Voice assistants have become a staple of many people’s lives–whether in the form of independent smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo or Google Home; or embedded into your favorite smartphone, electronics and appliances powered by artificial intelligence software like Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. Despite their fast-growing popularity, the realm of voice assistants and voice-enabled technology has gone largely untapped for many brands who struggle to create a presence for any of its 3.25 billion users.
Interested in breaking this trend to create engaging content for your brand’s voice assistant? Here are some crucial things to consider before jumping into your content strategy for voice assistants.
What are voice assistants?
Voice assistants are a type of AI-powered software that audibly communicate with their users, responding to voice commands and performing desired tasks. Also referred to as Conversational User Interfaces (CUI), this kind of software uses human language to present a more natural and approachable experience for users. In recent years, voice assistants have reduced if not eliminated the learning curve that usually accompanies new technologies, requiring little knowledge to be able to operate them.
What kind of content can voice assistants support?
Not to be cliché, but the possibilities are endless when it comes to generating content for voice assistants. Though most commonly, users employ voice assistants to seek information (e.g. weather, online searches); perform basic tasks (e.g. set alarms, make lists); stream content; and so on. But there’s a goldmine of opportunity for brands to create excellent interactive and engaging experiences for their potential customers. Content is delivered to smart assistants via voice applications. Voice Applications take the form of Skills on Amazon Alexa, Actions on Google Assistant, Capsules on Samsung Bixby, or automated voice experiences via Telephone Voice.
Why should brands care about voice assistants?
Voice assistants provide ease, efficiency, and simplicity to the user experience, and the already wildly popular technology is only predicted to grow considerably over the next few years. Voice assistants give brands the opportunity to deliver relationship building experiences at scale. Because many brands have been slow to jump on this bandwagon, those who do are bound to snatch the attention of a massive, listening market.
Your brand’s tone of voice
The most exciting advantages of voice-enabled content lie in the potential for more conversational interactions. If you intend to create an engaging presence through voice, it’s important to keep your brand’s ‘voice’ in mind. Just as a marketer might consider a unified brand logo, or color scheme within visuals and copy, your voice-enabled content should be distinct and consistent in tone, style, language, and sound (for more on sonic branding guidance, click here).
The structure of a voice command
Voice assistants use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to respond to the user’s voice commands. When listening for instructions to perform a task, voice assistants search for 3 indicators in our sentences: utterance, intent, and entity. Utterances simply describe the language itself, or the sentence a user says. When the voice assistant receives the utterance, AI steps in to derive an intent, or what the user is trying to achieve with their command. Entity personalizes the intent based on user habits and past commands. If someone asked their Amazon Alexa, “Order my favorite coffee,” the utterance would be the sentence itself; the intent would be for Alexa to place an order for a single coffee from a nearby shop; and the entity would specify the order as an iced oat milk latte from the cafe around the corner. Having an understanding of the way voice assistants actually receive, process, and act upon information will serve your brand well when crafting content for this format.
When users interact with voice assistants
It’s rather insightful for brands to research when and where users will engage with their content. Depending on the device, some assistants will be supported in certain kinds of places more than others. For instance, a partnership with an innovative car company may introduce voice assistant integration into its vehicles, fully embracing hands-off activation. However, if users do not have privacy in their cars or homes, their comfort in using a voice assistant may shift. Overall, understanding users’ relationships with their voice-activated technology will help you to craft a more effective marketing strategy for these channels.
How users prefer to interact with voice assistants
Bundled with other user tendencies are their general habits in interacting with voice-activated technologies. Do customers seek information or entertainment, and do they prefer doing so on a mobile device or a stationed device, like an Echo? Again, having this kind of information will be advantageous as your brand moves forward in crafting its marketing strategy. After all, having the ability to reach your consumer base in a way in which they’ll be most receptive is game-changing when it comes to establishing strong and memorable customer relationships.
What your brand wants to accomplish while using voice assistants
No marketing strategy is complete without looking at your brand’s bigger picture. With access to a plethora of revolutionary marketing tools, brands are able to map out just what kind of relationships they want to establish with customers, how voice technology is quickly becoming a must-have channel, and how this will ultimately drive momentous growth. Before investing the time, money, and effort into these strategies, be clear about how your brand will benefit by maintaining some kind of brand presence through these technologies.
The world of voice assistants is complex and deeply intertwined with the way that users depend on their technology; but carving out some space for your brand in this format can only bring it more exposure, reputability, and potential customers.
Ready to take the next step in generating brand content for voice assistants? Learn more about fine-tuning your presence to attract and retain potential customers!