Whilst still in their infancy, digital assistants like Alexa, Siri and Cortana have greatly advanced since the early days of voice recognition technology. The idea of saying ‘Hey Siri’ or ‘…Alexa’ is becoming more natural, and Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple Homepod are gradually entering more homes across the country.
As we edge closer to a digital assistant / smart speaker boom, we believe it’s important for brands to start forming a voice strategy right now. Here’s why…
1. Beat your competitors to the market
In April of this year, YouGov published findings that smart speaker ownership had doubled within six months. Now, 11.8 million UK households either have, or are considering getting, a voice operated device.
As smart speakers transition from a niche trend to the new ‘normal’, more businesses will begin investing more time and money in producing their own app (or Skill) for these devices. By adopting the technology early, brand’s can set the industry benchmark for what a quality application for smart speakers looks like - making it harder for competitors to make an impact.
2. Start experimenting early
As smart speakers aren’t yet commonplace in the home and workplace, poorly executed voice marketing campaigns are unlikely to lead to any devastating consequences. There is currently a window of opportunity where brands can experiment with voice technology for various gamifaction, social communication and commerce with less consumer expectation and risk of failing.
3. Simplifying your customers’ lives
A human can generally speak 125-175 words per minute. In contrast, the average most people can type in a minute on a keyboard is under 40 words. With voice devices becoming more attuned to understanding and deciphering complex questions, people are slowly turning to virtual assistants for quick, easy and hands-free requests.
By adopting voice you can begin helping customers get the information they want, with less barriers – creating a more positive brand experience.
4. Get voice-search ready
As digital assistants typically only return top ranking result, brands need to start producing content with voice in mind – otherwise they will not be discoverable. This could be particularly detrimental to small, local or niche brands and businesses.
The way people interact with digital assistants is vastly different to that of search engines. Voice searches are more conversational, more natural. Whilst traditional SEO activity will remain important, it’s crucial that voice plays a role in your future content and search strategy.