The proliferation of voice assistants and smart speakers, as well as the increasing popularity and usage of voice search, has made marketers wonder how they can capitalise on this potentially huge opportunity.
Voice, as a channel, is completely different from the others commonly used in marketing strategies - the behaviours are different, the devices, the interface. And just like any channel, whether through a website, social media, or app store, you will need a different strategy for each and voice is no different.
When companies start asking how to integrate a voice app into their marketing strategy, you can do it in three ways and eventually implement a strategy for voice omnichannel.
Voice omnichannel offering: Adapting services for voice
To be able to truly be a company with an omnichannel strategy, one must not ignore voice apps as a channel to be in. The good thing is you don’t have to provide the entirety of your suite of services or products on a voice app.
You can start by providing a condensed version, choosing the service that would be most appropriate for delivery by voice. For example, digital magazines and publications can offer digested roundups or briefings where instead of reading an entire article, it focuses on the introduction and pulls important excerpts from each article.
Aside from this, your customers should also be able to make payments or subscription renewals through voice commands. Perhaps the voice app could even remind subscribers when their subscription will be about to run out.
The aim here is to be “helpful”. This does not mean having to replicate your entire service structure through voice. Some parts of your services will simply be too impractical to be delivered through a voice app.
Optimising your online content for voice search
We’ve tackled voice omnichannel service delivery, now you also have to consider voice search optimisation. You have to know that optimising for searchability is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. It has to be adapted slightly depending on where you want to appear.
You have the standard search engine optimisation for search engines such as Google or Bing that focus on text content. This is the most common. Then you have app stores that have a different algorithm for showing voice apps that put into consideration conversion rates, along with images, the logo or the icon etc..
Then you have optimising for voice assistants. This is particularly different because, when doing a search through voice assistants, they only come back with one result and they base it on a short excerpt similar to the snippets that appear on top of Google searches.
If you have a content-based strategy that incorporates blogs, for example, you have to optimise them to answer the who, what, when, how and why questions in the title itself, and optimise it to be able to show the answer in a small snippet.
Creating a complementary voice app that helps engage your customers
Finally, some brands, having decided that voice apps may not be the best to deliver their core business service offering, have chosen instead to ride the voice trend by producing a complementary voice app that they know will delight their customers.
One example is Women’s Health magazine. Recognising the demographics and habits of their readers, they have come up with a yoga voice app that guides their audience through a home yoga session.
Another is Harvard Business Review. Instead of delivering a voice app version of its issues, instead came out with a voice app that provides management and workplace tips daily. This fits perfectly with their image as business thought leaders but also engages their audience on a personal level by helping them achieve their professional goals.