How to Use Smart Speakers as a Marketing Channel

  
4 minute read

Written by Hubbard Chicago

How to Use Smart Speakers as a Marketing Channel

An eager car buyer looks over to their speaker and asks “Alexa, where’s the nearest Honda dealership?” The speaker replies “The nearest Honda dealership is on 123 Main Street.” Wouldn’t it be great if home and office speakers were advertising your business listing too? 

 Smart speakers such as Alexa and Google Assistant are getting more popular all the time. Did you know that smart speakers also represent a growing marketing opportunity? Amazon alone has sold over ten million of its smart speaker Echo. There are a number of creative ways to leverage these devices to help you get your message across. There are 4 main ways to use smart speakers for marketing.

Advertising

There are several ways to advertise directly to smart speaker customers. This type of advertising is fairly new but is expected to grow quickly in the coming years. Whichever platform you use, it's important to keep a few considerations in mind.

Target Your Audience

Before you decide where to advertise, it's important to do market research to find out where your audience is and what type of products they're interested in. Market research will help you target the right customers, whether you're focusing on Google, Amazon, or Apple.

Branding vs. Action Advertising

When promoting your business, make sure you understand the difference between branding and action advertising

  • Branding -You may want to increase awareness for your brand. This is something done by large brands as well as newer and smaller companies. This type of ad isn't focused on selling a specific product but familiarizing your business to the public.
  • Action Advertising -These are ads that are focused on a particular product, service, or event. In this case, you're explaining why customers should choose your product or seek out more information. Make sure you include a clear call-to-action with action advertising. 

Direct Advertising Options

At first, Amazon Echo did not have an ads program. In 2019, however, Amazon introduced an audio ads program for non-Prime Amazon members. Apple is doing something similar for owners of their HomePods. It's likely that more advertising opportunities will be available as companies seek to profit from the growing number of smart speaker customers.

Indirect Promotions

Aside from advertising directly, you can also promote yourself indirectly through companies that are featured on smart speakers. You can, for example, target people who listen to music channels on their speakers. Pandora and Spotify now sell ads specifically targeting smart speaker users. These services offer a wide range of channels, letting you target customers of all types. 

Skills

Skills are a popular component of both Amazon Echo and Google Home (on Google, they're called Actions rather than skills). Smart speaker owners can access all types of knowledge through their speakers, whether they're looking for recipes, advice on how to repair something, speaking a foreign language, or almost anything else. 

Restrictions on Skills

Before you start creating Skills, you should be familiar with the rules. Restrictions on Amazon Skills, for example, includes areas such as trademarks and intellectual property rights, collecting information about customers' health, skills directed at children, and direct advertising.

Offer Value

While you can't create skills to directly promote a product or business, you can reach your audience by entertaining them and offering utility. Companies have found many ways to promote themselves by offering useful skills on Amazon and Google. Here are a few examples of corporate brand skills

  • HBO -The entertainment company has created popular Amazon Skills based on its own characters and programs from Westworld.
  • Estée Lauder - The beauty brand has Google Actions that provide beauty advice.
  • Unilever - Offers recipe Skills under its Hellmann brand. 

These are a few examples of companies promoting themselves with Skills/Actions. There are almost limitless potential skills to offer, provided that you stay within the guidelines and restrictions. Skills are especially good for building brand awareness

Search Engine Optimization

With the popularity of smart speakers, it's getting increasingly important to optimize your website for voice search. People accustomed to smartphones, voice-controlled devices, and smart speakers find it easier to search verbally rather than typing in queries the traditional way. This means you have to optimize your site for voice search. 

To reach the largest audience, it's important to be listed as a featured snippet on Google, also known as position zero. These are the snippets that appear at the top of the search results, which have a lot more exposure than the regular search results. Google favors SEO tactics that provide concise and useful information. Numbered lists, recipes, and price estimators are good for reaching position zero.

When Google Home is asked a question, the response is usually taken from position zero.

There's also Amazon Alexa SEO, which is about getting Amazon to recommend your products. Echo users are guided to Amazon Choice products. As with Google, the exact algorithm isn't revealed but Amazon says "high quality, well-priced products" are most likely to be recommended.  

Find the Best Way to Promote Your Brand With Smart Speakers

The smart device revolution is just getting started. There are already quite a few ways to reach your audience with smart speakers. To identify the best methods for your business, you have to consider your audience, budget, and goals. Some methods are best for branding while others are more geared to action advertising. Stay alert for the latest developments in smart speaker marketing so you can take advantage of these opportunities to promote your business.

How To Market To Multiple Generations

Topics: Digital Marketing, Branding, Marketing Strategy

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