Voice Activation: Are You Ready?


Remember when touch screen technology wasn’t that good? That sure changed.

And now, we have voice. In fact by 2020, Gartner predicts that 50% of all searches will be voice searches. Which means your content needs to be conversational and voice-ready.

Gulp.

No worries—we’ve got you covered.

Voice-Assisted Technology and Your Content

Siri, Alexa, Cortana … voice is here, and it’s captivating an important marketplace: More than half of teenagers use voice search every day and 37% of mobile users regularly use voice assistants.

Why voice?

  1. Faster: Most people type 40 words per minute. Voice is way faster.
  2. Easier: You can ask questions while driving, cooking, exercising, folding laundry, walking the dog …
  3. Better: Not so fast. Voice-activated technology is improving, but the marketplace is still forming. Now’s the time for digital marketers to jump in … and fast.

What you need to know about voice:

  1. Apps vs. skills: The programs that run on voice assistants are called skills. Examples include asking for Campbell’s soup recipes, ordering Domino’s pizza and controlling your appliances through Amazon Echo.
  2. Apple vs. Google vs. Amazon: The voice-activated technology space is becoming crowded. For companies starting in voice, design a voice program that you can deploy across all platforms. (This is like the days of Betamax vs. VCR. Don’t get stuck on the platform—and I date myself with that example.)
  3. Conversation: You’re a major hospital system in the United States, building a skill for your healthcare content. The promise? People can ask their voice assistant to tell them how to take out a splinter or how to care for a sprained ankle. But to succeed, the content has to sound conversational. Otherwise, people will avoid asking you for that type of information.
  4. Voice isn’t voice only: Don’t think you have to jump to creating skills for your brand. Rather, begin thinking about brand conversations that would make sense as you plan your future content.
  5. Measurement: Understanding the measurement behind voice is still complex, but some ideas include:
    • What are the utterances? (These are like keywords.)
    • How long do they engage in the course of a session? (Similar to measuring page or site visit.)
    • When do they drop off? (What is the bounce rate?)
    • Who is using the voice assistant?

Promoting a new skill also raises a question: How do you let your audiences know they can find your content on a voice assistant?

Whatever happens, voice is going to be taking up a larger part of your portfolio soon. Remember when social media was just a fad? Or you didn’t need a mobile website because most people weren’t using smartphones?

Get ahead of this new trend by understanding that all of your content needs to be ready for voice. The No. 1 way to do that? Approach it like you would your written content—make it conversational, clear and personable.

Make good decisions about your next move with voice.