Ultimate Short Read 

These days, we're all used to having helpful, automated robots in our homes. The advent of voice-activated smartphones and smart speakers (we'll also accept Roombas) has meant that the daily hustle and bustle of our lives becomes quicker, easier and more efficient. But what does that mean for the decades of content and advertising specifically designed for more traditional text-based Google searches? Ultimate brings you this report. 

Digital Marketing. It’s digital by name, and digital by nature -  as our partners at HubSpot point out: ‘Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time.’ That means that Digital Marketing in its purest sense is simply about marketing on a digital platform - that is, online. Whether we’re talking about those Google Ads that always seem to know where you’ve been (we’re looking at you, re-marketing campaigns) or well-written website copy, digital marketing means appearing to your end user in every way possible and beneficial, as well as making sure your online content always... well, hits the mark. 

So, how do new forms of technology change digital marketing? What are the new platforms and modes of communication presenting themselves as Digital Marketing opportunities in 2020? One of the most obvious and overlooked of these is Voice Search capabilities on smartphones, and smart speakers: present in so many of our lives, and increasingly replacing the trusty keyboard. What does Voice Search mean for your marketing ? Ultimate investigates. 


New Tech, New Marketing


With the advent of technologies like voice search optimization, Digital Marketing has had to take new and exciting forms. Considered an over-the-top proposition or even ridiculous idea just a few years ago, voice-activated search has become a cornerstone of our modern lives. After all, with 1 in 5 households in the UK possessing a virtual voice assistant or ‘smart speaker’ like Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant, that’s not an opportunity that businesses can afford to pass up. 

When searches become verbal, the way we search changes too. Will we be able to clearly articulate what we’re looking for, in a way that doesn’t always translate to text? Will Alexa’s immediate responses favour certain types of content over others?

Being ‘voice search friendly’ or ‘voice search ready’ is a new approach that Digital Marketing agencies are having to consider for content and ads.  Five years ago, only a minute fraction of searches worldwide were made by voice searches. In 2018, 20% of all mobile searches on search engines were being commanded by voice activation. Today, nearly 50% of people use voice search capabilities on smart speakers and smartphones - not a market which can afford to be left behind. 


‘Siri, how do I adapt my digital marketing?’ 

So, how do we tailor our content to hit those voice search targets? What this means is that content needs to be tighter, more accurate and better-presented. Let’s be realistic - users on voice search don’t want to hear ten options - and statistically aren’t likely to hang around for two or three! But of course, there’s more to it than that.

It follows that, if our users are speaking to search, we should make sure our content hits those natural language patterns in order to answer spoken queries. Nobody asks aloud for ‘Ladies’ shoes size 6 red’ in Clarks; instead, it’s important to phrase both titles and content to match more natural dialogue. 

In addition, it’s important to optimise your existing pages to incorporate these - what we might call ‘long-tail’ keyword searches. Instead of simply hitting your keywords, which isn’t going to cut it when Siri’s scanning the web, you’ll need to add those longer queries onto your content strategy to match up to what your users are really asking for. 

What will that mean for your content? You guessed it - greater variety in the questions you’re answering! People might be searching for similar keywords in a random string of words (we all Google like that, don’t deny it) but your users aren’t likely to phrase something aloud in the exact same way as the previous searcher! Make sure your content is varied enough to hit a couple of different voice searches (and those ‘cluster’ pages of different topics around your main ‘pillar’ page, too - you know the drill). 

Voice activation is just one of a handful of new technologies taking Digital Marketing by storm. Being fixed in your old strategy only works for so long in the fluctuating digital world, and it’s important to be ready for the next big thing. After all, this digital landscape we all work in is constantly changing, that not enhancing your marketing to suit new tech means you risk being left behind. 

To make sure you stay constantly adaptable and flexible around new, exciting technologies in the digital marketing world, make sure you’ve got a Digital Marketing Agency on-hand to beat your competitors to that top spot. With new opportunities opening up in voice search, keep your strategy moving forward - with Ultimate Creative Communications.

Written by Cia Risbridger September of 2020