The statistics say that 20% of the searches we carry out are already by voice and that next year they will have the same relevance as the written ones: they will reach 50% of the total. Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana, and Bixby, assistants from Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung, can change the way we consume information (and products). How do these changes affect brand positioning? Is there an optimal marketing positioning method?
“The new voice ecosystem completely removes the brand-building foundation, giving sound the importance it has. As the penetration of voice assistants grows, organizations must implement effective strategies to harness this potential. Voice applications allow brands to have omnipresence and to be always available, no matter where the customer is: at home, in the car, at the office, playing sports… ”, says Roberto Carreras, founder of Voikers, a firm specialized in voice marketing.
This presence of brands through voice has to be done with a strategy designed to be present in searches organically (a new SEO). With marketing actions created to be heard, such as podcast content, audio newsletter, or advertising that goes beyond traditional radio spots. But also with a voice-based brand identity, just as the visual identity and the logo have been designed for years.
How Does Coca-Cola Speak?
“All companies are very familiar when it comes to producing guidelines and guides for strategies on paper, audiovisual or in other formats and points of contact with consumers; however, thinking about how brands should sound or speak is totally new to marketers. How does Coca-Cola speak? Is it a woman’s or a man’s voice? Are you young or mature? Brands will have to learn to redefine themselves by adding this new dimension ”, says Roberto Carreras.
“However,” Carreras adds, “a voice strategy does not only mean developing a voice application, but it must add value to customers and create a customer experience with a consistent brand message at all points of contact: from a wedge to the voice of the brand, going through the entire voice ecosystem. Well worked, the voice can be a powerful extension of a brand and, in the future, it will probably be the first contact in the relationship with the client, the key to its new positioning ”.
The question is: how do you design a brand’s voice identity? At Voikers they have devised “a methodology to create voices strategically. Our methodology combines 4 ingredients: brand attributes, emotions, voices, and target. Depending on what you want to tell, your voice will sound in a certain way. We want to put science into how the voices that identify companies are chosen because we know that their impact is very high. The voice has a great capacity to generate emotions ”, explains its founder.
From SEO to AEO
A new sound identity and new voice content that gives added value to customers, potentially becoming the optimal marketing technique. But without a doubt, the change that most worries companies of all sizes are how voice searches can affect their organic positioning.
A change that forces you to become familiar with how AEO (Answer Engine Optimization) works as part of our SEO strategy. In this new positioning, aspects that traditional SEO did not contemplate come into play, such as intonation, the grammatical construction of the sentence, and the context of the questions.
“We do not seek the same when we write as when we speak. We use another type of language and the searches are longer. They are searches based on questions: where is such a thing or who is such a person, for example. Companies are working to provide short and clear answers to those questions. One optimal marketing change that we have seen, for example, is the recovery of the FAQS on the webs. Questions and answers are once again included thinking about the content associated with voice searches, with specific questions and clear answers, using non-technical language so that they form part of a moment of conversation rather than a technical reading ”, explains Jesús Mera, COO of Antevenio.
“We did not find searches more focused on semantics, more conversational and, in general, more detailed. We use both long-tail keywords and short-tail queries. Some short-tail keywords would be: What is sushi? And the wizard knows you require a definition. Some long-tail keywords would be: What is the best sushi restaurant in London? By adding more keywords, qualitative terms like “best”, Google tries to rank the restaurants. And the local search term ‘London’ gives Google an indicator to show results only in this area, ”says Roberto Carreras.
It Can Only Be One
We search differently and searches are also presented differently. If you ask Alexa when Madrid plays, she should know if you mean Atlético de Madrid or Real Madrid. But when you ask him when the next home game will be, he won’t force you to repeat your question because he remembers the previous one and understands what you mean. Something that is written searches does not happen. Ultimately, the voice results contextualize the questions.
Another important change is that they take into account the user’s location. For this reason, Audio Marketing recommends focusing a lot on positioning for Google My Business. “Local businesses like a bar, a florist, or a store are interested in adapting with keywords to exploit searches for the closest points. If a user goes through the center of Madrid and wants to eat a squid sandwich, he will ask what is the best squid sandwich in Madrid? You have to think about how our potential clients ask and try to answer that question with our positioning. In voice searches, you have to be less general and focus on very niche, very specific keywords, very much how we normally talk, ”says Juan Cano Calvo, founder of Audio Marketing.
Because part of your optimal marketing is to appear in voice searches, do not forget to include all kinds of basic information about the business: the address, the opening and closing hours, the prices, if it can be reserved if we have dishes for vegans … You can answer specific questions that potential customers ask. “It is also important that these local businesses appear on opinion and recommendation websites. And that all these keywords are present in those opinions. Businesses should encourage their presence on websites such as TripAdvisor and others like it, “adds Cano.
The end goal of optimal marketing is to appear in the first search results since the rest do not count. “When you ask a question the speaker will give you the first two results. If you have asked for a restaurant, they will tell you: you have two restaurants within a kilometer and a half and the closest is such. He does not read you the third, the fourth, and the fifth. This forces companies to work exclusively to be in those top positions, ”says Jesús Mera.
A job in which you have to improvise and try a lot since in this field there is everything to write. And possibly specific tools for this will become popular over time. For now, solutions like Answerthepublic can be of great help; It offers lists of keywords, combinations of prepositions associated with them, and even a list of the questions that users usually ask when they include those keywords.
Close the Sale Process
We have talked so far about brand presence, but what about the sales process? Can it be included in the voice strategy? It can and should be. “We have tested the podcasts and we see that their great advantage is that the attention of the users is very high. Even if they are doing something else, their attention span is much greater than when it comes to banners and other links. We have gotten concrete answers. That from a voice message they get onto a website and sign up for a webinar or a course ”, says David Tomás, co-founder of Cyberclick.
Although today only 2% of Alexa users have bought something by voice, no one doubts that, as confidence in these assistants increases, Internet payment will become popular without lifting a single finger. The technology already exists. “Alexa can give you search results, tell you the price, and ask you if you want me to buy it for you. Also to do promotions. If you want to postpone payments with your bank card or for us to return part of the purchase money ”, says David Tomás. And the Ocado supermarket, in the United Kingdom, already allows you to purchase Alexa. You can say: “Tell Ocaso to add tuna to my cart and that’s it. You save yourself a lot of interactions, ”says Carreras.
For Jesús Mera, “voice searches are not going to change the world of advertising, but they will be taken into account when creating content. Content that adds value to users: videos for networks, podcasts, advertising that goes beyond the classic formats of radio advertisements. You have to come up with an optimal marketing model in which to find how to provoke the reaction of users through voice announcements, from the request for information to a purchase order ”.