Understanding the Digital Voice Assistant Opportunity

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Just a few years ago, tech industry analysts were bullish in their predictions about the growth of voice search within search marketing. But, as Stella Rising’s Elizabeth Timmis points out, the evolution, in reality, has been more gradual: voice search has by no means overtaken all of search marketing. That said, the majority of consumers are using voice assistants—and enjoying them—and digital audio listeners will make up 63.1 percent of the U.S. population by next year, according to Timmis. She notes that this opens up excellent new pathways for brands to connect with consumers, whether through digital audio advertising or Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Consumers are increasing their use of voice assistants, through both smartphones and smart speakers, across a range of activities. Several of these digital audio uses, such as asking questions (Hey Google, what’s the weather?), shopping and purchasing, offer brands the opportunity to build out actions (on Google products) or skills (on Alexa products). Few actions or skills have been created thus far, and for 2020, Stella Rising’s SEO team recommends that brands act now to have an early mover advantage. A new way to engage with consumers, these search tactics are a promising complement to robust search and digital audio strategies.