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What is the future of content marketing, and how is voice transition changing your strategic approach towards marketing?

For the past few years we have been observing at the sidelines, how voice transition is slowly becoming a stable in marketing and content. Starting with Alexa, with over 100 million voice devices in households and businesses and more recently with Google Assistant with over 400 million users daily, it seems that voice enabled marketing and content is here to stay.

57% of people aged 50 or older and 59% of people aged 18-24 speak to their voice-enabled devices daily. However, the biggest share is 65%: that’s how many 25-49-year-olds perform voice searches every day. This covers millennials, the most economically active generation, and most Gen Xers.

Some more stats to sit up and take notice:

  • Google’s voice search supports more than 100 languages
  • 30% of web browsing will be screenless by 2020
  • Google’s speech recognition has a 95% accuracy rate in English
  • 72% of smart speaker owners use their devices as part of a daily routine
  • Over 58% of consumers have found local businesses using voice search
  • 32% of people use voice search daily instead of typing
  • There are more than 200 million smart speakers across the globe
  • About 43% of people shop online via voice-enabled devices
  • Smart speaker sales will surpass tablet sales by 2021

Juniper Research recently reported that by 2022, 55% of all households will own a smart speaker. The same report also states that marketing spent on voice-activated assistants will be reaching roughly $19 billion in revenue.

Gartner estimates that this year, 30% of web browsing across all search engines will be completely screenless, done exclusively via voice.

Although the effects of voice content are still not measured correctly, for anyone looking ahead, there is not much time remaining to stake their claim on this new frontier.

So let’s explore the future of content.

Why Are Voice Content and Voice Marketing Important for Your Product or Company?

Users worldwide who choose to rely on voice search, generally engage in what we consider normal basic dialogue, which is similar to the manner we speak to other people.

Companies need to keep this in mind and optimize their SEO, as search engines are quickly adjusting their algorithms to be more precise when scanning the world wide web for search results.

The future of content is in voice marketing. Currently, companies globally are in need to balance between two different approaches for content marketing. The first approach is based on text, which is what we are all familiar with, while the second approach requires upgrades in order to keep up with the voice-activated searches.

SEO, as mentioned above, is a major player in voice-activated content marketing. Marketing professionals have started to apply a more natural conversational perspective with their content for both text and voice activated searches.

How to Enter the Voice Market for Better Results?

Having to pivot from a successful content approach might be daunting, especially if it is currently yielding good results for your company. However, it is critical to stay updated and keep up with the global changes in behavior.

Changes are simpler that you may think as they require a more casual tone.

The good news is that the content marketing future is more user-friendly and easy for companies and consumers.

Since we are currently watching voice content coming out of its shell, there are plenty of easy steps to take in order to help your company rank better in google searches.

From a marketing perspective, consumers use digital assistants for a number of activities where search results, content, and advertising can be served.

  • 65% ask for directions.
  • 68% search for a quick fact.
  • 52% search for a product or service. 
  • 44% research a product or service.
  • 47% search for a business.

How to Include Voice Search in Your Marketing Efforts

One thing your business can do to improve voice marketing is create an Alexa skill or Google action. These functions enable voice assistants to react to user queries and commands. There are currently almost 2,000 actions for Google Assistant and over 30,000 skills on Alexa.

Lots of businesses are getting creative with their voice strategies. Here are some examples for your inspiration.  

Voice Marketing Examples

Campbell’s use skill that helps hungry customers select and cook recipes

Domino’s voice command enables people to order without having to place an order online or pick up the phone

Patron tequila helps customers access personalized cocktail recipes

PayPal users can get Siri to send money to family, friends, or businesses

Tide helps people get rid of stains caused by hundreds of different substances

Nestlé has a skill that gives you voice cooking instructions

What is Your Business’ Voice Marketing Potential?  

As not every target group is equally prepared to use voice assistants for their purchases, not every business will need to launch voice marketing. Customer features will communicate the extent of their interest. Convenience products have a very high success rate. That can’t be said for items that are complicated or costly, require research or visual cues, or are aimed at B2B transactions. 

The younger generation uses voice for making purchases most often. Middle classes find voice commerce more appealing as they tend to be less price sensitive. These aside, people aged 35-44 demonstrate the highest demand for smart speakers.

To discover your business’ potential, you need to look at your industry and devise a strategy. You do that by deciding whether to concentrate on short- or long-term marketing. The former is focused on performance. It involves attention to selling your products to your target audiences.

On the other hand, brand advertising or long-term marketing aims to increase brand awareness.  

How do we know when and if customers are ready to embrace voice commerce? By getting to know them. Ask how many of the people in your target group own smart devices and how many use their voice assistants. How many of them are actually buying things with the help of voice assistants? 

Create a Product Overview 

The next step is applying a matrix to rank products based on growth rate and their relative market share. This will let you know which products to invest in. Then, ask yourself which products need VEO efforts and which benefit from increased brand recognition. That’s how you’ll know what marketing strategy to apply.

Update Your Frequently Asked Questions Section

Assuming your website is already in place, and you have an FAQ section you can use it to help you start integrating simple changes and keep up to date.

Your FAQ section is usually heavy with conversational questions and very rich in keywords. To update your content to be more user-friendly for voice content, you need to add a few questions that are linked to your product, service, and your industry.

In example, when a user asks a question to Google Assistant they will usually begin with “what, why, when, where, how or why” so when crafting your FAQ questions starting with those words is considered ideal. When answering these questions, it is important to do so in a casual, conversational way which will improve your chances of getting picked up from the search engines.

Bonus Points To Keep In Mind:

Answer the question early in your content and avoid complicated explanations.

Write as if you are in a real conversation with another human being.

Be concise and do not ramble.

“How to” questions always rank higher, which means the companies and brands need to focus a lot on “how to” in various areas of their content.

Pay Attention to Your Targeted Audience

Your audience is actually people. People’s behavior when communicating vocally is different from people’s behavior when typing for a search.

Your audience will use their voice searches as if they are communicating with another human.  Therefore, these voice searches include casual tone and long-tail keywords. You need to be creative, casual, and natural in your way of writing. In other words, think about how you would communicate with a friend and craft your content accordingly.

If, however, you are targeting a niche audience, make sure you employ terms and structure that is common in the particular niche. Academics tend to use more complicated structures and words than simple consumers looking for products or services.

Learn and Utilize Schema Data

Schema data is a new term and if you are not familiar with it, we are here to remedy that.

It is part of an initiative which was placed forward by Google, Yandex, Yahoo and Microsoft and it seems to avoid confusion by giving you the ability to utilize HTML tags for better content definition.

When you use schema data, all the search engines mentioned, are able to optimize the categorization of data using a general context and displaying to the user the content they want.

Schema data is very useful in voice content and marketing, especially when your audience asks follow-up question.

Another way to think of schema is a type of ‘snippet’, an HTML markup which adds the necessary details to the area underneath your URL. It is used to tell search engines who and what you do, what type of services or products you have, or even what type of content you are focusing on.

Not only do search engines highly prefer schema data, your audience also tends to gravitate to schema data as well.

If you want your content to stand out, it is critical you begin using schema data. For more information you can visit Schema.org.

Conclusion

Although voice content and marketing is still in the infancy stage, it is here to stay. It is just a matter of time before the future of content in voice becomes the leading method of writing and searching.

By starting to learn and implement voice content and marketing in your strategy, it will allow you to experiment and be ahead of the curve by the time it becomes the norm.