Brands looking for new ways too engage customers may find potential in creating branded voice experiences on Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana. You don’t want to miss an opportunity and not enter the voice-enabled world that seems to be evolving every minute.

While most marketers will agree that voice-activated smart devices and voice branding are in their infancy, you just can’t deny the explosive growth of this industry over the past couple of years. They have entered the homes of consumers everywhere, with an estimated 64 million U.S. households expected to be equipped with one by end of this year.

Voice commands on Alexa are becoming like search on Google. And by 2020 more than half of all searches are expected to be voice activated. With more people using voice search and smart speakers, consumers’ next steps to take are to ask their devices about a brand. That’s why companies need to be thinking about branded Actions, so they can manage those search results to their benefit.

Naturally voice activated smart devices lend themselves to convenience shopping and that goes for repeat shopping as well. Gone are the days of making lists for what household items you need to purchase every week. And instead consumers are turning to their voice assistants to purchase these products and to remind them when it’s time to reorder as well.

Boost Brand Engagement

But there are other industries and brands that can capitalize on this technology too. Take for example, the Food Network, which got in the voice game early. A really smart move considering that most people keep their voice-activated devices in the kitchen. Many people still cook while following recipes whether on paper or on a screen. This method requires a stop and start approach, with its Alexa skill or Google Action, the Food Network captured the easy flow of providing verbal cues to keep the food prep process moving smoothly, even when gooey hands aren’t available to turn a card over or touch a screen.

So while for many business sectors, especially retail, voice activated smart devices are all about voice shopping. There is value in other industries considering developing brand tips and tricks that help consumers solve their problems and keep their company’s name top-of-mind as well for when it comes time to make a purchase.

Create Skills & Actions

Let’s get back in the kitchen. Think of all the things people do at their kitchen tables. People plan their vacations, make their appointments, ponder their finances, notice all the home repairs they should do, etc.  Voice commands for “How to” type of activities work really well with these types of devices. For example, companies in the healthcare market can launch a Healthy Living Skill on Alexa, which allows users to ask questions about “How many calories you burn walking vs. running?” or “How to prevent the spread of germs in your house?” – and the Skill responds with all the relevant information. Another example would be a remodeling company that’s working with an influencer in the industry. They could leverage the voice of the influencer to provide tips and answer consumers’ questions about the appropriate way to measure the square footage of a room or what type of materials are used for counters and the benefits of each type.

So we just mentioned three types of voice branding that marketers can implement today:

  • Provide daily tips and reminders
  • Engage in influencer marketing
  • Answer frequently asked questions

There are and will be many more opportunities in the upcoming year for marketers to explore personalizing their brand through voice-activated smart devices. Understanding its usefulness in this digital age is important, as is figuring out how to harness its power of engagement to your particular audiences. Marketers have always pushed that brands need a voice in the marketplace, and now quite literally they need a voice too.