Speculation about the impact of voice on digital marketing is running rampant these days, especially as it relates to search by voice input specifically.
Google and Bing have laid the groundwork for voice input: Google has the microphone button on desktop and on its mobile apps. Bing has the microphone input through Cortana on the Windows 10 desktop, and through Cortana on its mobile app.
With the foundation in place, will voice search take off? Will people give up their text input habit for the convenience (but not-quite-perfect) of voice input?
I recently spoke at SMX Munich about how voice search is going to change the world of advertisers. We started with a close look at the most recent research on voice. Who is using voice input? The most surprising thing is that apparently older people are adopting voice with enthusiasm – which makes sense in the context of the small smartphone screen and keyboard. Voice is easier, and you don’t have to put your reading glasses on to get it done.
Another fascinating stat is that most people (42%) only started using voice search in the last six months. If this trend holds steady, voice search will be roundly adopted within the next few years.
We also looked at the key differences between voice and text inputs, and why this matters to advertisers. It’s clear that the world of voice input is dramatically different, starting with the use of conversational language.
This one difference is responsible for a cascade of effects including more refined and clear intent (“Where can I buy pink rain boots?” versus “pink rain boots”), slightly longer keyword queries and a bias toward local search.
The session wrapped up with a forward look at what we can expect from voice search. Just as we’ve all readily adopted mobile phones, swiping and pinching, we will adopt voice input.
As the Internet of Things asks us to talk to our refrigerators and our cars, as wearables ask us to give vocal commands, we will move closer and closer to embracing voice search over text input.
This is a new and exciting shift for digital marketers, representing a way to once again adapt our message to our audience. This is a passion project for me and I’ll continue to update my research and analyze the voice search landscape. If you’re as fascinated as I am, start here with my presentation from SMX Munich.
You can view the presentation at slideshare.