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Digital marketing innovation with Google Voice Search - Sandmann Digital Blog

Digital marketing innovation with Google Voice Search

Our craft, as digital marketers, must evolve with the times. I’m referring to today’s ‘No Interface trend’. Trend Watching, the trend experts, have summed it up well: “people want to feed their growing addictions to digital info and live in the present moment; consumers want new, more natural forms of interaction with technology. Speech, gesture, touch, and sight: truly intuitive technologies are set to transform your customer interactions forever.”

When people think of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), they usually think of the traditional type of SEO, based on desktop and mobile Google search. As an SEO strategist, I’ve always been striving to apply this digital marketing discipline in new, innovative ways. Part of me has always wanted to be a creative.

Just Google it

Google recently got the digital marketer inside me intrigued with their “OK Google” advertising campaign, which the 72andSunny advertising agency produced for Google and rolled out in New York. Google integrated voice search calls-to-action beautifully into outdoor media, even on bowling balls. This campaign was rolled out roughly six months ago, to promote its “OK Google” voice search app. So, the advertising world had yet to catch on to this technology and such a campaign concept.

Digital marketing innovation with Google Voice Search

©Marcel de Grijs via 123RF

Google Now on Tap

It was recently announced that the revamped Google Now called Google Now on Tap, will become incredibly intuitive and take the No Interface trend to new heights. Google’s future Android M will play host to Google Now on Tap. Watch Google’s video here and be amazed.

According to PC Advisor, the new Nexus will make use of Android M. They also state that major Android brands should also utilise Android M in late 2015/early 2016.

A South African perspective

I’m currently involved in such a campaign. The above-mentioned voice search idea worked well for me because it brought together three key parts:

    • • a mobile-centric, high-income target market (campaign-specific);
    • • consumers use Google to answer questions that needed asking; and lastly,
    • an innovative, creative concept required to break through clutter.

That being said, with innovation, always comes new challenges. There were inherent risks involved; for instance, there was no local voice search-related data to support the concept’s plausibility. The voice search technology had to be tested extensively to see if it, in fact, could be used within the campaign.

The overall technical aspect of the voice search technology of the campaign was developed and tested from scratch, with no previous campaign to benchmark directly against. We did not partner with Google for this campaign, but they kindly allowed us to make use of their voice search technology.

Try it out for yourself, and ask the below question via voice search to reveal a specific, local fast food brand’s website (links to this page) in the search result page:

    • “Are your milkshakes really made from potatoes?”

This voice search SEO concept is being fully integrating into traditional advertising, via point-of-sale collateral, packaging, billboards etc., which will incorporate campaign-related voice search questions. This through-the-line campaign is the first of its kind for a brand in South Africa, and to the best of my knowledge globally speaking too (I know that Nestle UK announced a voice search campaign a few days after our campaign launched).

Be brave and curious

So, I humbly implore all South African digital marketers to be brave and curious by pitching fresh ideas that are both imaginative and ROI driven.

My article appeared on bizcommunity.com here