This morning my alarm went off, and after a few snoozes I got up, and technically to no one I asked, “Ok Google. What does my day look like today?” As I got ready for the day I listened to my Google Assistant tell me about the weather, the time of my first client call of the day, and an overview of Martin Luther King Day. After that it leads right into the news and other podcasts I’ve added to my queue for my morning routine. I didn’t have to scroll through my phone for 15 minutes preparing for my day or catching up with the latest news. I did everything I needed to do to get ready for the day while my Google Assistant walked me through everything I wanted to know before I left. How cool is that!? I’m not the only one doing this. People like you and me are using our devices for organizing our morning routines or just asking, “Ok Google, how do I make a quiche?” or “Alexa, what time is it?”
The best-selling item on Amazon’s entire website during the holidays was the Echo Dot. And since October, Google has sold a Google Home device every second. Voice search usage is growing rapidly on smart phones and the sales data from the holidays shows that consumers are definitely starting to use voice devices as well. According to Internet Retailer, when a shopper has an Echo device in their home, they spend 70% more on Amazon.
With voice search and voice device usage growing, how will this affect your online advertising strategy? What do you need to change now, and what should you plan to change in the future? They’re all very important things to think about.
Voice-activated speakers make consumers’ lives easier and more efficient. As we’re loading up our morning podcast and listening to Alexa tell us about the traffic for our commute, there’s more we want from these little mini assistants. According to Google, 52% of voice device owners want information about deals, sales, and promotions. 39% are looking for store locations and hours of service. 38% are looking for access to customer service.
Providing this information, making it easier for potential consumers to interact with and purchase from your brand is going to put you above your competition.
There are currently no advertising options on Google Home or Echo, but it’s only a matter a time before ad space (Do we call it space? Airwaves?) starts to pop up. Ad Age talks about the ways brands who have their products listed on Amazon can offer voice-only deals on their Amazon products and products listed on Google Express will be recommended based on the search relevance and the user’s order history. We’re definitely heading in the direction for advertisers!
While we wait, for advertising options through Google Home and Echo, there are a few ways your advertising team can start to plan and even start taking action with other members of your marketing department.
Gain Trust with Your Target Audience
Part of our job as advertisers is to gain the trust of our target audience and provide them value. Use your current advertising initiatives and other online marketing to help do that. Learn about your target audience. Create buyer personas. Write targeted content and launch highly relevant advertising campaigns. An integrated marketing strategy will prove your dedication to your audience and build relationships that will continue to shine when voice ads start to launch.
Optimize Your Brand for Voice
Think about the ways people are using their voice-activated speakers. What are they saying? How are they saying it?
Ok Google. Where can I buy a new blender?
Alexa, add light bulbs to my shopping list.
Ok Google, how do I make my own sushi?
How can you optimize your online presence to make it more likely that a voice device will share your information with the searcher? You should already be thinking about the problems and questions your target audience has when optimizing your website and content, but take it a step further by thinking about it from a conversational approach. How can you *actually* answer these questions? Once you’ve started to do this with your organic efforts, it will come naturally when it’s time to optimize for your ads.
Prep Your Target Audience for Voice Device Ads
Audio-related advertising isn’t new to anyone. Radio advertising has been around forever. Music streaming websites like Pandora and Spotify regularly run ads for their non-paying customers. Podcast listening has become wildly popular in the past year, and advertisers have jumped on that train pretty quickly. Statista predicts that advertising spend on podcasts will increase to $395 million by 2020. Advertising spend on podcasts came in at $207 million in 2017.
As people use their mobile, tablet, and voice assistant devices in their day-to-day lives more often, they’re still experiencing those audio ads that we’re used to from the radio. Make sure your brand is on the airwaves too! Is there a podcast that your brand meshes perfectly with? Does it make sense to run ads on Spotify and Pandora? Check it out and get going on it. As soon as voice assistant devices start offering advertising options, it’ll be a far more natural transition. They’ll already know the tone and voice of your brand. They’ll recognize the music or jingle you use. It won’t be as much of a disruptive experience because they already know your brand.
Just because voice assistant devices don’t have advertising options right now, doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything we can be doing now to prepare both our teams and our audiences for it. Advertising is bound to come into play with voice assistant devices – there’s a great opportunity for Google and Amazon to start generating even more money from their products, so it’s only a matter of time.