Conversational Marketing and Optimization for Voice Assistants
Conversations with your customer are one of the most critical pillars for fostering sales. That’s why, despite the multiplication of communications channels, it’s vital we take care of each interaction a brand compared to potential competitors. This practice is called conversational marketing.
Conversational marketing tries to evaluate conversations during the user experience when it’s time to interact with them using audio or visual interfaces.
In this sense, this branch of marketing seeks to meet the customer's needs through communications, giving immediate responses and create real conversations that help the user get the answers they're seeking.
In the past two years, virtual assistants have converted into a phenomenon. They answer questions users say out loud as if they were a person. They’re on Smartphone speakers and home speakers. Almost all of us have said “Hey Siri” or “Ok, Google” at least once to get information.
It’s estimated that 20% of Google searches are voice searches but in 2020 that could go up to 50%. This will inevitably have an impact on pages and their traffic; brands need to start adopting conversational marketing strategies and optimize their websites to respond to users’ voice searches.
How can you optimize content for virtual assistants?
First off, it's essential you understand how these devices work. Virtual assistants generally obtain information from a variety of sources. Some examples could be that they look at a phone's contacts for a phone call; to play a song, they'll look in an on-demand music service, YouTube, and so on; and for other options, like making calculations, will have their own tool.
However, what happens when there’s information that an Artificial Intelligence system doesn’t have? In those cases, it will try to provide answers using a search engine. This way allows it to answer simple questions like “What’s digital marketing” or “What’s a reporting system?” through millions of websites on those topics on the Internet.
But can we do something to make virtual assistants choose our result over the rest? We’ve identified four key aspects to consider when seeking to reach this objective:
1. Be a site of authority
Virtual assistants want to be trustworthy and offer the best answers to users’ requests; to do so, they won’t provide answers from pages with little authority or unreliable information.
2. Have a well-optimized website
Not only is this step necessary to get positioning but also for search engines to quickly access the information. Besides, once they're on the Internet, that the can promptly identify or catalog it. A good website structure, therefore, plays a vital role given that it may not seem definitive, structured data will be critical in the future.
3. Create content focused on answering questions
Users throw real questions to virtual assistants: What's the weather forecast for today?, What's the shortest route to work? That's why it's crucial to run an analysis of the searches users perform and optimize your content, so it provides answers to those queries.
4. Show up in the first positions on search engines
The first results on search engines are the best results for a query, at least in theory. Despite that, it’s not the same being able to see all the content on a page and that the virtual assistant can find a short, concrete answer that solves the doubt arising from the question. It’s possible that the first organic search result might not be the right one for virtual assistants and they’ll choose another one from the top 5. The answer will usually always be within the first five places.
With these four components, you'll be able to adapt your website to start a conversation with users through virtual assistants. This will undoubtedly influence in that traffic will be slightly lower if the user does not browse later on to get more information. In turn, you'll get mentions (when the virtual assistant says "I found a result on the We Are Marketing website," for example), it will help reinforce your brand image.