I recently published a piece on voice search and voice engine optimization — for Biznology. I also published a piece on VEO for Target Marketing earlier this year.
The earlier piece was at my editor’s request and the more recent was a reaction to the increased attention that VEO is getting of late. We may be reaching the “hockey stick curve” portion of VEO’s growth.
Which isn’t to say that voice assistants like Siri and Alexa haven’t grown explosively over the past 18 months. They have, and that growth will continue for the next few years. (From about 2.5 billion assistants now to 8 billion by 2023.)
What will be more interesting is the growth in how these tools are used. We’re already going beyond checking the weather and adding milk to our shopping lists.
For those of us who are B2B marketers, what’s interesting is how and when we’ll see major impact in our world. By 2020, 70% of B2B searches are expected to be made on mobile devices. I could not find any data on what percentage of those are done via voice, though I would expect the percentage to be low currently and remain low for the near term — most B2B workers are still in in offices and other environments that tend to be quiet.
That should certainly hamper growth, even as more of us work remotely for at least some portion of our work week. But remember how technology generally progresses in our culture: what starts out as a toy for fringe enthusiasts spreads to become a tool (of limited value) for early adopters. As that spreads and becomes more valuable in one realm – like B2C — consumers get used to using that tool and begin to expect it in other aspects of their life. (Like B2B.)
Check out the links above for a bit more background and some how-to. Even if you’re not currently benefiting from queries like, “Find a ________ near me,” recognize that the tools will evolve and marketing platforms are usually a party you’re better being too early to than too late.
Here are a few more resources.
Voice assistant usage now at ‘critical mass’ as Google Assistant crowned smartest
Study: 67% of Marketers Now Believe Voice-Enabled Experiences are ‘Very Important’ to Customers