Writing is silver, talking is gold. The trend towards the Internet of the voice is currently changing quite a bit. For example, the search on the Internet or the importance of audio in the digital world. Because the voice is the new interface between humans and the Internet. How does this affect marketing, SEO, content & Co.? And: how do you talk in the new audio universe?
The power of spoken word
In the digital world, language is currently gaining a new position of power. Digital language assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri are on the rise. You open the gates to the Internet universe on request. And make the voice-controlled online search (Voice Search) possible.
Language is the new connection to the digital world. Whether in the flight search. When scheduling. Or online shopping. This development is known by the term Internet of the Voice – also called the Internet of Language or Internet of Voice. In which areas consumers prefer to shop via language assistants, the results of a survey by Statista.
Benefits of Voice Search
Why Digital Voice Assistants and Voice Search Conquer the World?
The reasons are many:
- Talking saves time: You can type about 40 words per minute, but 150 speak. So you talk almost four times faster than you write.
- Language is intuitive: you do not have to think long and hard about what you say. Language is the most natural form of interaction.
- Speaking is comfortable: you have your hands free for other activities.
- Speaking is interactive: many users experience the dialogue with their language assistants like a conversation with a friend or relative.
- Talking gives mindfulness: Speech assistants give users the concentration their smartphones have taken away from them. This was stated by 1,500 users of Google Home and Amazon Echo in a Google survey. “It’s more interactive and it’s much harder to get your smartphone out. […] Somehow we are all always in the here and now “, says one participant and speaks for many test persons.
All these benefits give users maximum convenience. And that beats everything, even concerns about privacy and privacy. So it brings journalist, blogger, and ex-advertiser Sascha Lobo to the point. Many users even prefer the use of language assistants to a conversation with a human. The reasons for this are shown in the following survey by Statista.
How does a brand sound?
When speaking is the new writing, hearing is the new seeing. This makes it even more important for brands to develop a strong audio identity. How does the brand speak? With which voice? Which tonality suits her? And how does it sound different than its competitors? Brands that can answer these questions are also talking to Voice Search.
Only a few brands score with their own audio identity. These include Seitenbacher, Carglass, Ikea and Merci. But how do they communicate via language assistants in the future? Are Siri or Google Assistant the furniture giant Ikea? Or does Jonas, the Ikea voice with a Swedish accent, speak?
Either way, companies can not stop thinking about the right sound for their brand – for economic reasons alone.
Product names on the test bench
More and more consumers are buying online through language assistants. Therefore, the name of a product plays an increasingly important role. Do the target groups remember him quickly? Can consumers and language assistants easily pronounce it? Does it fit the tonality and emotionality of the audio brand?
Impact on marketing
Digital language assistants are changing consumer behavior. Because what happens when you ask Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri to order laundry detergent? Then you let the language assistant decide which product you actually buy.
How they make their decision is not yet final. However, by tracking user habits, they know whether a user prefers cheap or expensive products. Or if he has recently been informed about a particular detergent. Or they show solidarity with their parent company: Alexa, for example, selects only Amazon’s own brands.
One thing is for sure: Digital language assistants need audible content. Companies and brands should, therefore, align their messages to voice-based artificial intelligence. And so that the digital helpers find the company, its brands and topics, prefer and have all the information that is interesting for the target groups.
The alternative? A company or product simply occupies the top spot in the relevant set of the user. Then he instructs his language assistant to explicitly order this product.
If people communicate with machines verbally in the future, the rules of the game are different from those for visual communication. Because the human eye can see many messages at once. But the ears only hear one word after another.
Companies should, therefore, optimize their messages for language assistants and create them according to readable content. Only in this way do they enable the digital helpers to reproduce their contents comprehensibly for the user. In the future, this will become more and more important for the ranking in the search engines.
Write for the Internet of the vote
For search engines and users, understandable texts are essential. For the latter only hear one word after another. So how do you write the vote for the internet?
Tips for easy-to-understand audio content:
- Short, clear sentences
- More monosyllabic than polysyllabic words
- Avoid nominal style
- Spoken instead of written language
- Formulate active instead of passive
- Waiver of foreign words and official language
- Correct grammar, spelling and punctuation
- Round up or down numbers
- Repetitions instead of synonyms
- Pictorial language
SEO for Voice Search
The verbal search on the Internet of the voice influences how is asked. In the text-based browser search, users usually enter only one to three search terms. Your language-based search, on the other hand, leans more strongly on the spoken language. Instead of individual keywords, they formulate short sentences with an average of seven words or more. The following tips show how to counteract this:
Optimize content on long tail keywords: These are short sentences or word combinations with two to four compound terms. These should be chosen in such a way that they correspond to natural usage.
The focus of the oral search is mainly W-questions (what, who, where, how, when, why?). For these questions, users expect a natural sounding answer.
Including W-questions in texts – if possible in the headings: Sometimes it makes sense to pick up these questions in metadata such as title and description.
Creating an FAQ section: This is useful when target groups and customers ask many and frequently recurring questions about a company or product. Voice search results are best fed with short, accurate answers.
Customer service ask for frequent verbal formulations from customers: It is advisable to include their wording in their own texts.
Currently, voice search is especially popular on mobile devices. The regional search is in the foreground.
And that’s three times more often than with a text-based search.
Make an entry in the Google MyBusiness business directory: Company data should be regularly maintained and updated. So companies are also found by their target groups in local searches.
If the language assistants provide their users with long lists of results, as in the case of a text-based search, they switch off quickly. For acoustically, they can only capture one word after the other. Voice Search is more likely to rank the top 3 in the ranking than the top 20.
Optimizing Content for Direct-Answer Boxes: Google strives to respond to more and more searches directly. If content appears as an answer box for keywords in the Extended Search results, the Google Assistant will most likely read it out to the user. Direct answer texts should be about 40-50 words long.
The Internet of the Voice is on the rise. This is supported by the following data:
- 56% of all German internet users use a language assistant. This was the result of a study by Kantar TNS in November 2017.
- 50% of consumers use voice control in everyday life.
- 50% are interested in shopping through language assistants. This is the result of a recent study by KPMG and the IFH in Cologne.
- The number of digital language assistants in the US increased by 128% in 2017. By the end of 2020, they will be present in 75% of households, according to the estimate. Even today, every sixth household in the US speaks with a smart assistant.
- 1/7 of the world’s population already uses voice search. 50% of global online searches will be voice-based by 2020, experts predict.
Consistent application areas
Marketing has the opportunity to use voice assistants to engage in genuine conversations with customers and prospects. This makes products of tangible and fast queries possible. The digital helpers are also suitable as product consultants. The pants supplier Alberto is doing it. In his concept store in Mönchengladbach, language assistant Alexa has consultations with clients. That creates emotions and a special, sustainable shopping experience, says Alberto.
Even in customer support, language assistants make sense. Because many customers prefer to telephone rather than read error messages, instructions or FAQs. A smart voice assistant can also defuse critical conversational situations – only through his neutral attitude.
Language assistants even provide good entertainment through advertising. This shows the US TV channel, Fox. He advertised his new series “24 Legacy” via Amazon’s language assistants. Alexa invited the users to an interactive game. They had 24 seconds to complete oral tasks. Language assistants also allow verbal forums and blogs. So they create new options for content marketing. Because language makes a forum contribution suddenly part of a group discussion.
Even on the Internet of the voice, e-commerce will not get along without pictures. Therefore, shopping through language assistants is currently more akin to products such as detergents or batteries rather than buying a car. But: Amazon offers, for example, now with Echo Show already a Smartspeaker with a screen. Thus, the lane is free for voice-controlled video campaigns.
The fewest brands are still prepared for this growth market. But Amazon Alexa is already getting to know the preferences of their users. This makes it even more important for companies to intercept new users on the first shopping attempt via Alexa. And to catapult your brand or your product up the search algorithms as fast as possible.
So it pays off to position brands and companies on the Internet as quickly as possible.