How Voice Marketing Works: The Inside Scoop You Need To Succeed

How Voice Marketing WorksDo you know how voice marketing works?

Maybe you think that it only works on voice-to-voice devices or contexts.

Or, perhaps, you think voice marketing is limited to millennials and younger groups.

Well you’d be wrong.

As this Capgemini chart shows, voice-first use has increased across age groups.

Digital inclusion and voice interfaces across age groups

So get your voice marketing up-to-speed, apply these 5 tactics that show how voice marketing works to your plans. They work whether you’re first testing voice marketing or have been using it for a while.

How Voice Marketing Works: 5 Ways To Expand Your Use

These 5 tactics and related tips will help you to increase your voice marketing to expand your reach across different contexts.

1. What Devices Can You Use Voice Marketing On?

Most people think voice marketing only takes place on a smart voice assistant like an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. As a result, you may view the impact of voice marketing as limited.

But, in reality, a wide range of devices have voice-first functionality starting with Siri in 2011.

Voice-first devices include:

  • Smart voice assistants,
  • Smartphones, computers, and tablets,
  • Hearables and other wearables,
  • Smart homes, cars and entertainment (including television and gaming devices),
  • Out-of-home kiosks and other retail devices, and
  • Smart IVAs and chatbots.

The main drawback:
Some voice-first devices may only use special functionality native to the manufacturer, internal STT (aka: Speech-To-Text), and/or one specific activity.

Further, different voice ecosystems may not communicate with other devices creating a walled garden for a manufacturer.

Actionable Tips For How Voice Marketing Works:

  • Translate your voice content into different formats.across different voice ecosystems so your brand can be heard everywhere. At a minimum, make sure your content can be heard on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant platforms.

2. How Does Voice Marketing Work?

Voice marketing provides content, information and customer support in 3 key ways. Voice and audio allow your audience to listen and, in some cases, also to view your information.

They include:

  • Eyes-Free Mode. Permits your audience to hear your information when their attention and focus are otherwise occupied so they can’t stop to look at your content. The most common use case is when they’re driving.
  • Hands-Free Mode. Lets your audience hear your content while their hands are occupied and unable to touch or gesture to their device’s screen. While their hands are busy, they may not be able to look at a screen. The most common use case for this type of information intake is cooking.
  • Multimodal. Allows your audience to not only listen to your content but also to see it at the same time. Depending on the device of choice, the user may be able to gesture or touch it to complete an action. From a marketing point of view, this works for “Near Me” requests made to a smartphone. After the user receives feedback information, they can quickly scan through the results and gesture an answer. Alternatively, the user can follow product instructions while watching to see how to do something.

3 types of voice-enabled use-cases

Actionable Tips For How Voice Marketing Works:

  • Offer users the option of how they want to interact with your business via voice. Don’t assume that all of your users will follow you to a voice-only option.
  • Be prepared to allow voice users to talk to a human ASAP for product support. For users who choose to use your Voice FAQ and “How To” content via voice, allow them to talk directly to a person during business hours when they need to avoid upset prospects and customers.

3. How Can You Use Voice Marketing?

Your audience can listen to voice content marketing in one of three ways using the OUI Approach:

  • On-Demand Voice Content consists of existing content that you’ve transformed from another format into voice or audio content to increase your content inventory. (Don’t forget to add relevant metadata.)
  • User Question Answered relates to a short piece of audio content that’s the best answer to the user’s question. In this case, the best answer delivered the fastest matters. Be aware that the user is only interested in the answer to their specific question, not a full ebook or white paper. So make sure that your audio content is finadable by chapters, other forms of organization or small chunks.
  • Interaction is expected by the user. In most casts, the user expects that they will have to simplify their ask to fit into the device’s way of responding. In business settings, this can apply to IVAs and chatbots.

OUI Approach

Actionable Tips For How Voice Marketing Works:

  • Publish your voice and audio content on your owned media first to associate it with the appropriate content and metadata.

Want more voice marketing tips?


4. How Does Voice Marketing Interact With Your Visitors?

Contrary to popular belief there are three ways voice marketing interactions take place.

  • Voice Input to Voice Output (VIVO) is when a user talks to a device and the device returns a spoken response.
  • Non-voice Input to Voice Output (NIVO) occurs when a visitor reads about your voice content and speaks or makes a gesture to access the content. Since most content exists as text, visuals or videos, this form of interaction drives the largest number of voice activities.
  • Voice Input to Non-voice Output (VINO) happens when a listener responds to a call-to-action included in your voice content.Use this opportunity to get listeners to subscribe to your voice content by sharing their email address or mobile phone number.

Actionable Tips For How Voice Marketing Works:

  • Use every piece of owned media to promote your voice content. At a minimum, create a landing page that directs people to it.

5. How Can You Extend Your Content Into Voice Formats?

To extend the reach of your existing text and visual content marketing.

For marketers and executives who are reluctant to enter the voice space, this is an easy way to test extending your content offering, breaking through the noise with audio options and to be available when text and visual options don’t work.

Here are 3 ways to extend your existing content:

  • Transform text to voice. Ideally have a human read your content and edit it for “ums” and other spoken filler words and sounds. Audio Version of text added to post
  • Add text to your voice and audio content. While you can use a number of AI-powered tools to accomplish this, have a human take the time to edit and format the content to be consistent with your other text content. For example, the A16z podcast did this.

    Amazon Narratives

  • Remove images from video leaving just the audio file. Chris Penn does this to extend his reach. Here’s an example from his blog.
    Chris Penn Blog Post: You Ask I Answer

Actionable Tips For How Voice Marketing Works:

  • Repromote the new formats of your existing content across owned, social and third party platforms. Also, spotlight your voice content in your newsletters. For example, here’s how the A16Z newsletter promoted the addition of text to their podcast.

How Voice Marketing Words Conclusion

Want to extend your marketing reach to new audiences and contexts?

Then add these 5 tactics that show how voice marketing works to diversify your marketing offering and promotion.

Even better, you can start small and expand your voice-first offering.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.


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