As we hurtle headfirst into a voice-activated future, it’s time to start thinking seriously about your content strategy for a screen-less world. Voice is our most intuitive form of communication. As babies, we learn to identify familiarity, trust, security and love with our parents’ or carers’ voices.

Using AI technology, voice makes human interaction with computers possible through a conversational platform to initiate an automated service or process.

Why is this significant?

It feels like marketers have just conquered what it means to tell engaging and relevant stories on behalf of their brands. We focused on what our audience wants to hear. We convinced our businesses that investment in content marketing is a long game and not a fad.

One of the biggest shifts we’re experiencing in digital marketing is conversational experience and content. Now we have another medium to consider and prepare for a future that’s activated by voice. This is an entirely new proposition requiring a new skill set and way of thinking.

Voice Assistants are starting to permeate into our homes, cars, white goods and other hardware at a staggering rate. Whether it’s Alexa activating your morning routine, Sonos playing your favourite tune, asking your microwave to defrost your meal, wearing your Bose smart glasses to guide you through the streets of Shanghai or a Smart Bulb to activate your lights, the commands we make are predominately via voice. Especially if it’s easier, faster and reduces the cognitive load on our brains.

By early-2019, there were already 3.25 billion voice assistants globally across: Google assistant, Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Bixby, Alibaba’s Tmall Genie. And nearly 50% of people were using voice for web search. Imagine how that has grown over the last year!

Australian smart speaker adoption reached 29% of the adult population by Jan 2019 and tipped to rise. So it’s important for marketers to understand how to create content that’s intuitive and conversational, contextual, relevant, succinct and on-brand.

The new wave of digital natives, whether they be Millennials or Gen Z are set to use voice commands first and foremost. Forget swiping and scrolling, this generation are conversant in commanding and have little tolerance for digital experiences that can’t adapt. On the other hand, baby boomers who struggle with dexterity and motor skill limitations or people who are visually disabled will find voice commands life-changing.

Where do you start?

Guy Munro, Head of Innovation & Technology at Paper + Spark, who has pioneered voice in Australia, APAC and the US with brands including Coca-Cola, Huggies and Domino’s says:  “As it relates to a conversational interface such as voice, the first area to address is to fully understand the audience, their requirements, desires, preferred outcomes and best ways to engage, to yield the best result.”

He says existing content is seldom prepared in a way that will suit a conversational experience.

If you are looking at how a BOT could solve a customer service problem, for example, it would be necessary to assess what content exists and if it is accessible and fit for purpose.You would also need to ask if the organisation has an appetite to resolve gaps, he says.

“How can you build advocacy within an organisation and what does ROI look like? These are the types of questions that we face frequently and must be addressed before setting off on the conversational journey. Preparedness is paramount.”

5 questions to ask before you get started

  1. If your brand had a voice what would it say?
  2. How can you best deliver an intuitive experience to your audience. VX is a unique and a deeply human experience.
  3. Determine your use case – what’s the point of your VX, and what is it designed to do?
  4. Is your content house in order – for example is it optimised for voice ranking on Google. Is it tagged and easy to access?
  5. Think about your team capability – do you develop the skills or partner with an agency. Soon we’ll start to see new marketing roles dedicated to VX such conversational strategists

Get in touch if you would like to learn more.

   Voice Experience, content amplification, content marketing, marketing effectiveness
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