Tag: voice

How to Adapt Your Marketing Strategy for the Voice-Driven Future

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

Voice search is becoming more and more popular. According to Adobe, 48% of consumers are using voice for “general web searches.” Also, 91% of brands are investing in voice.

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:

Text Optimizer voice search

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:

Finteza screen device

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:

Alter engagement

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

Finally, voice-activated interactions make cross-channel marketing much more important, bridging the gap between SEO and social media, on- and offline 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:

How-to video

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 text into video tool

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.

Image by HeikoAL from Pixabay


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Alexa, Protect My Privacy: Data Deletion Voice Commands Arrive for Amazon Voice Devices

Amazon has insisted for months that its voice-activated Alexa and Echo devices aren’t listening to your conversations. Now, in a move likely designed to offer more peace of mind, they debuted two voice commands developed to offer some protection.

“Alexa, delete everything I said today” will wipe your voice history for the preceding 24 hours, while “Alexa, delete what I just said” (a command which will roll out in the coming weeks) will erase the last utterance delivered to the device. Further, Engadget is reporting that an Alexa Privacy Hub is being launched and maintained to help users and prospective customers learn more about the product, review the privacy policy, and help them adjust their settings as needed.

To that end, these voice commands must be enabled. Current Alexa or Echo users must go into Alexa Privacy Settings, navigate to “Review Voice History,” and then toggle on the “Enable Deletion by Voice” feature. Absent that, any voice commands to delete will not work. Any smart home devices that are connected to Alexa can also have their history deleted, but that has to be done inside the privacy hub, manually.

This simplified method to delete recordings may (and should) be viewed as a win for privacy advocates and privacy-concerned consumers. Says TechCrunch about the change, “Amazon has offered the ability to delete recordings for a while now, but this brings the functional ability to the front with a simple command.” And as mentioned, Amazon insists that the command theoretically isn’t necessary; the company line has always been that they must be roused with a wake word, and any recorded information isn’t actually heard by the company or used to influence ad targeting or algorithmic arrangement.

However, it should be acknowledged that the deletion capabilities are limited (you’ll notice that there’s no “Alexa, delete my entire voice history” command), and users must be “in the know” to learn how to use it and must be diligent in doing so daily. AdWeek puts it simply: “the ability to simply ask Amazon’s assistant to delete its recordings is certainly easier than the status quo, but it still leaves the onus on consumers to protect their own privacy.”

Theoretically, this could change. Amazon has voiced openness to suggestions for additional voice commands and options for privacy, and continues to insist Alexa and Echo products are “built to protect your privacy,” and “provide transparency and control.” These latest moves demonstrate a literal vocal commitment to those principles.

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Baidu’s Translation Tech Rivals Google’s in Speed and Sophistication

Even the strongest translation technology often suffers from a lag, due to the innate differences in sentence structure across languages. Last week, Chinese search engine Baidu unveiled a tool aiming to eliminate the lag and hasten conversations across cultural barriers.

The tool runs on STACL artificial intelligence technology or Simultaneous Translation with Anticipation and Controllable Latency. Once trained, the tool uses artificial technology to predict where a sentence is going, and fill in typical gaps with learned knowledge. With similar languages (like Spanish and Italian, for example), this process has historically been easier. But dissimilar languages, like English and Chinese, lags were inevitable—and impossible to shorten.

For brands and companies creating content that spans cultures, the need to quickly translate will be crucial; this application of AI will eventually be able to facilitate that in a number of ways. At the same time, principal designer Liang Huang foresees a world where human translators are seen as unnecessary- and he wants no part of it. “We hope this AI technology will reduce the burden on human interpreters. But we are not trying to replace human interpreters […] especially for high stakes occasions which require consistent and more precise interpretation.”

Still, STACL technology offers a precise and prompt translation that thus far has been out of bounds of many rival product, including those developed by Google. In a demo on their blog, Baidu used a sentence from English and translated it into Chinese to demonstrate how the system works: “President Bush meets with Russian president Putin in Moscow.” Sentence structure in each language has made prior translators slow, as the tool “reads” to the end of a sentence before starting the translation process.

“In Chinese, the verb ‘meets’ is at the end of the sentence,” CNBC explains. Other tools, including ones in development at Baidu rival Google, can’t translate in a timely fashion because they have to wait for the active verb. “But when translated into English, it becomes the third word in the sentence, as is appropriate in that language. Thanks to the training with the data sets, Baidu’s tool is able to predict the word that comes in the English language even before it is spoken.”

There’s still time before the product can fully take hold in countries other than China; thus far, the tool only has the training to translate Chinese to English, English to Chinese, and Chinese to German. Further, the tool is only as accurate as the training as it has completed, and there’s a great deal more to do in a number of other languages. But the initial promise that Baidu’s unique AI has shown, provides hope for more seamless conversations across the world in a number of different domains.

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Why You Should Care About Facebook’s Voice Assistant Project

It may seem like every tech company out there has a voice assistant who is ready to help you check the weather, buy laundry detergent, or start your playlist. Siri, Alexa, Cortana—who else can help us live our lives?

One major company is conspicuously absent from the voice assistant game: Facebook. But thanks to some wonderful work by engineer Jane Manchun Wong, the world now has a glimpse into Facebook’s “Aloha,” a prototype interface for speech recognition functionality.

Aloha would form the basis of any future Facebook home speaker, as well as potentially power transcription technology that would help FB users communicate across various media.

Facebook’s foray into the speech recognition world may seem like just another way for a tech giant to sell you some hardware or get you to download software. But here’s why Facebook’s Aloha (which, if we had to guess, will not be called Aloha when it debuts—too similar to Alexa) is so crucial to the social network’s plans.

Search is going vocal

Just as the internet has moved from mostly text-based pages to sites featuring lots of multimedia, namely video content, it’s also moving to utilize voice more than ever.

ComScore projects that 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020—and Forbes adds to that prediction by noting that voice searches “tend to be more action-based” than text searches, meaning that when someone does a voice search, they’re looking to actually make moves, such as purchase something.

In order for Facebook to keep pace with its competitors in the space for people’s attention, they’ll need technology, and perhaps even hardware, that meets this new criteria for action.

Facebook’s version will likely have a special twist

How you act on Facebook—interacting with your friends and family—is no doubt different than how you interact with Google and Amazon, and by extension, their assistants. Facebook’s voice recognition technology will take that into account.

Michael Lewis, a creative strategist at the Active Web Group, says that Aloha is being developed as “a more social version” of better known AI.

“Aloha will be designed to integrate with Facebook Messenger and pick up various tones, slangs, and dialects to better understand how people normally communicate. So as opposed to AI making users annunciation words, Aloha will adapt to user behavior,” Lewis says.

That’s a game-changer for marketers, who will then be able to mine more organic communication to better understand their customers, Lewis adds. This new information source will help them surface trends and create viral content faster and more effectively than ever.

An even greater UX experience

Of course, Facebook will posit Aloha as a way to smooth the customer experience—which, assuming we all gravitate towards voice search anyway, it will. But within that smoothing is a win for marketers: Aloha, says Lewis, could help marketers “monitor engagement and utilize personalization for early sales funnel stages to increase customer retention.”

Customers that are catered to more personally, better engaged, and better served? It’s literally a win for all sides, and that’s no doubt a huge reason why Facebook is journeying down this well-traveled road.

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