How Will Voice Search Affect Your Business?

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voice search, branding, marketing 2018

Your expectations are high, as are your customer’s expectations of you. You’ve got to provide them with a rich online experience. You need to give them an immediate answer to their problems.

So, as 2017 comes to a close and you prepare for 2018, what’s next? How can you keep up with the kind of marketing that makes a difference?  

With voice search!

We’ll examine why voice intelligence is quickly taking over and how it can affect your business on a global scale.

What is Voice Search and Does It Really Matter?

Voice search, which is the ability to talk into a device like Siri, Google or Alexa and get an immediate answer back, is becoming a powerful tool for businesses everywhere.

It may already be in your home (like the Amazon Echo), or in your car (like the Apple CarPlay). In China, it’s called the Ling Long Ding Dong (really, it is!) along with over an additional dozen voice activated systems that have flooded the Chinese market.

As you’ll see, this is only the beginning. The future of visual search and voice intelligence is here—are you and your business ready?

Why voice search?

While we can get any answer that we need to conduct business, to communicate with others on a global scale and to learn through typing in the search box, our voice is proving to be a more powerful tool.

On average, humans speak four times faster than we type—so, the beauty of voice search is two-fold. On one hand, it facilitates our need to move fast. On the other hand, it’s a more natural way to ask for what we want without the interruption of having to type it out.

We have an inherent desire to learn, evolve, and move quickly—all of which voice search technology allows us to do.

As a business owner, you strive to stay on top of your competition, and most of all, maintain a high consumer retention and engagement rate. It’s the hallmark of your marketing strategy. Voice search will strengthen your ability to meet your goals on three levels. 

The Search Engine

Long form content is out, and it’s no longer enough to depend on blog posts or basic SEO practices as your sole marketing plan. Driving traffic, gaining leads and keeping up with your competition is all about streamlining the sales funnel as quickly as possible.

This is the beauty of voice search.

When a potential (or returning) customer uses voice search, they’ll find what they’re looking for immediately. Just a few seconds of searching by typing can lead to distraction, second guessing or engaging in a competitor’s ad instead of searching through your site.

Searching by voice will lead to faster interaction, and a higher engagement and retention rate.

The Consumer

Getting the answers your consumers are immediately looking for means that humans, by nature, have become lazy. We want what we want now, and the sooner we can get it, the more engaged we will become.

The desire of your consumer is not just to get immediate answers, but to do less while still receiving more. Voice search will deliver the answers your market requires in the time they need.

Your Business

You can’t boost lead generation efforts or increase sales with your existing customer base if they don’t trust you and the services you offer. Your business depends on your customers having a rich, valuable experience.

They trust that as soon as they speak into Alexa or Siri, they’re going to have the answer they need (whether it’s learning what the weather is like in Austin this weekend, what video game they should buy their son for Christmas or what movies are playing at their local theater).

Think voice search won’t impact your business? Think again. In the next year, voice-enabled speakers are expected to grow by 130%

Whether you’re a small business owner or have a large company to run, staying on top is about enhancing customer loyalty. Not only does voice search allow you to do this, but it also gives you the ability to tap into the ‘do less and get more’ human behavior and expectation your market needs in order to stay engaged.

The Amazon Experience: Customer Engagement We Can Learn From

If you’ve ever bought something from Amazon.com, you may know that during check-out, you’re presented with a list of ‘recommended’ items, or items other customers (who bought the same one you’re about to) have added to their cart. Amazon also keeps customers engaged by email marketing with a purpose. They don’t just send out promotional emails, but emails alerting you to an Amazon Prime ‘perk’ you may not be utilizing, or promotional points from their pantry you were awarded because you chose ‘no rush shipping’ for your last purchase.

Voice Search Intelligence—Surpass Their Expectation (And Yours!)

Voice search will allow you to fulfill the expectation you have for your business, and the expectation your customers place on you. Their expectations are met because they are shown your service as the answer for their needs within seconds. Think about how this can benefit and support your goals. When someone types in the search box, “Where to find low cost refrigerators in Houston,” your business will pull up in the search results, along with your competitor’s business, and a couple of dozen others.

This requires the consumer to engage with many, and to choose, often by instant gratification—not necessarily the best choice for them. Voice search is about giving them the best answer—and one answer.

The opportunity to optimize correctly is now. When you assert yourself as the authority in your industry, your business will boom. Thanks to voice search, your marketing strategy has never been more powerful.

“You can type 38-40 words per minute on a mobile device, but you can speak at least 150 words per minute.” —Purna Virji, Senior Manager of Global Engagement, Microsoft

According to a recent study, 71 percent of people use voice assist products (Alexa, Siri, Cortana) for utilitarian tasks (asking a question to search for something specific). Being a leader in your field and as an authority in your industry is your goal—but customer loyalty and engagement is the pathway to your goals.

The Future of Voice Search is Here – Are You Ready?

With an increased movement towards smart homes, smart cars and smarter online searches, your ability to understand your customer’s journey, concerns and immediate desires have never been easier to understand—and best of all—accommodate. Your time is now. Just ask Cortana, or Siri, Alexa or Google!