With voice search expected to make up as much as 50 percent of all search traffic by 2020, it is no wonder that there has been quite a bit of recent marketing research dedicated to exploring the role voice search will play in the future of marketing.
Why Talk About Voice Search Now?
For some time, analysts questioned whether voice search technology was strong enough to match the ambitions of early adopters like Apple, Google, and Amazon. As natural language processing improves, technological developments have proven to keep pace with user demand, which brings up the second question many analysts had about the longevity of voice search, namely, will anyone actually use it?
Here again, the results have outpaced conservative expectations. Forty percent of adults used voice search at least once per day in 2016, a number that has almost certainly increased in the wake of the increased adoption of home assistants like Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Home assistant devices saw a 128 percent year-over-year increase in 2017.
In short, the ubiquitous usage of voice search seems all but inevitable at this point. As a result, marketers need to understand the impact it will have on their marketing strategy and the role good quality data and continuous marketing research will play in your ability to beat out the competition in voice search.
Here Are Two Ways Voice Search Will Impact Your Marketing Strategy
It is impossible to forecast all the ways in which voice search may have a long-term impact on how you approach your campaigns, but there are a few immediate changes (and big opportunities) for which most marketers will want to be prepared.
#1. A Focus on Longtail Keyword Content
SEO keyword research has historically focused on specific terms or phrases that rarely exceeded three words and aligned with the way people search through traditional search engines. However, voice search has shown us that consumer searches conducted through virtual assistants like Cortana, Siri, or Alexa tend to align less with the way people search when seated in front of a computer and more with the way one naturally communicates in conversation.
As an example: a tourist in Chicago might Google “best pizza Chicago” while on a desktop. Over voice search, that same query might sound more like this: “Hey Siri, what’s the best place to get deep dish in downtown Chicago?” Notice how the voice search makes no mention of pizza; it is an assumed part of natural conversation. Search engines need to account for that, and they already are doing a pretty great job. Google’s Hummingbird update stands as a primary example of how major players in search are adjusting their algorithms to meet the demands of voice search. As a result, marketers need to adjust the way their content feeds into these new algorithms (and thus, the growing movement toward voice searches).
This is one of the main reasons marketing research points to the role of high-quality data in advancing a successful voice search strategy. In order to rank within voice search results, marketers need to understand the types of high-value content their audience wants to see. It is easy to see how this correlates on a local, B2C level (as with the pizza example cited earlier), but B2B marketers need to be making plans to adapt, too. It is not just the subject of your content, but the delivery that matters as well.
#2. A (Bigger Than Ever) Focus on Mobile
Marketers are not oblivious to the impact of mobile on the way they engage with their target audience. Mobile marketing techniques have been a part of the modern marketer’s tool belt for some time now, but the rise of voice search technology will likely push marketers to double down on their mobile strategies. Why?
Because 77 percent of Americans now own a smartphone, where virtual assistants are included by default, and Google reported that voice search made up 20 percent of their mobile queries, a number that has almost certainly risen in the two years since publication. So, in short, the confluence of mobile adoption and voice search technology means marketers need a mobile optimization strategy now more than ever. That includes improving site speeds, designing more responsive site designs, and including more video content for consumers.
How Big Data Plays Into Your Voice Search Strategy
Understanding your audience comes from marketing research and high-value customer data. To see where and how your customers make purchasing decisions, marketers need to collect, unify, clean, and enrich customer data. The future of marketing campaigns that target voice search users is no different than any other aspect of your marketing strategy in that respect; the higher quality your dataset, the more targeted you will be able to be when designing campaigns.
To ensure your company has access to the highest quality data possible, you need a data management platform like ReachForce.
ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization, and predictive marketing better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean, and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.