No technology has made its breakthrough quite as smoothly as voice assistants. Siri, Alexa, and Google Home have won a place in our hearts faster than television, the Internet, or smartphones.

Although voice-activated technology is still in its infancy, it can greatly enhance your company’s customer experience and we will list the latest developments around voice marketing in this blog.

From “Hey Google, order a Margherita pizza” to complete conversations you can have with the customer service of a webshop: the possibilities of voice assistants are endless.

Not only smartphones, tablets, and smart speakers are equipped with voice assistants. We also see them in lamps, thermostats, coffee machines, cameras, and locks. In short, speaking has become the new typing.

In this blog we zoom in on the possibilities of voice marketing for your business.

Table of contents

What is Voice Marketing?

According to the National Center for Voice and Speech, you speak an average of 150 words per minute while typing only 40 per minute. What’s more, the underlying AI technologies are getting smarter. Better results in less time… what’s not to like?

Product developers are constantly trying to create a smoother and more user-friendly interaction between man and machine. In the past decades, for example, we have seen the introduction of the keyboard, the mouse, and touchscreens. But these remain unnatural tools for humans.

The basis of our human communication is and remains speech.

Did you know that 55% of all households are predicted to own a smart speaker by 2022? 65% of 25-49-year-olds use a voice-enabled device every day?

So as a brand, it’s high time to give your business a voice. From informative to recreational: the possibilities of voice marketing are greater than you think! We make a distinction between two types:

  • Voice search is asking specific questions to get information. For example, you can ask Siri what the weather will be tomorrow, how to make a delicious banana cake or what the nearest supermarket is.
  • Voice dialogue is having a real conversation through your smart speaker. For example, think “Hey Siri, talk to Bol.com”or “Hey Alexa, I want to talk to my bank”.
  • Voice marketing is the use of voice assistants on your smart speaker or phone for marketing purposes. With a good voice assistant you actively respond to the needs of your customers. You increase your digital findability, solomo and offer something extra. Whether they are looking for information or just want to hear something nice.
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Getting started with voice marketing

Does your company want to get started with voice marketing? Then we recommend first focusing on voice search or voice search SEO.

Today, more than 1 billion voice searches are performed every month.

How does this work in practice? You ask your voice assistant a question, it converts your words into a query that it launches in the search engine. Then the search engine comes back with the best answer which your voice assistant in turn displays.

alexa voice marketing

How it appears varies by search engine, but this can be in the form of speech or in the form of text on a screen. Sounds pretty simple, but it’s not always. For example, not all searches are yet possible via voice search and complex questions are difficult to answer.

As a company, you can save a lot of time by thinking about the voice SEO of your website today. How do you ensure that you are still findable when people search with voice searches? It is crucial that you can be found with voice searches because Google only gives one answer to the user, it’s all or nothing.

To be found by Siri, for example, you must register with Apple Maps connect. To be found by Google Assistant, you then need to register your business with Google My Business. This is the absolute basics. With these 5 additional tips you can improve the SEO of your website, even more, to be findable for voice searches:

  1. Make use of questions in your content
  2. Make sure your website is fast
  3. Write content in a spoken tone/manner
  4. Be precise in the wording of your answers
  5. Activate location targeting to be found well locally

Inspiring Examples of Voice Marketing

The most mature market for voice marketing – as so often with new technologies – is China, followed closely by the United States. By mid-2019, 50% of American households already had at least one smart speaker in their homes.

With a 74% market share, Amazon’s Alexa is the clear market leader in the United States. If you look at what applications people use today, the result is still quite basic.

basket voice marketing

72% use the device to put on music, 49% of users ask the voice assistant questions about the weather and news, 28% ask the assistant to control the house and only 14% work with Alexa or Google Assistant to make purchases.

Proof that ‘Voice First’ is here to stay can be seen in the trend of young people in particular replacing text messages with short-spoken text messages sent via Whatsapp and other chat services. In this way, they avoid fiddling with the touchscreen keyboard which – let’s face it – still can’t compete with a physical keyboard when it comes to ease of use.

So the real impact on consumer behavior has yet to start. But it won’t be long before voice marketing becomes a dominant channel in the marketing mix. Below you will discover a number of examples of successful voice marketing.

Johnnie Walker

johnnie

Johnnie Walker has been producing the finest Scotch whiskies since 1820. It is sold in 200 countries, making it the most widely consumed whiskey in the world.

The company sells as many as 120 million bottles annually. To personalize the shopping experience for its customers, it is betting on voice marketing.

Using Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, it first asks consumers a series of targeted questions about their preferences and then recommends the Johnnie Walker product that best matches this.

Albert Heijn

Albert Heijn is not only a cool supermarket with an extensive assortment, it also inspires with recipes, shopping lists, and even a delivery service.

These 3 services are additionally connected to Google Home. For example, ask how to make a certain recipe, and AH becomes your personal sous-chef.

Or ask when the delivery driver is coming. The voice assistant will give you an immediate answer. In addition, you can add groceries directly to your shopping list

MediaMarkt

Already in the summer of 2018, the retail chain MediaMarkt experimented with voice marketing. They regularly launch so-called “Deals of the Day. You can order these deals directly through your Google Assistant.

You can first request the different deals and then you are given the option to throw this unique deal directly into your shopping cart and checkout. Furthermore, you can request the opening hours and the route to the nearest store. All this information is communicated via voice.

KLM

She has a sultry voice and her name is BB. No, we’re not talking about Brigitte Bardot, but the virtual assistant of KLM “Blue Bot”. First only available on Messenger, but nowadays Blue Bot also helps passengers via Google Home.

For example, you can indicate where you want to travel and for how long, and the service bot will help you pack. Based on current information about the weather, your packing list is personalized. You can even book tickets via voice.

Bol.com

When it comes to innovation, e-commerce giant Bol.com is never far from it. It also already earned its stripes in the field of voice marketing. For example, it is possible to request gift tips and inquire about daily deals through your Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri or other virtual assistants.

You can then order these directly. You can also request the status of your order by voice, so you know exactly when your package will be delivered.

Philips

When you connect Philips Hue lamps to a smart home assistant, the lamps listen to your commands. Tell your lights what to do and they’ll do it. Without using your hands! Use simple commands to control every smart bulb in your home. You can set scenes, turn lamps on or off, dim or brighten lamps, and set the wake-up routine, for example, which wakes you up naturally through light.

Although voice marketing is still in its infancy, all indications are that it will have a huge impact on our consumer behavior in the coming decades. Moreover, as a company, you can already take important first steps in the field of voice search and push your customer experience to the next level.