The blog

Discover smart tips, personal stories and our take on the latest marketing trends
11 February 2020

Thinking of rolling out a voice strategy?

Voice technologies embrace the digital world by giving new opportunities to brands and added value to customers. And it doesn’t look set to stop in the near future. In fact, opportunities continue to grow massively as customers come round to the idea. Seeing the impact, following and, for some, even creating the wave is becoming indispensable for brands. Let us take you through the main steps you need to follow to roll out a voice strategy.

Thinking of rolling out a voice strategy?

Take time to understand this new trend 

As voice is quite new, it’s still an unknown trend for a lot of companies. Don’t launch your voice strategy without having everything you need to succeed. It’s important that you understand and analyze the opportunities for your business by having a clear overview of the voice landscape.

Surround yourself with voice experts, as reading up on the topic won’t be enough to guide you. Voice experts will be able to clearly identify the path your specific company should follow to take your first steps and thrive in the world of voice. What’s more, they can support you with its implementation and train your team to continuously optimize the voice experience. At The House of Marketing, we can help you with voice technology, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss it.

Don't see voice as smart speakers only

When you develop your voice strategy, consider all voice possibilities to see which ones suit your business best. Google Home and Amazon Echo are not the only smart speakers out there. In fact, voice assistants are also available on mobiles, in cars, in wearables and can handle different connected home appliances such as a smart thermostat, smart lights, smart fridges, etc.

Make voice an integral part of your overall marketing strategy

Voice should be considered as a new channel but not one that should be isolated from others. Voice speakers totally transform customer journeys, adding new touch points or replacing them at each phase of the funnel. This impacts people’s decision and purchase paths. It’s important to see voice technology as a touch point that is part of your overall marketing strategy and to rethink your customer journeys to integrate this new dimension.

Optimize your website for voice search

Different steps need to be considered in order to optimize your website for voice search. Let’s discover them below.

  • Take Voice Engine Optimization into account

Voice has changed the SEO landscape by bringing Voice Engine Optimization (VEO) into the picture. VEO is much more competitive than SEO, as a voice search only gives one result. Given that people expect to be presented with the best choice, they won’t usually ask for other recommendations. Developing a voice engine strategy is therefore extremely important to frequently appear as the top result.

Top tip: You can already implement specific voice tags on your website that will be used for smart speakers. Ask us why and how you should implement them today and take a giant leap ahead of your competitor who is still worrying about basic SEO tactics.

  • Adapt the way you write your content to voice

People don’t interact the same way with a search tool when they are typing or talking. In fact, people are more likely to ask entire questions if they say it out loud (e.g.: “What is the weather expected to be like tomorrow in Brussels?”) while they will write only a few words if they are typing it (e.g. ”weather Brussels tomorrow”).

Vocal requests are often longer, less structured and use a richer vocabulary than text ones. This means that conversational phrasing and long-tail keywords are important to keep in mind when developing your website content. Always remember that your content should be readable for voice assistants.

You should also use simple sentences to facilitate reading out loud by a voice assistant and clear pronunciation. Simple, short, concise and easy-to-read content is much more likely to be picked by digital assistants. On average, voice search results are only 29 words in length. 

Using your targets’ language is also a key way of improving the probability of appearing in search results. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about sentences and words they could use if they searched out loud for something you can help with.

  • Think local

People usually tend to put more local questions to their voice assistant, such as “Hey Alexa, what is the best Italian restaurant near me?” This means that websites should always share their contact information and publish local content. Also make sure that your information, such as opening hours, phone number, location, etc. on your Google My Business page is correct. In fact, an optimized Google My Business page will increase the chances of having a better ranking position. Reviews are also important to push a business to the top of the local searches.

  • Add a well-developed FAQ section

Write a FAQ section on your website, as voice assistants often read FAQs as answers to the questions they’re asked. Your FAQ section should contain answers to all questions your target audience is most likely to ask in relation to your brand, product or service. Make sure you update this content and don’t hesitate to create persuasive answers to boost conversions.

  • Improve your website speed

When people perform a search with their voice assistant, they expect a fast answer as if they were in a real conversation. Just like Google, voice assistants will always favour the fastest loading websites in order to answer questions as quickly as possible. On average, a voice search result page loads in 4.6 seconds, which is 52% faster than the average website’s pages.

Note that your mobile website speed is even more significant, as most of the voice searches are made on mobile devices. Think of optimizing your mobile website version for voice as well in order to make it quickly readable for voice assistants.

  • Test proactively

Test different devices and analyze how your brand comes up from a voice search, comparing it with your competitors’. Depending on the results, improve your voice strategy if needed.

Develop voice features for your business 

In addition to making your website easily readable for voice search, don’t hesitate to implement voice features to make your customers’ life easier. It gives them the possibility to talk to you directly. For instance, if a customer would like to know more about their mobile subscription, you can ask Google Assistant to talk with Proximus and then ask Proximus the questions you have such as “How much data do I have left?”. You can also ask Google Assistant to talk to SNCB and then ask questions concerning trains, such as “I would like to go to Antwerp ZOO, how do I get there?”. For more Belgian voice functionality examples, don’t hesitate to read the article “How Belgian companies are deftly catching the voice tech wave”.

Invest in voice advertising

Voice assistants will revolutionize the advertising world. Currently, the advertising voice possibilities are still in their infancy but are set for a speedy growth.

As a lot of people consider their assistant’s voice as a friendly one, voice advertising makes people more emotional and more influenced than other advertising methods. Voice advertising shouldn’t be intrusive and should come across as personalized advice given to a friend. Voice cannot be considered as a usual channel. Marketers should keep in mind that voice ads are a two-way conversation, meaning that the brand doesn’t have the entire control of the communication, as it will also depend on the consumers. An Adobe survey showed that 39% of users said that hearing an advert on a smart speaker led them to the purchase of the advertised product. This proves that voice advertising will have a big impact.

We can consider 3 advertising methods with voice assistants:

  • Own voice app

Companies can create their own app for voice assistant where they can easily talk with their customers and promote their products. For instance, the Patron (tequila brand) app gives cocktail recipe information where Patron own tequila is recommended in every cocktail recipe.

  • Sponsored content

Companies can buy a slot inside voice content in order to promote their product. But brands should be careful with this one, as people don’t appreciate intrusive voice advertising. Disney has already failed with it by using voice assistant as the  usual media to promote their film ‘Beauty and the Beast’. People reacted badly to this advertising that was too intrusive.

  • Self-intended advertising

People can talk to their voice assistant about products, brands and companies in order to receive more information about it. Even if this kind of conversation is initiated by consumers, it’s a perfect opportunity for voice assistant to promote the benefits of a certain brand, product or even company.

Keep your finger on the pulse the Voice wave has also touched the banking sector

The popularity of voice assistants will skyrocket. People are learning more and more about these tools and are curious to explore more capabilities of their devices. Voice growth with new features is also expected as big voice actors are constantly working on its progress. To surf on the voice wave, pay attention to new innovations in order to constantly adapt your strategy. To keep your finger on the pulse, read up on new articles on the topic, follow big voice actors on social media, subscribe to voice expert companies’ newsletters and keep in touch with voice experts you know.

Companies should consider a whole flurry of aspects when they launch their voice strategy. And these are only some of the things to take into account. Adapting your business to voice is not easy; surround yourself with the right experts to achieve your objectives. Are you looking for the right experts to help you? Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss it further.

DISCOVER HOW WE CAN HELP YOU WITH VOICE

Other interesting articles about Voice Technology:

References:

Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Journal, SKIM, Digital Marketing Institute, Smartsheet, medium.com, robertkatai.com, accessamg.com, bpol.net, bentosites.com, bbf.digital, voicebot.ai, tandfonline.com


 

GettyImages-85184293_full-558069-edited.jpg