. However, companies can now open for dialogue with customers by introducing the technology of a virtual interlocutor – a chatbot, which in response to a voice request provides the necessary information and useful content.
Thanks to the use of advanced technologies such as natural language text processing (NLP), and the use of signals that go far beyond the simple integration of keywords and phrases into texts, chatbots are increasingly understanding the meaning and purpose of a search query. This means that the chatbot will be able to provide a more accurate result, which will create a positive experience of customer interaction with your company.
However, the most effective use of chatbot technology should be based on a strong strategy for rich content. In an interview with the founder of Urbina Consulting Noz Urbina noted that this includes the introduction of an elaborate classification system, the systematisation and metadata, as well as the use of processes such as task analysis, to better understand the goals and intentions of the audience at all stages of the cycle of interaction with the client.
Creating a world of actively speaking users
Another entry point into the multiple universe of voice marketing is to create a special branded Amazon Skill script for fans of virtual assistants who will expand their voice-based functionality (consider this a mobile application that works only in audio format). Marketers can develop such scenarios to create useful audio content for their customers: for example, daily brief news bulletins, detailed step-by-step analysis of a complicated recipe, office applications, puzzles and games, as well as simply made-up stories. All this will help increase audience engagement and allow users to more flexibly and consciously interact with your company and the products offered.
For example, quiz fans can activate the Jeopardy script! and answer every day six questions that are not aired.
The developers of Furbo, a video nanny with an integrated treat container that allows restless pet owners to keep track of their furry children, use Alexa Skill so that customers can temporarily forget about the mobile application and treat their pets using voice commands.
LEGO introduced Duplo Stories Skill,an online service for children between 2-5 years old that tells stories and helps children use their imagination without having to use a huge amount of detail or using fine skills that they will develop only at an older age.
According to Digiday online magazine, LEGO is also actively exploring the impact that voice response technologies may have in the future on the company’s sales and marketing strategy, including direct purchases. For example, James Poulter, the head of the developing platforms department at The Lego Group, can already imagine the time when, after purchasing a LEGO set on Amazon, the customer’s Alexa device will receive a command to download the corresponding Skill and will know exactly when to ask if the customer is satisfied with their purchase.
For example, despite the high pace of perception of virtual assistants, the current interface for branded Skills scripts and add-ons is not very intuitive and easy to manage, so it may not be easy for fans of your products to find your offers.
In addition, your Skill can be expensive and require special programming techniques when developing. And after all the efforts spent on inventing and creating a script, it may not immediately get to the market, if at all. In fact, as representatives of the 360i advertising agency told in an article on the Adage news portal, marketers who are going to compete in the Skills script market should calmly accept the refusal and be prepared to start over and start all over again, because Google, Apple or Amazon rarely accept new applications on the first try.
Q & A stories
Some entrepreneurial companies working in the B2B segment, for example, Salesforce, try to completely bypass the application development process and use a live voice when communicating with the virtual assistant. According to VentureBeat news portal, Salesforce has announced the launch of Einstein Voice, an extension to its Einstein artificial intelligence platform. The new product will allow sales managers to dictate notes and use cloud services without the help of hands.
Co-founder and technical director of Salesforce Parker Harris said that one of the advantages of the corporate bot is its fragmentation, so it does not allow to consolidate data on the accounts of individual users. And since Einstein’s Voice can integrate with other virtual voice assistants, it can daily remind you of key tasks, for example, scheduled appointments or changes in planned indicators.
What will happen to the content?
Of course, as is the case with any new technology, your content marketing strategy and editorial plan should reflect the preferred way for your company to develop the voice response technology and the acceptable level of investment in it. To determine your company’s attitude to voice applications, ask yourself:
– Are there any innovators in your target audience who are quickly adopting new technologies, smart home users and other groups of people who are most likely to switch to voice communication and abandon existing sources of content,
– Do we know how to create content that is useful and meets the expectations of these users?
– Do we know what are the results of the efforts made should be and how to evaluate success?
If the answer is no, or you don’t even know how to answer these questions, then before joining the conversation, you better wait until the marketing potential of this technology becomes more obvious.