Voice search and voice-activated device interfaces are starting to gain traction. As marketers, it’s time to begin reinventing how you engage with customers.

Nevermind Siri, Google Now, or Cortana. Mark Zuckerberg’s 2016 resolution is to build an Ironman-like AI bot to help him run his life. Meanwhile, Google has been prototyping a wearable Star Trek Communicator-type lapel pin; both of which presumably utilize a voice-activated or voice search interface.

At the same time, consumers are warming to the idea of interacting with their phones and wearables via voice. 33% of U.S. consumers have used a digital assistant like Siri in the past 30 days, and 37% plan to purchase a smartwatch in the next 6 months. For brands, this means it’s time to start revising the way content and creative are used to engage with customers during critical buying decision moments.

 

What voice search means for branded websites

Key point: Digital assistants can provide answers to many voice search queries without actually visiting a site. This means site traffic will drop off. However, optimizing to support instantaneous information retrieval means brands can provide high value to customers and engage in a more seamless way.

Key challenge: Adding value to customers in a voice-activated context while creating a branded experience to grow your business.

What to aim for: Enable digital assistants and voice-activated devices to be virtual brand advocates by optimizing creative and content around how they retrieve and deliver information.

What voice search means for SEM

Key point: Keyword matching will become less precise and more conversational. We are likely to see longer-tail searches phrased as questions.

Key challenge: Developing creative to match the conversational tone of voice searches while staying within the character limits of a search ad.

What to aim for: Test ad creative that poses a question to match the way customers phrase voice search queries. Also test copy phrased as the answer to a question to mirror the response a digital assistant like Siri might use to respond to a query.

 

What voice search means for SEO and content

Key point: Siri is powered by Bing which means if you aren’t focused on optimizing for Bing, you’re missing an opportunity. Moreover, since voice search is still in a nascent stage, those using voice search may skew toward being early adopters: a highly sought after psychographic among advertisers.

Key challenge: Optimizing content to provide immediate, geographically relevant answers rather than simply optimizing to keywords.

What to aim for: Ramp up your image, infographic and video content efforts: Unlike text which digital assistants can read aloud, images and videos must be delivered via the website that hosts the content. The SEO value of images and videos will grow substantially.

 

Voice search: Where to go from here

Not long ago, touch screens became the dominant method of interfacing with devices. Voice search may be the next frontier. In the short-term, voice-activated devices and voice searches are more likely to be conducted via smartphones and wearables instead of through Star Trek transponders or Ironman-like personal assistant robots. But who knows what the future holds? It’s time for marketers to start rethinking the approach to creative and content in the voice search activated user experience context.


 

About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.

The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.