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Building a Voice Technology Technology Strategy for your Company

A few years ago smart speakers were a novelty for most consumers who owned one. Now, as a new decade dawns, these devices have become mainstays in many American households. Adoption of smart speakers and other connected devices has spurred regular use of voice technology among average consumers.

In this article, we’re looking at voice technology and how your brand can begin to strategize ways to build an audience in this emerging channel.

2020 is the year your company needs to develop a voice strategy

Voice technology is positioned to become even more ubiquitous in the years to come. Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft are all investing in developing and improving their voice platforms. This means there is no shortage of choice for consumers when it comes to choosing a smart speaker for their homes.

What’s more, much of the technology we use every day now includes some form of voice assistance. Every smartphone now has a built-in voice assistant, as do many cars and televisions. The more consumers are exposed to voice technology, the more they are likely to come to expect its availability in expanding areas of their lives.       

Voice technology is an area of tech that’s heating up fast and has a lot of industry development behind it. As such, it’s an area businesses should be focused on as a new means of connecting with consumers. Starting early enough may even mean getting out ahead of the competition at a relatively early stage.

A few key considerations

Voice technology may be one of the shiniest objects in digital marketing at the moment, but there are considerations your brand should be aware of before allocating time and money to the channel.

Build on the basis of a solid strategy

As with any new channel for reaching customers, it’s tempting to want to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. However, it’s far more effective to first take stock of the current voice landscape surrounding your brand before getting started. Make sure you gain a solid understanding of when and where your customers are most likely to need or want to use voice in order to fulfill their objectives. You can build a strategy to meet demand from there.

Know the limits of voice technology

Though voice technology has improved by leaps and bounds in the past few years, it still has its limitations. Accuracy can be an issue, and though many consumers report a preference for using voice to make purchases, not all products can be easily shopped for absent a screen. Knowing where voice can provide real value and where it doesn’t quite meet the user’s needs is essential to the development of an effective strategy in the channel.

Voice strategies to incorporate in 2020

If you’re ready to get started building a voice strategy for your brand, here are a few ways you can get started.

Voice search optimization

One of the most important things your brand can do right now to capitalize on voice technology is to make a concerted effort to develop a presence in voice search. This is where the greatest opportunity lies in the current landscape. Users often interact with voice search differently than they do text-based search, so you need to optimize your content with the intricacies and specifics of voice queries in mind.

Build voice apps (aka Skills)

Beyond search, one way to have a presence through voice is to build voice-connected apps for smart devices. These apps are often called “Skills” and they allow users to interact with a brand or type of content hands-free through voice commands alone. Some examples include a bartending assistant from Jameson, or a travel discovery engine powered by Kayak. Consider whether your brand can offer utility, novelty, or entertainment to users through a voice app.

Develop audio content and advertising

The creation of audio content is part of a broader strategy to have a solid presence in voice channels. Podcasts, for example, are experiencing a major surge in popularity at the moment. Brands can consider developing their own podcast content, or find opportunities to advertise in audio channels. Doing so means capturing consumer attention during valuable screenless moments.

Takeaways

The consensus is clear that voice is the next big frontier in digital marketing. We expect the adoption of connected devices and voice assistant use, in general, to increase in the years to come. Brands that want to stay ahead of the curve should be investing in the channel now by rolling out a voice search strategy and finding opportunities to develop voice apps and/or audio content and advertising.

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