More people than ever are using Voice daily in the US. Here’s how to put it to work for your brand.
The Voice revolution has changed the way people interact with their devices. More than ever, people are turning to Voice assistants. Voice technology is not just a novel tool to entertain yourself or order food; it’s becoming a secret weapon for businesses to improve internal and external operations. It’s also becoming an essential marketing tool. Still unsure about when and how to use Voice for your brand? Keep reading.
YOUR AUDIENCE IS ALREADY USING VOICE
Voice assistant usage continues to grow in the US as the Voice habits that consumers developed during the pandemic are now a part of their daily lives. According to the 2022 Voice Consumer Index, daily usage increased by 8% in the US from 2021 to 2022, and by 5% in the UK. These increases were driven by upticks in general usage and specific use cases, such as searching for information about a brand or product, getting news updates, listening to music, and even making online purchases. This trend indicates that as consumers become more comfortable with Voice, they are using it more frequently for common everyday tasks, giving brands a new and powerful audience touchpoint.
IT ALL BEGINS WITH VOICE SEARCH
According to the Voice Consumer Index from Vixen Labs, 92% of Voice consumers use their voice to search the web – 40% are doing it regularly. What this means for your brand is that your content needs to be optimised for conversational queries if you want to win position zero and appear at the top of search results.
If you’re still optimising your content for keywords, now is the time to focus on long-tail phrases instead. As consumers become more comfortable using their voice to search, their queries become more conversational. Winning position zero means answering questions – not just incorporating keywords into your content. Google’s recent decision to stop Google Actions and shift to relying heavily on search and Android Apps means you need to make sure your web content is optimised for conversational search more than ever.
VOICE IS NOW PART OF YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
In the past few years, Voice has become a more common tool for purchasing products, and it’s no surprise why: Voice is convenient, easy to use, and able to accomplish tasks that would otherwise be difficult or time-consuming for customers.
The latest data from the Voice Consumer Index shows that just over a third of each market is already using Voice to make purchases. That number continues to increase as consumers become more comfortable with this technology, so brands need to think beyond customer service when it comes to supporting voice interactions. Instead of just answering questions about your product or service, you need to consider how Voice can make the entire pathway to purchase easier for your customers — and how you can support and retain them once they’ve bought what they need.
The key to success is understanding your customers’ journey and knowing where and when to reach them with your messages.
CONNECTING YOUR CONTENT ACROSS ALL TOUCHPOINTS
As a brand, you know that being on the forefront of innovation is crucial. What’s even more critical is ensuring your brand sounds the same no matter where your audience interacts with it. If your content strategy isn’t ready for it, the experiences feel disjointed and you’re going to fall behind in a big way.
If there is one thing we have learned with the evolution of the digital world, it’s that a user’s information needs don’t change because of the interface or device. The nature of their interaction, however, does change and that is amplified with Voice.
As Voice assistant usage surges in the US, brands must have a vision for how their Voice content will be available to all devices their audiences use. As your brand’s conversational assistant reaches across multiple touchpoints and devices, consistency is critical. That consistency is built through unified sonic branding, content, functionality, and features. This will not only deliver Voice experiences where audiences want them today, it will lay the foundation for other emerging channels, like the metaverse.
Vixen Labs’ 2022 Voice Consumer Index also shows that in addition to smart speakers, consumers are increasingly using mobile devices and laptops to access Voice services. Brands must plan for how to deliver consistent content across multiple devices to make sure they’re reaching as many people as possible.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
In the last few years, we’ve seen Voice technology transform from a novelty to a critical part of our daily lives – and it’s only getting better.
Voice can bring a new dimension to a brand because voice and tone become a literal expression of how it sounds and allows you to deliver it consistently across channels. Imagine being able to use the same brand voice in all your touch points – including the ones you haven’t thought of yet.
While synthetic media has reached a level of maturity and sophistication that delivers believable digital recreations of humans, its usage by brands and marketers is in its infancy. With consumer acceptance over a third, brands have a powerful new tool for creating and maintaining their literal brand voice efficiently across multiple channels (commercials, video, podcasts, owned voice assistants).
Brands that start exploring the use of synthetic media now will also have a much easier time in the metaverse as consumers’ acceptance grows.
With consumer behavior and expectations shifting, marketers must adapt to these new behaviors to remain relevant. Understanding how voice search works and adapting the content marketing approach are important parts of a Voice strategy. Simply put, marketers can no longer ignore voice as a channel.
As more consumers use their voice to find products, services and content, brands that have the right strategies in place will be able to take advantage of this shift in consumer behavior. You’ll also see short-term improvements to customer experience as well as sustainable long-term growth.
This major shift in the way people interact with technology means that brands must adapt quickly if they want to stay relevant among their customers.
To help you prepare for this new reality, book a call with our team.