It all started in 2011, when Apple created Siri. Since then the trend of voice technology has exploded, becoming practically mainstream.
32% of homes in the United States are equipped with a voice assistant, and according to an Adobe study (Adobe Analytics’ State of Voice Assistants 2018 survey) by the end of the year, this percentage will reach 50%, on the wave of shopping Christmas.
Voice search is entering more and more aspects of consumer everyday life. In addition to the basic features, such as playing music (70%), checking the weather (64%) and setting reminders (46%), users are using this type of technology for other more specific purposes, such as online searches (47% ), news consultation (46%) and basic research (35%).
Google Speakable gives a voice to brands
Users are increasingly hungry for information and news; this is not only encouraging, but also represents the field in which voice technology has the greatest immediate potential.
It is still too early to say, but it seems that this technology is surpassing the standard voice assistant answers: no longer, therefore, simple “here’s what I found online”, followed by a list of articles (sometimes useful, others not) that however, the user will have to comb through manually to find the answer to his question.
Now, thanks to technologies such as Google Speakable (still in beta phase), consumers can continue with the “vocal” experience, because the contents are read directly by the assistant, who cites the products, the brands and provides updates on the latest news company.
In a blogpost, Google declares: “To satisfy new search queries with reliable results, we are collaborating on a new system for specifying structured data schema.org called Speakable, to allow publishers who respect the criteria to report which sections of an article they are more relevant to be read aloud by the Google Assistant. When people ask “What is the latest news on NASA?”, The Google Assistant responds with an excerpt of an article and the name of the title, then asks the user if he wants to hear another article, also sending relevant links to his device mobile.”
PR tactics to be adopted
According to the comScore audience measurement site, by 2020 half of the search queries will be by voice. To ride this trend and include their customers and brands in Google Speakable, PR experts will soon have to think about incorporating some audio-friendly tactics into their content.
Here are some tips:
- Write concise content that can be read aloud in response to a question.
- Find new keywords to explain and tag a topic, so that it aligns with the new search method.
- Target valid news sites that Google will recognize as selected publishers.
- Submit your own sites / blogs or customer sites for inclusion in the Google News Publisher Center.
- Use Schema.org/Speakable code to identify and report audio fragments on your site or on collaborative content.
With growing voice searches, content strategies will no longer be just based on downloads, clicks and likes. PR and marketing experts must necessarily include voice engagement in their communication plans, which is increasingly becoming a way in which consumers interact with brands and learn about products, trends and developments.