What is Voice Marketing and How Can Influencers Take Advantage of It?



While you recently may have started using Alexa, Siri, and/or Google to help answer your questions and help with some of your everyday tasks via voice command, voice content is not a new concept. Radio was the most popular form of in-home entertainment from the 1920s, but gave way to television in the 1950s. Since then, audio entertainment content (outside of music) never became obsolete by any means, but is now making a huge comeback in the form of podcasts and voice enabled commands and assistants.

As with all other mediums of entertainment production, the revival of audio-specific entertainment means that there is a space for marketing to move in. ‘Voice Marketing’ in particular is a new buzzword that has emerged with at-home assistants like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home (though, people sometimes forget that we’ve had Siri in our pockets since 2010).

Voice enabled assistants are so far used primarily for search (‘Alexa, what’s the weather today?’), so they’re almost like a new type of search engine. They add a new, 3-dimensional layer to content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). Usage has caught on quickly, as speaking is a simple & natural human exercise, and searches can be done hands-free. However, the biggest difference between voice assistant search and a regular Google search is that only one search result is yielded instead of every possible option.

It’s hard to say if voice marketing is the ‘next big thing,’ but according to Nielsen, 25% of households own a smart speaker (and 83.3% of all mobile phone users use an iPhone), so it’s definitely not something to be ignored. I’ve talked a lot on my blog about influencer marketing, another newer trend in the digital space, so I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how these two could be brought together.

After some research, I’ve collected a few ideas to share today on how influencers could take advantage of voice marketing. These are just my initial thoughts and opinions based on some reading, and this is still such a new concept, so I welcome any questions & comments on this post to start an educative discussion. (As a reminder, my influencer content is almost exclusively posted to Instagram, so my experience and any potential bias in this post will probably lean towards that platform.)

Create Spoken Word Content

Think about what types of content you create that can be migrated to spoken word. This is tricky, since Instagram and other top influencer platforms are primarily a visual medium. Video immediately comes to my mind, as it’s the best of both worlds (video just always performs better than static imagery anyway, as a general digital marketing rule).

Create Problem Solving Content

One way to get your information become the result of a voice search is to become a featured snippet on Google. Voice assistants often pull the answers to questions posed to them from these featured snippets.

Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 10.53.35 AM
Featured snippet from Google.com on a topic I regularly search.

To have your content become a featured snippet, it should be useful and solve a real problem – no fluff or B.S. here. Think about what people are actually searching for and make sure to answer those questions with what you create. This article is a great resource with 5 tips on how to become a featured snippet.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key here to get your content ranking high in search. Read my post on how & why influencers should utilize SEO.

Create a Skill

Create a Skill – otherwise known as an app for Amazon Echo. Some examples of existing Skills are:

  • theSkimm – News Briefing of the Day
  • Question of the Day
  • Math Problems by Bamboo
  • “The Office” Quote Game

This will enable your content to be searchable and easily utilized for entertainment, making it a great brand awareness play.

Have any more thoughts, comments, or questions on voice marketing? Like I mentioned above, my experience and research is elementary, so I welcome any additional notions!

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