If you were one of the organizations that was late to join Facebook, Instagram or Twitter then you probably don’t need any convincing about the need to plan your voice strategy now.
Those first to any new channel tend to be the ones to dominate for years to come while everyone else plays catch up. Voice is no different.
Aspects of voice have already gone mainstream; people can no longer imagine having to set an alarm manually or type a search to find out the weather forecast. And as more and more people adopt voice, consumers will come to expect brands to find new ways of harnessing its simplicity to make their interactions easier.
Many consumers are already using voice to search for businesses, research products, and compare services. 45% of millennials use voice assistants to ask questions while shopping in store or online, to look up products, services, and brand reviews.
Voice search is no longer just being used for trivial things by a small number of people.
Market data from eConsultancy and SEO Tribunal suggest there were over 250 billion voice searches in 2018 and Voicebot data show nearly 24% of U.S. consumers are using voice search for product and brand-related queries. Yet most brands still haven’t created a voice strategy to ensure their customers are not only heard on voice - but receive a good customer experience using voice.
Don’t be late to the game and allow the next tech revolution to pass you. Here are three reasons why your organization needs a voice strategy now:
1. A VOICE STRATEGY WILL IMPROVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
If you’re not adding value to customers’ lives then you may be forgotten quite quickly. Consider which customer journeys may be better served on voice vs. web vs. mobile.
Voice interactions are more natural and faster than text-based ones, creating a better opportunity to improve engagement and build brand loyalty. Shorter customer journeys also provide a more convenient experience for consumers who are accustomed to having everything on demand. Claiming your voice domain and launching a Voice App is a good way to start building your brand’s presence on voice.
See how Zammo and Our Ability teamed up to create a more accessible experience for disabled job seekers on voice here.
Voice is growing quickly, so you need to start thinking about tomorrow’s customer experiences, today. Creating a voice strategy now will help you plan a roadmap for the future, and seize the growing number of opportunities that will become available to brands on voice as the technology improves.
2. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A VOICE SEARCH STRATEGY, CUSTOMERS MAY FIND YOUR COMPETITORS INSTEAD OF YOUR BRAND
This couldn’t be truer for organizations that rely on local trade; Google reports that “____ near me now” searches have grown by 150% over the last two years. As consumers continue shifting to voice, you’ll need to start thinking less about your SEO and more about your VEO. Learn why the stakes are higher in VEO than SEO.
It’s almost impossible to control the answers that users receive when they perform a voice search. Search engines are currently reliant on third-party sites to source information that isn’t always accurate, and it’s common for users to be told by voice assistants that they can’t help with the query.
One-way brands are connecting customers with their content on voice is with branded Voice Apps. Content from Voice Apps isn’t currently used by search engines during a voice search, but if the move to mobile-first is anything to go by, Voice Apps will become a critical part of VEO - and you need to start planning for it now.
3. VOICE DRIVES TRAFFIC
When voice assistants provide a response to a query, they also allow users to open the website from which the answer was pulled. After making a local voice search, 27% of users then visit a brand’s website. Voice is another channel to drive traffic.
Content optimized for voice will have the biggest impact in prompting users to continue their journey to your website - the easiest way to achieve that is with a branded Voice App. Leaving it up to search engines to retrieve and repeat information about your brand is unreliable. It’s difficult to control content that customers are served to drive the right behavior, if they get a response at all.
Currently, voice technology is fairly new. There’s still time to get on and get ahead of competitors - if your voice domain hasn’t already been taken. Like with Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, voice isn’t as simple as: launch it and they will come. Brands that plan their voice strategy now and launch apps that offer new value to consumers can establish a presence on voice - and start building a following for the future.
They’ll be the ones who reap the rewards when transacting on voice becomes the norm.