Technology is quickly disrupting marketing and shaping consumers’ behavior.
Empowered with the emerging voice-activated technology, consumers use traditional marketing channels less and less. They research, buy, and interact with brands using voice, while on the go, or in the middle of a task.
According to a 2019 survey from Perficient Digital, voice is now the number two choice for mobile search, behind mobile browsers.
A quick look at statistics proves the popularity of smart speaker use on mobile devices. In the United States, one out of six people own a smart speaker. Voice-driven interactions have been viewed as the future of digital marketing for several years. But with the huge boom in the smart speaker technology, that future has now arrived.
What can we do to prepare for this shift in digital marketing? The change might seem intimidating, but there are a few crucial things you can do to prepare for voice-driven marketing.
Optimize for Voice Search
To activate voice search, consumers use a smartphone or smart speaker to do a Google search and ask a question. Google will retrieve a search result that directly answers the question (usually a featured snippet). Voice search will offer to send a link to this result to a mobile device for more information.
Voice search is used for just about anything, including research, how-to guides, and driving directions. Location-based voice searches are the most popular. According to Bright Local, local search queries are three times more likely to be voice searches than text searches.
Optimize Content for Questions
When optimizing your content for voice search, try to frame it in the way people might speak when performing their voice search.
The biggest tip to keep in mind is that when using voice commands, people typically speak in a complete sentence, unlike when they’re typing, when they might shorten up their query to a phrase or fragment.
How do you optimize for voice search questions? Do the following:
- Optimize for long-tail keywords. They are really important when optimizing for voice search.
- Optimize for full-sentence questions.
Text Optimizer makes question research easy by generating the list of popular niche questions and allowing you to easily expand any of them into content ideas:
It is also important to enable a voice search option on your own site.
Optimize for “Micro-Moments”
Voice-activated interactions are favored by people who are on the go or trying to get a quick answer while they’re in the middle of something else. Google says that searchers don’t want to search a page for answers; users will go back and look at a different result until they have the answer they are looking for.
Google has already started to favor pages that provide concise answers to meet this demand for immediate knowledge.
The key to keeping up with the voice-powered interactions is to optimize your content for micro-moments.
It is important to structure your content to make the answers readers want easier to spot. Use <h2> and <h3> headings in your content, then follow this with concise and direct answers to the questions presented.
Content that is structured in this way is a lot more likely to be featured as a response to a voice search query by fulfilling the need for immediate information.
Build Consistent Cross-Channel Marketing Strategy
Voice technology users tend to have very scattered buying paths. They may start using the web via voice, switch to a mobile device, and then get distracted by social media tasks.
Being able to provide consistent cross-platform and cross-channel experience is crucial in order to keep these consumers engaging with your brand.
Cross-channel marketing can be embraced through multiple third-party solutions without the need to invest in in-house technology. Using responsive designs tools is only one piece of the puzzle. You need to be able to capture consumers’ attention on their journey across devices and channels.
Here are a few ideas on how to ensure consistent cross-channel experience for your site users:
1. Keep an Eye on Your Users’ Devices
Finteza provides a detailed report on which devices, screen resolutions and operating systems from which your site is being accessed. Having this information helps you test and adjust your site usability across popular platforms.
You can filter your whole site analytics by particular device users to see if they are likely to be experiencing any problems with your site:
2. Use Smart Engagement Tools
Alter utilizes Artificial Intelligence to approach every single visitor of the site with personalized content recommendations. Its exit-intent popup can save you many of your site visitors who would have otherwise left:
3. Utilize Re-Marketing
Facebook’s re-marketing option is one of the most effective ways to re-engage your site users who got distracted and left. Remind them of your brand by creating retargeting ads on Facebook. Depending on your target demographic, you can also add more social media channels, like Snapchat and TikTok ads to reach younger generations.
4. Use Tools for Collaborative Cross-Channel Marketing
To catch your always-moving audience around the web, employ the collaborative approach and allow your whole team to contribute updates to multiple brand-owned social media channels. ContentCal is perfect for that allowing your employees to effectively manage your cross-channel social media marketing:
Embrace Video Marketing
Smart voice-activated devices can deal with any types of content, including text. But smart device users seem to prefer video format which explains the wild growth of video consumption through mobile devices having surpassed desktop viewership several years ago (it grows by 100% every year, according to YouTube).
When it comes to voice-activated queries, you have much better chances to keep the user’s attention if you provide a video version of your textual instructions. Video tutorials have been found to be the most effective when it comes to keeping a user watching:
Make sure to provide a video instruction whenever you can. Tools like inVideo can make this task much easier as it can process your text content and turn into a video in a matter of a minute.
inVideo will create your video subtitles for you and use your screenshots. All you will need is to add a voice-over.
Voice-powered marketing will likely only grow in popularity, and it will present some unique challenges. But if there is a challenge, there is a business opportunity too!
It’s clear that marketers need to make optimizing for voice search a priority and start adapting to the revolution now.
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