Business

Voice Technology and its impact on Media Publishers

Forget clicking, typing, scrolling, and swiping, simply talk to your voice assistant and find out what you want to know. When you think of voice technology, a couple of household names come up; you’ve got Samsung’s Bixby, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, etc.

Voice User Interfaces or VUI’s and home speakers have taken the world by storm and are revolutionizing the way people seek out and consume content.

As a media publisher, this presents a unique opportunity for you to get in on the action and personalize your relationship with your audience by providing interactive experiences.

5 Tips for media publishers

1. Optimize content for smart speakers.

To succeed in the voice space, your content should bite-sized, i.e., short and sweet, much like a QnA site like Quora. But to revamp your content strategy, you need to create some unique content, just customers who own an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or HomePod.

Because voice technology is relatively new to the market, there are no hard and fast rules for optimizing content for smart speakers or assistants. However, from what we can gather, longtail keywords, local information, articles, and FAQ styled content seems to be doing it for most publishers.

2. From an SEO perspective, they should include speakable schema markup.

Google is still the largest search engine with a percentage market share of 92.07%. What’s more, 20% of all searches on Google are voice searches

This number is projected to grow to 50% before the end of this year, and while it’s yet to affect your sales figures, it will soon start to disrupt your hard-earned traffic in a couple of years. That’s why you must implement speakable schema markup to drive voice search traffic to your website.

When users ask for news about a specific topic, the Google Assistant returns up to three articles from around the web and supports audio playback using TTS for sections in the article with speakable structured data.

Here is a quick guide on how you can start implementing speakable schema to your stories.

3. Identify how frequently you need to post.

Amazon Alexa recently got a new skill update, Flash briefings, which allows consumers to set up Alexa to provide them with quick bits of information. This includes everything from news highlights, interviews, a daily dose of jokes, or even provide an update from blog feeds.

Just like you can get used to asking Alexa to read you the news each morning, you can quickly get used to asking Alexa for your Flash Briefing every day. Hopefully, this will contain a healthy dose of content every day, but to turn this into reality, you’ll need to provide fresh new content each day.

4. Learn your readers’ routine.

The modern world is chock-full of busy people with hectic schedules to manage. That’s why most of us often turn to voice user interfaces to catch up on our favorite topics and have the voice assistant read them out to us.

It’s a great way to save time and allows brands to engage their consumers by helping you identify the type of content they like to consume in the morning.

Publishers need to understand the consumption patterns for each of their readers and personalize content based on their routines. For example, in the morning some might prefer to hear the local news, updates on weather and stock exchange. While in the evening, they would like to get scores from their favourite sporting games.

5. Find other modes to monetize content as traditional ads, etc. won’t work.

Over the past couple of years, Google has been making significant strides with voice technology and has only recently begun testing paid-search ads on the Google Assistant Android version. They’ve started taking the necessary steps to start monetizing Google Home as well.

You can now provide hyper-personalized advertising experiences to your consumers. What’s more, relevant and contextual ads are now offered in real-time via tagging components of commercial scripts based on their demographic.

While voice technology is still a relatively new kid on the block, its making plenty of waves and is threatening to disrupt the world as we know it.

James Arnold covers some of the most relevant revenue scenarios – typically through Skills and Actions.

Sponsored content - Publishers can provide content along with a sponsor mention.

Paid subscriptions - Consumers pay to give their smart speaker access to the music/news databases.

Promotions - Advertise longform content with short snippets to entice readers. Blinklist is the best example for this scenario.

Selling exclusive content rights - Netflix, Hulu, follow this model for high interest content like sporting events or children's book.

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