Branding, Marketing Strategy

Differentiating Your Brand for Voice

As customers shop through voice-based interfaces, what can marketers do to differentiate themselves?

Increasingly, customers are using voice-based interfaces for shopping. It’s not just the big leagues either, such as Amazon offering customers the familiar Alexa. As consumers move toward digital assistants on connected home devices, smartphones, and tablets to get more done, it’s important to evaluate what your brand’s strategy is for connecting. Here are some tips to get started.

Optimize Your Content for Voice

For years, your brand has been building blog posts, product pages, and more that are optimized for keyword-based searches. However, the way users interact with voice is completely different. As a result, brands now face the challenge of updating their content, product landing pages, and metadata for voice search while continuing to support traditional purchasing pathways. Preparing on the back end for this shift now—and looking forward at how you create content—is one of the most important steps companies can take.

Ecosystem Partner vs. Custom Solution

Another choice brands will have to make is determining what type of voice assistance to optimize for. Some brands are choosing to develop their own voice-based search solutions and assistance. This would enable you to have a greater degree of control and customize your experience. But the risk is that this can be expensive—and encouraging adoption may be time-consuming.

Another approach is to become an ecosystem partner with another provider or to streamline your experience to work with any digital assistant. While this strategy can result in some challenges regarding partnerships and interoperability, it may ultimately offer a more flexible and cost-effective way of moving forward, unless you are a giant brand or have an extremely strong customer base.

Understand Voice-Based CX

Every time you introduce a new channel into your customer experience (CX), there are some changes and adaptations you need to make. What makes a great CX in one channel may not be important in—or may not translate well to—another. And voice-based interactions offer new opportunities and challenges. As you build your CX and strategies to market to voice-based customers, it’s important to understand what’s working. The space is quickly evolving, making it necessary to take the time to follow studies and expirations of best practices. Talk to your peers, and get inspiration from brands that have already pioneered this channel.

Developing a strategy to help your brand thrive on voice-based search and voice-based assistance is an important part of preparing for the feature, but the reality is that these technologies are here today. Brands that lay the foundation for a voice-based CX in a strategic way can expand their reach, cater to existing customers with changing engagement preferences, and adapt their long-term channel strategies to emerging market dynamics.