At the start of 2019, Amazon announced more than 100 million devices have been sold with its Alexa voice assistant software. Latest figures on Siri place it on more than 500 million devices. Since thousands of “smart home” devices are compatible with Google Home, estimates of its installed base vary – but it’s a safe bet the billion-unit mark is in sight.
In the coming years, it will be possible for users to make an ever-growing variety of requests from an ever-growing number of devices. Those devices, in turn, will collect a treasure trove of information about the users they serve and share those details with dozens of peer devices.
Over the last ten years, mobile displaced desktop as the platform of choice for accessing online content. About 81% of Americans own a smartphone. An increasing number of those are using the phone as their principal means of internet connectivity.
In 2020 and beyond, voice-enabled devices will drive a huge share of online engagement. This will include not only smartphones, but a variety of smart housewares integrated into the fabric of daily life. Each device opens the door to new marketing, advertising, and sales opportunities.
Businesses already have the technical resources they need to prepare for the voice-driven future. Unfortunately, most companies large and small have not yet started the process of adapting to it.
How Voice Integration Will Impact Website Views, Traffic, Lead Generation, and More
Voice integration will give enterprises unprecedented opportunities to reach their customers in new ways. However, it’ll also challenge assumptions about the best ways to connect and engage.
Marketing teams can no longer plan around the idea that users will read their content. Instead, website interactions will be mediated by a hands-off interface. Text will be interpreted through an additional layer of technology, read aloud by virtual assistants.
Here’s how businesses can expect the digital landscape to change:
1. New Content Must Be Optimized for Voice Platforms
What does it mean for content to be voice-optimized? For one thing, voice platforms focus on natural language queries without lots of formatting. They find and present content best when that content is concise and question-focused. Voice will also present a whole new set of search queries businesses need to build content for to ensure search visibility.
2. Advertising Must Add Voice Into the Mix
This one’s easier said than done: Thus far, voice platforms have struggled to implement onboard advertising solutions in the vein of Google Ads. However, that day is sure to come, and brands should have a team waiting in the wings to adapt their ad copy. Pay-per-click strategy will also need to adjust to fold voice into budgeting and analytics.
3. Analytics Must Evolve for New Forms of Content Consumption
The rules are about to change when it comes to measuring site success. More traffic will arise from within devices, which will make it harder to attribute traffic and determine buyer journey stage. Brands will need to work vigorously to tie site activity to users across all channels. Metrics will also change meaning, with “dwell time” becoming harder to measure.
4. Lead Generation Must Proceed Seamlessly in Voice
Lead generation will still be the foremost goal in the voice-first future. Short transactions that move users toward their immediate goals will become much more important than the long-form landing pages of today. Traditional “storytelling” techniques in sales and marketing will take a backseat to relevance, usefulness, and immediacy.
Tomorrow’s most successful enterprises will be those who prepare for the voice revolution today. For expert help getting your business ready for voice integration, contact us.