As part of the AI Academy for Marketers membership, we offer monthly Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions with leading industry experts. We chat about everything from technology trends, use cases, lessons learned, to much more.
This post offers an inside look into the latest, exclusive members-only session with Scot Westwater, CCO & Co-Founder, Pragmatic Digital, and Susan Westwater, CEO & Co-Founder, Pragmatic Digital. During the session, the co-founders discussed the current opportunities available to marketers in voice search and strategy—all questions stemming from their short courses offered in the AI Academy for Marketers (linked below).
- Voice 101 for Business: Understand the Who, What and Why [Short Course]
Below is a quick video from our chat, followed by top takeaways from the conversation.
Can you explain what voice is?
Voice is any interaction that allows you to control your computer with your voice. It could be through your remote control, a speaker, your phone, or even a kiosk. Basically, it’s a new way to input content into a computer device. And voice search is the gateway to the larger voice world.
What’s the most common entry point into voice for a brand?
Voice search is the gateway or entry point. A lot of brands understand search and are doing optimization already. The key difference is, instead of keywords, you’re focusing on long-tail search. Beyond that, you should look at your customer journey for skills and/or actions—especially if you want to do some R&D and test the water.
Because voice is relatively new, there aren’t established user patterns. If you want to understand how people will interact with your brand on voice, the only way to do it is to create something!
What is the biggest near term opportunity for marketers getting started with voice?
Look at optimizing content that you already have. It’s all about long-tail, and answering those specific questions that matter to your consumer. SEO isn’t an overnight proposition.
Ask yourself: What are the problems you have right now and your customer journey? If your issue is retention, is it a customer service play? Is it taking your frequently asked questions and making it more accessible? These will help you realize the opportunities available for strong voice content.
Is the voice search an SEO person or a voice strategist? Who is figuring that out?
It’s an SEO problem, but being brought to the forefront by a voice strategist. Generally the SEO community has taken a stance of, it’s no different so we don’t have to treat it differently. And if you’re optimizing for 2021 best practices, that’s true. But, there are still so many brands that are focused on keywords. Stop thinking about it as a keyword play and more as a longtail play. After all, only a third of all websites are optimized for longtail search. There’s an opportunity to start optimizing for these longer phrases.
How do I get my brand heard?
Start answering those key questions and speak to those in your voice strategy: What are the problems I’m solving? What pieces of information do people ask about my product or service?
A defined customer journey helps you prioritize the questions people are asking at what phase. Is the content you have now working? If it is working, use it. If not, then update that content in general.
Do not take your content from the website and slap it into a voice experience. The idea is to use those golden nuggets and turn that into a conversation and think that through. Ultimately, understand what you have to work with and tweak the best content for audio or voice.
What's next for voice?
It’s estimated that by 2023 voice commerce will be worth $80 billion dollars. For anyone doing e-commerce /CPG retail, it’s time to start paying attention. It’s between $7-8 billion right now, so that’s a tremendous jump.
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Sandie Young was formerly the Director of Marketing at Ready North. She started at the agency during the summer of 2012, with experience in magazine journalism and a passion for content marketing. Sandie is a graduate of Ohio University, with a Bachelor of Science from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.