Can they hear you? Adding voice to your marketing mix


Voice or audio has been growing as a marketing trend over the last few years.

From voice assistants like Alexa (Amazon), Bixby (Samsung), Cortana (Microsoft), Google Assistant, and Siri (Apple) to podcasting, audio streaming apps like Spotify, text-to-speech functionality, and up-and-coming audio apps like Clubhouse, audio is having its marketing moment.


Voice: Why now?

From a technology perspective, according to marketing consultant Heidi Cohen, we now have:

  • Better voice recognition software thanks to natural language processing, a kind of AI
  • Increased ownership of voice-enabled devices including smartphones, smart speakers, smart TVs, and even our cars
  • Adoption of voice-enabled functionality as part of our daily lives

OR maybe it’s that we’re just lazy.

According to research from Stanford University, speaking is 2.9 times faster than writing. It’s also easier to have Siri or Alexa do the work for us.

Intro to Audio Marketing

Audio marketing is the integration of voice-enabled digital applications into your marketing to engage with prospective customers and partners.

Voice / Audio Marketing Tactics to consider

Here are some of the ways to integrate voice into your marketing:

Voice Search Optimization

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With research from Gartner predicting that in 2021, 30% of browsing sessions would include audio search, voice search optimization is something that all marketers need to consider.

As marketers know, people type search queries because they’re interested in researching a topic. People use audio search to get a quick answer to a specific question, like the address or opening hours of a business. Because voice search is used to answer specific questions, marketers should be creating pages that will answer the kinds of questions that a marketer’s customers have relating to the brand. So the first step in audio search optimization should be the creation of pages that will address the Frequently Asked Questions about your brand. Be sure to check out these voice search optimization best practices.


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With podcasting ad revenue in 2020 falling just short of $1 billion (after COVID-19 cuts) according to research from the IAB and PwC, it’s clear that podcast advertising has gone mainstream.

Podcast ads are usually in one of these four formats:

  • Pre-roll: running before the podcast
  • Mid-roll: running in the middle of the podcast
  • Outro: running at the end of the podcast
  • Native: where the podcast’s host reads the ad script (these can run before, during, or at the end of the podcast)

Podcast ads tend to be simple, usually mentioning the brand and offering some form of value. That’s why 89% of podcast ads feature an online coupon code, 87% are intended for new customer acquisition and 80% encourage listeners to “Go to (our website) for a percentage off your next purchase.”

According to research from Nielsen, nearly 50% of all podcast listeners visit the website of the advertised product, and the digital purchase/conversion rate is 23%.

Voice Assistants

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Research compiled by Trinity Audio shows that 62% of the US population uses a voice assistant, and we’d expect similar results in Europe, Asia, and the rest of the Americas.

Amazon and Google, owners of the two leading voice assistants, don’t directly sell ads running on their assistants. Marketers can buy audio-activated news briefing ads. Pandora is one publisher that is enabling marketers to target ads to Amazon and Google smart speakers.

And marketers should be considering these ads because, according to research from Adobe, 38% of consumers have found voice ads less intrusive than traditional ads, and 39% find them more engaging. A study from Pandora partner found that voice ads on Pandora were 10x more effective than others the company ran through an online radio streaming service.

Another interesting vertical for voice assistants is in-car marketing. A study of 1,040 voice assistant users conducted by found that two times as many US adults have used an in-car voice assistant than a smart speaker, and the habit of monthly usage is also 60% higher for assistants in the car than via smart speakers. These kinds of metrics undoubtedly encouraged Amazon to roll-out Echo Auto.


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As publishers seek out new ways to engage users, many have turned to text-to-speech technology which enables broadcasting printed content to their on-the-go users. Publishers investing in text-to-speech include Bloomberg, the Guardian, and McClatchy.

To address this new marketing opportunity, companies like Trinity Audio enable running audio ads in audio content. A recent study conducted by the company found that the total ad completion rate was 91%, meaning that more than nine out of every ten people who started listening to an ad heard it in its entirety, a stat that would make most publishers and marketers jealous.

Audio-driven apps

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The latest trend in voice is the new audio-driven apps, namely Clubhouse, as well as Spaces from Twitter, Yac, Wavve, Riffr, and Spoon. These apps are creating a host of new marketing and communications opportunities for marketers.

This is just the tip of the audio iceberg.

To stay up-to-date regarding the developments in audio, check out ‘Voice Marketing with Emily Binder’, a mini-podcast about marketing, voice technology, and business:

And to help you with your first or next audio-driven campaign, reach out to Creative Clicks today.

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