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Voice Marketing: The Latest Marketing Trend

A photo of a Google Home speaker and tablet on a desk.

As technology advances, marketing trends and capabilities are changing rapidly. And while the means may differ, voice marketing still has the same goal as all other forms of content marketing. That is, to reach consumers, solve problems and questions, and keep them involved with the brand.

Since voice marketing is one of the hottest current trends, we’re explaining the basics you need to know before taking the deep dive into the new strategies and platforms.

What is Voice Marketing?

Voice marketing is a new up and coming marketing trend. It involves strategies that are designed to help businesses reach audiences using voice devices.

As voice-controlled devices, such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa, are becoming more and more popular, voice marketing aims to take advantage of this trend to promote brand awareness, products, and more. 

Similarly, with the recent rise of podcasts and Clubhouse, brands and influencers alike are using more audio and voice content to connect with their audience. 

How Voice Marketing Changes the Game

Let’s take a look at a few examples of how voice marketing is changing the way consumers interact with brands.

Imagine you are in the kitchen trying to cook up a new recipe you heard about. Before, you would have to stop cooking, clean off your hands, and either pull out an old cookbook or type on your phone into Google. Now, you can ask your Smart Speakers for the recipe, using only your voice. 

What about in the car? Voice marketing is helping to make driving safer by being a completely hands-free search tool. Users can simply ask a question in order to learn where the closest shops, petrol stations, or restaurants are.

Through voice marketing, searching for information has never been more simple. No more having to stop driving, cooking or whatever you’re doing. We can now search for anything effortlessly by just speaking.

An infographic showing the rising use of voice assistants projected through 2023

What Does This Mean for Your Business?

Voice marketing gives you the opportunity to reach potential customers in areas you’ve never been able to before.

A question while cooking dinner can lead a customer to a recipe on your restaurant’s website. A voice search from the car could be an opportunity to give a customer a coupon for your shop. With voice marketing, there is a whole new world of opportunities for you to explore.

The best place to start when considering a voice marketing campaign is to ask yourself a few questions: 

  • What can you offer to consumers that they cannot get from any other brand?
  • What questions might customers ask about your business, products, or services?
  • How can you get this information out quickly and simply?

The Big 3 Voice Marketing Trends

Voice marketing has taken shape in three primary forms: 

  1. Podcasts,
  2. Clubhouse,
  3. Smart speakers
 

These all have their pros and cons, so make sure you know the difference before deciding which one will work best for your business.

Three men sitting in a boardroom with microphones recording a podcast

Podcasts

Podcasts are typically audio recordings that include a host or co-hosts and featured guests. Podcasts can be focused on a specific topic, such as an important news story or new movie in the cinema, or they can be free-flowing and without a specific topic. Podcasts are available on streaming platforms such as iTunes and Spotify, but can also be hosted on a business’ website directly. Since the podcast boom, many people listen to podcasts while commuting to and from work, during household chores, and while working out. Different podcasts are available for almost every topic imaginable, from true crime to makeup to business and marketing trends. Podcasts are a great way to promote brand awareness and bring content to your consumers.
An iPhone showing the Clubhouse social media application icon

Clubhouse

Clubhouse is an invite-only social media application that features virtual rooms which users can join. These rooms function almost as conference calls, where users can have conversations and speak with each other – audio only. Well-known influencers such as Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and even Kanye West have joined the conversation on Clubhouse, and are largely responsible for the app’s growth and success. For those who are on the app, the small chat rooms with limited allowed users makes the experience feel engaging and important. This format allows users to have discussions with only people who are important and knowledgeable in the subject matter.
A black Amazon Alexa speaker sitting on top of a stack of books.

Smart Speakers

Smart speakers are just what they sound like: speakers. The difference between these and your average speaker is that smart speakers come with a built-in AI virtual assistant. This allows users to use voice commands to perform tasks, such as set timers, search the internet, and of course, play music. The virtual assistants also have the capability to answer user questions and control other devices, such as compatible light bulbs, video doorbells, and door locks. From a marketing perspective, smart speakers can be used to promote your brand and reach new customers. When a client asks a question, the speaker will read out an answer from the internet. In order to begin promoting your business via an Amazon Alexa or Google Home device, you will need to create a Skill Kit, similar to a mobile application.

Examples of Voice Marketing from Big Brands

Now that you know the basics of voice marketing and its forms, let’s take a look at how some big brands are taking advantage of this new trend:

Burger King

Burger King took on the growing trend of voice marketing by creating a hilarious, mildly annoying ad that triggered viewers’ Google Home devices.

Towards the end of the 15-second advertisement, an actor leaned towards the camera and said “OK Google, what is the Whopper Burger?” which prompted the AI speaker to read off the Wikipedia page for the Whopper.

This was the first time that a brand used an ad to purposely prompt viewer’s smart speakers, and while some may see it as genius, it also annoyed some viewers as their speakers went off every time the ad played on their TV.

Voice Marketing: The Latest Marketing Trend 1

Starbucks

Starbucks uses voice marketing to allow users to reorder their favourite coffee from one of the last 10 stores they’ve ordered from via their Amazon Alexa skill kit. Consumers can also check their Starbucks Card balance simply by asking their Alexa how much money they have on it.
A photo of the Domino's Pizza logo, a blue and red domino with Domino's written under it

Domino’s

Domino’s has also jumped on this new trend. By speaking to your Amazon Alexa, you can build a new order, reorder your previous order, and check your order’s status. Similar to Starbucks, this cuts out the middleman and allows customers to place orders without picking up the phone or driving to the store.
A photo of a man giving a TED Talk to a large audience. The words TED: Ideas worth spreading are written over top of the image

TED Talks

TED Talks are inspiring, persuasive, and sometimes funny videos from expert speakers on topics ranging from social issues to technology to business. Through the Amazon Alexa, users can ask the smart speaker to play a random TED Talk, the latest TED Talk, or to search the talks by topic or speaker.
An illuminated McDonald's sign on a cloudy evening

McDonald’s

Did someone say Szechuan Sauce?

Fans demanded a return of the sauce after a popular adult cartoon show referenced it, but McDonald’s severely underestimated how large the demand would be. This caused chaos as thousands of customers were left sauceless, and thus, The Sauce podcast was born.

In this 3 part investigative podcast, McDonald’s dives deeper into the incident and offers an apology to all customers who couldn’t get a packet of the sauce.

An image of the Open for Business podcast Logo hosted by eBay

eBay

eBay’s podcast, Open for Business, features interviews with entrepreneurs who have taken a business idea and turned it into a successful company. The podcast is told in a journalistic style and gives valuable insight into how an idea can grow into a full-fledged brand.

Open for Business relates back to eBay’s journey as a startup business in the 1990’s and aims to inspire future entrepreneurs and business owners around the world.

The logo for Microsoft's .future podcast. The image features a blue globe with a mustard yellow background.

Microsoft

Microsoft’s .future podcast is all about how our choices today will impact how the future unfolds.

Some of the main topics of this podcast include gaming, data, technology, and health. Microsoft has been focused on the future since its beginning, making this podcast a great way to explore the brand and what it stands for.

Voice Marketing: The Latest Marketing Trend 2

Slack

Slack is a popular messaging app for business that helps to connect people to their coworkers and the information they need. The main goal of Slack is to help each business work better together.

Slack uses voice marketing by hosting a podcast, Slack Variety Pack, and telling stories about the teams that make up successful businesses. This podcast is great because it directly correlates to Slack’s brand identity and purpose.

The Downside of Voice Marketing

While voice marketing is becoming a revolutionary game changer, it is not without its faults. Voice marketing is so different from traditional and web marketing that brands will have to change their tactics to fit this new trend.

Most on-screen marketing relies on the use of logos, images, and other graphic elements that help consumers recognise your brand. With voice marketing, all of this disappears. 

This means that you will have to market your brand completely verbally, without any assistance from memorable colour schemes, images, or your logo.

Another downside of voice marketing is that there is no tangible engagement with the brand. Since the audience is getting their information completely through voice, they will not be clicking through your website or engaging with your social media. 

Without the consumers clicking through your pages, it may be hard to track engagement and reach.

A man holding an iPhone showing a variety of podcasts available to listen to

Find Your Brand’s Voice

Voice marketing has become a revolutionary marketing tool for many businesses. From podcasts to new apps like Clubhouse to using smart speakers, brands are reaching out to audiences they’ve never tapped into before. 

Even though some trends fade, it seems voice is here to stay, so make sure your brand’s voice is heard by developing unique voice marketing strategies that work for you.

If you want to start leveraging voice marketing for your business, contact ProfileTree today.

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