Voice Search Is Exploding: How This Changes Your Digital, Content And Social Media Marketing Strategies.

Apple’s launch of the iPhone 4s in 2011 introduced the world to Siri. Since then we’ve had Google Voice, Microsoft Cortana, and Amazon Echo Alexis, but now voice search is poised for rapid growth. 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search more than once a day. Click To Tweet ComScore predicts that by 2020, half of all searches will be voice searches. Businesses can benefit from understanding how this shift will disrupt current search (SEO), content marketing and social media marketing strategies.

Voice Search Digital Content Social Media Marketing Strategy Quesenberry

Keyword searching is decreasing so sites optimized to keywords will see a decrease in traffic and engagement. Voice search sifts behavior from typing in key words or phrases to finding something by asking questions. This goes beyond long tail search strategies where marketers have combined multiple search terms to narrow results on smaller niche audiences. Long tail was in response to people using longer search phrases looking for more specific products and services. In voice search people use their voices to ask questions in full sentences.

Consumers are now asking questions of the Internet the way they would a person. With the growth of voice search, which uses natural language, there is increase in questions as part of the search phrasing. In fact, Search Engine Watch reports the use of search queries starting with “who,” “what,” “where” and “how” has increased by 61% year over year. This makes sense because many people now can use their voice and ask their phones.

Marketers must adjust so their content appears as a good answer. How? Think less keyword stuffing and meta tags and more full sentences and conversational copy. Respond to more natural language questions with more natural language answers – the way you would answer someone in person. Voice search results emphasize quality so you should think less like a marketer with heavy sales messages and more like a publisher or journalist – answering the “W” questions is the basis of writing a good news story. Also, all words become important Purna Virji of Moz gives the example that if the search phrase is “What is the cost for gas in my location?”, the words “is,” “the,” “for”, “in” and “my” are filler words. The filler words have nothing to do with a specific product or service, but they increase the words that match a voice query and can improve search placement.

Google Voice search has doubled over the last year. Click To TweetHow can you take advantage of this trend? Follow the four steps below.

  1. Research the most common questions asked by your target audience. Search industry, interest and product forums. Search comments on ratings and industry appropriate review sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor or even Amazon. Search questions and answer sites like Quora and your own Q&A page. Survey front line employees and sales people about most common questions and analyze your own social media accounts for common questions. If you don’t have a Q&A section on your website consider adding one.
  2. Search these common questions using voice search and see how the current answers are written. Use Siri, Google Voice, Cortana, Alexis to see what is currently appearing as the top results. This will help you identify current competition and provide a guideline for how to structure your own answers. Are there answers that are not being given? Concentrate there first, then work your way to trying to overtake competitor’s positions.
  3. Create website and social media content that directly answers those questions in simple clear sentences. Here remember the “who,” “what,” “where” and “how.” Provide clear and direct answers but fill out the information around the direct answers. Once you get the consumer on your site for the direct answer you can expand the topic. Also don’t forget to create content based on variations of the same questions such as how to fix, “how do I fix ____?,” “how do I stop ___?”, or who can fix ____?, “what do I do if ___?” Don’t forget all content that can be searched including blogs and press releases.
  4. Consider local voice search. If you are a business with a physical address you should consider a new element to potential customer questions. Here people may be asking questions based on geo-location such as “where is the nearest BBQ place?,” “where can I get an iPhone charger?”, Who has the closest free wi-fi?” Make sure your business is listed with physical locations in Google+ Local and other geo-location social media sites like Yelp, Foursquare and Facebook. Reviews on sites like Yelp and TripAdviser can also impact these search results.

Voice search for product research is increasing. Nearly 50% of people are now using voice search when researching products. If marketers want their products to be found they should start to consider new strategies that emphasize natural language over keywords.

Digital and content marketing benefits to voice search optimization: Optimizing your website, blog and press/media pages with new information in the right structure can help get your content noticed over competitors to drive more traffic from highly qualified leads.

Social media marketing benefits to voice search optimization: Voice search optimized content will draw more engagement because you will be providing answers addressing your target audience’s most common questions. A focus on discovering and answering your target’s questions leads to more valuable and relevant social content that will drive awareness views and shares.

Business benefits to voice search optimization: Adjusting to natural language search helps you think more like a consumer and less like a marketer. This improved understanding of what your customers are currently seeking can lead to new product and service ideas to improve your business offering.

Over time the better you get at answering natural language questions the better your results. Bill Slawski from Go Fish Digital says that sites frequently selected and ranked highly can be deemed more authoritative and thus appear in more top results and drive more traffic.

We are still early in this trend. If you start adjusting strategies now you could benefit from a competitive advantage over your slower competitors. Have you considered how voice search will change your digital strategies?

For more insights into the big picture in social media strategy consider Social Media Strategy: Marketing and Advertising in the Consumer Revolution.

To consider the bigger picture in measurement see Why You Need A Social Media Measurement Plan And How To Create One. To consider the bigger picture in social media marketing Ask These Questions To Ensure You Have The Right Strategy.

Over 100 Social Media Tools & Resources You Can Benefit From Today

In writing my new book on social media strategy and from teaching social media marketing and digital marketing for years I have collected a list if valuable references. Below is a list of what I have found to the be some of the top social media resources and tools in marketing, advertising and PR. Hopefully I have provided some references and links that you have not heard of and can benefit from today.

Keith A Quesenberry Social Media StrategyFor a view of the bigger picture. Look for my new book that lays out a comprehensive social media planning process for any brand, organization or individual. “Social Media Strategy: Marketing and Advertising in the Consumer Revolution” is coming out in October 2015 with Roman & Littlefield publishers.

It provides a step-by-step system for creating a social media marketing plan, but also looks at social media outside marketing for silo smashing integration across strategic business units. You can read about it here: http://bit.ly/Quesenberry

If there is a valuable tool or resource you use for social media that I have not listed, please let me know in the comments below!

Here is a list (by category) of social media strategy tools and resources.

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Social Media Monitoring & Metrics

Agora Pulse: www.agorapulse.com

Addict-o-matic: addictomatic.com

Brandwatch: brandwatch.com

Buzzsumo: buzzsumo.com

Cision: www.cision.com/us/social-software

Critical Mention: www.criticalmention.com

Hootsuite: hootsuite.com

How Socialble: howsociable.com

Iconosquare: iconosquare.com

Klear: klear.com

Lithium: lithium.com

Meltwater Ice Rocket: www.icerocket.com

Nielson Social: www.nielsensocial.com

NUVI: www.nuvi.com

Oracle Social Cloud: www.oracle.com/us/solutions/social

Radian6 (Salesforce): exacttarget.com/products/social-media-marketing/radian6

RankSpeed: rankspeed.com

ReviewTrackers: reviewtrackers.com

Simply Measured: simplymeasured.com

Social Mention: socialmention.com

Social Bakers: socialbakers.com

Socially Devoted Meter: www.socialbakers.com/resources/socially-devoted

Social Blade: socialblade.com

Sprinklr: www.sprinklr.com

SumoRank: sumorank.com

Sysomos: www.sysomos.com

Trackur: www.trackur.com

Twitonomy: twitonomy.com

Visible Measures: visiblemeasures.com

Unruly: unruly.co

Online Data Collection & Analytics

AlexaL alexa.com

Google Tools: www.thinkwithgoogle.com/tools/

Compete (Millard Brown Digital): compete.com

Cyfe: www.cyfe.com

Display Benchmarks: richmediagallery.com/tools/benchmarks

Google Analytics: www.google.com/analytics

Google Trends: www.google.com/trends

IBM Watson Analytics: ibm.com/analytics/watson-analytics

iSpionage: ispionage.com

Keyhole: keyhole.co

Kiss Metrics: www.kissmetrics.com

Kred: kred.com

Klout: klout.com/

ManageFlitter: manageflitter.com

Mention: en.mention.com

Moz Open Site Explorer: moz.com/researchtools/ose

New Share Counts (Twitter): newsharecounts.com/

Nexalogy: nexalogy.com

Omgili: omgili.com

Quantcast: quantcast.com

SEMrush: www.semrush.com

SharedCount: www.sharedcount.com

Shopping Insights: shopping.thinkwithgoogle.com

SimilarWeb: similarweb.com

Soovle: soovle.com

Talkwalker Alerts: www.talkwalker.com

Tweetreach: tweetreach.com

Twitter Advanced Search: twitter.com/search-advanced

Twitter Analytics: analytics.twitter.com

YouGovProfiles: yougov.co.uk/profiler#

YouTube Analytics: www.youtube.com/analytics

YouTube Trending: www.youtube.com/feed/trending

Social Media & Digital Media Research

Adobe Digital Index: cmo.com/adobe-digital-index.html

Affinio: www.affin.io/

Forrester: www.forrester.com/Social-Media

Gallap: www.gallap.com

Global Web Index: www.globalwebindex.net

Grama Hashtag Generator for Instagram: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/grama-hashtag-generator-for

IBM Watson Analyitics for Social Media: ibm.com/marketplace/cloud/social-media-data-analysis/us/en-us

Kantar Media SRDS: srds.com

Nielsen Social Media Reports: www.nielsensocial.com

Pew Research Center: www.pewinternet.org

Roper Center: www.ropercenter.uconn.edu

Simmons: simmonsssurvey.com

Social Explorer: www.socialexplorer.com

Social Media Collective: socialmediacollective.org

Statista: www.statista.com

Social Content Scheduling & Automation

Alltop: alltop.com

Buddy Media: www.exacttarget.com/products/social-media-marketing/buddy-media

Buffer: bufferapp.com

Chartbeat: chartbeat.com

Chhirp: cordproject.co/chhirp

Contentgems: contentgems.com

CoSchedule: coschedule.com

Crowdbooster: crowdbooster.com

dlvr.it: dlvr.it

Edgar: meetedgar.com

HubSpot: hubspot.com

IFTTT: ifttt.com

Later: later.com

Later Bro: laterbro.com

List-O-Matic: accessify.com/tools-and-wizards/developer-tools/list-o-matic

MissingLett_r: missinglettr.com

OptinMonster: optinmonster.com

Outbrain: outbrain.com

Post Planner: www.postplanner.com

Short Stack: www.shortstack.com

SocialOomph: www.socialoomph.com

Sprout Social: sproutsocial.com

Social Warefare: warfareplugins.com

Tailwind: tailwindapp.com

Thunderclap: thunderclap.it

TweetBot: tapbots.com/tweetbot

TweetDeck: about.twitter.com/products/tweetdeck

Uberflip: uberflip.com

Woodbox: woobox.com

Zapier: zapier.com

Zendesk: www.zendesk.com

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Social Media Content Creation Tools

Accelerated Mobile Pages Project: www.ampproject.org

Adobe Kuler: color.adobe.com/create.color–wheel

Canva: www.canva.com

ContenIdeator: contentforest.com/ideator

DesignFeed: designfeed.io

Design Seeds: design–seeds.com

Easelly: www.easel.ly

Emotional Marketing Analyzer (Advanced Marketing Institute): aminstitute.com/headline

Google Fonts: www.google.com/fonts

Google Image: images.google.com

Google Tag Manager: www.google.com/analytics/tag-manager

Grammarly: grammarly.com

Headline Analyzer (CoSchedule): coschedule.com/headline-analyzer

Hemingway Editor: hemingwayapp.com

LibreStock (Search Free Stock Sites): librestock.com

Over: madewithover.com

Phonto: phon.to/

PicPlayPost: www.mixcord.co/partners/picplaypost.html

Pictaculous: pictaculous.com

PicMonkey: picmonkey.com

Piktochart: piktochart.com

Pixlr: pixlr.com

Recite: recite.com

Relay: relaythat.com

Smartmockups: smartmockups.com

Spark: spark.adobe.com

Studio: madewithstudio.com

Tiny PNG: tinypng.com

Typorama: apperto.com/typorama

20 Free Stock Photo Sites for your Social Media Images:  blog.Hootsuite.com

Unsplash: unsplash.com

Word Swag: wordswag.co

Yost: yoast.com

Trade Associations, Awards, Conferences

Brand Innovators: brand-innovators.com/events

Content Marketing World: www.contentmarketingworld.com

INBOUND: www.inbound.com

INTEGRATE: imc.wvu.edu/integrate

Online Media Marketing Awards: www.mediapost.com/ommaawards

Social Media Marketing World: www.socialmediaexaminer.com/smmworld

Social Media Strategies Summit: socialmediastrategiessummit.com

Social Media Week: socialmediaweek.org

Summit: summit.adobe.com/na

SXSW: sxsw.com

SXSWedu: http://www.sxswedu.com

The Webby Awards: www.webbyawards.com

The Shorty Awards: shortyawards.com

The Mashies: mashable.com/mashies

Word of Mouth Marketing Association: womma.org

Social Media News & Insights

Chris Brogan: http://chrisbrogan.com/blog

Jeff Bullas: jeffbullas.com

Content Marketing Institute: contentmarketinginstitute.com/blog

Convince & Convert : www.convinceandconvert.com

FTC Disclosures: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking

Gartner Digital Marketing: blogs.gartner.com/digital-marketing

Grow: www.businessesgrow.com

Hubspot’s Inbound Hub: blog.hubspot.com

Marketing Profs: www.marketingprofs.com

Mashable Social Media: mashable.com/social-media

RazerSocial: www.razorsocial.com/blog

Social Media Examiner: www.socialmediaexaminer.com

Social Media Explorer: www.socialmediaexplorer.com

Social Media Marketing Magazine: www.smmmagazine.com

Social Media Today: socialmediatoday.com

Social Mouths: socialmouths.com/blog

Social Media Law Bulletin: www.socialmedialawbulletin.com

YouTube Video Creators: www.youtube.com/videocreators

Social Media/Marketing Podcasts

Content Inc.: contentmarketinginstitute.com/content-inc-podcast

Content Pros: convinceandconvert.com/podcasts/shows/content-pros-podcast

Influence Pros: convinceandconvert.com/podcasts/shows/influence-pros-podcast/

Social Media Examiner: www.socialmediaexaminer.com/tag/podcast

Social Pros Podcast: convinceandconvert.com/podcasts/shows/social-pros-podcast/

The Art of Paid Traffic Podcast: rickmulready.com/category/aoptpodcast/

The Business of Story: convinceandconvert.com/podcasts/shows/business-of-story-podcast

The Marketing Companion: marketingpodcasts.com/the-marketing-companion

This Old Marketing: contentmarketinginstitute.com/pnr-with-this-old-marketing-podcast

Social Media Channels

Wikipedia List of Social Networking Sites: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites

Also Download Overdrive Interactive’s 2016 Social Media Map for a list of social media channels and categories:

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