Voice-enabled ads are shaping up as an interesting new advertising option on mobile, with promises of helping marketers move beyond the static banner ad to take meaningful advantage of the unique features found on smartphones.
What are voice-enabled ads?
According to Instrematic, voice-enabled dialogue ads allow users to speak with ads, literally having an emotional conversation with the brand. People are more likely to remember and respond to what has been verbally stated than just seen or heard.
These ads allow listeners to respond to a brand’s call-to-action by asking for more information about a product, placing a direct order or completely skipping past the ad. At the beginning of each interactive voice ad, users are informed that they are listening to a new type of ad that requires verbal engagement. If the user says “no” or does not respond within a few seconds, music or podcast playback resumes.
How brands can use voice-enabled ads to enhance their message?
Consumers are adopting voice technology at record rates — and brands must keep up or risk losing out to competitors.
Many brands understand that more and more people are turning to voice assistance. Consumer adoption of voice technology has been faster than any product since the smartphone, and we’re expecting to see 91 million people in the U.S. using this technology once a month by 2020, according to eMarketer.
Given the velocity at which this revolution is moving, it’s imperative for brands to begin experimenting in the space now.
Interactive voice ads offer the opportunity for brands to reach listeners wherever they are, especially during busy moments such as driving, cooking or exercising, when it may be difficult to click an ad. By adding a layer of engagement, advertisers may be able to gain more insights on what users are interested in, which can enhance targeting opportunities.
The interactive voice ad format rolls out at a time when consumers have become more accustomed and comfortable talking to digital voice assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri. In fact, voice commerce is predicted to grow to more than $80 billion by 2023, mainly through digital purchases.
Voice-based ads could enable brands to generate dialogue with customers – How?
- Voice-enabled ads with huge potential
Voice represents a whole new channel for reaching consumers, and brands are currently dealing with how to integrate it into the customer journey as a self-service tool, point-of-purchase and digital advertising platform.
According to the recent Adobe insights report, users respond more positively towards voice-enabled ads than others. It states that 38% of consumers that have come across voice ads have found them to be less intrusive than traditional ads which generally come across in TV, print, social media etc. And, 39% believe these ads are more engaging. The study of Instreamatic.ai, the partner behind Pandora’s voice ad program, found that voice-enabled ads were 10X more effective than others.
Currently, brands rely heavily on smart speakers like Echo and Google Assistant to reach their consumers. Neither of these platforms allows brands to run their own ads, although they can sponsor podcasts.
Instead, brands build “Skills” that enable customers to find information, perform purchases and other transactions or, less often, engage with the brand through an interactive experience.
Voice-enabled ads enables brands to develop relationships with key audience segments in more meaningful and natural ways, which ultimately drives business growth.
- Voice-enabled ads deliver personalized experiences
People who own voice-enabled speakers’ welcome brands as part of the experience. And they are open to receiving information that is helpful and relevant to their lifestyle. If brands can understand how, where, and why their customers use voice, they can find natural connections between the brand and their consumer’s needs — and provide meaningful assistance. Because voice technology is so new, the key is to harness multiple data sources to get reliable, usable information. This way, brands can deliver personalized, tailored, and frictionless experiences when their customers’ needs them the most.
- Voice advertising opportunities
According to Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google), good marketing is based on knowing where your audience is. If you can create ads in a different format that is ultimately improving people’s lives, making the shopping experience easier, or finding your content much more engaging, that will be a winner. And, there needs to be a definite element of balance between ad revenue, consumer value and context.
With voice assistants being a modern convenience, they can blend our physical and digital experiences. Voice devices are hands-free and highly-contextual, allowing users to seamlessly engage with the web without drawing attention away from their surroundings. In terms of advertising, marketers can use voice technology to respond to these contextual activities. As a prime example, 71% of smart speaker owners use them to create shopping lists. Marketers could personalize ad deployments based on these lists while offering recommendations for similar products. Meanwhile, approximately 62% of customers use voice assistants to make direct purchases, a market that is projected to reach $40 billion by 2022. That makes voice advertising a field marketer cannot afford to ignore.
- Voice ads – a new medium of communication
Advertising has always been about connecting with consumers on their terms. And, by now, it’s entirely clear those terms and conditions are changing at an exceptional rate. Voice advertising is still nascent, introducing new ways to reach people.
“You need a platform that can keep up with the rapidly changing advertising landscape across new channels and formats, but you also need to ensure that those efforts are working in concert with how the rest of your company is producing creative assets, segmenting audiences, and analyzing data based on a common source of truth.” CMO of Adobe.
A new era of digital advertising is emerging—and advertisers must focus on the total experience and delivering value. Although it’s difficult to predict exactly where technology and advertising will go, it’s fairly clear that mobility and flexibility is at the center of everything. So, it’s important to blend technical expertise with creative strategy. Combining these technologies can produce exponentially superior ads and results. It also lets the brand know how frequently people buy a product and when they are in a position to make a purchase.
Regardless of your ad strategy, it’s important to remember that brands exist in the minds of the customer. The key to optimizing for voice ad is knowing what the questions are likely to be, and why our product is the answer.
- Testing and Learning
Like any other form of advertising, before venturing forth a brand must consider fundamental questions like, does this further my brand? Is this the story I want to tell? and does this matter to my audience? It’s also important to push boundaries and think about new ways to use the technology. Brands that put a stake in the ground and experiment with how voice can improve people’s lives will be ahead of their competitors.
Not sure how to get started? Here’s what you can do today.
At Vogo Voice, we know that developing a voice strategy isn’t easy. There is generally no precedent for voice technology at most organizations and no two companies are exactly the same in their branding, consumer base, level of infrastructure etc. But we’ve developed some resources that can help and put together a list of consideration to get your brand started,
- Think about your competition: How is your brand uniquely positioned to assist consumers via voice technology?
- Understand your consumers’ behavior on voice: Optimize content for how people use voice.
- Respond to consumers with answers related to your business.
- Ensure digital assistants have accurate, real-time information about consumers
- Build a strategy for the entire customer journey, from discovery to action: How can your voice app be beneficial throughout the entire customer journey ?
- Test and learn: Keep testing and iterating to ensure your voice strategy is driving real business results. Encourage a culture of experimentation, because that’s what will put you ahead of competitors.
We truly believe that voice is the future of marketing. Brands that want to see long-term gains tomorrow must start investing in voice technology today.