The explosive growth of voice devices and search is undeniable.
By 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen.
That might seem overly optimistic. But when you consider the incredible growth that voice search applications have experienced in just the past year, we think it’s clear that voice search will continue to evolve—and become one of the primary means to obtain information as time goes on.
That’s why we are happy to announce that as of April 2019, Google and Alexa now have something new to say about Slack and Company!
If you have a smart device with Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant enabled, you can try out our new voice app right now. Just tell Alexa to “launch Slack and Company” or say, “OK Google, talk to Slack and Company”
You’ll be provided with a few potential avenues of exploration right away, but where you go next is up to you! (“What are some of Gary Slack’s secrets?” is a company favorite query.)
Like many business voice apps, ours is purely informational. It’s designed to reach people who are in the middle of their buyer journeys. But that’s just one way this technology could work for you. There are creative and effective ways to use voice search across every part of the buyer journey—from beginning to end.
Start at the top.
As we mentioned in our last post (you can read it here), voice search works by matching a user’s semantic queries—for example, questions about their main challenges and key trends in their industry—with short, contextual replies.
That reply, known as the “featured snippet,” is from whatever single search return is deemed most relevant to the query. The featured snippet is the only result they receive, which is what makes voice search so effective for the top of the buyer journey—so long as you’re number one.
Meet them in the middle.
To make voice search work effectively for mid-funnel buyer journey activities, complement your voice search results with supporting voice app content—just as we did in our Slack and Company app.
In our case, we’re focused on reaching a specific target: prospective new clients who already know about B2B marketing agencies and want more information about Slack and Company. With that in mind, we wrote a voice app that satisfies interest and drives engagement with our agency through seamless, natural-feeling “quick facts” about who we are, how we help our clients, and how our unique take on B2B marketing—which we call Brand-Demand—makes us different.
Just as we built our voice app to inform and inspire further engagement, you can also write responses that appeal to buyers who are near the end of their journeys with bottom-of-funnel activities and content.
For example, one of the most-used apps on the Alexa platform right now is an app from NPR called “Make Me Smarter.” This app provides the user with a daily update of little-known facts that would make Cliff Clavin blush. This would be an excellent approach to confirmational content—statistics, customer experience data and more—for a B2B brand that wants to take a position as the undisputed expert in a given field.
The future’s right around the corner.
These are just a few examples of how B2B marketers might use voice search and voice applications. But we’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible.
Voice apps may still be thought of by most people as little more than the latest shiny, new objects. But if there’s one thing we are most confident of, it’s this: Voice is evolving, and fast. And as the market continues to change rapidly, so too will voice—along with all the ways it can be used.
But what do you think? How do you see voice affecting your organization’s marketing? And how do you think that will change in the next 12 months?
Just give us a shout. We’d love to hear what you think.