Planning for Voice App Awareness & Activation

Taking the plunge to test something new is always a bit nerve wracking. Is it the right decision? Will this add value? What if it does not work? How much of a risk is this?  This was a dilemma felt by all marketers regarding display advertising 25 years ago, mobile web 10 years ago and more recently in in-app advertising. It is a decision between being on the forefront of new technology and not playing catch up, a situation we now find ourselves in with voice marketing.

The first and most obvious thing is to make sure there is a real benefit to developing a voice app and also using advertising to promote it. What success looks like needs to be outlined from the start – whether this be in increased engagement with the brand or increased sales. Ideally, it should either be high impact (making life easier for the end consumer) or high interest (the focus here being the entertainment or educational value) but make sure it isn’t white noise. Keep the name of your skill snappy and easily memorable.

Amazon have been quoted as saying, “if you only build it, they won’t come.” CRM is the most efficient channel you have at your disposal for promoting a new skill as you already have an audience that has shown interest and trusts your brand and the new channels you seek to develop. Make sure you use social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter as well as short form display formats like in-read video or YouTube bumpers which are high impact in a short time frame.  We have seen that placing ads on these channels at times you know your customers are within earshot of a smart speaker is a great way to drive engagement of a voice experience.  The role of the landing page is crucial but having the name of the skill within the ad will entice users into engaging with it.

Using digital audio advertising to promote your skill is highly engaging and a result-oriented way to reach customers when they are in the right frame of mind. According to the IAB, 30% of the UK population listens to audio online via voice activated speakers and this number is growing. Utilising programmatic audio to target people at home is reaching them at a perfectly contextual moment when talking about a voice skill.  Cox with Adswizz have gone one step further by dynamically creating ads that match the genre being listened to, which increased engagement by 238%. It was also five times more efficient with business goals than other audio tactics. Utilising podcast ad slots either through the podcast itself or programmatically would be a similarly effective way of engaging with the customer at an opportune moment.

Context has always been king but never more so than in today’s age of multi-device multi-tasking. Capitalise on this through using to link your online activity to tv or outdoor but careful to avoid the pitfalls of Burger Kings campaign where the Google Home device was invoked through the tv which struck a few people as too omnipotent and also ran the risk of being attached to a publicly editable page (Wikipedia) which was then hijacked.

Finally, engaging through voice is the perfect way to establish two-way communication with your customers. Through this, you can get almost immediate insight into purchase behaviour and test the impact it has on overall activity on an ongoing basis. Learnings are the ultimate gains, the more insight you can get on consumers, the better you can serve them. The choice ultimately is between being in the forefront of technology or playing catch up.